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Pavaune, USA - Being a Volunteer Minister in Haiti was an incredibly life-changing experience

I can honestly say that nothing I’ve ever done has so vastly changed my entire viewpoint on life in such a short period of time. When I arrived in Haiti, I had no idea what to expect. I knew I’d be helping but I didn’t know in what way. The first day I discovered we were helping in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince, and I was eager to go there. I arrived, ready to assist in whatever way I could. Little did I know that there would be so many areas that needed help.

When we walked in there were two nurses and one doctor trying to care for nearly 60 patients in a dilapidated building with barely any electricity, no A/C, very little sheets and too few beds. It was chaos, and patients weren’t dying because of their illnesses or injuries; they were dying because of dehydration and malnutrition. Three patients died in the ICU the day before we got there. Our first job was to get food and water to the patients. The medical professionals were overwhelmed and were coping with simply trying to treat the patients wounds, so they had no time to take care of any of the basics – like feeding or changing these patients. We each assigned ourselves a ward to be responsible for (there were four) and began to assist.

These patients were eager for someone to speak to – no matter the language barrier. They appreciated that their beds, sheets and diapers were now being changed on a regular basis. Many of my patients had bedsores that were incredibly large and infected, due to no one changing or cleaning them. These sores needed to be cleaned and dressed. I did that. Their diapers needed to be changed. I did that. Their IV drip bags needed to be replaced. I did that. They needed basics that the doctors and nurses didn’t have time to think of. That’s what we did. These were all fundamental things that you didn’t need a medical education to do. You just needed two hands and a head.

One of the patients in my ward I called “Mama”. She was an 85 year old woman whose family had never come for her. She was severely dehydrated and malnourished. She had no one visiting her, and she was too weak to lift her head, let alone a finger in order to take care of herself. Every morning I would walk in the ICU and give her water, give her food, say “bonjour” and “como se va?” Throughout the day, I would come back to feed her, change her, grant her some beingness and flow her some theta. Finally, on my last day in the ICU, I had a translator with me. Little did I know it, but Mama had a message for me. My translator started relaying it to me. She said, “You are my daughter. You are my whole world. Every day when you leave, I get lonely and every day when you return, I am happy again. You are my daughter, and I love you. I love you. Never forget me. Please just never forget me” I looked into her eyes and thanked her, told her I loved her too and would never, ever forget her and wiped away the tears from both her eyes and my own.

On our watch, not a single person died in the ICU. What’s more, the tone level of the patients increased at least three-fold. The doctors and nurses of the General Hospital adored the yellow shirts, and within a week, we became known as the “angels of the General Hospital”.

Not only did I get to help with medical assistance in Haiti, but I got to actually give help to many of those grieving. One experience stands out among the others. One evening a fellow VM, Niko, brought a local hotel worker back to our camp. The man, Jean Claude, was in grief. He had lost nearly his entire family in the quake. He was at work when the quake happened. His family was crushed in their home, and his employer never gave him a day off to try to find them within the rubble. He had never found his mother or father, and he was never able to truly end cycle on them being gone. I started speaking to him, and let him tell me his whole story, and I just listened and acknowledged. I then started a Locational Assist with him, and within five minutes his mood improved. Though I still wanted to help him a bit more so I continued. Within 45 seconds of beginning the assist, he turned to me and said: "Tomorrow I’m going to go out and buy some dominoes and cards, and I’m going to sit down and play with my friends. I haven’t played with my friends in over three weeks.”

“That sounds great,” I said.

He continued, “And I’m going to listen to music. I love hip-hop, R&B, rock and roll…”


“You just changed my life! I just realized something. My family is with God now. God will take care of them. I do not need to worry. I need to start creating my future. My future is all I have now, and I must look to it. You just changed my life!”

I thoroughly acknowledged him and he thanked me endlessly. He kept repeating to me, “You changed my life. You changed my life!” As he was still sleeping on a blanket in the street every night, I offered him a tent that I had. He accepted it with incredible gratitude. He thanked both Niko and I endlessly. Then asked how to spell my name, as (in his words) he “never wanted to forget it”.

This was the fastest and most effective I have ever seen an assist effect such drastic improvements. The fact is assist technology works. The simple stuff is often the easiest and most valuable to a person.

Leaving Haiti was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do. The people are unbelievable, strong, resilient and generally very friendly. They need our help more than any other group I’ve ever encountered. They are eager to learn ways to improve themselves and their country, and we are there to help. This was by far the most concentrated, life-altering, mind-blowing, incredible experience I’ve ever had. As cliché as that all may sound, it is the only way to even begin putting it into words.

I encourage anyone who is at all interested in helping the people of Haiti to join the VMs down there – whether you’re a Scientologist or not. You can make an undeniable difference in the lives of many who desperately need it!

Pavaune, USA