Stories from the field

Impactful moments of life change

Pheral

Pheral was an orphan—a tiny tot with a swollen belly and big, vacant eyes. He was tired, hungry and alone.

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Mary's Story

She spoke somewhat reluctantly, this jewel of a woman. Weathered and straight-backed, she carried herself with a certain elegance, in the middle of this drought-ridden African land. The deep lines on her face spoke of laughter, of depth, of hope and humility. It was all there, as she graciously endured our obtrusive microphone and began to talk about someone she would rather have not: herself.

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Foundations

When Corianne was spending time in Anse Rouge, she learned an incredible life lesson. At one point during her trip, the team arrived at a place where several children lived. When asked about their family, the kids informed them that their mom had been gone all afternoon. As they were about to leave, they noticed a baby girl laying on a dirty mat just inside the home. She was naked and surrounded by animal feces—it was a shocking sight.

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Always be joyful

Sometimes the best memories are introductions. They take place in tiny, unassuming places. For Wilhelmina, that place was a little mud house. Inside, she spotted a small, frail figure lying on a bed. It was dark, but obvious there was no other furniture in the room. Hesitant, and curious, Will greeted the woman in Creole. The response was immediate and exuberant. It almost took her off guard.

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Moms on a mission

A year ago, Pam was soaking up the sun at an all-inclusive resort. The trip was part of a 40th birthday celebration for one of her friends. Every year, this group of moms would go on vacation with their families and the destination of choice belonged to the birthday girl. This time, Pam’s friend chose luxury and relaxation, but what Pam had in mind would look quite different.

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Perseverance

Even in the surrounding community, that structure broke all standards. If a building could beg for help, this one would be on its knees. No door, just a gap in the metal sheets. No privacy, only sunlight that revealed the inside of a small home to the world outside. But, as uneasy as that makes us feel, what really mattered was the people who lived there and their stories of existence.

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Restored vision

Cranbrook Community Team’s medical clinics were full every day, with patients streaming in with a variety of needs. On one particularly busy morning, an elderly Haitian gentleman with a straw hat walked over to the optician’s station. The nurse made introductions through an interpreter, asking his name and if he could read the first line of printing on his prescription. He said it was blurry—not at all clear—shaking his head in disappointment...

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A little act of kindness

Sharon lovingly handed the gift box, filled with toys and treats, to the 3-year-old girl. Made by Sharon’s mother, and brought 9,000 km from Canada to the Ukraine, this small token brought joy and thankfulness to the girl’s face. The gifts may have been small, but the gesture was huge.

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Nothing to be ashamed of

Katie and Steven are friends. She is an 18-year-old from Prince George, while he is 12 and lives in Mirebalais. The team was painting in the blazing sun, when Steven was invited to help. At first glance, it was apparent he was blind in one eye, but Steven’s disability didn’t hold him back. Even though his community would’ve shunned him for his impairment, he had an incredible work ethic. The duo would come to share an indescribable connection.

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The garden of Rose’s

Rose led the team to a little garden patch behind her house. She was using the water from a runoff system to sustain some corn planted back there. When the team told her what was going to happen next, the excitement washed over her face. So, together they started a barrel garden—in among those plants already reaching for the sun. 

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