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Team member's mission to serve those in Haiti

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Jennifer Fields

Tabbetha Loan, RNKing's Daughters team member Tabbetha Loan, RN, Intensive Care Unit, truly goes the extra mile to serve others. In fact, over the past several years, she’s traveled more than 1,500 miles on three separate occasions to lend her heart and her hands to the struggling people of La Digue, Haiti.

Tabbetha went on her first mission to La Digue in 2010, just six months after the catastrophic earthquake that killed 200,000 and left 1.5 million Haitians homeless. The people there, their spirit and their plight captured her heart — and keep her coming back. “Despite all their hardships, they are the happiest people ever,” Tabbetha said. “They are very sharing and more concerned about others than themselves. I could honestly spend a lifetime there with them.”

The poverty in Haiti is extreme, said Tabbetha, and they lack even the basic necessities such as clean water, proper nutrition and adequate housing. “The mission I served with, The Children’s Lifeline Mission, provides more than 7,500 meals a day in La Digue,”she said. “The Haitians there get one meal, Monday through Friday, and they are on their own to find food on Saturday and Sunday. The need there is very real. It’s not unusual to see them make cakes of dirt for sustenance.”

Tabbetha’s work with the mission is very hands-on and includes everything from teaching nannies at the orphanage proper hygiene, and infant CPR, to triaging and treating illnesses and injuries. “On my first trip, the one after the earthquake, we treated more than 200 people a day,” she said.

Tabbetha and others on the missions also help out in the canteen, do dishes and distribute meals. “We might feed 200 or more children in a 3-hour period,” she said. “Making sure the people get enough protein is an issue, and because of erosion, the soil there isn’t good for sustaining crops.”

In addition to her mission trips, Tabbetha also sponsors two children, Woodson and Guerline. “Going on a mission isn’t the only way to help,” said Tabbetha. “Anyone who wants to make a difference can sponsor a child in Haiti for only $25 a month through Children's Lifeline. Funds help with the child’s meals and schooling, as well as other support from the mission. You also get a picture of your sponsor child and updates throughout the year. It’s really nice!”

Though Tabbetha doesn’t have her next mission trip scheduled yet, she’s looking forward to it and said she wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others. “I miss these amazing, gentle people when I’m away from them. I could live there,” she said. “I would highly recommend the experience of a mission trip or sponsoring a child to anyone, and it’s easy to get involved. Just start by visiting the mission’s website to learn more.”