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Parishioner, Kailey Stutzky, on mission on the island of Hispaniola

Posted: July 16, 2017

From Fr. Chris' column in the July 9, 2017 bulletin

     Kailey, 25, crossed the border from the Dominican Republic into Haiti on Tuesday. Then she hiked two hours on narrow mountain pathways to a remote village so she could check on the well being of a 9-year-old Haitian boy named Nelson.

     Since she was 18, Kailey has volunteered multiple times for Building Bridges of Hope for Haiti, which supports a health clinic in the Dominican Republic. Twice she has weaned Nelson back to health. As a step child in a large impoverished family, he suffers from the effects of chronic malnutrition.

Kailey and Nelson reunited in Haiti on July 4. Notice the thinness of his arms.

Kailey and Nelson reunited in Haiti on July 4. Notice the thinness of his arms.

     Last month, Kailey accompanied five of us from the parish on our trip to Haiti. She felt she could not return to the United States without making sure Nelson is okay.   

     “The hike went really great yesterday!” Kailey said in a text to her parents, Michele and Gary Stutzky.

     The hope is that Nelson’s family will allow Nelson to live elsewhere. Sr. Luvia Joseph has offered to take him in.

     The family was very receptive of us taking Nelson, so next week that should happen; but you never know as things change so fast.

     “Praying that they don't change their mind and that Sister Luvia is able to meet them next week at the medical clinic,” Kailey said.

     I shared part of Kailey’s story in last Sunday’s homily to illustrate what it looks like to “lose one’s life” by being a disciple.

     As Jesus says in Matthew 10:40: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

     Parishioner Courtney Hass is also serving at the clinic in the Dominican this summer.  Learn more at www.bbohdr.org/.