Clinic Staff Spotlight: Dr. Florent
TCOAC : What is one of the most memorable cases or patients you have encountered and what impact did it make on you as a medical professional?
Dr. Florent: I remember a young teenager who came to us because she was pregnant. Some people in her life advised her to have an abortion. She offered me a lot of money and asked that I tell no one of the circumstances. I performed a sonogram and realized her baby was 16 weeks old. Before she came to us, she tried to take medication to abort the baby but it was not effective. On the sonogram, we could already distinguish clearly different body parts of the baby. She kept insisting on the abortion, offering even more money. Quietly, I explained how the baby is alive and already growing. I explained I can’t remove this baby. It’s not our way to work. I called my colleague and we talked together with her about this vision for life. We asked for a phone number of a trustful contact to let them know the importance of protecting her baby. We prayed together for her and with her. She left after understanding the different reasons to keep her baby and she started to love him.
Unfortunately, there are many of these cases and another one involves a girl who was raised in her sister’s home and was raped by her brother-in-law. I am always touched by these vulnerable cases. Nevertheless, I shared the hope we can find in Jesus Christ with the girl and offer to pray for her. The big sister chased her from the house and she was chased from school as well. I advised this young girl to let the baby grow and come into the world. If God allows a child to be conceived, God has a purpose for His child. She began to trust and believe in Jesus and that God would help her to care for the baby. When she left, she wasn’t in tears any longer and she was more confident in knowing her true path.
Let me tell you about an old woman who has a chronic disease. Every time she visits the clinic, she asks, “Please pray for me. I can’t leave the clinic without you praying for me.” I am so touched by her faith despite having a very difficult life ahead of her. I usually lay my hands on her and pray. It brings much joy to me to do this for her.
TCOAC : How has God worked in your personal life to help bring you closer to your calling?
Dr. Florent: Honestly, it’s not easy and I sometimes feel powerless. We are involved in difficult cases and I feel a big responsibility to care for our patients. I care for them. I try to understand them. God has placed me in a position to respond to people who are hopeless and facing difficult times. I love to respond that God still loves them and that He would like to care for them and that He is patiently waiting for them to return to Him. As a medical doctor, I am not only dealing with the physical disease of my patients but also the important aspect of their spirituality and faith. For many in these desperate situations, it’s easy to forget that God is present for them. We are here to remind them of this amazing truth.
TCOAC: What are your hopes and dreams for the future in terms of your service with TCOAC and your community?
Dr. Florent: I have always loved children. If God will open a way, I would love to specialize in pediatrics and be able to care in an appropriate way for our children. Some years ago, in our country, more than 58% children under five were malnourished. I would like to contribute to the improved health of the children in Burundi. I know the health of our children is challenging and requires multiple level of involvement and commitment and I would like to take part somehow. Maybe after next year, I will begin looking for the appropriate school and training. Afterwards, I would like to come back to my country to serve our children and wish with my all heart to still be with TCOAC. In all of Burundi, we have less than 15 pediatricians. The majority of these doctors are working in the country’s capital city exclusively, yet there is so much need throughout the country for our suffering youth with half of our population under the age of 15. I deeply thank TCOAC for having the mission to respond to the cries of the children. I hope I will always be in contact with TCOAC.
TCOAC: In what areas would you like to have assistance or how can the TCOAC family support your efforts?
Dr. Florent: A big thanks to TCOAC for allowing me to serve. Indeed, I am grateful for the warm welcome. I love the importance that TCOAC gives to prayer and being one family with one heart. Even though I contribute, as a family member, I still see where I can grow. I am thankful because TCOAC has given me a place to be able to grow.
I will always appreciate prayers that God fulfills my dream in the future as he is already doing currently. May God help me to support my community by giving me the opportunity to return to school and become a pediatrician or in another way that is according to His will. We are bound together because we believe in the TCOAC mission.