Serving others is a reward I gave myself

March 16, 2016 by Guest Contributor

By Shirlene Sulatan, DNP, PMHNP, FNP

For my graduation gift for myself,  I went to India and Nepal for a mission trip from Jan. 28 to Feb 18.

I worked with orphans in local schools in both countries. I provided education regarding preventive measures against disease, taught them English songs, and inspired the children to be all that they can be.

It was very rewarding to see the children so happy and doing their best to learn and not allowing anything to stop them from learning and growing up like normal children.  My husband and I go on at least one mission trip per year and I work another part-time job to fund our mission trips.  When we leave the places we do our mission trips, we continue to make contact with the locals. For the Nepal mission trip, we hired one local teacher or bible worker and funded her salary so she can continue to work and serve others.

Shirlene Sulatan with women burned by their husbands.

Shirlene Sulatan with women burned by their husbands.

I met with abused women whose husbands burned their faces with battery acid. I was able to visit with them, offered support and conducted at least two sessions of group therapy. These women are truly very strong, living together with other abused women, gaining support from each other and establishing a store for themselves so they can start earning money to go to school.

Shirlene Classroom 2

Sulatan with students in Nepal.

In Nepal, I met with orphaned children in their classroom. The majority of children have been displaced due to the earthquake in April 2015. Despite many of them losing family members, they are doing well and going to school everyday provided by the orphanage. They all sleep in one large room on the first floor because of their fear of having another earthquake again. They are happy in the orphanage, taking turns in doing chores, attending their classes and having time to play.

In the 5 x 8 square foot classroom that holds 35 children

In the 5 x 8 square foot classroom that holds 35 children

About the author:

Shirlene Sulatan has finished her DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) coursework at Brandman University and will walk in commencement ceremonies this May. She is also a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and a family nurse practitioner (FNP).


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