Missionary travels thousands of miles for COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 8:46 AM CST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WBNS) – A missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo didn’t care how far she had to travel – she was determined to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

When Lorraine Charinda’s mom got sick with COVID-19, she turned to her faith.

“We didn’t know if she was going to make it or not,” Charinda said. “Each day we’d have prayers.”

After her mom recovered, Charinda sought the vaccine, knowing what the virus can do and wanting to ensure her own health.

But where she lives and works in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the supply is very limited.

She works as a missionary on a farm, where she shares her agricultural knowledge to help develop communities and create food security with local groups, including an orphanage.

And it was her faith that would help her again. That’s where the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church comes in.

Aware of her work, they wanted to keep her safe and healthy.

They created a fundraiser and worked with OhioHealth to bring her to Columbus to get the shot.

“It really feels like a miracle,” Charinda said.

She traveled 7,000 miles to Columbus for two Pfizer doses.

“And when you hear that there are others who don’t want to take the vaccines but they have the vaccines available, it’s really something else,” she said.

Her effort is providing inspiration to the providers.

“It’s just amazing. There are no words for it,” said Molly McClure, clinical supervisor for COVID vaccine administration at OhioHealth.

“It’s something that I’m very honored and humbled to be a part of,” said Dr. Joe Gastaldo, the medical director for infectious diseases at OhioHealth.

“I really thank God every day, each day, that I’m able to come here and get the vaccine,” Charinda said.

This is Charinda’s first time in Ohio and her second time in the U.S. She travels back to the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of the month.

Copyright 2021 WBNS via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.