Justina Neufeld was the youngest of ten children and she lived through family hardships, upheaval and relocation during her young life. Part of her family fled from Ukraine ahead of the German army in 1943, landing in occupied Poland. Justina was sent to live with a brother in France for recuperation. After the war, to avoid repatriation to Russia, Justina, her brother and his family fled to Holland, where she met an American women who sponsored her to come to the United States. At a very young age, she resolved to become a nurse like Florence Nightingale.
At one time in Justina’s young life, gypsies came through her village and according to a gypsy lady Justina would know “Hardship, pain and suffering but then much happiness later.” That’s what did happen.
Justina’s family would be torn apart and terror seemed to be everywhere. In 1943 the family filled gunny sacks with provisions and their wagon was fully loaded. The Neufeld wagon joined about 50 other families heading west to an unknown destination. Hunger, war, separation, grief, unbelievable hardship, sorrow and immigration followed.
Come hear Justina tell her story. You’ll see how her Florence Nightingale dream came true after she got the opportunity to go to nursing school. She has the spirit of compassion and service.
Neufeld is scheduled to come to our Wellness Center at 3 p.m March 25 to share her experiences. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come hear Justina’s story. People from the community are encouraged to attend.