Monday, August 29, 2011
Words cannot express…the wide range of emotions that each of us have experienced and shared here in Haiti. Today we worshipped and praised God with about 450 Haitians, that was an experience in itself.
Julie, the blind lady that Richard wrote about yesterday was there. We all have been and continue to pray hard for her. Just to let you know, she is a very pretty, soft spoken, godly woman. Her four year old daughter led her to church today, as she does all the time. Today, Sandy and the girls on our team fixed her up with baby supplies, medical supplies, new shoes for all of them, more food and whatever else they could think of. We got a translator and found out that she paid off debt with the money we gave her yesterday during the chicken run. Unfortunately, she couldn’t cook the food we gave her because she didn’t have charcoal to cook with. So today, Mark James, jumped up and took care of that quickly by buying some and taking it to her house.
Folks, this is just one family outside the walls of Danitas who we were able to serve. Danita’s staff does this sort of thing continuously, not to mention the medical clinic, housing 105 orphans and provide schooling for over 500 kids. Wow, what servants they are. God bless them all and you too for your prayers and support.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Because the road was so narrow, we parked the truck on a main road and walked down the narrow dusty road to Julie’s house. We were carrying live chickens, the bags of rice and beans and a bottle of oil. This was our last “Chicken Run” and the most memorable for me. We entered the tiny two room house. A baby lay on its stomach without clothing on a narrow make shift bed. The baby is blind. I am the first to enter the second dark room to greet Julie. Because she is blind I had taken her hand to touch the bag of beans I was giving to her. She winces in pain a moment as I touch her fingers but then she smiles warmly and thanks me as she realizes the gift we are giving her. She is also blind. I touch her hand again to guide her fingers to the fabric of a mosquito net I am giving to her. I bought the net from home thinking I might need it but haven’t used it. When I saw the baby had none, I felt God assuring me it was the place where He wanted it. The others came in the room to give her the bag of rice, bottle of oil and two live chickens. As I watched, I saw the same wince of pain followed by her smile and a verbal expression of gratitude. I suddenly realized she must have had burns on her fingers. I alerted Kristen, who is an EMT and she examined her hand and then cleaned the burns and then put on medication.
This single mother has two other children, an eight year old who is also blind and a four year old who has sight. Blindness is a genetic condition that runs in her family. Believe it or not, the four year old with the sight is the one who leads the family in the streets. Each Sunday, the four year old leads the family in walking to church at Danita’s Children’s Orphanage several miles away. She is a devout Christian who relies solely on God’s protection and provision. A very sad aspect of her life is the fact that all of her children are the result of rape because of her helplessness as a blind woman. Julie and her children continue to be vulnerable to attack and theft.
Before we left, we gathered around her and laid hands on her. We poured out our hearts to God in prayer asking Him to protect and take care of her. Julie and all of us were deeply moved. Several in the group then gave money as we were leaving to help meet some of her needs, even though we know our gifts can be easily stolen from her. We suspect some of her neighbors are already planning to steal from her.
As Bill our Missions Leader tells us more of her story, we realize that God has and will continue to take care of her. He tells us that other missions teams have also given her food and done repairs on her house.
God has promised to take care of the oppressed who call out to Him. God is using people in the body of Christ to minister to Julie and her children. We were truly blessed today to be instruments of His love to them. Although in our humanness, we fear for her but we also know we have an almighty God who will be faithful to protect and provide for her and her children. God’s love always surpasses our love for her and other people.
We were privileged today to share His heart of love for Julie and her children.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
August 25, 2011
This morning we meet for our usual morning breakfast. As you remember Raffelick (a 12 year old boy) is very sick, and is being treated in a clinic in the Dominican Republic. Danita’s Orphanage ensures that every child that requires medical treatment outside of the orphanage be accompanied by an American missionary at all times.
Kristin and I were blessed by being ask by Bill (Our guide) to relieve one of the orphanage’s staff while he slept and took a shower. We packed our breakfast and brought eggs, pancakes, bacon, and fruit so that we could eat with Raffelick. What a blessing! We were informed that we were to bring Raffelick back to the orphanage around noon for continued treatment, while two more children needed to be brought back to the clinic.
At the clinic in Dominican Republic they provide care but not like the United States. Here you need to know what medical care or plan you need, and provide the instructions to the doctor or Nurse. You also need to provide the meals and medications as they are not provided by the clinic.
There is a large hospital in the Dominican Republic next to the border (very close to the orphanage) however; they refuse to provide medical care to the children of Haiti because of their origin. There is conflict daily between the people of Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Bill told us that we have to watch and protect the children who have certain illnesses, because they are afraid and don’t understand how certain diseases are contracted. One example is where the nurse would take the thermometer and turn it to the opposite side, and pretend to take the child’s temperature, they do this because the nurse is afraid of contracting the illness.
Danita’s children need God’s church to help provide, and ensure that as many children as possible have an opportunity to receive the same medical care as our own children. This really hit home for us today as Raffelick’s IV bag drip rate was set too fast, and he quickly ran out of solution. We tried to tell the nurse that he needed his IV bag replaced, and she informed us that it was not necessary. It was very difficult trying to communicate because of our language barriers.
We had to call two of Danita’s missionaries to help facilitate the conversation over the phone, and explain what he needed. Even after the assistance from Danita’s we still had to convince the nurse by using English, and hand suggestions for them to understand what we were requesting. Finally his fluids were replaced but then Kristen needed to adjust the drip rate because it was too slow. Every time she changed the rate after 30 seconds it would slow back down. This was due to poor, old, or possibly reused medical equipment. This is a device that cost about five U.S dollars.
The clinic floors were just as dirty as the sidewalks, doors open, no screens on the windows. Flies and bugs in the air, and dead on the floor. I never really paid much attention to the restroom until I helped Raffelick after he was finished. The toilet had no seat, and was as filthy. The floor and his IV pole had puddles of urine all over it. This was where God broke me, and changed my life, I had to walk outside.
What we witnessed today was not critical care it was basic fluid replacement, and antibiotics. In one aspect it was not rocket science, but on the other hand, a child that God loved so much, he gave his one and only son for.
Miss Danita needs desperately to finish building the hospital as quickly as possible, and we can clearly understand the needs here in Haiti. Danita’s hospital plan is a 17,000 square foot building with one Surgery room, X-ray, lab, pharmacy, and even an elevator for special needs children. I am not sure where God will lead our church from here, but Danita has already entrusted our group for a second opinion of the engineering reports for the surgery room ventilation system. This system is needed to supply a clean environment for the operating room during surgery cases.
What God doing through Danita here in Haiti is so huge. When your able to see all of the pictures we took it looks like she is building a city for God’s children, it is really that awesome. I pray we can come back we are missing Haiti already, and we haven’t even left this country. God loves Haiti there is no doubt.
Thank you to all who gave and prayed for this trip, I am convinced in my heart you will be blessed for what you have done.
Around noon Bill picked us up, and we took Raffelick back to his home to be with his family at Danita’s Children. The hospital bill was $200 U.S. dollars, they charged us $25 to clean the restroom.