Prayer of Thankfulness and Preparation

Soverign Lord, I praise you for your supremacy. All authority is yours. You are the rightful ruler of all. Thank you for prompting your church to help the poor and needy in so many ways. Thank you for those who have offered encouragement in the form of words, prayers, gifts, and service during this time of preparation. I pray that this tool might be a source of blessing for those whose heart is broken for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. According to your word, I pray for the Hatian people: answer them in their distress; protect them with your name; send help; grant support; help them rise up and stand firm; fill them with joy and peace as they trust in you; help them overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit; fill them with the knowledge of your will through all wisdom and understanding, endurance and patience. May your cause prosper among the nations so that in everything you might be glorified in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blessed Are:

The pure in heart, for they will see God

The merciful, for they will be shown mercy

The poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled

The meek, for they shall inherit the earth

Those who mourn, for they shall be comforted

More Snapshots

Young Men With a Vision for Haiti

I took these pictures while we were packing up tent camp clinic on Thursday. It is hard to express the blesssing these young people have been this week. We have heard their stories about the quake and how it has affected their lives and their families lives. Rebecca is a 2nd grade teacher and lost her mom in the quake. She is living with her aunt and is caring for her niece and nephews while their mom is recieving care in the states. She works from 8am-5 and has to take 3 tap taps (taxi buses) to get home. That gets her home at 7pm. For that long day she gets $20. From what we have heard, the pastor is very fair in what he pays tranlators. Some are miraculously alive today when buildings around them fell and they were spared. Most lay awake at night under a tarp in a camp on a blanket and think about friends and family that are gone and the uncertainty about their futures. They love their country and are working to try to rebuild. But many of their families will not have the ability to help them with their education and it is very expensive to go to school in Haiti.
For a while we were taking pictures and playing with kids. Then, we started giving out baby food and the people became demanding so we had to pack up in a hurry. We also took another baby to Maimi Dade. She was 7 days old and was very sick. She didn't have a name yet and the hospital said she had to have a name to be admitted. So mom named her after the doctor. A little Haitian girl with an american name.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My "Gift of Tongues"

One thing I was concerned about before I left was the difficulty communicating in Creole. Each day every team member was assigned a different translator. These young people were college students before the quake and now the schools are closed. Many are living in tent camps and not sleeping and eating well.
So I prayed that God would give me the gift of tongues or somehow help me to express His love to the people that I am serving. I found that touch is a great form of communication. I tried to always touch the patient I was seeing even if they were there for something simple. But the praimary way that God answered my prayer was through this young man, Mo. He worked with me all week and was such a great example of a servant. He asked the young women very personal questions in such a gentle way. He spoke to the older women with such respect. He played and held the children and was friendly and comforting to the young men his age. And he watched out for me. Making sure I was drinking enough water and didn't fall out of the truck.
I will miss him so much and will always remember him. His love for people and for God gives me hope for this Haiti and also for Lawrence North High School. It reminds me of the verse in
Acts 2:17 that says "in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below.. and everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved."

Our Last Day in Haiti

This picture was taken outside of the DPC we served at today. Half of the team went to Chambrun clinic and half went to the camp. After we were done at Chambrun we went to help at the camp. The first 2 pictures were taken at Chambrun and the one with the sign was taken at the camp.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One More Wednesday Story

There are 3 teenage girls who volunteer at the clinic. They hand out baby food and formula and children's vitamins to those who need them and organize supplies. They are given lunch for working. Today there were some tortillas missing and the pastor searched her backpack and they were there. He also found some soap and deodorant that she took from the clinic. We think she is not going to be allowed to work anymore. We have cell phones and cameras with us but she only thought of taking food.

IT is very sad to see how desperate the people are. And at the same time how generous they are to share with one another.

Cute Kids in the clinic

Here are some of the children that I saw today. We saw 200 people between the 3 of us. We have seen so much scabies that we are out of medication for tomorrow. There is no way for the families to wash sheets and dry them to get rid of the scabies, so it seems sort of futile.
We saw many girls this week who are pregnant. It would be a very difficult time to be pregnant in Haiti. IT is also very difficult to be old here. Many of the old people have tumors and health conditions that would be fixed if they lived in the states. They are sleeping on the ground when they are already hurting form just old age. I took care of a girl who is in the process of loosing a baby but cannot afford to go to the hospital. In Haiti, if you do not have money they will not treat you. We asked her to come back tomorrow and check in with us. We prescribed antibiotics for her but if she does not deliver completely she may die from infection. She said she has been pregnant since December. After I did her pregnancy test and it was negative, she began to cry. I just sat and held her hand for a while and told her I was so sorry.
I also saw a young man who has not been sleeping well since the earthquake. He looked very sad and said he is frightened all of the time. I asked him if I could pray with him and I prayed through the interpreter. I have been praying with a lot of the people throughout the day. It is such a blessing!
The camp team saw a woman who lost her husband in the quake. She has 6 children and was looking for a tarp for her and her children to sleep under. The doctor said that she has never seen anyone who looked more hopeless.
So one more day to try to bring hope to the hopeless.

Tent Cities

There are over 800,000 Haitians living in tent cities in the city of POP. Scabies and fungal infections are very common as well as bacterial infections. The kids are beautiful and very friendly.

Miami Dade Hospital

These are pictures from the hospital that was set up after the quake. There are lots of military officers from all over the world and relief organizations posts. Helicopters and crates of food and supplies. This is where we took both of the baby girls.

Clinic on Tuesday

Tuesday I was back at the clinic. I don't know if I will go to the camps or not. The people that come to the clinic are so sweet and beautiful. The people at the camps are from closer to the city. When you work at the camps, if you have to use the restroom, you have to just squat at the side of the bus and ask someone to hold up a sheet. It is hard to imagine living like that day after day.
What impressed me today was how generous the people are to each other. I gave one of our translators a small tangerine in the pickup truck on the way home and he peeled it, saved the peeling in his backpack and began to eat it slowly. Then (this happens frequently) he saw a few women he knows walking and yelled at our driver to stop. He helped them get in to the truck and then shared his tangerine with them. I see that over and over. They share food a lot.

Another fun thing. Since the clinic is right next to the church and school, the children hang out there most of the day. After we get in to the back of the pickup, the children start piling on. The translators help them on and tell them where to sit and make sure they are all in. Then they hop on to the truck. Yesterday I counted and there were about 20 kids in the truck. They sit on your lap and smile and laugh. Then, when we get to the village we help them out of the truck. It is so different from the states. The children are so affectionate and happy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Clinic at Chambrun

This morning we arrived at the clinic and many poeple were lined up waiting. There were only 2 medical people (me and a doctor) and two people to run the pharmacy. We each had a translator. The boy that helped me today was wonderful. His name is Mo. He was a University student and loves God! He is living in a tent and says he is not sleeping. He lays in bed thinking about how his life has changed and worries about his family. I would love to take him home and send him to school. He knows French, Spanish, Croele and English. He helped ask the women questions all day about very personal problems and was so gentle and sweet.
After we were there for only 15 minutes all of the sudden everyone was screaming and running out. The translators said it was an aftershock. The kids were crying and scared to death. I couldn't help but cry with them. I have never seen such fear.
So...we were busy all day and had to turn people away at the end of the day. The hardest part is that many children have stomach aches and when you ask them when they ate last they say yesterday sometime. Because the school is closed right now, the kids do not get a meal every day. And there is nothing we can do about that. We cannot give out food because there would be a riot. We can only give worm medicine and Zantac for stomach aches. They really need food.
The school cannot open until the government says they can. The pastor thinks they can open March 15th. Then the kids will get one meal a day.
Then a woman came in with a baby. They had been waiting for 4 hours and when she unwrapped the baby I gasped. This baby was skin and bones. She was a month old and I didn't think she was alive. Her mom died at birth and her dad's girlfriend was caring for the baby. We think she was neglecting her on purpose. They rushed her to Miami Dade and they did not want to keep her. I cannot imagine that she wil live.
So we saw 120 people between the 2 of us.
I have been riding in the back of a pickup truck every day. The roads are very bumpy, but the breeze is great.
One day down. 3 to go.
Don't have the energy to post a picture tonight.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


We took Dashka to the Miami Dade Hospital in POP today. She was at church and is not nursing well. Her mom finally agreed to stay but is reluctant to because she has a 4 year old at home and a sick mom. Seeing the hospital was interesting. Looks like a Mash episode. All of the people are in one big tent.
We also toured the city today. The pastor said there is 800,000 people living in the camps living under sheets. There are some portable toilets but not enough. The smell there is terrible!! There were people with tubs and water and soap just washing in street.
I will be at the clinic in Chambrun tomorrow. I may go to the camps on Tuesday but will wait and see. I like the environment in the clinic. You have more time to spend with people and hear their stories. The kids are so affectionate. They just walk up and hold your hand.
Dashka's mom asked if one of us would adopt her. If she goes home tomorrow like her mom wants her to, I will see her at the clinic tomorrow. I will be the only nurse at the clinic because they need a lot more people at the camps. The doctor wants me to teach mom how to insert an NG tube if she is not nursing well. I know how to do that!

Beautiful Flamande

We went to church in Chambrun today at Pastor Pierre's church. After about 10 minutes, I decided to stand in the back since the church was getting very crowded. When I got to the back of the church, I saw this baby and her mom come in. I saw her mom in the clinic yesterday but she didn't have the baby with her. I saw the baby on a blog before the trip. I asked her mom if I could hold her and she said yes. I sat and cried like a baby holding and rocking her for 3 hours. (yes, church lasts that long here and everyone sits on wood benches) I felt like Joey was there with us and told her that she would be seeing him soon. Her mom told me after church-through an interpreter- that nothing can be done for her. She carries the baby everywhere and she is so heavy. Her head must be 10 pounds. She is one year old and cannot move her legs. She did not seem to track with her eyes, so I don't think she can see. I asked her mom if she had a buggy or a seat to put her in. She said she does not and carries her to church. She lives approx. 2 miles away. At home she lays on a bed but sometimes rolls off on to the floor. I would like to send a stroller with a big wheel on the front that can roll easily on the rocks. I think I can send the stroller with the second team. The pastor told me that this stroller would improve she and her mom's life in a huge way. It was so great for me to see her mom able to worship and raise her hands while I held the baby. Mom said that she does not have help with her and has another child at home. The people in her village are kind, but do not help with her.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A DPC (displaced persons camp)

There are many of these camps all over Haiti. My translator, Marcus, is a 22year old university student. Now the university is not functioning and his family is living in a camp. He described the camp to me and told me about his dreams for the future. He is from a poor family but they did have a house before the earthquake. The people in the camp put their money together and buy food and share it. They meet to pray each morning. They shower by dumping water on their heads.

Sweet baby from the clinic today.

This baby came to the clinic today. We appproximate her weight at 4 -5 pounds. She has not been nursing and we were suprised that she had a heartbeat. She is very sweet! Her name is Dashka.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Airport in POP

First Evening in Haiti

We are eating crackers and tuna for dinner. And granola called blueberry cobbler for dessert. We will sleep on the porch tonight since there is another group here until tomorrow. We will set up a clinic tomorrow in Chambrun. The pastor will meet with us in a few minutes to tell us what to expect tomorrow.

Our bus driver in Haiti was amazing. Steve would be impressed. He was able to nagivate in very small places. We followed a truck with UN troops and rifles on the way to the pastor's house. Kind of scary. The roads are in very bad shape!

Many men were at the airport wanting to help and wanting to be paid. We have been told not to give anyone money. The pastor pays one man and he pays his helpers.

I miss everyone!


We made it

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The angel on my shoulder

I have been thinking about Joey a lot today. I can't help but think that he has something to do with me going to Haiti. I cared for him for 13 years, starting when he was a newborn until he died a few months ago. He taught me to be happy with simple things like flashing lights and spinning objects. He taught me how to comfort by insisting that I touch and hold him. He had a happy life but also suffered so patiently. He showed me how to love.
I am wearing the angel necklace that Kathy, his mom, gave me years ago. So I believe he is going with me and will help me comfort the young children that are suffering and afraid. Like Sarah, his sister, said today, he would want me to go.
We depart from Grace Community Church at 3:30am. Steve Cobb has graciously agreed to drive the team and our supplies to and from the airport-another example of a willing servant-following Christ's example.
My co-worker, Carolyn, has been so enthusiastic and supportive and has kept her uneasiness about me being gone for a week to herself.
The staff and students at LN have been so kind and gave me one blessing after another. A gal, Gloria, that works with Tom is commited to pray for the team at 7am every day. And my mom, even though she is weak from chemo treatments, has been diligent in praying for us.
My kids came over tonight and we ate together and hung out.
I am filled with love. Ready to spill it out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A co-worker brought cards made by her Sunday school class at New Bethel Baptist Church to give to the children in Haiti. They are beautiful! Maya age 6 writes "I hope you are doing good and working together". What a thing to hope for.
I have been reading a book by Dr. Paul Brand called "He satisfies My Soul". The chapter I read yesterday talked about water and how our bodies are designed to need a constant supply of water and use water so efficiently. And our spirits need the water of life to grow and bear fruit. friend, Alicia sent me a message and suggested I try to drink a lot of water today and tomorrow. Not a coincidence. So I have taken that to heart today.
My friend, Melissa and I prayed together tonight for our kids and church. I am praying that God will give me an opportunity to introduce some moms in Haiti to Moms in Touch. Praying for my kids gives me so much peace and allows me to let go of control. God knows I need that!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bottles Donated by Students and Staff at School

Last week money was collected and bottles were purchased to distribute in the clinics in Haiti. It is a blessing to see young people who give so freely and are so excited about the trip. Their compassion inspires me. And, in this time of such uncertainty in the school system, the employees have given sacrificially and offered encouragement and prayers for the team. I truly feel like I am taking along so many others in spirit.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Mighty Fortress is our God

Tom and I spent the weekend in Kentucky with his mom and sister's family. We had a great time talking and laughing together. Prayers were said for the team and the people we will be serving in Haiti. Susie and John are such great examples of how to serve cheerfully. IT was great to hear about how much they enjoy helping in the nursery at church. I will remember their positive attitudes and willingness to serve others while I am away.

Susie gave me an old hymn book and it has one of my favorites. I copied it so I can sing it next week. The words are beautiful! " We will not fear...for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us. " Amen

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Encouragement from LN family one week out

Preparation continues. Met with Travel Medicine nurse yesterday and got my Typhoid injection and script for chloroquine (anti-malarial). Then dropped off 20 large plastic tubs at Grace CC to fill with supplies for our trip. Met Aaron (the pastor leading the trip) face to face for the first time. I am so honored that Grace is allowing me to be a part of the trip and am looking forward to getting to know these brothers and sisters.
I have been enjoying a tremendous amount of encouragement from staff and students at LN. Dennis will be praying for me while praying for the persecuted church next week. Carolyn and Betsy took me out to eat tonight. Betsy offered a beautiful prayer asking God to bless my time in Haiti and those we serve there...and even remembered to thank Him for the food. She is a skilled and compassionate listener. Carolyn expresses love in a multitude of ways. I learn so much from her gift of hospitality as well as the wisdom she expresses so gently. I anticipate having opportunities to imitate their examples in Haiti.... to hear stories and offer help and compassion and prayer. I am reading psalms that cry out to God for mercy and help.
This morning I read Ps. 86. tonight I pray: "all the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name" Amen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010