Friday, 12 May 2017

First year done

Last week was final exams for our students and now semester 2 is over and Bill has finished his first year teaching.  This past month here at EBS has been very busy.  Dr Jocye Thorton was here the first week in April teaching a masters class.

Then a couple of weeks ago we had Dr Ray Easley for faculty training.  He did 3 afternoon sessions on writing a syllabus, creating learning objectives, best practices of teaching, learning styles and lots more.  Bill thought it was the best thing ever and now is disappointed he can't start putting it into practice until August!

Then there was  Emmaus 50th  Anniversary talent show.  They had a few people singing, one even with a live band, but it was ti Esther who stole the show with her incredible voice at only 10 years

Last week we had the last chapel service of the school year which was a special service for the 4th years, who are about to graduate.  The 4th years spoke of how they found community, support, counsel, good teaching and much more.  One student said ' I know we work, but we can work harder.  We can work harder in our classes and more faithful in our ministries.'

Saturday was the final event in the celebration of the 50th.  There was a huge thanksgiving service in the Vaudrieul church.  I had to stay home with Joel who wasn't well, but Bill was there...... for all 4 1/2 hours of it!  There was many singing groups, speakers, past students, former staff and the founder, Dave Graffenberger all sharing.  It really was a celebration of what God has done over the last 50 years at EBS and a chance to also look forward to what God is going to do for the next 50 years.

Classes are finished for the year, Bill has finished marking his final exams and this week was busy!  Wednesday was the graduation banquet, where the graduates and two guests of their choice come together along with EBS staff for a celebratory dinner.  Graduating in Haiti is a big deal.  There are not many people who finish high school let alone go on to graduate from university.

This morning was graduation. We had 13 students finish their time at Emmaus and graduate.  Graduation was held in Pillatre church about 10 minutes away as our chapel building is too small for all the guests.  The service consisted of speeches, special music, worship lead by EBS students, a special prayer for the graduates, a sermon from a former academic dean and a speech from the valedictorian. Afterwards there was a reception at the EBS campus.

Its exciting to see the potential in these men and women and we pray that will continue to use them to build his kingdom in Haiti.

Meanwhile as all this has been going Phil and his team have been faithfully working on a new outdoor space for graduation and other events. Unfortunately it was not ready in time for this year's graduation as we have had a lot of rain since, well since November really!  But so far it looks great.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Roque day 2

Saturday morning we got up around 6ish to get ready for the day.  Breakfast was bruilion, a Haitian stew with potatoes, plantain, carrots and meat.  Some of us had seen a little goat running about which was not there now so we can guess what was in our breakfast!!.  By the time we were ready to start at 8am there was around 100 patients already waiting outside the church even though it had been raining all night and didn't look like it was going to stop.

So we moved everything and everyone inside.  The church has already been split up into two consulting 'rooms' at the front, two at the side, the pharmacy to the other side and registration and vital signs outside.  To have everyone inside was going to be a very tight squeeze.  But Dr Rodney did not want people waiting outside in the rain so they came in and we got going.

Just as we started 4 men came in carrying an older lady on a 'stretcher', it was 2 pieces of wood with the plastic tarp pulled on it.  We brought her into the one of the rooms and Dr Rodney assessed her straight away.  They had walked just over an hour in the rain to be here. The lady had suffered from a stroke in January of this year and had been in bed since.  Her left arm was very stiff and already beginning to contract.  I took the opportunity to teach her son some exercises and positioning and was able to give them some advice as to how to look after her.  We agreed that once a month we would send up blood pressure medicine with Pastor Christianne.

We continued on with the clinic, it was very busy and packed inside but the people were so patient, just sitting waiting for their turn to see the doctor.

We had two more patients brought in on a stretcher, both older men.  One of the men was really very ill, he hadn't been out of bed for a few months and was having difficulty breathing.  We decided to keep him in the church for the rest of the day and let him sleep there so we could bring him back down the mountain and back to Bethesda with us on Sunday.  I just heard today this man passed away in the clinic on Friday. We can only hope we were able to make his last few days more comfortable.

We continued to work all day and even in the rain more and more patients came.  There was a bit of a lull around 4ish and the team took this opportunity to give out some gifts they had brought for the kids.

At this point we thought we were almost done but people were still coming so we kept seeing them. Even as we were packing up the pharmacy a few people showed up at the church to be consulted. Finally around 7 pm we were finished for the day.

We saw around 360 patients in one day and each of these patients were also prayed for.  Many of the patients were Christians and our team were able to pray and encourage them

For 8 people this was their time to accept Jesus as their Saviour, it was a privilege for our team to be able to pray with these people. I want to share just one man's testimony...

' Last night I had a dream, in the dream I saw missionaries and doctors at the church here in Roque.  In the dream I was told to come to the church here today and I would find someone to pray with me so that I could accept Christ as my Saviour.  I did not know there was going to be a clinic here today but after my dream I got up and walked over an hour to be here to find missionaries and doctors here.' 

Pastor Tyson and Orienel were able to pray with this man and lead him to the Lord.

Day 2 was exhausting and busy but a privilege to be able to serve the people of Roque.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Roque- Day one

This past weekend I went to a village called Roque to help with a mobile medical clinic.  I want to take you with me to Roque so you can see how things are........this might take a few posts!

Our journey started years ago with Dr Gavin who first went to Roque in 2007, over the past 10 years we have sent 5 teams from Bethesda to Roque with the last one being over 2 years ago.  Pastor Christianne (the pastor of Roque) and Dr Rodney have both been praying for an opportunity to go to Roque as the people there are really in need of healthcare.

In January Dr Rodney visited a church in Ada, Oklahoma and suggested to them on their April mission trip we could take a team to Roque. The team agreed and provided the funds for all the medicine (which is one of the reasons we haven't been able to go) so Dr Rodney started planning.

The team started counting medicine on Thursday to get it packed and all ready to go.  We loaded up the truck at 5am on Friday and left Vaudrieul at 5.30am.  We drove for about 2 1/2 hours, mostly on pretty bumpy awful roads.

We arrived at a village called Marianne and there we got out and unloaded our supplies.  Some of the men from the village came down the mountain with their horses to transport our stuff and we started walking.  

Our first hurdle was the river, which is usually pretty shallow.  Not that day, it must have been raining before we came, the river was above our knees in parts and because it was flowing so fast we could not see where we were stepping! Thankfully no one fell in!!

The hike started off pretty easy but after crossing another river we started the steep ascent.  Thankfully it wasn't too hot!As we got closer to the top people kept stopping to take photo's but as we got higher and higher the view just got better and better.

Photobombed by a donkey!

 Once we finished the uphill part, it was about a 30 minute walk on the flat to the village.  As we walked along  the path we passed a few houses, most of which are made of mud and sticks. On the way up I said hi to someone and they responded ' Bonjou Julie!' I was so surprised as it's has been 7 years since I had been there.  

After 2 1/2 hours we arrived at the church in Roque.  The last time I was there the church was simply a tin roof with no walls. They had started to build with blocks but it was really just the very beginnings.  The school was also a tin roof with stick walls, now the whole building is built from blocks and has 6 separate classrooms and a dining room.  The church even has a solar panel which provides light for them in the evening and runs their sound system on Sunday mornings. 

We had a quick drink and a snack and got set up for the day.  We had 4 people consulting, Dr Rodney, Dr Phil, Ms Admatha (Dr Rodney's mum) and Dr Sincere, a doctor doing her social service year at BMC. Dr Rodney spoke to the patients before we started, greeted them and explained how the day was going to run.

 First was registration and dossier

then vital signs

then consultation

then prayer 

then medicine 

We finished up about 5.30pm and saw around 120 patients that Friday afternoon.  Out of all the patients we saw only a couple were not Christians.  It was a real testimony to Pastor Christianne who has worked hard to share and live the gospel with the people of Roque.  After we had a rest, changed our clothes, got showered ( from a bucket!) it was time for some dinner and a time of reflecting and sharing. 

Finally around 10pm we headed to bed.  Most of us where sleeping in the classrooms in the school. Many of the people in the local community had given up their beds for the weekend for us to sleep on. We were humbled and thankful for their generosity and it really was a privilege to be able to help them in a small way.