Thursday, 29 July 2010

Prayer letter

This is my June prayer letter which I could not get uploaded to send home because of internet or lack of so a few bits are a bit out of date I will update them a little as we go along!!

Milot Hospital

Things are still busy at Milot, there are around 80 patients still there. There are less visiting teams so more work for me!A lot of the patients are ready to go home but have no possibility of getting there. The prosthetic lab has been up and running and teams have been coming in for 5 days at a time and working really hard even through the night to make the prosthesis for the amputees. All of the kids got their’s done, it was great to see them walk with their prosthetic leg for the first time. Just last week, Maragret and Joseph who are double leg amputees got both of their prosthesis. They were a little anxious getting up on their new legs for the first time however once they were up they felt great. They are doing physiotherapy everyday to get improve their walking. Joseph is 2o and was in Port for university during the earthquake, his family are from another area in Haiti. He is a Christian and he asked me to pray for him. He says he wants me to pray that God will provide for him in finding a job. He doesn’t want people to feel sorry for him or be given hand outs for the rest of his life. He wants to find a job so he can provide for himself.
*Just this week another 3- patients left there are now around 50, half of whom are amputees and all have their prothesis. I am the only physio there for this week and next so things are a bit busy, its great though. The 3 patients who are double leg amputees all are walking around with their prothesis and crutches*


We have another Joseph in Milot. A 17 year old guy who lost his whole family in the earthquake, mum, dad and 4 siblings. He had a broken knee which has healed and a fractured elbow which was operated on and he now has infection. Right now he doesn’t live at the hospital but it supposed to come everyday for his antibiotics however he doesn’t want to come. I went to talk to him about coming to Milot and taking his medicine . He told me he didn’t care if he came because he didn’t care if he lived or died. He has no family left and doesn’t know what he is going to do. I spoke to him for ages and shared the gospel and had the privilege of praying with him and leading him to the Lord.
*Please pray for Joseaph I really felt he was convicted the day I talked with him and prayed, however no one has seen him since or knows where he is, please pray that God will protect him and bring him back to milot*


Radio distribution in Balan

At the beginning of June there was a team here from the USA who were involved in giving out solar powered radio’s and I got the opportunity to go along and translate. Radio 4VEH has been in Haiti for 60 years and through the ministry of solar powered radios thousands of people have to come know the Lord. We went out into the local community in teams of five. Each team consisted of three people from the US one person from the local church and a translator. Each house we stopped at someone shared the gospel and then gave the family in the house a radio. We had the opportunity to pray with believers, to encourage them and over 20 people accepted the Lord that day. The radio is on air 24 hours a day and for some people this is the only time they will ever hear the gospel. For some others 4VEH is their church and where they listen to sermons and bible studies.




The new building in finally finished and being used! It looks great inside and we are using it for the AIDS clinic and also the TB clinic.


Just this week a portable Xray machine for the clinic. Hannah is pretty excited! Now we are just waiting on all the other things she needs to arrive so we can actually get X ray’s up and running!!There is a lady coming in on 15th July to bring the other supplies and to show Hannah how this particular machine works.
*so it is past 15th June and our X ray machine is up and running!After 2 and a half years of no Xray. Things have been picking up as word gets out that Bethesda has a machine. X rays are difficult to find here in the north of the country and also in The clinic ours in half he price of the other clinic which is close by which is much better for patients. *

Our ultrasound machine is still not really being used, please keep praying for someone to come for a short period of time to do some teaching.

The ‘Physiotherapy Department’ has been busy. I have been treating a lot of strokes and thankfully they have all been getting better. About 4 of my patients the first time they came they were completely paralysed down one side and now all of them are walking.

I also had another wee patient, Stephanie who was in port at school during the earthquake. The first time I saw her someone carried her in. She has damage in some nerves in her legs and I wasn’t overly sure what to do with her. However now just 6 weeks later she is walking completely by herself.



Just this week we had a very sick wee baby in, he has been sick for 5 days with diarrhea , he came back everyday to be given a strong antibiotic for 3 day. Ms Ketlie was looking after the family and spoke to the father who told her the baby was sick because of voodoo, someone had cast a spell on him. Ms Ketlie explained it was not that but just an infection she also shared the gospel and the baby’s mum became a Christian. The father wants to but says he is not ready yet. *Since then the dad has accepted Christ and the couple are planning to get married and begin a new life with God*


Mobile medical clinics


We have run mobile clinics in two different places, Soufrierre and Roque. The aim of a mobile clinic is not only to provide medical care but also to reach people with the gospel and encourage other believers.


Our team to Soufrierre included Dr Phil who was here on short term from N.I, Ms Prudence and 5 of our seminary students. We saw 200 patients in one day! The students had the privilege of leading some people to the Lord. The also prayed and counseled other patients. The earthquake really has affected everyone all over the country. Soufrierre is in the middle of the mountains about an hour away from Cap Haitian yet we found people living there who has been in Port on 12th January. Four of our students were also in port on 12th Jan and were able to pray and counsel those patients.


Roque is a very special place where OMS has been doing mobile clinics when Dr Gavin was here. However it has been nearly 2 years since they have had a doctor there. From Friday afternoon to Saturday evening we saw 320 patients!!I really do not know how the people in Roque survive, they are literally in the middle of no where and they have nothing yet they have content people because a lot of them have the Lord. The impact being in Roque has had on our team in amazing to see. Wadner was in Roque with us in 2008 translating , he came back this time to pray with the patients. After church on Sunday he was upset and I went over to see what was wrong. This is what he told me ‘Julie when people from the states come to Haiti they say they take everything they have for granted, that is how I feel about people in Cap Haitian. I just feel so blessed to be able to come here.’


The walk up to Roque
 
Praises
For both the medical clinics, the patients who were seen and those who committed their lives to the Lord.


For the new building being finished and being used.

For God’s faithfulness and how he is providing in every situation.

For the patients in Milot continuing to heal both physically and emotionally

The portable X ray machine arriving. *and now being used!*

Prayers

Patients leaving Milot hospital and returning to Port au Prince to live in a tent.

For a mobile clinic we are running for a week in Diquini, Port au Prince. *the clinic was cancelled due to unsafe conditions in Port, please continue to pray for the situation in Port*

For the country of Haiti, its government as they continue to rebuild

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Sister's visit

My sister’s have just left after spending 2 weeks with me here in Haiti. I went over to the Dominican Republic to meet them and we took the bus over to Cap Haitian. It was a very long journey but we finally arrived. Leah and Claire had left home on Sunday morning at 5am arrived in the international airport to find out their flight to London was cancelled. Fortunately my mum found a flight from the city airport to London and they just about got on the flight to the Dominican. Anyway they finally arrived at my house in Haiti at 7pm Monday night and were pretty wiped out!!



I brought them to the clinic to meet everyone here, seemingly they have a brother, a couple of sisters and heaps of cousins in Haiti after only being here for one day!!We took a tap tap into Cap Haitian to go into the market and have a wee walk about. It was quite the scene, there are not normally a lot of white people walking about in Cap Haitian and there was the 3 of us, plus Hannah and her mum!!



This week we have also spent a wee bit of time in the clinic, Claire and Leah have been given a few jobs to do. We also visited the Citadelle which is this huge castle which was built by Henri Christophe, who was king at the time. He built it in case of attack, there were thousands of people died in the construction of the Citadelle and it was never used. It was so hot and the citadelle is right up on top of a mountain. I had to drive a 15 seater van up these steep hills, then walk up what felt like even steeper hills in the heat, at some points I definitely didn’t think we were going to make it, both in the van and while we were walking. But we did and the view from the top was amazing so it was worth it.






We also had lots of people just to go and visit. Leah’s starfish kid is my wee friend Carlos and we went to visit him a couple of times. Starfish is the ministry here which sponsers kids to go to school.






Claire and Leah did a lot of work sorting our depot out. It was pretty much a mess and full of boxes which needed sorted out. Even with the ‘killer cat’ in there (the Cat is there to kill any rats which may be there) they worked flat out for about 4 days, I think its probably because it is one of the very few rooms we have here with an air conditioner!!No really the depot looks good now.



We also spent loads of time with my close friends Vedane, Dr Rodney and their two boys, wood & olly. Mum sent over these wee Northern Ireland kits for the boys, they are so cute. They came walking up to the house in them chanting 'Irlande du Nord!!'

Vedane, Dr Rodney with their two boys wood and olly and Vedane's cousin Freddo who lives with them.

My friend Wadner's family, his sister's and his wee neice Sandra.

The view from the Citadelle.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The hole in the gospel

I am reading a great book called ‘The hole in the Gospel.’ By Richard Stearns who is the president for world vision. Anyone who knows me I hate talking about money and discussing money things but at the end of the day it is important. The book is about how we as Christians want to follow God yet there are so many of his commands which we ignore. We are completely ignorant to what is going on in the rest of the world when there is so much we could be doing and so much God has called us to do. Don’t get me wrong there is no doubt the most important thing is to go and share the gospel and to make disciples. However if we read numerous passages in the bible about our actions, in particular Matthew ch 25 v 31- 46 God clearly asks us to do more. This book is very very challenging and also gives some stastics which I could not believe. I normally don’t share things here but I really feel I want to and even though most of it is about money I think it is important. Richard Stearns says ‘The bible devotes twice as many verses to money as it does to faith and prayer combined and fully 15% of Jesus’ recorded words dealt with money.’ All the statics are based on the church in America......


• If your income is $25,000 US per year you are wealthier than approximately 90% of the world’s population.

• Of the 6.7 billion people on the earth almost half live on less than $2 per day.

• 93% of the world’s population do not own a car therefore if you do you are in the 7% that do.

• The total income of American churchgoers is $5.2 trillion, it would take just a little over 1% of the income of American Christians to lift the poorest one billion people in the world out of extreme poverty.

• If every American churchgoer tithed, there would be an extra $168 billion,they could literally change the world. Universal primary education for children would cost $6 billion, clean water to most of the world’s poor $9 billion, basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world, $13 billion.



Here is a letter he has written to the church directly from the words words of Jesus. Before he starts he also says ‘I realize this violated every rule of sound biblical exegesis, but I think you will agree that it works-it speaks to us with truth and with bluntness.’

These are the words of the one who holds the seven stars and walks among the golden lamp stands. I know your deeds. You live in luxury and self indulgence because you have forgotten your first love. I hold this against you. Woe to those of you who add house to house and join field to field til no space is left. Surely the great houses will become desolate, the fine mansions left without occupants.

Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but you have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded you wealth in the last days. You say ‘I am rich ;I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ Yet it is those who are poor in the eyes of the world that are rich in faith. I have chosen them to inherit the kingdom I have promised to those who love me. Therefore, do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy. And thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Seek first my kingdom and my righteousness, and all these other things will be given to you aswell. Remember, even I, the Lord Jesus Christ, though I was rich, for your sakes became poor, so that you, through my poverty might become rich.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord Lord,’ but do not do what I say. Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says, for whoever obeys my commands-that is the one who loves me.

What does the Lord require of you, you ask? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. In fact the entire law is summed up in a single command, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

There will always be poor people in the land. I command you to be open-handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in the land. Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed.

Now let’s talk about fasting. You cannot fast as you do today and except your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? It is only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? No, this is the fast that I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. It is to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him.

Even now, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and he relents from sending calamity.

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Why spend money on what is not bread and labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Then you will call and I will answer: you will cry for help, and I will say, ‘Here am I,’ If you do away with the yoke of oppression with the pointing finger and the malicious talk and if your spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become as noonday. I will guide you always, I will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in Vain.

I am coming soon, My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.



The book really challenged me about what I am doing with my money which God has blessed me with. God has put us where we are for a reason,I often wonder why did I deserve to be born in Northern Ireland instead of Haiti. Where I was able to grow up in a nice house, with my family, able to eat everyday, able to go to school and if I was sick I was able to go to the doctor. Why did I deserve that compared to the kids I meet here in Haiti everyday who live in a small mud hut, not having much to eat, not being able to afford to go to school or the doctor if they are sick. And I’m not just talking about Haiti, add on Africa, eastern Europe, South America, China and even areas of our own country.
So..........what am I going to do about it?


I believe as christains it is our responsibility to help the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and heal the sick. We get so consumed with stuff and at the end of the day when we die we cannot bring any of it with us. Yet with the money we use to buy ‘stuff’ there is so much more we can be doing which God can use to change lives. We can send children to school who have no other means, pay for medical care for people who cannot afford to, help a family start a small business so they can support themselves, provide clean water for a village, help build a house/school/ church, pay for bibles for people who cannot afford them, pay for airtime for Christian radio stations, I could go on...........maybe your thinking ok that’s good but how?

There are so many Christian organisations which have these sort of opportunities which need support and prayer to fund these projects so they not only preach the love of God but also show the love of God through their actions ( Tearfund, world vision, Abanna are just to name a few).

Richard Stearns really writes much better than me so I will finish with some of his words....

‘When historians look back in one hundred years, what will they write about this nation of 340,000 churches? What will they say of the church‘s response to the great challenges of our time- AIDS, poverty, hunger, terrorism and war? Will they say authentic Christians rose up courageously and responded to the tide of human suffering? Will they write of an unprecedented outpouring of generosity to meet the urgent needs of the world’s poor?



Or will they look back and see a church too comfortable, insulated from the pain of the rest of the world, empty of compassion, and devoid of deeds? Will they write about a people who stood by and watched while a hundred million died of AIDS and fifty million children were orphaned, of Christians who lived in luxury and self indulgence while millions died of food and water? Will schoolchildren read in disgust about a church that had wealth to build great sanctuaries but lacked the will to build schools, hospitals and clinics? In short will we be remembered as the church with a gaping whole in the gospel?


Sunday, 4 July 2010

For your Prayers...

I have told a few you about a few people and just wanted to give a quick update about how they are doing...

Sterlina- My wee friend from Milot who was in Port on 12th Jan. She had been told her whole family were killed and so after being in Milot they sent her to live in an orphanage in Cap Haitian, I have been going to visit her every couple of weeks. I was out last week and she just found out her family are actually all still alive, her dad is ill but he was ill before the earthquake, her mum was hurt in the earthquake and is still healing and all 6 of her brothers & sisters are fine, they are also all together in Port right now. She spoke to her family on the phone, her mum said to her, I already have 6 kids who I cannot look after, I cannot do anything for you, you would be better staying where you are. I asked her what she would prefer to stay somewhere where she is well looked after with food, clothes, somewhere to sleep and school to go to or be in Port with her family where none of that is guaranteed. She just told me she didn’t know. I’m not sure what she was thinking though. But she is having a hard time, having grieved for her family who she found out are now alive but she has no way of seeing them.



Berlota- He is the young guy I met who had fallen out of a tree and had been lying at home and developed a huge pressure sore on his lower back. He is still in Milot, they cleaned out the wound, give him anti-biotics for infection, and are changing the dressing’s every day. I had a chat with him the other day about the future what he thinks will happen. Education, especially health education is very limited in Haiti and he really had no idea he would ever be able to walk again. I had to explain to him why not and what he could do once his back heals. He has been sitting up by himself over the edge of the bed which is great. There is a plastic surgeon out in Milot this week and they may do a procedure to help it heal much quicker. Please continue to pray for his healing. Also praise God for someone from home who has donated money to pay for his medical bills.....God provides. Especially when we obey him, the first time I met Berlota I knew I couldn’t not do anything yet I had no idea who I was going to pay for things, immediately God provided a way without me even doing anything or asking anyone.





Auguste- This is the lady I met with the sore hip. I sent her to Milot hospital to get an orthopaedic opinion. She is really in a bad position, she has had infection in her hip probably for a couple of years and her hip replacement is not in a good position at all which is why she is in so much pain. I spoke to the doctor (he was an American) he explained even if she lived in the states it would be very difficult to find a hospital to give her the treatment she needs. Our only option here in Haiti is painkillers and some antibiotics which will maybe probably not do much. She has 5 kids and I have been trying to talk to her about a way to find some sort of work to do. Even though that is going to be really difficult, but she has to otherwise I have no idea how she will live. Please pray for her as she accepts there is nothing we can do here in Haiti for her from a medical point of view. Also pray God will give us a way to find some sort of work for her to do.




Ashkala- Its really her mum I would want you to pray for, her name is Myrlene. She came to see me today to let me know her husband who had been really sick for a couple of years just died on Wednesday. I had talked to her about two weeks ago and she told me she thought he was close to dying. Then she told me she took ashkala over to an orphanage on Friday. She told me not because she doesn’t love her, because she wants the best for her, and maybe by putting her there they can look after her well and provide better medical care. Myrlene is really an amazing lady, I told her if all the things that had happened to her I do not know how I would be sitting there talking to me. She replied ‘it is only by God’s grace that I am able to sit here and talk to you. I used to go to church then I left but as all these happened to me, I had 4 children and they have all died, just ashkala who is still alive but she is suffering alot, but everytime I see her I give God thanks for her because out of all the children I had have she has lived the longest. I came back to the Lord, began going to church again and God has given me so much strength to keep going. It is only by God’s grace that I am alive today, that I am able to come and talk to you today.' Myrlene has had such a difficult time and everytime I see her or talk to her she never asks me for anything other than to pray for her which is unusual for Haiti really. She is such an example of faith, so many people in the same situation would question God why he was letting her suffer so much. Yet she does not look at it like that, She is a strong strong christian and an amazing example of God's faithfullness and strength.