Saturday, 26 June 2010

Mobile Clinic, Roque

On the walk up

One of the places I went with Dr Gavin when I was here before in 2008 was Roque and before I even got back to Haiti I knew I would try to do another mobile clinic there. We were joining together with Tim Randoph a Lab Tech from the US who has been to Roque a few times with Gavin. I had planned the dates with Tim a long time ago but here in Haiti I could not get hold of the pastor, I was lying in bed one night 2 weeks ago thinking I need to figure out somewhere else to go because if I cannot find Pastor Christianne then we cannot go. Then next day he came to the clinic and said he heard I was looking for him, only in Haiti could that happen.

Crossing the river

We just went up to Roque this past weekend and had a wonderful but difficult weekend but also feel extremely blessed to be there. We had 9 in our team, Dr Rodney, Tim, Lori, Christiana, Melissa, Erin, me who were all working in the lab, taking vitals, working in the pharmacy, then Betty and Wadner who were praying with people. We left Vaudrieul here at 5.30am and after about a 2-3 hour drive over awful roads, we arrived at the bottom of the mountain. Roque is right on top of a moutain so after 2 hours walking uphill we finally arrived. Roque is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in, as you are walking up the scenery just gets better and better, about half way up you think it can't get any better until you get to the top!!

The school

The church now, before the walls were sticks and they are beginning to build a church with blocks. However for each block to be brought up the mountain it is $1 haitian. To put it into prospective 8 blocks would cost $1 US, just to be carried thats not including paying for each one.

We had a quick break and quickly got set up. Very often in Haiti when we run clinics people 'fe dezod' which basically means they go a bit crazy pushing, shoving, shouting to make sure they get to see the doctor which in some circumstances is understandable considering they have no other means to see a doctor. But the people in Roque are not like that. I'm not sure how I can describe Roque, I have no idea how people live there to be honest. Their closest doctor is 5 hours away, they have no where to buy food, clothes or anything else they need, no where to even make money. They live off the ground, if they plant potatoes, everyone eats potatoes, if they plant corn, everyone eats corn. To make any money they take anything they have grown down the mountain on a donkey, go to the closest 'big' town which is Baron sell what they can and with the money they make they buy some rice to take back to Roque. When I am in Cap Haitian I can look and see the people here are poor and don't have very much but in Roque those people literally have nothing. Nearly every single child has the red tinge to their hair which is a sign of malnutrition. Yet despite all this, despite them having nothing the people who live in Roque are content. Not one person asked me for is very unusual to go somewhere in Haiti as a white person and not be asked to give someone something. Nearly every child can say 'give me 1 dollar'!. Not in Roque, the people there have never had anything, they do not know what it is to live having money and the most important thing most of them have is God and because of that they are content in the situation where God had placed them.

Waiting patiently for the doctor

Friday we saw 100 patients, and Betty and Wadner prayed with almost everyone. Alot of the people who came are already christians and we were able to encourage them. Friday evening we had a short service in the church we heard at the church there was a girl who was just 17years old and 9 months pregnant who was not well and the pastor asked us to pray for her. That evening they brought her to the church around 11pm, she was in a seizing and very unwell. Dr Rodney knew straight away she had pre eclampsia, she was not responding to anything and was seizing. We did not have the medicine with us she needed, it was the middle of the night totally pitch black and the top of a mountain, 5 hours away from the nearest hospital. The only thing we could do was basic first aid and pray. The whole church was outside praying and singing. At around 1am we decided we have to get her to hospital. So explained to the family, gave them money and they carried her down in the pitch black, hired a car at the bottom and took her to the hospital. We did not sleep at all that night just worried for her. Despite that the next day Dr Rodney worked like a trooper, and we saw 220 patients in just one full day. Dr Rodney's rule was we were not finishing until all the medicine was gone. At one point it started to pour and Haitian people being Haitian they hate the rain, so no-one wanted to leave. I think we had around 100ish probably more people in the church, with Dr Rodney still consulting and us giving out medicine in the pharmacy yet it was totally fine , the people were just great.

The rain!

By the end of the day I couldn't even stand anymore!!Giving out medicine at the pharmacy.

Sunday morning then we had church service, Dr Rodney preached wonderfully on God has not forgotten you. We came down the mountain on sunday afternoon and back home on Sunday evening. We heard news over the weekend, the young girl who is called Diana was taken to the hospital, they did a Caesarean section and the baby had already died. Diana was still alive but has not yet began to speak so please pray she will make a full recovery from this.

There were  a few things which happened before the weekend which made me think it wasn't going to work out. But it was so obvious that God wanted us in Roque that weekend, when they brought Diana into the church I really couldn't understand. It had been nearly 2 years since a doctor had been there and the one night there was a doctor there was nothing we could do for her, at least not medically right there at that time. However we were able to pray, we were able to give her family the advice about what to do and we were able to give them the money to do it.

We just praise the Lord for the weekend, for all the people we were able to help medically and spiritually. It has also been amazing to see the effect being there has had. Wadner one of my Haitian friends said to me after the church service....'I always hear american people say they take for granted what God has given them and that now after he has been in Roque he feels that is how people in Cap Haitian are, they take for granted what God has given to them.'. It is very humbling to hear that. Also in the clinic on Tuesday Dr Rodney preached on phillipians where Paul says he is content in all situations whether he is poor or rich. He talked about the people in Roque not having anything at all yet they are content because they have God and he challenged us to be the same, to not look for or want material things but to be content in what God had given us and what he has done for us.

Monday, 14 June 2010


I have a few specific things I would love you to remember in your prayers. It seems like everyone I meet and talk to recently, life is just getting more difficult.

The first person I would like you to pray for is Ashkala and her mum. I talked about her before. Her mum really needs prayers for strength, the kind of supernatural strength only the Lord can provide. Incase you don't know this lady (I'm bad with Haitian names and cannot remember!!) misscarried 4 babies, her 5th was born normal, Ashkala and at 2 and a half year she had a big seizure and has been left unable to walk, talk or basically do anything by herself. She is still very ill and is continutally having mini seizures everyday. I met her in the street on friday and she just asked me to pray for her. So many people ask for money, ask for food but she never does, the only thing she ever asks is for prayer. She told me if it wasn't for God she would already be dead, it is only by God's grace that she is able to live. Her husband is really ill and she thinks he will die very soon. She is also thinking about putting Ashkala into an orphange where she thinks she will be better looked after and they can maybe fine her more medical help. Her words to me where, I am still her mother and she is still my daughter and I love her but I cannot do anything more for her, I need to find some help from somewhere. please continue to lift her and her family up in prayer.

The next lady is a lady who came to see me to ask for help for her kids, she is just 40 and(again I cannot remember her name) she has 5 kids, 3 from her husband then he died, then she lived with another man and she had 2 children with him. Ten years ago she had to get a hip replacment I am not too sure why and then 2 years ago she started to feel pain in her hip and has been walking with a walking stick and unable to work. The father of the youngest 2 kids told her he was leaving because she is like an old lady and he was going to find someone younger. Now she is on her own with five children, unable to work and in alot of pain in her hip. I have sent her for an X ray to see if we can find out what is wrong with her hip, if we can sort that out then maybe she can find some work to support her family.

The last person is called Berloca, sorry this is a bit of a story of how I meet him and what is going on....
 On friday I went out with the team to a place called Balon, they were giving out solar radio's and I went along to translate for a wee group. Our team was with the Pastor and on our way back to the wee church the pastor stopped in with someone who was sick to pray with them, I saw him lying on the floor, the pastor told me (word for word translated) 'he is sick in his legs' so I thought maybe I could help him being a physio. I went in and they told me he fell out of a tree and is paralysed. Then they took a sheet of his back and he has this huge pressure sore on his back.  I talked to them for a wee while to get the story they had gone to the hospital in town and were told they cannot do anything, they need to take him to the Dominican and sent him home. He has been at home lying on a cement floor, no mattress, nothing soft just a couple of sheets. So the pressure sore developed. I honestly have never see anything as bad in my life, there are 4 grades and his is grade 4. He also had a small on on his knee and one on his foot.

He was in my head all weekend, I was thinking I cannot see him then not do anything. But I had no idea what I could do, I do not have the money to look after him or even begin to send him to the DR. On Sunday I took Vedane (my friend) to go and visit her family and I had no idea where we were going on the way, I asked her and she said 'Balon', I couldn't really believe it, I had never been there before Friday. So I went to see him again and told his family we would take him to Milot with us monday, that I cannot promise they can help him but we can try. This morning, it was pretty crazy, it took 3 guys to lift him put him in the back of the car lying down on his tummy because he cannot lie on his back because of the sore, while the whole community is watching. We arrived at Milot and of course a crowd of people gathered round to watch them try lift him out of the car into the hospital. I spent the whole day with the family and trying to figure out what they will do and how much things are going to cost.

They gave him some antibiotics and tomorrow they are going to do a debridment, basically remove all the dead tissue. After that I am not sure what will happen next. He really needs an operation with a skin flap, Im not sure if they can do that in Milot.
Please pray we can find a way to help him. If they can get the sore better and we can educate his family he can have a good quailty of life as a paraplegic. It just amazes me how God puts me in places where he needs me and where he can use me. I went to Balon first because someone asked me, then I was put in the group with the Pastor, then I had agreed to take Vedane to her visit her family about 2 weeks ago I said we would go on Sunday and I had no idea where we were going.
Things like that do not happen by chance, God plans things in advance and his timing is perfect.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Happy Birthday radio 4VEH

This last week was the anniversary of our radio station here 4VEH. The radio had been broadcasting for 60 years here in Haiti. There have been thousands of people who have been saved through the radio station, OMS gives out solar powered radios all over the north of the country and for some people this is the only time they will ever hear the gospel, for others who have become Christians through the radio this will be their only access to hearing the word of God.

The Crusade

Last week we were running a big crusade right in the centre of town and Saturday night was the big night to celebrate the anniversary of the radio station so Hannah and I went along. The big attraction on Saturday night was ‘Ti Bob’…Haiti’s biggest Christian artist!!! He really is big in Haiti and everyone loves him. I was just standing there listening and watching, if I was at home right then I would have probably been at the snow patrol concert in Ward Park along with thousands of other people with their hands in the air almost worshipping Gary Lightbody and his band. Yet here I was, the complete opposite, in one of the poorest countries in the world, standing in a square with thousands of people with their hands in the air except they weren’t there to worship a man they were there to worship their God. The God who saved them and has given them freedom and life. In a country which looks so hopeless these people have hope.

Throughout the week they had alot of people come to the Lord including a witch doctor one night. Please pray for these new believers, that they wouldn't just have made a decision in the moment but that the decision would have truly changed their lives. Pray that they will be disicipled well and find a church with good solid teaching and be able to be a witness in their families and their communities.

Here is a personal testimoney....

'No one knew Evodie was making plans to kill herself. Except God. And just wait til you read what happened next.
Feeling ashamed and humilated by the father of her unborn child, Evodie went to the market and bought 2 sachets of rat poison. Back home, she ripped open the sachets, emptied the poison into a bottle of coke and prepared to drink.

As she put the poison to her lips, the electricity came back on after one of the frequent power cuts in Cap Haitian, and she heard the voice of radio 4VEH presenter Louisa Destine, in her programme, time for comfort, saying 'I greet you all in the name of Jesus'
Evodie listened as Louisa began speaking directly to her: 'You with a drink infront of you, you have put something in the drink to take your life. This is not God's will for you.'
Convicted by the holy spirit, Evodie says of that moment, 'I fell on my knees before my Lord and asked forgiveness for what I was about to do.' In her time of need, the Lord intervened and saved her life, and that of her unborn son. God spoke directly to Evodie in a way she would understand-through Radio 4VEH.

Here is another story from a book called Let the rocks cry out with gives the history of 4VEH. It really is amazing how the radio has touched so many lives.

'Let the rocks cry out is bringing more people to Christ than perhaps any other single program on 4VEH. Since its beginning in November 1996, scores of conversions have been reported, many of them young adults. According to one listener, when the program is aired , 'every radio in Haiti is tuned to 4VEH'
The hour-long broadcast is Creole on Monday and Wednesday evenings features gripping interviews with people delievered from the bondage of Satanism and voodoo.
In May, Radio 4VEH aired the powerful testimoney of Mr Ludovic, a former voodoo priest converted 8 years ago by the witness of the woman now his wife. Ludovic was well known in Haiti for his satanic activities and murder, even of his own family members.
Now he was speaking out for Jesus Christ, telling of God's power that freed him from the bondage of fear and evil under voodooism. Response to his testimoney was electrifying, listeners requested tapes of the broadcast.
In the village of Port-Francais, ten miles south of Cap Haitian, a voodoo priestess heard Ludovic's astounding testimoney of God's transforming power. 'If God can save Ludovic He can save me!'. She did an abrupt spiritual about-face and accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour, challenging her allegiance from Satan to Jesus. Years earlier, a 4VEH pre-tuned radio had been used by God to plant a church in this area.'

Yesterday, Friday I had the opportunity to go with the team out to go and give out these solar radio's. I was going as a translator and it was a priviledge to be a part of it. I had heard so many stories of solar radio's being given out and people becoming christian's through radio 4VEH in a remarkable way but this is the first time I had been directly invloved.
We met at a wee church in a town called Balon, the church was planted in 2008, after a pastor evangelising in the area and alot of people getting saved. They were travelling far to go to church in Goden and the Pastor of Goden had a vision to plant a church in Balon. But they had no where to meet. For 7/8 months they met outside under a tree. Then someone in the community offered a room in the middle of their house for them to meet. It is a wee tiny room and each sunday they have around 50 people meeting. The Pastors words were ' we have to cut our service short (2hours!) because it gets so hot inside people are dying!!'. I was in it for about 10 minutes and it really was roasting, I cannot imagine what it would be like with 50 people inside. Right now the church is praying for a new place to meet with more space and somewhere a bit cooler!

The wee church

We split up in 5 groups, 3 people from the team, 1 translator and 1 local person from the church. Actually the pastor was in our group. We visited about 10 families in their homes and with each one shared the gospel, that God had sent Jesus into the world to die for our sins, and if we continue to live in sin, to live without Christ then they are lost. But if they accept God's gift of salvation then they will have eternal life. Alot of people we meet already know the Gospel. Within the 5 groups they spoke to between 50 and 60 people, some of who were already christians, some who were prayed with. Alot of people have made a decision to accept the Lord but don't really believe they are saved and need the encouragement. We also spoke with around 18 (I can't remember exactley) became christians, and they were encouraged to choose a church in the area to start going to. Also the Pastor will continue to visit these people. Each house we went to visit we also got the opportunity to give them a solar radio which is tuned to Radio 4VEH.

Giving the radio to a family (I don't think all the kids were from the same family)

It was a really great experience and amazing to see how solar powered radio's are changing people lives all over Haiti.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

mobile medical clinic

The walk up through the mountains

This weekend ten of us went off to do a mobile medical clinic in the mountains in a place called Suffriere. We had a team of 12 of us, me and Hannah who ran the pharmacy. Dr Phil who is from Northern Ireland he is here for 3 weeks he was consulting along with Ms Prudence who is a nurse in our clinic. Wadner, a good friend of mine who lives in Vaudrieul close to our compound. We also had 6 of our seminary students come with us to evangelize/encourage and pray with patients. Our seminary students were Nicole, Yoland, Jean-Marc. Jean-Marie, Devacoeur and Gesner. Four out of these six students were studying in Port au Prince before the earthquake and their seminary’s were destroyed. Our seminary had an announcement on the radio saying there were offering places for free to students who were in Port during the earthquake. The pastor of the church is Ms Prudence’s husband, they have been working in that area for 20 years and he goes there every Sunday. It is a very very poor area and the people have nothing. Their closest medical care is probably down here in Cap Haitian.

Our team

One of the men from suffriere who carried our medical supplies

Going through the river

We left at 6 on Saturday morning and went to pick up Ms Prudence and her husband, they put their stuff in the back of the truck and the next thing to go in was 2 chickens with their feet tied up, obviously going to be one of our meals over the weekend. We stopped off along the way to get some Tampico (Haitian version on sunny delight), then to the ‘ice factory’ to get a big block of ice. And after an hour then it was time to walk, 2 hours up the mountain but it really is a lovely walk. Some guys came down with a couple of donkeys to take all the medical supplies up. So after 2 hours we arrived at the church where the clinic was going to be held.

They turned out to be dinner on Sunday

The crowd waiting for us in the church

Inside the church was pretty crazy, we think there was maybe around 400 people there who had come to see the doctor and there was no way just between Dr Phil and Ms Prudence they were going to see them all. Ms Prudence went round and give tickets to those people who were most sick so they could be seen. We The clinic actually ran very well, people got their dossier (a wee card) and waited in line to see the doctor, then were sent to the pharmacy to pick up their medicine, then sent over to speak with the pastor. We also gave each patient bread with peanut butter and a tampico while they were waiting. There were a lot of people there who had been in Port during the earthquake and it was great because a few of our students had been in Port on 12th January (the day of the earthquake). So they were able to counsel and pray with those patients. One lady was in her house with her 4 children and she was able to run out with one of her kids but she lost her other 3 and her husband and is just struggling.
Dr Phil, clearly enjoying his job!

I just had to put this photo in cos this wee lady was so cute. I am not the tallest person in the world but I felt tall beside her.

We took a short break at 2 o’clock and just about 5 minutes before it started to rain, like really started to pour. Which actually was a good thing for us because a lot of people left and just the one minute before our wee break finished the rain stopped and the sun came out. So we were praising God for the rain and for the timing of the rain. We finished around 5 after seeing 200 patients. The seminary students got the opportunity to pray with a lot of people and they also found some people who wanted to be saved.

Pastor Jean-Marie praying with a little girl

The next day we went to church, they have around people in their church. I have no idea where the people come from because there are hardly any houses close by! Sunday in Haiti was mothers day and they had a special children’s choir to tell the mum’s happy mothers day. The seminary students took the service and we all sang together, after lunch we headed back down the mountain and back home.

The children's choir for mothers day

We just praise God for the weekend, for the opportunity to and treat people both physically and spiritually. Praise for the seminary students, they are just brill.

We are planning to do more clinics we just need some doctors so please pray God will send some more doctors to us.


 One of the things I was able to do on during my time at home in Northern Ireland during covid was some more training, specifically in paedi...