Monday, 30 August 2010

Special days

There are a few things going on between our community and the clinic which we would value your prayers for. Anyway because of that I was really very discouraged at the beginning of this week but God gave me a really couple of special days this week reminding me why he has called me here and how he is working despite the difficulties.

We had a great team here from Canada these past two weeks and they were just willing to do anything we needed them to do. I was organising a mobile clinic for Saturday and was planning to count all the medicine on Friday because I didn't have any patients booked in, even with that over 10,000 tablets to count I didn't think I was ever going to get it done. I turned out to be fully booked and has patients right through until 2.30pm and thankfully the team came and counted all the medicine for me otherwise I definitley would have been up all night. As you know I am not the most organised of people and for some reason I always leave things until the last minute, so I am very thankful for the team.

There was a lady on the team who felt God was calling her to sponser one of our seminary students but she felt strongly that it should be a woman. She asked if I knew anyone who needed help, we only have 2 female students and I am really good friends with one of them Nicole. So I arranged for Nicole to come over so they could meet each other, Nicole has a powerful testimoney of how God has worked in her life and called her into seminary. I did write part of it before here, to write her whole testimoney would take me forever I will just pick out a couple of bits for you or give you the shortened version.....

'My mum was 15 when I was born and when I was  9 months old she left me in a box close to my fathers house. My grandmother found me however she did not know my father had any children, later when my father came home he told her he was my father. My grandmother brought me up until I was 4 and then she died, after that I returned back to my father's house to live with his new wife and family. I had a difficult childhood, my stepmum was always jealous of me. I grew up got married had 3 children of my own and adopted 2 more. One night I had a dream, me along with all the leaders of my church were going to the ambassadors office to collect our visa's to go to the states. A man came down to collect the papers and took everyone's, when he got to me he said no you are not part of this group. I was surprised and asked him to go and talk to the ambassador. He went, returned and said the ambassador said You are not to leave, he has work for you here, go across the road and find Pastor John (this is not his actual name but to be honest I cannot remember the name of the pastor!!) tell him I said he has to take you to seminary and enroll you there. That was the end of the dream. The next day in church the leaders were having a meeting and one of the leaders stood up before us and said 'God is calling someone here who is it,' I didn't say anything, he asked again, again I didn't respond and the third time I replied it was me. Then for 6 months nothing happened, one day in the school I had in my house one of the kids brought one of their books to me and when I opened it the person who has signed the book was called pastor John. Immediately I asked the mum of the child if she knew this man, she said yes and I asked her to take me to him.

I went to see him and explained my dream, he said ok I see God has spoken to you however he has not spoken to me, give me your phone number. One week later the pastor phoned me and asked me to come to his house. He said God has spoken to me, come with me so I can enroll you in seminary. I was in my 3rd year on 12th January when the earthquake hit, I felt the earth shake but by the grace of God I was unharmed but my house fell down completely, I slept out in the road for a few days with my 5 children. When a friend of mine who lives in the north sent a car down to bring me back to where she lives. After a few days I was frustrated, I had nothing, no money, no food nothing I wanted to go back to Port au Prince. I had a dream with God telling me to stay here, the next day I went out into the area evangelising. The area has alot of witch doctors and alot of people serving Satan but i preached the word of God. The next day sunday I went to church, the pastor stood up and said we had someone evangelising in this area yesterday if that person is here can they stand up and tell us who they are. I stood up and explained to the church who I was. The pastor came to talk to me afterwards, later that day another pastor, Pastor Exalus (who is actually the chaplin in our clinic) phoned me. He asked about my story how I got here, he told me OMS have a seminary who is accepting studnets who were in seminary in Port for free if I wanted to go he would take me on Thursday so I agreed. The next day God woke me up at 4am and told me to go to seminary today,I packed me bag and called pastor Exalus and told him I need to go today. He said no I can take you on Thursday. I said no God told me to go today, he replied 'Ok if God told you to go, you should go,' I said ok where is the seminary. Saccenville he told me. I did not have any idea where Saccenville was, I got on the tap tap and asked people to let me know when we arrive in Saccenville. Pastor Exalus had told me to ask for Pastor Vilmer, thats what I did when I arrived. I told my story and he looked at me. He said if you had have come on thursday we wouldn't have accepted you, class starts for everyone tomorrow. He gave me a room and I started seminary the next day.

I love emmaus and when we left in June I told Ms Stacey I will be returning in September not having any idea where I would get the money from. (Our students all have sponsers who help with the tution fees however on top of that the students have to pay some at the start of the year themselves). I have been praying all summer and I need to pay the money by next Friday or else I cannot return. I had stared to get a little worried but I know God is faithful and he will provide for me. And I see today how he is providing for me.'

It was a very special afternoon as I was translating her testimoney I was getting goosebumps in the ways God has worked in her life. The other thing that I love is that all 3 of us where from different countries, one from Haiti, one from Northern Ireland and one from Canada and God has put all 3 of us in the same place at the same time to work together for his glory. I love that. We can never understand how God works, why Nicole had to live through 12th January 2010 and lose everything she has, yet I can see many ways he is using her here, where he has put her right now. She has been on a few mobile clinics with us and God is using her to bring people to himself.

It was a very special afternoon and that evening I went down to talk to Vedane and Dr Rodney (2 of my very close friends here) and I was telling them what happened, we spent the whole night just telling stories if how God has worked in our lives, I even didn't get home until 10pm (thats late for Haiti!!)

The second special say was Saturday but that will have to wait for another day........

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Update from Milot

Things in Milot are really getting quiet, from starting out with around 350 patients in 5 huge tents, we are down to around 40 in just 2 of the tents and they aren't really full. This is Marie-Genese, she is in her early 20's and lost her arm and her leg in the earthquake. She has prothesis for both and is just getting to the stage where she is walking all by herself. Every morning her and a few of the girls in her tent spend about an hour singing, worshipping God then praying. It is lovely to hear everyday and still amazes me what they have been through yet their prayers are full of praises.

We have 3 patients who lost both their legs in the earthquake, admatha, Joseph and Margaret. All in their early 20's. They were all given prothesis in June and with the girls it has taken a bit or persuasion to get them up walking on them but they are getting very good. The girls are both walking with a stick and their prothestic legs but still need a wee bit of encouragement to get up and practice.
Joesph on the other hand is probably the patient in milot who has put in the most effort with everything, always wanting to do physio and to practice walking. Where he lost his left leg is really high up so it should be pretty difficult for him to walk but he tries really hard with everything and is walking with the stick and in between the bars in walking by himself. He is also able to get himself on and off the floor. Joseph has one prayer request, he doesn't want people to feel sorry for him or have pity on him but he wants God to provide a job for him so he can provide for himself.



There have been about 3 babies born in milot and to me its just miracles God is bringing out of something so awful that has happened. This wee baby jeffery is just 10 days old in this photo and maybe the cutest baby i have ever seen!! His mum was in Port and lost her left arm just below the elbow but she manages so well. There is another wee baby due this week, and its mum was trapped under rubble for 3 days before anyone found her yet the baby survived under all that and everything looks good for the birth this week.

We had a special time with the girls this week, a friend of mine Kate who is from wales married to a Haitian guy but they live in the states. Anyway kids from her church in England had written cards to give to people who were in the earthquake, I have had them in my house since June and have actually even taken them to Milot but have left them in the car!!However I am glad I waited until now to give them out for a couple of reasons first there was one for each girl in the girls tent and secondly to still have people praying for them 8 months later means a lot to them. Here are some of the comments from the cards.....
'The people of haiti are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.'
'Never give up'
'The world is a small place when we pray together.'
'We are praying for hope for the people in Haiti.'
'May God help you at this difficult time, you are in our hearts.'

I was getting goosebumps translating them for the patients, knowing it was kids who wrote this and knowing how much it meant to the people there that other people were praying for them. Everyone in Haiti knows where the states and maybe Canada is but outside of that not really. One thing that really shocked them was that these kids were from England which was so far away yet cared about them.

Please continue to pray for people in Milot as they heal not only physically but emotionally. The trauma they have been through is unbelievable and with no real professional help it is going to take a long time to get over it especially as they return to Port. Saying that one of the things which has been amazing to see in Milot is the emotional recovery which has taken place. I remember the first month I was there, the tents were full, people just lying in bed all day everyday trying to comprehend what had happened, trying to deal with losing friends and family, their houses, pretty much everything they owned. Seeing alot of people crying, not being able to eat or sleep yet slowly but surely over the last 6 months I see a big change in almost everyone. Some of it began with getting out of bed, up walking, spending time outside but most of it came from talking with others who had been through the same thing, making friends with the people around them and almost everyday I would hear a group of people singing and praying together and I firmly believe that is where their healing has come from.

I just had a friend over today, Nicole (I actualy wrote her testimoney on here a few months ago) she is a student in the seminary she was down in Port for a week during the summer visiting her husband who is still there and really says everything is much the same, everyone is still sleeping in a tent which when it rains it floods and when it rains in this country it really rains, they still haven't cleared away much the rubble and people are hungry and desperate. I really don't know what it is going to take for Port to recover but they people really need our prayers. This year is election year and they are choosing the canditates right now, it would be wonderful if Haiti could have a president who wanted to do the best thing for the country and for its people. And its for that I am praying.

Outside of things going on in Port au Prince so many other situations in this country are just desperate.This is Jackson, he is just 14, well he was 14 on 10th august. He was admitted to milot the 2nd week in July, he has epilepsy and took a seizure and fell into a fire. He was at a different hospital before he came here but found out they could do skin grafts here in Milot, he had 3 grafts and really needed daily physio which wasn't available. We had been working with him as much as possible but it wasn't enough, like a wee before this photo was taken he was able to open his eye fully. His burns are healing well but they his skin is so tight. But praise the Lord a hospital in Boston with a special burns unit accepted him to look after all his treatment. His mum died when he was young so he lives with his dad and a couple of brothers and sisters. Him and his dad left last week to go the states. I can't even imagine what it would be like for them, his dad cannot read or write, they come from way out in the country in Haiti and have never left before. It will be quite an experience getting the plane and arriving in a hospital in the states, I hope they arrived safely and he is getting treated well and is much better.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Some other peeps....

Apart from physio in the clinic and in Milot there are some other people I try to go and see each week. One of which is Sterlina....I hadn't been too see her for about a month for a couple of reasons but I got the chance to go see her on Wednesday and she is doing really well actually. She is really growing and is almost taller than me which I guess isn't that hard but she is only 14. She still is not really liking where she is living I think she would much rather be with her family in Port but as I explained before her family say there is nothing they can do for her and she is much better where she is. Her wee foot is still not totally healed yet but when it does they are going to give her a prothestic foot where she lost hers. She also doesn't want to start school because her foot isn't healed yet, although I have been trying to tell her she doesn't need her foot to go to school!!!Please continue to pray for her, that she will settle better where she is, she has had so much to cope with over the past 8 months being in the earthquake, thinking her whole family are dead then finding out about 6 weeks ago they are actually alive but they don't want her. Continue to remember her please.

Mono is a wee boy I go and see every week. He has CP and lives just about 10 minutes walk away from our compound. He has a really lovely wee family, his mum works for the mission and they have 6 kids, 3 girls and 3 boys. He does very well with his CP, his is mobile and does lots of things for himself. So I have just been going to teach his mum and dad lots of exercises they can do to help him abit more.

Carlos is doing really well and so is Rosette. I had been going to visit them in their house and just this week Rosette has been back at work just this week. Last time I was here she cooked and sold food out the front of the clinic then after her daughter had been sick she got really sick and was just at home. I was so happy to see her back at home, there are 10 people who live in her house and she is providing for them all so it is great she is well enough to be back at work again. I have another wee friend who comes to see me his name is Phaly, he is only 9 and he used to come visit me in the clinic with Carlos. A while ago he came to me and asked if I could help him with school because his mum died last year and since then he hasn't been able to go to school. So I talked to him and his brother, turns out he is Carlos' cousin and his granny is also Rosette. We managed to get him into starfish and my sister is sponsering him to go to school, its just cool how they are from the same family and now both my sisters are helping Carlos and Phaly to go to school through starfish.

Junior- Junior lives in Saccenville where our seminary is, in May Stacey (one of our missionaries here) told me she had someone for me to see. A young guy who was totally fine and now he is paralysed and cannot walk and they are not sure why. Hannnah and I and Dr Phil who was here at the time went out to see him. He is a young guy who used to live in the states and was sent back to Haiti, however when he came back to Haiti he became a christian and turned his life around, now he is married and his wife is about 6 months pregnant. So he told us he was totally fine the one day he got up and his legs felt itchy and funny and then he felt something go through his body and sure enough after that he could not walk his legs were really weak. We went to check him out and that is what we found, he was really weak with abnormal sensation and unable to stand. Neither Phil or I were really sure what was wrong so we brought him to the clinic the next day for some blood tests. I assessed him properly from a physio point of view and it really looked like something neurological but I wasn't sure what. We got him standing at a frame and I give him loads of exercises to do at home and have been going out to Saccenville to continue treatment in his house. He is now walking with the walker and takes a few steps by himself but is pretty unsteady. Everytime we go he is just thanking God for how much progress he is making.

Monday, 2 August 2010

X ray

Well I think I said in the prayer letter we have our X ray machine up and running. Our last X ray machine broke in January of 2008 and then there was one sent down sometime last year but when it was put together they could not get it working. There were a few people who worked on it and each got a little further but not to the stage where it was working completely. There is also another X ray machine which has been on its way for a while but has not yet arrived but God has provided.

There was a lady and her husband here from the states, Denise and Kevin in September of 2008 and Denise reallt felt a burden for the clinic and the X ray machine. Just this year she began communicating with Hannah seeing what  exactly we need in the clinic and got pretty much everything. She sent the machine down the first week in July, then Denise and her husband Kevin were here for 5 days from 15th July. The machine is actually a portable but didn't have a stand so Bud (one of our missionaries here) attached it to the other machine. They spent about a day training on it and now it is up and running.

It really is great to have  X ray in the clinic. Finding somewhere that does X rays in the north  of Haiti is not very easy. We have been sending people to a clinic around 10 mins away from our clinic, however to have an x ray there is 1000  Haitian goudes or more in some cases, so many people just do without if they really need one. In Bethesda we charge 300 goudes for people who are patients in Bethesda and for patients who are sent from other doctors it is 500 goudes.

The Dark room

The first X ray....its my back!

We give God thanks for sending us a new X ray machine. Hannah is especially pleased as this is what she came here to do. Hannah and pastor Daniel are both working together on the X rays. The word is still getting out that we have X ray which is working so things aren't too busy yet but I don't think it will be too long before they are super busy. Many people have been praying for this for a long time and now God has answered so we give him praise.


 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...