Monday, 9 May 2011

Family Love

My closest friends in Haiti are a wee family which I am sure you have heard me talk about, Dr Rodney his wife Vedane and their 3 kids, Wood, Ollie and Alisha. Dr Rodney works in our clinic and they live on a wee house on the compound which is how I got so close to them. Dr Rodney has an amazing testimoney which I will share a little with you.

Dr Rodney grew up in Vaudrieul, and was very involved in his local church, so much so that people started to call him Pastor Rodney before he even left school!!When he was still at high schooll with his family struggling to pay the fee's for high school Rodney got a part time job translating at Bethesda medical clinic for visiting doctors and nurses. It was during this time he felt God calling him to be a doctor. However he came from a poor family and had no means of getting to university.

However Rodney with the strong faith that he has, and still has today, had saved up all his money each week from translating in the clinic and used it to get his passport and visa to go to the Dominican republic to talk to the people in the university there. The language is spanish in the dominican and the univeristy advised three months of language before staring university especially as the entrance exam is in spanish. Due to some circumstances Rodney couldn't attend language school he also couldn't attend the only day the exam was on. However by a miracle the university agreed to let Rodney sit the exam at a different time.

Remember at this point, Rodney has not been to language school or does he know one single word of spanish. He passed the exam and was accepted to study medicine in Univeristy in the Dominican Republic. During his first term he found another Haitian student who could translate the lectures from Spanish into Creole or French for him. However in saying this Dr Rodney's best marks throughout his 7 years at university were in his first year.

Rodney has many many stories of God's faithfulness and provision to him over his 7 years at university. There were many times when he had not a single penny left to eat, to wash his clothes, to pay for electricity and to pay his university fees. During those times he would go into his room and close the door and praise the Lord for how He had saved him and what he had done for him. Every single time over those 7 years God provided all that he needed, he would get a phone call from western union or somewhere else saying someone had transfered him money through. He told me he had just one pair of trousers and one pair of shoes through the whole 7 years and each day when he came home he washed his one pair of trousers and I even think he has that one pair of shoes!!! Just one example each month someone from the states sent Rodney $100, Dr still even today doesn't know who sent the money but they sent it faithfully every month. One Rodney's last month at university the person sent a message with the transfer saying their financial situation had changed and they were unable to send money anymore. What the person didn't know was that this was Rodney last month at uni and he would no longer need the money for rent. 

Dr Rodney and his wife left a 'nice' life in the DR to come back to Haiti.With no where to live and a baby they lived with Rodney's mum. Since then Dr Rodney has been working at Bethesda Medical Clinic at OMS. Rodney and Vedane now have three children, 2 boys of their own and one adopted (a baby which was abandon at the clinic).

 Rodney believes God has called him back to work among his people, his heart is for his own Haitian people. One day he wants to open a hospital providing a high standard of quality healthcare and showing God's love to people who come.

Right now Rodney is in Canada, his first time off the island of Haiti. He is working with a Canadian organisation called empower global ( He is working on fundraising and speaking about their project. The project is three fold, firstly to open a medical clinic with affordable, quality healthcare. There are many clinics in and around Cap Haitian, however many of them are expensive, others are run by 'doctors' who have never been to medical school, others are just a money making scheme which do not help patients. Secondly to run mobile clinics out into areas where there is no doctor, where people die from simple illnesses, many of these places will also have never heard the gospel. For pictures of the vehicle to be used for mobile clinics click this link The vehicle is fully equipped to drive over Haiti's pot hole covered roads and even has oxygen in it ( It is difficult to find oxygen even in hospitals!!!). Thirdly to provide education on healthcare and prevent the same diseases occurring over and over again. This will happen by providing education to schools, educational institutions and communities.

If you look back at Rodney's life you would never imagine he would be where he is today. It is exciting to see how God has led him and has used many different people along the way. Please pray for this stage of the project which is fundraising.

I will keep updating as I find out what is going on.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Back for a visit

I am just home from just over a week in Haiti. As you know I left a month early and very quickly due to a couple of circumstances and I really felt I never got a proper chance to say goodbye to alot of people and see them before I left. So that is exactly what I went back to do. On top of that I also got to take my fiancee back with me for him to meet my friends there.

I just got to spend a week in Haiti, not very many people knew I was coming so it was exciting to see their reactions when I walked into the clinic when they had no clue that I was coming. I got lots of time to visit with different families who I was close to when I was there. I worked a little in the clinic, some physio, some cleaning, some pill counting and we also got the chance to do a mobile clinic.

Our mobile clinic was just an hour's drive away in the church of one of our ECC pastors. It was a bit of last minute planning but with the help of lots of people we got it all organised. We ran the clinic with both Dr Rodney and his mum (who is a nurse) consulting,  other nurses taking blood pressure, a few in the pharmacy, Pastor Jean-Marc and Pastor Devacoeur sharing the gospel. While the patients were waiting we had Rachelle, Kate, Wadner and Gesner running a kids club.

As soon as we arrived and set up some people brought in a wee 5 year old boy who had really swollen leg. Turns out he had fallen just about a week ago and the family had no money to take him to the doctor (which would have been a 15 minute walk and over an hours motorbike ride). Dr Rodney knew immediately that his leg was broken, so he splinted it up and when we left for the day we brought him back to our clinic with us. Hannah took an X ray and Dr Rodney was right he had a very bad break in his femur which will require surgery. We gave his family some money and sent them off to the hospital in town for his surgery. No matter how long I live in Haiti I will never get used to the suffering people go through due to poverty. This wee boy had been in agony for over a week, unable to get essential medical care because of money. At the end of the clinic the pastor's told us three people accepted the Lord that day.

If God only sent us to do the clinic for that one boy then it was worth it. I'm not sure what would have happened if we weren't there, he may have got an infection, he may even have lost his leg but the Lord's timing is perfect. For both Hannah and I this was a very last minute trip and one of the things we wanted to do was a mobile clinic.

This was a big thing I saw the whole year I was in Haiti, God's Providence and his plan. How he puts you in situations with different people so you can be used by him all for HIS glory.

One of the things I enjoyed the most was spending time with my wee family, Dr Rodney, Vedane, Wood, Oly and Alisha.  None of them knew I was coming (although it may have been better to tell them, Oly was shocked and didn't talk for the whole rest of the day that I arrived!!) it was exciting to surprise. I was down at their house every night just spending time visiting and playing with the kids. They have some very exciting news which I will share about in the next blog.

I left Haiti on Tuesday, feeling ready to go home but also sad to leave. I have no idea if God will ever call me back to Haiti I am just trusting in him for his plan he has for the future.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

1 year later

12th January 2010........a date not one single person in Haiti will ever forget. One year ago today the 7.3 earthquake hit Port au Prince and devestated the whole country. In just 35 seconds......

Over 300,000 people died
Over 500, 000 injured
Over 1 million left homeless......still homeless one year later.

I don't think I will ever forget where I was when I found out, I had just left home on my way to Haiti stopping at Greenwood Indiana for cross cultural training before heading to Haiti. That night I checked my email wondering why people were asking if I was ok, then I saw online what had happened.

It was devstating to watch, every night I was trying to find out as much information as I could, check if my friends and other missionaries were ok, then all I wanted to do was to be there to see what I could do to help.

I remember just thinking why?After living in Haiti before I knew how difficult life was........already, how terrible housing  was........already, how terrible the health care  was........already even before the earthquake Now things had just got a million times worse. And I couldn't get my head round it, I questioned God and couldn't understand why God would let this happen to an already suffering nation. I arrived in Haiti on 3rd February and was straight down to Port to help with some mobile clinics. The scenes were awful, the smell was awful but the people proved to be strong and resilient. I would say between being in Port and working in Milot hospital with patients from the earthquake I have spoken to over 350 people who were in Port on 12th January and not one single person said why did God let this happen. Not one. Every person I spoke to said 'Its only by God's grace I am alive today.' What a challenge.

Since then I heard miracle upon miracle of how people lived through 12th January.  One young girl, Rose Marie in Milot trapped under rubble for 15days with no food and no water yet survived. A friend of mine, Anice traped in the 3rd floor of his school, found at midnight that night and amazingly amidst the chaos was found by his family two days later after sleeping in the street again with no food and no water. My wee friend Sterlina lived 6 months thinking her whole family was dead and was placed in an orhanage then found by her family who were all alive and well.  Joesph who lost both his legs, now walking with 2 prothestic legs by himself.

Baby Jeffely born 6 months after the earthquake after his mum was trapped under the rubble for 5 days. The light on the hill.....Where we ran our mobile clinics with over 600 people coming to the Lord. The church is going strong with people getting baptised and growing in the Lord. Right up their in the middle of tent city. A miracle.

I am praying for Haiti, God is the only thing that will change Haiti. Please join me in prayer, not just for physical help  but for spiritual help. Haiti's roots are in Voodoo and only the Lord can change that. Pray for all those people who gave their lives to God after the earthquake that they can raise up a new generation who can change the beautiful but suffering nation of  Haiti.


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