Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Busy Busy

Life has picked up pace since we started working.  Bill teaches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and spends the rest of his time preparing which takes a long time as it is his first year teaching.  Now on top of preparing he has to factor in time for writing tests, marking them and also marking papers.   His general epistles class has 40 students in it which means a lot of marking.

 He is learning lots about teaching and how best to do that but feels a bit overwhelmed at times with so much work to do.  Bill also wants to make sure he is doing his best as it is a big responsibility to teach God's word to young men and women. These students are  then taking the word of God to their communities, evangelising and leading churches.  We believe the only way Haiti will ever change is God working through the lives of individuals.

I have started working in the clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It's been good  to be back and renew relationships with the staff who were there before, my first patients were all staff from the clinic with various problems, shoulder pain, back pain and knee pain.  Simple things that have been going on way too long and are now causing chronic problems because of the lack of treatment.

Between working in the clinic, looking after the boys, cooking, baking bread, pasteurising milk, doing the washing etc it seems there is always something that needs done.  Always something that needs cleaned.  Always something that needs baked.  Always someone that needs help.  Sometimes living here can be overwhelming.  It's at those points I stop and think about our staff in the clinic, my friends, my patients, how much harder life must be without electricity, running water, an oven, a fridge, a freezer, a washing machine, an income, the internet....and I could go on.  All those things make life so much easier.  I can't even imagine being able to live without them.  Just living day to day in Haiti must be so exhausting.

I have a patient , Kerline, she is 41 and 3 years ago she had a stroke.  Since her stroke she has been at home in her house not able to go anywhere.  She has regained some movement and is able to walk with a zimmer frame but Haiti is not accessible for people with disabilities. She doesn't even have a wheelchair if she wants to go anywhere.  With the stroke she lost her speech, her daughter lives in Florida and she cannot talk to her on the phone.  Her mum brings here for physio and I can't even imagine how difficult it is to get her into a taptap which she has to take two of to get to the clinic. Its been a while since her stroke but I am hoping the physio will still help her improve and make some progress so she can become more independent.

Tomorrow I will bring Junior to the clinic to see a neurologist who we have visiting here for a week.  He still hasn't been able to go for the CT scan he needs as he doesn't have anyone to take him and again taking public transport when you are paralysed is extremely difficult. It will be good to get another opinion and see if we can make a plan for him.  If you remember please pray for Junior, he is fed up being at home.  He wants to work but finding a job in Haiti is extremely difficult and even more difficult if you are in a wheelchair.

About a month ago I was able to give a wheelchair to Alix, he loves it, he loves being able to go out and go to church.  In fact I think he is pestering his mum and granny now he wants to go out all the time.  But it has created a new problem, Alix has no bladder and bowel control which as you can imagine is difficult when to go anywhere.  Yet we cannot find nappies for kids his age in Haiti.  Thankfully we had friends who were in the Dominican over the weekend and were able to buy a packet for us but this will be an ongoing problem.

A guy that works for the seminary here, Junel, has family in the south where the hurricane hit and he travelled down last weekend to go and see them.  He said it was awful, everyone has lost everything their houses, crops and livestock.  His father was a fisherman and he lost all of his nets. But they are thankful to be alive.  In the area his father lives they have not received any aid yet.......nothing.  He said the biggest problem is cholera, people who survived the hurricane are now dying from cholera.  He told me a story of a guy from Port au Prince who went to visit his family in the south after the Hurricane and he died from cholera.  I worked in our cholera clinic is 2010, it is truly the most awful thing I have ever seen.  People get sick extremely quickly and can die within 5 hours of first getting sick. Please pray that for help to get to the right places and people.

I know this hasn't been an uplifting post but this is the reality of life for people in Haiti. Its difficult, everyday for most people.

 Saying all of that I had a great conversation with a guy who works in the clinic, I was treating his shoulder and we were talking about the USA.  He has been three times and I was asking if he liked it. He replied
' Yes but there is one thing I do not like,  people in the USA do not talk about God, they do not care about God.  They fill their lives with stuff, big houses, cars, technology and other things but they have nothing.  Because if you don't have God in your life you have nothing.  When I was in the USA I never heard anyone mention God on the TV or on the radio,  anywhere.  In Haiti we can talk about God where ever we are, we can hear about God on the radio.  I grew up with just my mother as my father left us when I was young, my mother was very poor but the biggest thing she did for us was she introduced us to God.  Without God in your life you have nothing.'

And that is the hope I see in people in Haiti, its true most people here have nothing materially but for those who have God, who have put their trust in Jesus they know this life is only temporary. They know God is giving them the strength they need for each and every day.  And they know the suffering they are experiencing right now will soon be gone and one day they will live with Jesus in heaven forever and that is where their hope is.

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