Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The big 50!!

This year is a big year for Emmaus as we celebrate 50 years of existence.  That means for 50 years Emmaus has been training men and women to be Christ like leaders for the transformation of Haiti.  Emmaus was founded in 1967 by missionaries Eldon Turnidge, Dave Graffenberger (who is still here in Haiti) and Marilyn  Murphy (now Shaferly) along with Gaudin Charles.  Emmaus was initially opened as a vocational bible school and in 2001 changed to teaching theology exclusively.

Dave Graffenberger - one of the founders

Celebratory events kicked of in January with a service in the Vaudrieul church, a couple of the founding members were there, along with alumni, current students and staff and many people from the community in Vaudrieul.  It was a service of reflection of God's faithfulness, looking back over the past 50 years at what God has done in EBS and looking forward to the next 50 years with anticipation as to what God will do.

Last Friday was the next event, a football (soccer for my North American readers!) match in the Cap Haitian Stadium, against the Local Cap Haitian professional team.  Emmaus had a team consisting of staff, students and alumni, to say they were excited would be an understatement!!

It was a great afternoon, there were loads of people from the community in Vaudrieul and from the other OMS ministries who all came out to watch.  Its fair to say Haitian people  love football so it was a great atmosphere and we didn't even lose (it was 0-0, which is pretty good considering!).

I think Joel has inherited a love of football from his bampa & Auntie Leah  - he actually sat and watched some of it!!

It's exciting to be here this year and be a small part of what God is doing through our staff and students at Emmaus.

Thursday, 9 February 2017


Bill doesn't get much of a say on here, he's not a blogger......... but if you think of it say a prayer for him tomorrow (or today if your in the UK by the time you read this).

His first class is tomorrow and he is teaching revelation and New Testament eschatology and is going to teach in Creole.  I am not even sure I could  do that in English never mind Creole! So he is all prepared to teach in Creole and will have Leme (his co worker & translator) on hand just in case. Class is from 8 - 11 then he will preach in English Chapel at 11.30am.

That was short and sweet and to the point and anyone who knows Bill will know that is exactly how he talks. We will let you know how it goes!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Community Fridays

Friday has turned into my day of community physio visits.  I leave Sam to school at 8 then Joel and I head off to people's homes to do their physio.

This past Friday began with a visit to Alex & Astrid, my friends who were in Milot hospital (you can read their story here).  After almost two weeks of sleeping outside the hospital but not able to leave the grounds because they haven't paid their bill, they got home.  The surgeon who performed Alex's surgery saw them outside and told them he would pay the bill so they can leave, he took their electoral cards and now they owe him the money.  It is a much much better situation for them to be in, they still owe the Doctor the guts of $300 (US) but at least they are sleeping in a bed and are with their kids.  They are staying with family who will look after them until they are back on their feet.  Alex really needs the physio and Astrid will need hers once her cast comes off.  It was so good to see them at home much more comfortable and to see their two kids happy as they hadn't seen their parents for over a month.   The only thing Astrid had to say was how thankful she was to God.  She was getting desperate and could not see a way out of the situation.  They had exhausted all means they had of getting money together and could not see how they were ever going to leave the hospital.  They (and us) were praying and praying that God would provide a way for them to get home and he did.

Next we headed to another patients house in a different area.  This little girl is 12, she is unable to walk or use her arms well.  I first went to see her last week where it was very difficult to get a good history and figure out exactly how she ended up the way she is now.  It seems she was able to walk then about a year ago she fell and hasn't walked since. So we are trying physio to get some strength back in her legs, to prevents contractures and see if we can get her a bit more mobile.

If you remember please pray for this little girl  (I can't remember her name, next week  I will write it down).  To have a child who in unable to walk here is so hard, they don't have any of the equipment we would have at home like a wheelchair, a hoist, splints and the list could go on.  Her mother carries her on her back to sit outside most of the day.  Last week I had the opportunity to share the gospel with the family too.  Please pray that physio will help and that the family will come to know Jesus as their Saviour.

While I was there a young guy about 30 came in, he had broken his leg last year and it was put in plaster for a month.  When they re X rayed they saw the bone did not heal properly,  He was told he needs an operation but he has no way of paying for that.  He showed me his X rays which were taken 3 months ago and wanted me to do some physio to try to help which I can't do.

I would appreciate any advice from doctors /orthopaedic specialists who are reading this!!

Our last stop was Mano's house.  Mano has cerebral palsy and probably epilepsy, he has seizures  once or twice a month but has never been diagnosed or given medicine for the seizures.  I used to go and do physio with Mano once every couple of weeks when I was here in 2010 so its great to have the chance to go back.  He has done really well with keeping his mobility and is able to walk about the house as he needs to.

Mano in 2010
Joel loves being out and everyone loves Joel so our Friday mornings work great and once were finished we go and get Sam from school.  

 I love getting out and treating people in their homes but I usually have to go because it is so difficult for them to get to the clinic. The other side of this work is the pressure which I feel. Often people have been to many doctors and have given up on getting any answers.  It feels like people expect me to have the answers, to know why that person is sick and for me to be the one to make them better.  With no neurologists, pediatricians, MRI scanners and other diagnostic tests, I often don't have a diagnosis, I just treat the problems and pray that the physio will help. 


 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...