Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My sister Tanya and the rest of the crew were kept busy today at the hospital. The surprise of the day was when the police and a couple of citizens brought in a newborn infant that had been thrown into an outhouse toilet. A haitian couple had heard sounds of a baby crying coming from the bottom of the toilet. He looked inside and then climbed into it to get the baby out. The baby was cut and banged up from the fall into the toilet and was covered in "poop". Tanya and Marlene bathed the baby and it still stank. It is now in an incubator and receiving iv antibiotics. They gave him the name of "Dieudonne" (Gift of God). Pray for his ongoing medical treatment.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This is a photo of Marie at 1 day of age. Her head circumference at birth was 50cm. She started her life with an already developed hydrocephalus. She was born on Saturday morning and the family brought her to Hopital La Paix that afternoon. A cat scan was done on Sunday and surgery was done to put in a shunt on Monday morning. We give the Lord thanks for the timing of her birth and the coincidence of her arrival at the hospital when the visiting surgical team from Miami was there.
This is a photo of Marie after surgery. Her head has sunken in quite a bit and the 4 bone plates in her head are loose. In a couple of weeks they will start to join together. Holding her head is like holding a cracked egg shell.
This is a photo of Gilna. This family lives in the same village as Paulna and Michelore.
This is the bridge at Croix des Mission. Normally the river is almost dry. Because of the heavy rains the bridge is now closed to vehicles. The rushing waters are close to the foundation of this bridge.
Lukner has family living in this area. They fled their home last night and are living with friends until the flood waters subside.
During normal times people dig sand from the river bed and wash their vehicles in the middle of the river. Because of erosion the water rushes down the mountain sides. Heavy rains that last awhile cause a lot of damage here in Haiti.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Wednesday was a holiday in Haiti (La Mort de Dessaline) and the kids had no school so they kept busy making briquettes. These briquettes are made of paper pulp and then are left to dry in the sun. We use them as a cooking fuel. Sammy (the far left) isn't too happy because the younger kids decided to have a pulp paper fight and he came out on the losing end. Boys will be boys!
This is the Coram Deo yard. We have been blessed with a large open area where the children can play and also study.
This is a photo of Yolene from Cabaret.
Hi! This week was a busy week running around. We got the list of the names of hydrocephalus children that are selected for surgery starting October 27th. The parents go for a meeting at Healing Hands on October 24th and the children will be admitted to the hospital on October 26th. In total there will be 22 children that will get the opportunity for surgery. Pray for the efforts of the medical team and health for the children. 6 of the 9 children we had made contacts with were selected for surgery and we give the Lord thanks for this. We will be providing breakfast and supper for each day while the children are hospitalized. For some they can expect to be there for 16 days. Depending on the availability of water at the hospital we may also be inviting the parents of the children to wash clothing and bathe here at Coram Deo. The hospital is close by on Delmas 33. My sister, Tanya will be arriving on October 30th with a team of 5 people to assist during the hospitalization process. They have collected things to help the hydrocephalus families.
This week a parent of a hydrocephalus child who lives in the Cabaret area came to the house. The woman’s name is Yolene and she lives in the region where the flooding was from the recent heavy rains. Her 3 children and herself managed to survive with the clothes on their backs but everything else was lost. Her sister is missing and probably dead. She has searched for her but hasn’t been able to locate her. Right now they are living with friends. Pray for comfort for her and her family.
A couple of weeks ago the father of David Marzelus came to the house one morning with the news that David was not doing well and was dying. He said he was going home to make a coffin for him. Later that day we visited the family expecting to find him dead but we were happy to find him alive. His father had already put him out of the house and into a small unfinished room in another building waiting for him to die. When we saw him he was sitting up and when I asked him how he was he responded by saying that he was fine. David has a history of uncontrollable seizures. We visited him this week and he was still alive and still in the unfinished room outside of the home but he looks a little stronger now. We’ll keep checking on him and making sure that the family keeps looking after him.
On Friday, I went along with Carole to see a doctor for Evans, a handicapped child who she is finding medical care for. Evans has clubbed feet and cerebral palsy. This Haitian doctor is the one we go to when we need a medical letter written. He is always eager to help and doesn’t charge us for this service. He is a Christian who has really grown in his faith especially after his recent visit to Moscow for an evangelism conference. He was excited about how the gospel is being presented in the former Soviet Union countries and he came back to Haiti eager to serve the Lord here in Haiti.
This past week the Security Council of the UN prolonged the mandate of the UN here in Haiti for another year. This will help to maintain better security here in Haiti. The Haitian police still are not able to provide the nation’s security needs on their own.
One of the priorities of the government is to improve the lives of handicapped people. A new government ministry, Ministry for the Integration of Handicapped People has been created to help integrate the handicapped into Haitian society. It is estimated that there are 800,000 handicapped people within Haiti. Here in Haiti, the handicapped have a history of being the victims of discrimination and social injustice. Their rights of work, housing, education, and mobility are being violated constantly (more so than the rest of the population). At the recent national forum that was held the minister stated that for a society to develop the rights of all sectors of society need to be taken into account. The minister is handicapped himself because he is blind but this doesn’t stop him from being an advocate for the handicapped. Pray for his efforts and pray that the handicapped will one day be fully accepted into Haitian society.
There have been a couple of protests recently. While we were downtown the other week and inside the US Consulate a group of around 200 protesters were in the large public area downtown protesting against the government and demanding the return of Aristide (the ex-president). Lukner remained behind keeping an eye on the pickup truck while we were inside the consulate. After a while the protest broke up and the people went their separate ways.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good evening!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This is a photo of Sara Simeon. She is a happy baby that is surprisingly developing normally except for her extra large head. Pray something can be done for her. Her mother is holding her. She has 8 children.
Hi! This week was a busy week running around getting medical visas done for a couple of children who are leaving for the United States tomorrow morning. One of the children, Biverley is getting treatment for her clubbed feet. We helped out the mission that organized her care by doing the medical visa work. Emerson is the other child. Attached is a photo of him. He is the 22 month old boy who has a severe cleft lip/palate. He will be going to Fort Wayne, Indiana. The plastic surgeon is going to reconstruct his face and I can’t wait until we get photos of his new face! His parents are Christians and never gave up praying for help to be found for him. He is their only child. The mother told me that many times people came up to her and told her that if they had a child like that they would abandon him. She responded to them that this is the child that God gave her and she will look after him. Now that he is getting care she said that she would be a witness for God. She plans to witness to those who told her to abandon her son. She has photos of what he looked like when he was first born and what he looks like now. God willing she will in the future also have photos of her son with a new face. She plans on testifying to God’s grace and His healing mercies. Pray for traveling mercies for these 2 children as they travel and also comfort for their parents as they have to live for a time apart from their children.
The bible passage above speaks of what it means to be a Christian. We must show our faith through deeds. The following is an excerpt from the doctors letter written to the US Consulate in order for Biverley to get a medical visa: “I am honored that the ministry is allowing me to assist in the correction of her clubfoot deformity….I am excited the Lord has allowed me another opportunity to serve HIM by helping one of HIS children.” This orthopedic surgeon is a Christian. In our Christian walk we must serve HIM by serving others with whatever abilities the Lord gives us.
While showing the medical team last week Bernard Mevs Hospital on Airport Road, they saw a hydrocephalus baby that was there. I know the mother. The baby’s name is Sara Simeon. Her head has now ballooned to 79cm. The amazing thing is that her neurological signs are normal and she has no sun-downing of her eyes (this is where the pupils turn downward because of the pressure on the brain from the excess of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain). The team was encouraged seeing her and will speak with fellow doctors back in the United States to see what they can do for her there. Pray for Sara and her mother as she lovingly looks after her daughter. Attached is a photo of her.
We also continue to provide medical care for a child that attends Randy and Karen’s school. Judith Pelican is a girl whose family is poor and because of their poverty she is not able to get proper nutrition. We took her for lab tests and she is anemic. Next week we will be getting additional lab work done as well as a chest xray and sonogram on her abdomen. For a poor child summer vacation from school means hunger sometimes. While she will be getting a lunch meal at Randy and Karen’s school, for Judith it would be best that she have 2 nutritious meals. Last year she ate breakfast here at the house where she received an extra protein boost by eating an egg and peanut butter sandwich as well as a glass of milk for calcium. We will do this again this year as well. Keep her in prayer as the doctors try to get a good understanding of her medical problem.
Now is rainy season and we have been getting a lot of rain. The Cayes area of the country has had a lot of flooding because of rivers overflowing their banks and as a result some houses were damaged/destroyed as well. At least 45 people lost their lives because of flooding with several others missing, especially in the Cabaret region. Tonight as I am writing this we just had another rain shower.
In politics the CEP (electoral council responsible for organizing elections) is not functioning very well right now. An investigation into allegations that members of Haiti’s electoral council have misappropriated public funds forced authorities to abandon plans to hold elections in November for a third of Haiti’s senate seats. A senate seat is important for political power as the Senate has the constitutional power to fire the prime minister and government ministers.
Late in the week 5 young men were killed in the Fontamara 43 (Carrefour) area of Port-au-Prince. They were killed because they were accused by gang members of cooperating with police and the UN. Each of these young people received a bullet to the mouth. The people in the community believe these gang members were recently released from prison. Now that the police are arresting more people there is a shortage of space available in the prisons. To make room for new prisoners some other prisoners were released. It looks like some of these prisoners released were best left to stay behind bars. In September, a Haitian pastor was also killed in this same area. He led a community group called “Reduction de la Violence” (Reduction of Violence). Pray for Haitians who are trying to make their country better.
Haitians are trying to take refuge in Canada. 4 haitians tried to go to Canada from the US border at the Lacolle, Quebec border point near Montreal. They were stopped at the border and sent back. They are trying this because detention and deportation are more likely under the United States system.
That’s all the news for tonight. Have a good evening!