Saturday, January 19, 2008

haiti update - january 18, 2008

“… I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Hi! This has been a busy week with medical cases. We were able to get the passport for Phara Simeon, the baby with hydrocephalus. Hopefully next week she will be able to get a medical visa. Pray that she will be granted a visa. If all goes well she will hopefully be traveling to the United States at the end of January. There are 2 hydrocephalus projects now that we are accessing to get help for the children. The first is the team from Miami that regularly comes to Haiti. This week a preliminary evaluation was done by the Haitian neurosurgeon on new cases. The Miami team will be arriving at the end of January to evaluate these cases. Some cases were not accepted at prior evaluations. These cases we forward on to the second hydrocephalus program that has been started by a neurosurgeon in the United States. He regularly travels to Uganda to do neurosurgeries and his way of helping Haitian children is to have them come to the United States for surgery to the hospital he works at. It’s great that we have 2 options to look to in finding medical care.
Angelo Lafortune’s mother came by this week to say hello and she says he is doing well in school and is seeing better. This is the same boy who almost died on the airplane while traveling to the United States. The fact that his mother and Angelo were in the United States made them a target for criminals here in Haiti. A month ago thieves went into their yard and started shooting in the air. Helpful neighbors shot in the air too and scared the thieves away. People were saying that the family was a target because if they went to the United States they had money. Pray for continuing strength for Angelo and protection for his family.
Paulna Maczil had her pins removed from her leg on Thursday . Her leg looks good. Once the school year is over she will have surgery on the second leg.
Vanessa from Angel Missions is in-country and we sent over several children for her to look at with the hopes that she can help find medical care for them. These children have either heart, hydrocephalus or orthopedic problems. Lovensky is a boy who was born with a dislocated shoulder that was never put back in place and as a result has caused some damage. I am not sure if the damage can be reversed. Hopefully Vanessa can help us find an answer for his problem. Pray for on-going medical searches for these children.
The pick-up truck is like an ambulance. Sometimes people in the community come and ask for help to transport people to the hospital. Late this afternoon the pastor of the church across the street asked if I could bring the wife of one of the leaders of his church to the hospital as she was in labor with her first child. When I got to their house I asked how long she had been in labor and she had started labor early in the morning. She got in and I told her to make sure that she doesn’t have her baby in the pickup truck and drove her to the Doctors Beyond Borders Hospital on Delmas 18.
Tuesday evening a man by the name of Eveque was stabbed on our street corner. He was buying some “marinade” (a type of fried food) and took one to taste test. The “marchande” (food vendor) told him that he would have to pay for it. The price was 1 gourde ( about 2 cents US$). He refused and gave her a big mouth. Her husband got up and then stabbed Eveque in the neck. He bled out and died right in front of the food stand. There was a crowd of people on the corner and Jack (from the break-in) came up to talk to me. He told me that Eveque died leaving 6 children behind and a pregnant wife carrying his 7th child. At least the police arrested the man who did this act. The next day we went past the ravine on Delmas 31 and someone had put the body of a 1 year old boy into the ravine. The entire day people walked by the ravine and looked down to see the body. The sad thing is that no police showed up to do anything about it. Pray for those who do not respect life.
On January 11th the “Kay Jistis” (House of Justice) financed with $500,000US in aid by USAID was inaugurated in Cite Soleil. The purpose of the project is to develop Justices of the Peace and community leaders in the domain of the regulation of conflicts, promote civic education and reinforce the judiciary capacity of the tribunal. This inauguration wasn’t greeted with peace by some. Tires were burned in front of the building causing a lot of smoke damage. We passed by this building on Saturday morning while in Cite Soleil and saw the blackened front. I went with Willy and Joel to meet the soccer players in their program. 65 boys between the ages of 13-17 are involved in their soccer program. They are in need of material and we are trying to find people to help them out. The soccer field they use is stone and dirt so soccer balls don’t have a long useful life. We also visited their sewing program for young girls that they run out of the school on Saturday mornings. Joel’s wife is a seamstress and she is trying to teach these young girls sewing skills. We gave them 3 sewing machines that people have donated to use in this program. Pray for the efforts of Action Chretienne de la Developpement as they seek to improve the lives of those residing in Cite Soleil.
The BID (Banque International de Developpement) provided Haiti with $750,000US$ in assistance to be used toward energy needs at the hydroelectric dam at Peligre. This dam supplies 25% of Haiti’s energy needs. Because we are now in the dry season, the dam’s output is reduced resulting in increased power shortages. We are getting only about 2 hours of electricity a day right now.
We are still getting our eggs from Mdm. Elie. I didn’t find out how she got this weeks eggs in from the Dominican Republic. In the country of Benin, January 10th was Voodoo Day. Benin has the H5N1 strain of bird flu in their country. This is the flu strain that can be passed on to humans. 2 cases of the H5N1 strain were found in poultry in Benin. Voodoo priests sacrificed chickens and declared that their ancient religion would protect them from risk of infection by the H5N1 bird flu virus. The Dominican Republic has the H5N2 strain, which cannot be transmitted from chickens to people. Pray for control of both these viruses in these countries and also that people would turn to the Lord instead of Voodoo.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good day!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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