Tuesday, April 29, 2008

photos - dieuna's trip, clinic

Here is Dieuna Philippe at the airport with one of the Canadian escorts. I forget her name but she grew up in Tillsonburg. They had a good flight and were met in Miami by the host family. She is now in hospital. Dieuna's head grew rapidly from the time I first met her until her departure date at 7 months of age. We give the Lord thanks for people who volunteer their time to accompany sick kids to their destination.

Jn. Eddy is giving the opening devotions at our first clinic day here at Coram Deo. The people were appreciative of an opportunity to see a doctor and receive medicine.

Here is the doctor at work in the consultation area under the car port. Sheri Fausey, an American missionary who lives in the Delmas 31 area had a visiting doctor helping her at her mission. She had asked us if we wanted to host a clinic at Coram Deo as well. We jumped at this opportunity!

The pharmacy was set up on the front porch. After seeing the doctor, prescriptions were filled by the pharmacy workers.

Francois is the gatekeeper here at Coram Deo. He is a serious Christian who helped in handing out the Heidelberg Catechism.

Monday, April 28, 2008

haiti update - april 26, 2008

“ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Hi! This past week was a busy week with the medical program. We give the Lord thanks that Dieuna Philippe, a 7-month-old hydrocephalus baby traveled to the United States on Saturday morning. A couple of visiting Canadians escorted her to Miami and the host family picked her up from there. One of the visitors grew up in Tillsonburg. The other was from New Brunswick. She was visiting the child she is adopting from His Home for Children here in Port-au-Prince. Dieuna is very fragile. Her condition deteriorated some over the last couple of weeks. Keep her in prayer. Currently she is in hospital receiving care before she will be operated on. Her head is really tight. If not for the opportunity of traveling on Saturday I don’t think that she would have lived much longer. Pray for those who are looking after her and planning her medical care.
On May 2nd the Miami hydrocephalus medical team is coming to Haiti to evaluate hydrocephalus children and select children for surgery. The operations will again be held at Hopital La Paix on Delmas 33. John Charles and his mother who has been staying at our home since January will participate in this process. I hope that he gets selected. Neurologically he is quite active. His father came to visit this week. He brought with him a gift of a sac of charcoal and mangos. These people don’t have much but they wanted to give a gift as a thank you for helping them.
This week we had a clinic here at Coram Deo. 70 children from the community were seen by a visiting doctor and nurse from Florida on Thursday. They provided medicine as well. This doctor and her husband are planning to do mission work full-time here in Haiti starting in 2009. On Friday I brought them to a couple of hospitals and also a local Christian school where their child would attend. Her husband is an anesthesiologist. At the clinic we also shared the gospel message with the families. A devotion and prayer was done before the clinic day opened. This was done by Jn. Eddy Alexandre. We had the Heidelberg Catechism available for those who wanted it. We ended up handing out 50 copies during the day. One woman who was at the clinic with her child had 2 of her children come by the house after they were done school. She asked if they could be seen too. I let them into the yard. Most of the people had already been seen. The boy went to see the doctor and she had this cube on the table, which is called an Evangecube. This cube has pictures, which presents the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was really interested in it and she spoke with him through the translator. They talked a bit and he said that he wanted to follow Jesus Christ. We got the pastor from across the street to come over and pray with him and he invited the boy and his family to attend church on Sunday morning. We give the Lord thanks not only for the medical care and medicines that were provided on this day but also for the “spiritual medicine” that was given that day.
Mario, the boy with the heart problem was discharged on Monday morning and that evening Carole called and asked if I could go to the hospital and find out if they could bring him back in. He was having trouble with his heart again. We were able to see someone and Mario was put back in the hospital. Pray for him as plans are being made by Love a Child to arrange medical care for him in the United States.
We also went early in the week with a couple of missionaries to celebrate the birthday of one of their children at Dominos. Manu, Benson and Jacob went too and enjoyed the food! When we sang happy birthday a UN policeman from Turkey came up to the table and asked us to sing the happy birthday song again. He recorded it on his cell phone and when we were finished he said “God bless you”. Manu also turned 10 years old on Thursday.
Jn. Eddy had some trouble with the school he was working at as a teacher and as a result he will no longer be working there. We give the Lord thanks because now we have our first teacher for the school program. We are keeping him busy working with Junior here at the house. Jn. Eddy is a caring person. His students and others from the school he was at came by to visit and see how he was doing and to give their support. Sometimes a bad thing turns into something good. God is in control of all.
The rice prices are starting to go down a bit on the streets. Now the government is worried that the subsidized rice prices will lead to this cheaper rice being exported outside the country. The subsidized rice price makes rice cheaper than the international market price and this is why the government is concerned. I have been reading that part of the reason for higher food prices is due to farmland being converted to make biofuels in other parts of the world. Corn prices on international markets are higher because there is less corn for consumption. It is being used to make ethanol. Pray that something is done about food controls because this is a big problem not only in Haiti but also in other areas of the world.
19 Haitians drowned off the coast of the Bahamas this past week after the boat they were in capsized. Their goal was to reach the Bahamas and then the United States. This problem of people risking their lives at sea will probably keep increasing as people struggle and look for a better life.
President Preval has proposed Ericq Pierre, who is an economist working at the Inter American Development Bank as the new prime minister of Haiti. His skills as an economist should help in advancing the economy of Haiti. This nomination must be ratified by parliament before he can officially be prime minister.
The problem with criminal gangs in the downtown area still continues. One person was killed and another 12 were shot in less than a week. Pray that the Haitian police and UN can come up with a plan to secure the downtown area.
Around midnight on Friday we had problems again although this time nobody entered the yard. There were a couple knocks at the gate and the dog started barking. We woke up right away and just at that time we got electricity, so we turned on the light to show anybody outside that we were awake. After a while the dog settled down. This week we will be looking at acquiring some barbed wire. We found out some information too about the night when the solar panels were stolen. There were 5 people involved. 2 were on the street in front of our house and 3 were in the yard. That is why I heard noises from the front and in the yard. The dog was kept occupied by the noise at the front while the thieves operated by the side. I am thinking of maybe getting another dog to help with securing the yard. Another thing that happened is that the thieves entered from in the neighbors yard and left by the neighbor’s gate and locked it behind them. The owner of the property next door lives in the United States and has a groundskeeper living there to watch over the property. He didn’t even come out to find out what was going on that evening. I think that the groundskeeper is part of what happened. We are going to contact the owner and let him know what is going on inside his property. Pray for security and that the thieves decide to leave us alone.
That’s all the news for this week. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Saturday, April 19, 2008

photos - medical cases, usaid food

Daniel Joseph is a young boy whose legs are bowing. These braces provided by Healing Hands Foundation should help him. Hopefully his mother will keep them on. He doesn't look too happy with them!

This happy boy is Kervens Guerrier. His left foot is clubbed. We will be starting a medical search for him to try and get this treated. Without treatment he won't be able to walk normally. Pray for the search process.

Stevenson Dol is a 4 year old boy with a heart problem. We will be planning in the future to get an echographie done to determine what type of heart problem he has.

Lakshme Demosthenes is a 2 week old baby girl with an encephalocele starting to grow from the top of her head. It is difficult to see in this photo. Next week a cat scan will be done and then the medical search process will start. With a limited amount of resources we can not pay for everyone's care. When talking with the families I try to get an idea of what their financial situation is. This lady's husband lives in the United States and can pay for medical tests.

We have been helping this mother out from time to time with food. She came to us this week after not being able to provide food for her family for 3 days. We give the Lord thanks for being able to help this mother with a gift of food.

haiti update - april 18, 2008

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:1-5

Hi! This week was a quiet week. The streets have been cleaned up and you wouldn’t have known that there were protests last week except for all the businesses that have smashed windows and some burnt tire marks on the roads. The senate voted to remove Jacques-Edouard Alexis as Prime Minister with a majority of 16 of the 27 senators participating in this process. Last Friday the 16 senators stayed at a hotel in order to be together. They were worried that kidnapping attempts might be made so that a quorum couldn’t be established and that is why they all stayed at a hotel. Looking back at the riots there were 2 main things that were said by President Preval that made the people angry. One comment was “If Haitians can afford cell phones, which many do carry, they should be able to feed their families.” The second comment made a lot of people here that I talked to in the Delmas 31 community angry. He had said “If there is a protest against the rising prices, come and get me at the palace and I will demonstrate with you.” Well, the people did come to the palace and they broke the gate down to try and get to him. Now the president will meet with other political parties to select another prime minister and submit this name to parliament for approval. Continue to pray for Haiti. There is a calm right now but things can change. 6 of the senators visited Cayes (where the protests first began) to see the damage there. One of the senators mentioned that the government must also address the issue of high food prices on other primary necessity products other than rice. I don’t think that he should have said this, as this will only get the people going again. The president has met with business leaders about the rice prices and they are reducing prices by $3US per sac of rice. International governments are also providing $5US per sac so that the price of rice is reduced by 15%. This week rice prices haven’t changed on the streets yet and people are starting to grumble. They are also starting to grumble about the fact of other prices being too high. I am not sure if they will decide to take to the streets again though. People are satisfied for the moment that there will be another prime minister.
A Haitian police spokesperson announced that 6 people were killed and 119 people were injured by gunshots or rocks during these riots. The injured included 12 Haitian police and 22 UN personnel. A UN policeman from Nigeria was removed from his vehicle downtown and killed last Saturday. 22 gas stations were damaged and over 237 businesses were damaged. One of these damaged businesses is Monsieur Henry. This is the photo studio, which we go to for passport and visa photos for the children that we are helping for medical care. The windows were smashed out and there is nothing left inside the studio. Medecin Sans Frontieres (Doctors Beyond Borders) announced that they treated 190 injured people due to the protests. 20 of these were gunshot victims.
During the protests there were also journalists on the street. One reported on a discussion that happened amongst a group of protesters. 2 young men were carrying an electric water pump that they had removed from a business. They were confronted by other protesters and were told that they were there only to protest against food prices and not to steal. These 2 young men replied that they had been protesting for a couple of days with nothing to show for it. They considered this water pump as the reward of their efforts. Another protester came forward and he replied that that water pump comes from the business he works at and therefore belongs to him. He ended up with the pump. I wonder if the pump got returned!
A member of the Haitian CNSA (Commission Nationale de Securite Alimentaire – National Commission of Food Security) spoke and said that the food situation in Haiti is twice the problem in the countryside than in the city. In Haiti 61% of children under the age of 5 are anemic. 46% of pregnant women are anemic. 59% of children between the ages of 6 and 12 have an iodine deficiency. Pray for organizations that assist with feeding programs. They too have problems providing food due to the increase in prices on the international market. The World Food Program is pleading for more assistance to cope with the need. According to the World Food Program, Haiti is one of 3 countries in the world that share the largest daily caloric deficit. The daily requirement is 2,100 calories per day and Haiti averages 1,640 calories per day which results in a caloric deficit of 460 calories per day.
Last Saturday 3 children traveled to the United States for medical care. A returning medical team accompanied the children to their destinations. Dieunette Lormintus (encephalocele), and 2 other children from Angel Missions, Guerdsley Pierre (cleft lip/palette) and Aluckson Charles (clubbed feet) all traveled without Haitian Social Service authorization papers because we weren’t able to get to their offices to complete this process. We took a chance anyway and Haitian Immigration at the airport didn’t say anything. Pray for these children and those looking after and treating them.
Daniel Joseph received braces from Healing Hands on Friday. Hopefully this will help to correct and stop the bowing of his legs. Venese Azor also got a cat scan done on Friday of her arm. She will show the results to Dr. Nau at Healing Hands next Friday. Pray for her as she most probably has a recurrence of her bone tumor. I helped Carole this week with a boy who has a heart problem. They live out at Fond Parisien and work at Love a Child. Mario has a valve problem in his heart. He was ill and his heart was beating strongly and rapidly. He probably has endocarditis. Love a Child is arranging medical care for him to go the United States for heart surgery. Pray for Mario as he recuperates in hospital and that he can be strong enough to travel. Pray for the medical visa process. Mario is in the Nos Petits Frere et Soeur Hospital. This is a children’s mission hospital, which is well run and provides good medical care. This hospital had a food distribution program this week and hundreds of people were outside their gate on Wednesday. Coming out of the hospital I saw “Mack” (name changed) standing in line. He is one of the guys involved in the thefts at Coram Deo. He was waiting in line with the others for food. He wouldn’t look at me but I noticed him. I didn’t say anything to him. Pray for him and that his heart would be touched.
Kevin Guerrier is a boy with one clubbed foot. We have started our medical search for him. He is a cute little boy. Next week Wednesday a doctor that is visiting Sherri’s mission (where Manu and Jacob go to school) is going to do a clinic at Coram Deo for up to 70 children in the community. Pray for a good clinic day this upcoming Wednesday. This doctor’s husband is an anesthesiologist and they both have a heart for missions. Pray that God would touch their hearts to consider Haiti as their mission field.
With the donation from USAID of soup we are able to help people in the community. This week a mother came to the gate and asked for food. She hadn’t been able to provide a meal for her family in 3 days. These soup mixes just need water added to them and then heated. They are very nutritious containing rice, soy protein, carrots, onions and B vitamins. We were able to give her some soup. Today we are picking up a donation of Feed My Starving Children rice meals as part of the ODEO organization. It is perfect timing too because the last of our rice was finished yesterday. It just goes to show how God provides.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Sunday, April 13, 2008

photos - usa medical travel, children

This week was not all about protests and lootings. On Saturday morning Dieunette Lormintus travelled to the United States. Her mother dressed her up for this special day.

We drove over to the Delmas 91 guesthouse where a medical team was staying. They were returning to the USA on Saturday and volunteered to transport Dieunette and 2 other children. Angel Missions found doctors and hospitals willing to help these children.

The boy in the baseball cap is Aluckson Charles. He will be getting clubbed foot surgery and the other baby in this photo is Guerdsley Pierre. He will be getting surgery for his cleft lip/palette. We all piled into the pickup truck and I dropped everyone off at the airport. The special part of the day was that none of these children had authorization from haitian social services to travel. Due to the problems on the street we weren't able to get this paperwork. We took a chance anyway and immigration at the airport never said anything. We give the Lord thanks that all 3 children are now on their way to getting medical care!

Saturday is cleanup day and we pile the bags of garbage into the back of the pickup and drive it to the garbage dumpster on Delmas 33. All I have to say is who wants to bring the garbage away and the boys eagerly climb aboard to help Pastor Pierre.

It's nice that the chore of bringing the garbage away can be such a joyful task to a child! Here are some happy faces.

Friday, April 11, 2008

haiti update - april 11, 2008

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2,3

Hi! This has been a busy week trying to stay out of trouble! The security situation in Haiti is not very good right now. A lot has happened this week but God has been there with His protection on those of us here at Coram Deo. You’ll see how after you finish reading this update.
There have been roving gangs going through the downtown area for the last while causing trouble for those selling on the street and those who have shops. Last Friday afternoon Lukner visited a couple of the parents we know who make their living as a vendor on the street. Angelo Lafortune’s mother (the boy who had brain tumor surgery in the United States) and Christella Marcelin’s mother (heart problem) both have their booths close by. There was a commotion and people started to run down the street. Lukner stood aside and tried to figure out why people were running. He wanted to know what he needed to run away from first. There was the sound of a gunshot and the man standing near him spun around and dropped dead at Lukner’s feet. Lukner then moved out of the area. Later we contacted Angelo’s mother and asked how she was and she described what happened after Lukner left the area. She saw men with guns coming down the street and she layed on the ground on her stomach behind her stall until they passed. She then packed her stuff up and left. Pray for people like Angelo’s mother. They are doing what they can to support their families. The next day she was back at her same stall. The Haitian people are very courageous and determined.
The food price protests that started in Les Cayes spread to other areas of the country and especially to Port-au-Prince this week. Tuesday morning large groups of protesters all over the city set up barricades and burning tires. It started in the Carrefour area and then the downtown area. It was supposed to be a peaceful protest with people protesting against the high food prices and asking the government to do something about it but it quickly spiraled out of control. In front of the National Palace downtown, protesters broke one of the barriers to the grounds and were about to enter but the UN and Haitian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd to keep them back. Cars were burned, windows of vehicles were smashed and businesses were looted and damaged by these groups of protesters. Later in the morning the rest of the city joined in. People on our street set up barricades and started to burn tires. We raced to pick up the children from school before things started to get worse. A crowd of protesters walked up Delmas 31 to join up with the rest of the protesters on main Delmas. Because of all these barricades and burning tires vehicle traffic couldn’t get around and those who tried sometimes got broken windshields. No public transportation was running and all traffic was on foot. Dieuna Philippe is a hydrocephalus baby who will be traveling to the United States for surgery as soon as we can finish her visa paperwork. We took her to see Ed to get a doctors letter and then helped the family try to get back home. Because Dieuna’s head is heavy we took turns carrying her up the street. When we got to main Delmas and saw that there were no tap-taps on the roads we continued walking. We passed some burning tires and lots of people. I figured that people wouldn’t bother us because it was obvious we were carrying a sick baby. I did wish though that I didn’t have white skin because some people did make some unfriendly comments. We finally made it down to the Delmas 2 area and I told the family that now they could go the rest of the way to Cite Soleil on their own. The people on the street were getting more hostile the further down we went and I thought it would be best to turn at Delmas 2. I was with Junior and from Delmas 2 we turned right and took the road that the people call “Piste”. There were less people on this road but there was a group of about a dozen young men standing by the road. As I walked past one asked for money. I told him that I didn’t have any. Another one was holding a metal bar. As I walked by one of them said out loud in English that he was going to kill me. I pretended that I took what he said as a joke and laughed and told them that I am here to help sick children and not to cause problems and kept walking. I did say a prayer though asking God not to let them do anything. As soon as I finished with the prayer there was a loud voice from a man walking on the opposite side of the road. He said to this group of guys in Creole that “ They are coming to kill you all, you bunch of thieves!” He repeated this a couple of times and all of a sudden the whole group took off sprinting at full speed across the open field. In the distance were a couple of motorcycle policemen. I don’t believe in luck and see this as God’s protective mercies. I wanted to laugh when I saw the thieves run away but I tried my best not too. These guys talked tough but they ran away like a bunch of scared rabbits! We made it back home on foot with no further incidents. On Delmas and other areas protests turned into riots and many businesses had windows damaged by rocks that were thrown and also were looted or just damaged. The protests and riots occurred again on Wednesday with more of the same problems. Thursday things were calmer. We drove around in the morning to try and find a gas station that was open because the pick-up was starting to get low on fuel but everything in our area was closed. I am going to try again today to find an open gas station this morning. President Preval made a speech on Wednesday and I am not sure this has helped but things are not as bad as they were. 17 of the senators have signed a petition asking for the prime minister Alexis to resign. They have given him 24 hours to do this. I think if he doesn’t that there will probably be more protests again. The people don’t understand that the food prices are high all over the world. I don’t know how the government is going to get out of this situation. Pray for the people of Haiti at this time. Schools have been closed since Wednesday and will only open up again when it is safe for children to be walking on the streets. The US Embassy is closed until the situation improves so this prevents us from processing medical visa applications.
Another event happened early this morning. Around 1:30am thieves entered our yard. I heard a couple of noises but couldn’t figure what the sound was. I later found out that they were trying to steal our solar panels on the roof. I heard the dog barking but he wasn’t barking too frantically, just persistently. Dogs on the street were barking as well. I then heard a footstep by my window and jumped out of bed to wake up the guys. We couldn’t turn any of the lights on as the invertor had already died and there was no electricity. We were able to make out people in the yard though and they were 3 in number. The guys went running outside with their machetes and chased them out of the yard but the thieves had already removed 4 solar panels from the roof. From the street the thieves threw rocks back into the yard. We called the police and they came fairly quickly and looked through the yard and then they patrolled the area for a bit but they didn’t find them. One of the thieves left his sandals behind and he had big feet. They were about a size 12. They came over the wall in the same place as the last couple of break-ins. One of the thieves was small. I believe that 2 of them were the same ones who stole my computer but there is not much I can do about it. The police don’t want to proceed against them. Pray for these thieves that their hearts would be changed. I know that God already knows who they are. Pray also that funding can be raised so that we can expense funds to improve our security and also replace the invertor batteries and now repair the solar panel system. It has been a very difficult time funding wise the last few months but God has a plan. I focus on helping the people here in Haiti one person at a time. More doors than ever before have opened for children to get care overseas and donations of food on a regular basis allow us to continue to both feed ourselves and also some hungry people who come to our gates from the community. We at Coram Deo especially sense His protection on us during these difficult times. We work by faith to help those in need and to give them hope in Christ.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

photos - protests

The last couple days have been difficult days of protests here in Port-au-Prince. Here is a view of a couple of the barricades set up on our street corner.

Many different things are used to set up these barricades. Yesterday there were also burning tires as well and a group of protesters walked up Delmas 31 joining up with other protesters further up on Delmas.

On main Delmas only pedestrian traffic was moving and there was a tire burning by the One Stop Supermarket where we usually do our shopping.

There was a lot of vandalism done to businesses. The Delmas 2000 store had its' windows smashed by rocks. The Promobank and Acra store also had damaged windows.

The mother of Wilbenson Jacques, a hydrocephalus child came to Coram Deo from Cite Soleil on Monday to see me. She came late because she had to wait for the people who were throwing stones and making trouble in the Boston area of Cite Soleil to pass. Pray for the protests to be finished soon. Much damage has already been caused and the American Embassy is now closed until the problems are resolved.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

photos - saturday - work day

Saturday mornings are work time. Everyone is at home and chips in to help with different chores. Here is a photo of Pastor Pierre up the almond tree looking for kindling wood to use for the cooking fire.

Paulna helps out pounding the spices used to put into the food.

Jacob is pounding paper into pulp. This pulp is formed into patties and dried in the sun. These briquettes we use as a cooking fuel.

The boy on the left is Sam. He is pastor Pierre's son and always comes along on Saturday to help his father. William is the boy on the right. He is a mentally handicapped boy from the neighborhood who likes to hang out around Coram Deo.

Fedner, Jn. Eddy, Samuel and Junior are all hard at work washing their clothes. Benson, Jacob and Manu still are in training to learn to wash their clothes! This is a typical Saturday morning here at Coram Deo.

haiti update - april 5, 2008

“And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10

Hi! This was a busy week going to medical visa interviews. Four got approved at the US Consulate and we need more paperwork for 3 others before the visa will be issued. We work together with Angel Missions to get these kids medical care. Dieunette Lormintus has her visa and we are now waiting for travel arrangements to be made for her. Pray for traveling mercies for her and the other children. We received some updated photos this week of Naphtalie Bazile from her host parents and she is doing well with her post-op recovery. Dieuna Philippe is doing better with her pressure sores that are on both sides of her head. I told the mother to make a “doughnut” out of a piece of sponge and to put the area where there is a pressure sore into the hole of the doughnut. This keeps pressure off the sore and so far the wounds are healing. She is also on antibiotics for a urinary infection. Her visa will be approved as soon as we bring in some more paperwork. Vanessa is going to contact the neurosurgeon and ask him to schedule surgery as soon as possible. Her head is so tight you can see the bulging veins. Pray everything can fall into place and that she gets this much-needed surgery.
Several parents brought their children to the house this week seeking medical care for them. A few of these we brought over to the Angel Missions clinic on Delmas 91 for Vanessa to see. She is in Haiti for the next week and will be assessing new cases. One of the children we brought over to this clinic is a 2-month-old baby that was born with hydrocephalus. Unfortunately she was born with other problems as well. She has what looks like 2 tumors cysts growing on her kidneys, is paralyzed from the waist down and also has a hip deformity. Pray for the mother as she deals with all these problems. When a child has multiple health problems medical care is difficult or impossible to find. We know that God has a plan for this child.
Stevenson Noxene is a cute one-year-old boy who is very attached to his father. The father is 23 years old and the mother of the child is 16 years old. She is not a part of the family’s life. The boy has a large hernia that needs to be taken care of. Pray that we can find someone to help him.
This week Dr. Ed brought a medical team from New Hampshire to Cite Soleil to conduct another medical clinic. It went well and lots of people were seen. Dental care was provided as well. The Brazilian UN soldiers provided security for the day. They stayed in front of the school and also accompanied the team on a walk through the area after the clinic day was over. They also escorted them out to Rte. National #1. Their efforts made everyone feel comfortable.
I also met another doctor this week who conducts a clinic in Cite Soleil in the Bois Neuf area. The organization is called Lamp for Haiti and one of the doctors who comes down to Haiti often is James Morgan. I met him yesterday and talked with him about the clinic. They provide free medical care and medicines as available. Next week some time I am going to try and find this clinic and set up contact with them. The people of Ti-Ayiti (one of the districts in Cite Soleil) could benefit from this clinic. I also talked with him about the young boy who had suffered burns to his head when battery acid was poured over him. He doesn’t have a left ear anymore as a result. He told me that something could be done to make some sort of ear for him again so we are going to pursue our medical search for him in the United States. Pray for the ongoing medical searches. We give the Lord thanks for the efforts of people and organizations striving to improve the medical care of the Haitian people.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon reported to the Security Council that Haiti has made improvements in the country’s stability but that the “potential for regression” exists. The Haitian government apparatus continues to suffer from a lack of qualified personnel, poor infrastructure and limited resources. The potential for problems still exist due to an increase in crime in the capital of Port-au-Prince. The average number of reported kidnappings per month for the period from December 2007 to February 28, 2008 reached 28, up from 11 six months ago. There are also indications that gangs may be trying to reorganize themselves. Ban Ki-Moon stressed that the international community needs to continue to be involved in Haiti in order to avoid a reversal to the situations of the past. UN forces now number about 9000 troops and police. The current Haiti police force has around 7000 members and it is estimated that 14,000 are needed before the Haitian police can take over basic policing from UN peacekeepers. Anti-government demonstrations have increased mainly due to the rising cost of living. This past week a large protest occurred in Les Cayes, which is in the south part of Haiti. Thousands of people rioted on the streets. Roads were blocked with barricades and burning tires and shops were looted. A couple of trucks were blocked and the protestors looted the sacs of rice these trucks were carrying and distributed them to the people around them. The demonstrators attacked a UN compound where soldiers from Uruguay are based. They looted 2 containers and damaged the main entry gate. Shots were fired and 4 people were killed and at least 20 people were injured. Demonstrators were throwing rocks and shooting at UN soldiers. These demonstrations started out as a protest against rising food prices and ended up turning into riots. The Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis blamed the violence on individuals linked to drug dealers and other smugglers infiltrating the protest groups. There are rumblings of trouble in other parts of the country as well. In Gonaives there were groups of people checking food prices in markets and depots. They say they are waiting for the government’s response to the demonstrations in Les Cayes. People in Gonaives are protesting against the government also for what they feel as inaction in preparations for the upcoming rainy season. I have heard people saying that Jeremie may also get involved. In Port-au-Prince yesterday some people blocked a UN vehicle. In the market areas of Port-au-Prince there have been arguments between the food vendors and their clients. The end result is that the vendors are replying that they are not responsible for the cost of living and they are telling the people to “go see Preval and Alexis” who are the heads of government here in Haiti. There are new expressions being said on the street. One expression is “Grangou Klorox” (Clorox bleach hunger). This term refers to being cleaned/wiped out by hunger. Another one that is said is “Grangou Acide Batterie” (battery acid hunger). This is said to symbolize the hunger and stomach pains from having nothing in their stomachs. I picked up Vanessa at the airport on Thursday afternoon and heard another expression said by one of the luggage porters. When people leave the arrival area there are always guys waiting to push the luggage carts or carry luggage of people. A lady told one of these guys no thanks and he responded that she had just touched him with a “dwet klorox” (bleach finger). This means that by her refusal to let him carry her bags she is causing hunger for him. Pray for this current protest crisis because I think that next week Port-au-Prince may have trouble with demonstrations as well due to the rising food prices. There is really not much the government can do to stop these rising prices. It doesn’t help either that a recent boat shipment of rice from Taiwan that was a gift to help Haiti feed its’ poor is being sold in the downtown markets at a slightly less price than the other rice available.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bulte, Coram Deo

Thursday, April 3, 2008

photos - cite soleil clinic - medical team + UN

Dr. Ed brought a medical team from New Hampshire into Cite Soleil to do a medical clinic at Willy and Joel's school. The team visited the neighborhood after the clinic day was over.

The Brazilian UN soldiers came along with the team for our walk around the area.

This is the area where the school is located.

The Brazilian UN soldiers were very helpful in providing security for the team and stayed in front of the school the entire day. Some of the children in the neighborhood tried to talk with them.

Lukner was one of the "keepers of the cord". Nobody got in until the cord was raised. It helped too that soldiers were in front of the door as well!

photos - cite soleil clinic - april 2nd

This is one of the waiting areas where people were waiting to be registered for the clinic. Adults and children were seen.

These people are waiting in line to see a doctor in the consulting room.

Dental care was provided as well. These are some of the people waiting by the dental room.

This frail man came to the clinic with a bad skin infection. He uses a stick as a cane.

This young mother came with her 2 children. She carried one child in each arm and had her hands full!