Wednesday, May 14, 2008

haiti update - may 10, 2008

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8

Hi! The last couple of weeks have been busy with the medical part of the program and also trying to improve the security here at the house. Two weeks ago we started making the wall higher. I told the guys that if the thieves saw we were making the wall higher and putting barbed wire up that they may try to make another attempt before the easy access over the neighbor’s low wall is finished. It took 2 days to finish raising the wall. Sure enough, the thieves entered the yard after the first day and took another solar panel that night. We then removed the remaining solar panels from the roof and stored them inside the house. Hopefully they won’t try to get inside the house to get them. We are now down to 6 solar panels. We have started putting up barbed wire on the front wall and hope to finish surrounding the property in barbed wire by the end of the week. This will eliminate easy access to the thieves. I also found out that we are not the only ones dealing with these thieves. Another house in the area was robbed of its solar panels as well. Hopefully, these thieves will one day get caught. A cyber café had also moved out of the area a couple of months ago because all their computers were stolen one night. I think the same group of people are involved in all these thefts and I also think that at least a couple of them were people who used to be associated with Coram Deo. I call the group the “Judas Gang”. Pray that the thieves leave us alone and get caught.
It has been more difficult to use the computer because now the solar panels are removed, the invertor batteries don’t hold a charge, the generator is broken and the only time we have electricity is during the middle of the night until early morning. We hope to purchase new batteries with the funds raised in the “Buy a battery” project when I get back from a visit to Canada (hopefully for 3 weeks at the end of May). Thank you to those who donated to this project. I am concerned that if we get them before I go to Canada that the thieves will break in and steal them while I am gone. The solar panels will be re-installed once all the barbed wire is up and I get back from Canada as well. We will have to find a way of making them more difficult to remove. The generator is still not repaired but the mechanic is looking for a part. It will be nice when our energy problems are solved!
It looks like there is more malnutrition around, affecting young children especially. In one week 4 children were brought to us by their parents seeking assistance. 3 of the children needed to be hospitalized. A 5-month-old baby, Antonio, looked like a one month old because he never received proper feedings. As a result he never grew or developed properly. We found an orphanage that will help the family by taking in the baby for a time. The orphanage is run by Tony and Linda Cortesi. The baby is already showing noticeable improvement. Keep him in prayer.
Kervens Jean is a young 2 year old who was brought by his mother sick and malnourished. We sent them right away to the Bernard Mevs Hospital on Airport Rd. He was admitted to the pediatrics room there and received medicine and is now discharged. The doctor said that he probably would have died if he hadn’t gotten medical care. His family has suffered a lot of hardships. At the end of October 2007 they had to take shelter from flooding that destroyed all their belongings. Gangs came into the building where they and other families were staying and robbed them and raped some of the women and older children. Kervens mother has a 13-year-old daughter. One of these gang members wanted to rape this girl and the mother pleaded with him to leave her alone and rape her instead. He did and now the mother is pregnant. The family is living in a shack near Airport Road in a squatter settlement. The government has told these people to move out of the area and Kervens’ mother doesn’t know where she will go after her shack gets torn down. Pray for Kervens Jean and his family as they deal with all these difficulties.
The hydrocephalus medical team came to Haiti on May 2nd and operated on 17 hydrocephalus children. The surgeries were held at Hopital La Paix on Delmas 33. All the children are discharged now except for one child, Maudlin Thomas. Keep him in prayer as he deals with a fever that doesn’t want to go away. This is Maudlin’s second operation. The first one was done at the end of October. In October he was also one of the last children to be discharged from the hospital because he had meningitis. In hydrocephalus treatment there are 2 types of surgeries. The first one is a shuntless surgery, which is called a ventriculoscopy. The ventriculoscopy procedure didn’t work for Maudlin and he now has a shunt. Pray that the shunt stays infection free.
John Charles and Chrisno Jeudi, 2 hydrocephalus babies that we have on our hydrocephalus list were not chosen for surgery by the Miami medical team. Pray that Angel Missions can find a hospital in the United States for both of these babies. They are both good candidates neurologically.
Dieuna Philippe, a hydrocephalus baby who recently went to the United States for surgery is in hospital. She was the baby who was blocked from getting a visa earlier because of the protests on the streets. The two-week delay caused her to deteriorate. When she arrived in the United States she was brought to the hospital where the doctors found out that she was septic with an infection. The doctor said that if she had arrived a couple of days later she would have been dead. She did get her surgery though. Keep her in prayer as we wait to see what God’s will is on her life. Pray also for those who are caring for her, both medical staff and her host family. She is not alone and is in good hands.
Jacob just celebrated his birthday on May 5th. Benson’s mother came to our gate last week armed with a broken bottle. Francois, the gatekeeper did a good job making sure that she couldn’t force her way into the yard and the people on the street told her to go away. She is crazy and this is the reason that Benson is staying with us. Fortunately he was at school and not here at Coram Deo at the time. Benson has lots of stories about living with his mother on the streets and being hit with the flat part of a machete by her. For a couple of days after he was complaining of a stomach ache and I think he was worried about his mother coming to get him but he is doing better now. Pray his crazy mother doesn’t come back.
The Haitian senate voted to accept the nomination of Ericq Pierre as the new prime minister of Haiti but the parliament voted no and now the nomination process has to start again with the president submitting another nomination for the position of prime minister. This will not help the situation in the country. The leaders of the April protest in Cayes threatened to start another protest that will be worse than the last one if a prime minister wasn’t named by Monday of this week. People are now waiting for their reaction. There are also rumors on the streets that rice coming into Haiti is being diverted to the Dominican Republic and President Preval is being blamed for this. This rumor, even if untrue can also cause problems for the country. We are having trouble getting diesel fuel. For some reason none of the gas stations we went to had any. The gas station attendants say there is a diesel fuel shortage. If we can’t find diesel fuel tomorrow we will start taking tap-taps to get around. In the downtown area thieves are stealing food from trucks and sometimes the entire truck. Some large trucks have police escorting them to their destination. Keep Haiti in prayer as the country deals with the political uncertainty that is present now.

That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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