Saturday, August 23, 2008

haiti update - august 23, 2008

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on Him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him” Luke 10: 33,34

Hi! This was a busy week dealing with a couple of emergencies. On Monday morning a father came to the house carrying his son, Smith Jean. Smith is a 4-year-old boy and he was having breathing troubles due to being in heart failure. He had been this way since Friday. He was also having pain because of the heart problems. The father didn’t know where to get help for him, as he didn’t have any money. We brought him to Hopital Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs which is located in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince. This is a children’s mission hospital that treats children free of charge. They admitted him and put him on oxygen and did some tests and determined that he needed to have a blood transfusion to treat his severe anemia. The father went to the Haitian Red Cross and later in the afternoon Smith received his blood transfusion. The next day he was off of oxygen and breathing normally once again. Hopefully it was just the anemia that caused the heart problems and not a congenital heart problem that needs a surgical correction. Heart surgeries are not done here in Haiti and it is difficult to find hospitals to donate medical care for heart surgeries in the United States. Pray for continued strength and healing for Smith and for his father who raises his son by himself. Smith’s mother died a few years ago.
On Tuesday morning, a woman came with a baby to the gate. She is an example of the “Good Samaritan”. Monique is a mother of 5 children who lives in the Boston section of Cite Soleil. She is a widow as her husband was shot and killed a couple of years ago in Cite Soleil. Cite Soleil has a bad reputation and people who live in this slum are oftentimes looked down upon. Monique started her morning with no food in the house to give her children as well as having no money. She left her home in search of food assistance. Delmas 31 has a couple of large missions that provide food to the poor and she went into this area with the hope of getting some food help. Not too far from Coram Deo she passed some people looking at a baby that was lying by the side of the road. Somebody had abandoned it a little while earlier. She looked at it too and noticed the baby was still alive and then she moved on in search of food help. The sight of seeing this abandoned baby touched her heart and a little while later she returned and found the baby still lying there. She went up to the baby and saw it was dirty and soiled and removed the dirty clothes. She noticed the baby’s feet were deformed. She concluded this was the reason the baby was abandoned. Like the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible, people had walked by and maybe even drove by the baby but nobody stopped to help. She decided that she would help this baby. She came to Coram Deo carrying the baby in her arms and explained what happened to me. The baby is a girl and she is only a couple of weeks old. Because she was never properly looked after or washed well since birth she had developed skin problems. Her skin was sloughing off in areas. By the condition this baby was in, this baby had been considered a reject since her moment of birth. I called a missionary who runs an orphanage and they agreed to take in the baby but we had to get a police report first. I thought this would be easy but it ended up being difficult. A couple of months ago one of the major news networks did a story on the trade of buying and selling of children here in Haiti. A journalist proved how easy it was to find a child to buy here in Haiti. This created quite an uproar with the Haitian people and government. When we went to the police station to make a report they told us that they couldn’t make an abandonment report. We would have to go to the court and ask the judge to do that. We then drove over to the courthouse on Delmas and the judge was not there (probably out for lunch). Somebody told us to wait and we sat on a bench in the waiting room area. It was then that the people waiting noticed a white person sitting with a Haitian woman and a baby. This is when the problems started. One person said that I was buying a baby and that this practice was wrong. I tried to explain that this baby was abandoned and that we were only trying to get an abandonment report so that we could find help for it but this person didn’t want to believe me. Other people heard and started in on the accusations too. I guess they didn’t want to believe my side of the story. They were also accusing Monique of selling this baby and telling her how could she do this. Pretty soon it was very noisy inside the courthouse as more people got involved in the yelling and I was beginning to get worried that the security would decide to put us in the locked room with the rest of the prisoners waiting to see the judge. I went outside to make a cell phone call to Vanessa of Angel Missions and told her that I made the mistake of trying to go to a courthouse as a white person with a baby and that I was being accused of trying to buy a baby. I asked her if we could go to her clinic to get formula and also if her Haitian worker could help to get the abandonment paper from the court. I went back inside to tell Monique that we were leaving and it was much quieter inside the courthouse. Monique got fed up with all the yelling and removed the baby’s covering and showed everyone her twisted feet and bad skin condition. That shut everyone up. We then drove over to Delmas 91 and a visiting American doctor examined the baby and thought that the skin problems might be caused by syphilis. A Haitian/American doctor agreed to have his nurse look after her until we got testing done on the baby. Monique didn’t head for home until 4:00pm. Vanessa gave her some things for her family and I gave her some food to take home to her family. She went home knowing that she did the right thing. She told me in the car that her mother had taught her the parable of the Good Samaritan and now Monique has an example to teach her children this parable as well.
The next day we went to the children’s hospital on Tabarre and they did the blood work. She didn’t have syphilis and she also doesn’t have HIV. She weighed 5 pounds. It only proves that the only reason this baby was abandoned was because it was born with crooked feet. When we were driving to the hospital we had to come up with a name for this baby. Everyone in the car decided that her name should be Grace Hope. It was the grace of God that kept her alive and into the hands of people who could help her and she now has hope for a better life. It is amazing how many lives she touched in that one day. Pray for Grace as she gets the rest of the blood test results on Monday and that an abandonment paper can be obtained so that she can be admitted into an orphanage. Pray also for Monique as she struggles to feed her family and for the unknown mother who abandoned her baby.
The Haitian/American doctor is a member of Lamp Haiti. They have a clinic in the Bois Neuf area of Cite Soleil. We were able to see the area where this clinic is located before taking Grace to the hospital. Now I know where I can send the people from the Ti Ayiti area of Cite Soleil to get medical care.
Here is a poem about the grace of God.

His grace is great enough to meet the great things –
The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,
The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,
The sudden storms beyond our life’s control.

His grace is great enough to meet the small things –
The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,
The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,
The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.

Annie Johnson Flint

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

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Karen, I can't thank you enough for what you do for these children. Pictures of Grace Hope made me cry. God is so good to send people like Monique and you to help the helpless. God truly is a Father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow. Thanks so much for your stories of hope and grace there in Haiti. We continue to pray, Cindy