Sunday, September 14, 2008

haiti update - september 13, 2008

“For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” Psalm 72:12-14

Hi! This week was busy with medical visas at the US Consulate for John Charles and Chrisno Jeudi who both have hydrocephalus. We also went with Naphtalie Joseph, Dieuna Philippe and Dieunette Lormintus to the US Consulate to show that the children have returned to Haiti after completing their medical treatment in the United States. We give the Lord thanks for opening doors to enable these children to get medical care.
We also worked on the passport paperwork for Daphka Saintvil. She is a 5-year-old girl who has a deformed lower leg. She already has a hospital waiting for her in the United States. Pray that we can now get a medical visa for her soon. Pray for other children on our medical search list who are still waiting for a hospital to be found to help them. The Miami Neurosurgery Team will be coming to Haiti in October to perform hydrocephalus surgeries again. Pray for all the plans being made for these surgeries to happen. They will be held at Hopital La Paix on Delmas 33.
One of the hydrocephalus children we were trying to find help for was placed into an orphanage on Delmas 75. I found this info out from one of the workers here at Coram Deo. In reality though this baby wasn’t placed in the orphanage. The mother left the baby in front of the gate at Hal and Chris’s orphanage and then she walked away. Pray for their efforts in looking after her.
We also found out that one of the hydrocephalus babies recently died. This is the baby who we met in the Malpasse area that lived across the lake and that came to us in a sailboat. Johnley Stelle, a clubbed foot baby also died after a fever. During the time of the hurricanes the father wasn’t able to travel to seek medical care.
Grace Hope, the baby who was abandoned in the Delmas 31 area a few weeks ago is now discharged from the hospital after recovering from her infections and has now been admitted to His Home for Children run by Hal and Chris Nungester. Pray for continuing health for her and that an adoptive family can be found for Grace.
This morning somebody abandoned a cerebral palsy girl at Coram Deo. I called Linda at Holy Angels and she took in the child. She is very skinny and because of her brain damage can’t move very much. Pray that people don’t dump children by abandoning them somewhere.
The Minister of Education has delayed the opening of the school year until October 6, 2008 due to all the damage around the country because of the recent hurricanes and because many of the schools in outlying areas are being used as shelters by the flood victims. Some private schools and mission schools are open here in Port-au-Prince.
On Thursday we had an interesting walk to school. Manu starts school earlier than the other children. I was walking with him and when we got to the top of our street I noticed that there were several people looking down the next street. I heard only part of their conversation. One was saying something about a thief and taking something in front of the Missionary of Charities house. When I got close to them I asked them what was going on and they responded that nothing was going on. I looked where they were looking and saw a woman walking quickly and every now and then running. I got curious and told Manu to go on to school and then I followed this woman. She turned at a side street and then I heard an angry discussion. She had caught up to a young man who was carrying a large sac. Other people came and watched what was going on. The man denied that he took the sac and the woman kept insisting that he stole it. What happened next didn’t make much sense. After arguing for a while the woman told the man that she would split the contents of the sac with him and she started removing items from his sac and putting them into her sac. I didn’t understand why this woman would share the contents of the sac with a thief. It didn’t take long before someone else came into the picture. Another woman came stomping down the road with a couple of guys. She yelled out to everyone to stop the thief and started walking up the street shaking her fist. Then I found out that the guy was a “sac snatcher” and the first woman was an “opportunity thief”. The woman who had been separating the contents of the sac hurriedly put everything back into the one sac and gave it to the real owner of the sac. The real owner told everyone that this man had snatched the sac from the top of her head while she was carrying her child. The real owner then placed the sac on her head and walked off. The “opportunity thief” went along with the other woman and showed her the sweat on her forehead from running after the “sac snatcher”. Hopefully the owner of the sac doesn’t decide to reward the “opportunity thief”. The “sac snatcher” was left standing empty handed.
Another of the shooting victims from the incident at Food For the Poor has died in hospital. This person had been shot in the chest. This now means that the security guard has killed 3 people and injured 17 others. There is no news of this incident in the press but hopefully the security guard will be held responsible for this act and that the whole incident will not be ignored.
The country is trying to recover from the hurricanes but there is a lot of damage. On Sunday, Hurricane Ike passed off the north coast of Haiti and dumped a lot of rain onto Haiti once again. In a place called Cabaret there was flooding and people were swept away by the flooding, many of whom were children. Bridges were destroyed in several areas of the country. The bridge in Montrouis can no longer be crossed. This is an important bridge because it is one of the routes that lead to the north and to Gonaives. In Miragoane the road is flooded. This is a route from the south into Port-au-Prince. People are now traveling part of this national highway by canoe. Boats haul people from the flooded area to the unflooded part of the road where transportation awaits for the journey to Port-au-Prince. The Haitian people are determined and resourceful. The people in the flooded areas of the country are hungry. Aid is starting to come in by the best route available, which is by helicopter and boat, but there are thousands of people to feed. It is near riot conditions for food distributions sometimes. The strong push themselves to be first and the weak get knocked aside. A navy ship from the United States is now being used to help in the relief effort. The helicopters from this ship are being used to fly in aid to the flooded areas. Canada is sending in a Canadian Armed Forces DART team (Disaster Assistance Response Team) as well as a navy ship. The United Nations is seeking 110 million dollars in aid from donor countries to help with the relief effort. Because of the dirty flood waters that people are walking in health problems are occurring. Skin infections and diarrhea are complications of these dirty waters. Animal carcasses and bodies are being buried as they are found so there is no accurate death toll from these storms. Some were swept out to sea and some are buried in the mud. Pray for all those residing in the flooded areas and for the relief effort. Many missions are helping to bring aid to the people and helping people affected by the floods. Pray for the recovery efforts of the government. On Friday we saw a protest in front of the prime minister’s residence. The people will be expecting immediate action by the government. Some are angry that infrastructure projects planned after the last major Gonaives flooding in 2004 were never carried out and some people are just hungry.
That is all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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