“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Hi! This week was busy with the medical program. The plastic surgery team that was operating at Hopital La Paix finished their surgeries on Monday and returned back to the United States. The surgeries went well and there are now a lot of changed faces! We give the Lord thanks for this. Please keep all those in prayer who were operated on. The medical staff at the hospital is following up with the children now that the team has left. On Friday morning a couple of the children who had skin grafts on their scar tissues had their dressings changed. Michkardel Poutoute (the girl who had the scar on the top of her ankle) and Jimmy Jean (the boy who lost his ear and suffered burn scarring on his shoulder area from acid burns) are doing well. Jameson Glezil (cleft palate) has not been as joyful this week because his mouth has been sore but hopefully next week will be better. Some of the children have appointments at the hospital on Monday morning for post-op checks again. If all works out the surgical team will hopefully be returning to Hopital La Paix (not Cange) sometime in March. Project Medishare will be coordinating these surgeries.
We have had contacts with a few hydrocephalus children this past week. We had stopped on Delmas 95 to pick up a package for another missionary at a guesthouse when we were approached by the mother of Phoebe Etienne. She is a young girl with hydrocephalus and spina bifida who had been operated on at Hopital La Paix in the October 2007 round of hydrocephalus surgeries. The mother explained to me that she has been complaining of headaches recently and we then went to visit Phoebe at her home. She is a bright girl who talks well and it was good to see her. The spina bifida can’t be repaired here in Haiti and we are trying to find help for her in the United States. We have 4 spina bifida children on our search list right now. Phoebe and her mother live in a one-room house. This is typical for the poor here in Haiti. Pray that we can find out what is causing her headaches.
The father of Winghie Petit-Homme came to the house this week along with his daughter. She is a hydrocephalus baby who was operated on in the most recent hydrocephalus surgeries. She as well is a spina bifida baby. The father told me that her head seems to be growing again as well as the spina bifida bulge on her back. Sometimes in surgeries for hydrocephalus further surgeries are necessary. The father came with her paperwork to start the passport process. Pray that we can find medical care for her in the United States as well as for the other spina bifida children on our list.
Biocharla Felix and her family came to the house with her this week as well. Her head circumference is very large but the family is doing a good job at preventing pressure sores on her head. She is on the list of children who will be evaluated by the medical team on their next visit to Haiti.
Jovani Vervil, a hydrocephalus baby who is 9 months old came to the house with her mother recently and we took her over to Healing Hands in order to be registered for the next evaluations.
Pastor Octave, whose church is across the street from Coram Deo, is a leader in a community organization. They are an active organization. He has been communicating with other pastors in outlying areas and he told me that there are 17 hydrocephalus babies in Tomazeau and another 11 cases in the Verettte area. I will be contacting Healing Hands to see how we can get these children registered for the next evaluations. There is never a lack of hydrocephalus cases here in Haiti. Pray for the parents of all these children as they struggle to look after their children. A common problem for all of them is being told by people who live near them to throw away their babies. Parents are constantly complaining of this to me. It is a joy to them when their children get surgery.
This week the police addressed the gambling problem in our neighborhood. Our street corner is a very active place. Among the motorcycle taxis parked on the corner there are a couple of mobile roulette wheels. People bet on which number the roulette wheel will land on. Sometimes fights take place when the wheel lands in the middle line between two numbers. Early Sunday evening we heard the sounds of smashing and excited voices. We went out to the gate and watched the police smashing the roulette wheels. They were telling the people that gambling brings thieves to the neighborhood. Pastor Octave and his family were standing in front of his church and he was laughing watching the police do their work. The next evening though the mobile roulette wheels were back in place again on the street corner.
In the afternoon of Christmas Eve we heard the sounds of a band and we all went out to the street to see it. A youth group from the community was having a March for Jesus, walking through the neighborhood celebrating the birth of Jesus. The children here enjoyed watching the march pass in front of our house.
This year has gone by quickly. We give the Lord thanks to be able to serve Him here in Haiti. Thank you for your support during this past year. We look forward to continue serving Him in 2009.
“He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears;
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o’erclouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still he leads us on.”
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend and a Blessed New Year!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo