Monday, December 29, 2008

photos - christmas march for jesus - part 1

We heard the sound of a band and everyone ran out to the front of the house to see what it was. It was a community youth group having a Christmas March for Jesus to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

The flag bearers led the way. The leading flag is the flag of Haiti. The other flags represented the groups colors.

The first marching group were the younger children. Their leader led them through some moves.

Here the flag bearers have passed in front of Coram Deo and are now approaching the street corner.

The next group were the older children led by their leader. He was very serious in his marching!

photos - christmas march for Jesus - part 2

This man was the leader of the older group of children. This group stopped and did some moves led by the leader.

He was very animated in his motions.

Following up the rear was the band. They were playing christian songs.

The children enjoyed watching the parade pass in front of the house. They wanted to run behind and follow the band!

photos - plastic surgeries

Rose Sthergelie Sobia now has her cleft lip repaired. We first met Rose on the day she was born when her concerned father came to Coram Deo looking for help. Her parents have done a good job looking after her.

This baby too has a changed face!

Michkardel Poutoute had a skin graft done on the scar on the top part of her ankle. This surgery will improve the mobility of her ankle

This is a photo of Jameson Glezil the next day after surgery for his cleft palate. The doctors tied his tongue down for the first day but removed the suture the next day when he was discharged. His mouth has been sore but hopefully will heal well.

Jimmy Jean had surgery on the acid burn scar tissue on his shoulder. We gave him a ride home when he was discharged. His shoulder was immobilized for a few days to allow healing of the surgical site.

photos - hydrocepahlus children

Jovani Vervil is a 9-month-old baby with hydrocephalus. She is very alert neurologically.

Biocharla Felix has a large head but her mother is doing a good job at preventing pressure sores on her head.

Winghie Petit-Homme is a 5-month-old baby who has spina bifida. She also has hydrocephalus. She recently had surgery in November but the father came to us this week saying that her head is growing again.

He also said that the spina bifida bulge on her back is also getting larger. Pray we can find medical care for her to treat the spina bifida.

This photo of Phoebe Etienne is from October 2007 when she received a ventriculoscopy to treat her hydrocephalus. She is a bright girl. I visited her this week after meeting her mother on Delmas 95. She has been complaining of headaches. Hopefully we can find out what is causing them.

haiti update - december 27, 2008

“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.”

N.L. Zinzendorf

That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend and a Blessed New Year!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Monday, December 22, 2008

photos - school program - part 1

Tuesday was the last day of school before the Christmas break here at Coram Deo. The students put away their pencils and pens for the day and enjoyed a day of special games and activities that were organized by the teachers.

The guys had a pushup competition to see who could do the most push-ups!

Musical chairs was another activity that the children did. The winner was a deaf girl! Jislaine Neanty is the girl wearing the lime green t-shirt and pants. The signal to her that the music was stopping was when the person would tap his foot. She always reacted quicker than the others and always found a place to sit!

These students competed in the bible verse competition. As part of the christian education that the children receive here they memorize verses from the bible each week. Calens Pierre is a 5 year old boy who is almost blind. He held his own with the others during this competition. He has a good memory.

The boys enjoyed the sack race!

photos - school program - part 2

The girls had a skipping competition to see who could skip the best.

Kiki was showing the children how to use a hair brush with your feet.

At the end of the morning the children had a meal and then a small gift bag of goodies was given to them on their way out. Included in the gift bag was a toothbrush to brush their teeth with so that the goodies won't rot their teeth!

These children are the winners of the activities. A visitor came to Haiti with these hand made bags that were filled with school supplies. The winners enjoyed this gift. We give the Lord thanks for His provision at just the right time!

The visitor was from Canada so all the children received Canada pens!

photos - various events

Here are the "Choir Boys"! Benson, Jacob and Manu. They had a christmas program at the mission school they attend; Christian Light School. All the classes performed well for the parents and visitors. At least the children stayed clean for the program. It is tough to keep boys from dirtying up their Sunday best!

There was a meeting with the parents in our school program on Friday morning here at Coram Deo. The teachers explained what the children learned during the first semester and also how the parents could help their children to improve their grades. Our dog "Shilo" stayed at the front to make sure everyone stayed in their seat!

At the end of the meeting the first semester report cards were handed out to the parents. The school program is now closed for Christmas break until January 5th when the second semester begins.

At the end of the week we received a donation of Feed My Starving Children food boxes as well as boxes of clothing, and stuffed animals from Love a Child. It didn't take long for the pickup truck to be unloaded with all these helping hands assisting. The food came at just the right time! We are providing meals at the hospital for the parents and children who will be receiving plastic surgery at Hopital La Paix this weekend. We will also hand out the stuffed animals to the children as well. We give the Lord thanks for this donation!

Another donation that was from Love a Child was a big sack of animal cookies! The children enjoyed them. The dog was hoping to get a taste too but I don't think any of the children were willing to share!

photos - plastic surgery - part 1

The plastic surgery team from the United States started operating on Friday morning. We give the Lord thanks for all the children who were able to receive surgery to correct their cleft lips and palettes. This baby girl is already cute looking. She will look even better after her surgery!

Samuel Jean has a cleft lip and palate but will have to wait for the next round of surgeries because he has a bad skin infection and scabies. Hopefully he can be helped in January. Pray we can get his skin problems cleared up.

Michkardel Poutoute is a young girl who has bad scarring on the top part of her ankle due to necrotic tissue from an iv when she was hospitalized as a baby. With surgery she will be able to walk better now.

Maudlin Thomas is a boy with hydrocephalus. Now that he has his surgery for hydrocephalus he was at the hospital for surgery on being tongue tied. This boy is also autistic. Maudlin is standing with assistance and will one day hopefully be able to walk. He is getting heavy for his parents to carry around.

Jameson Glezil is part of the school program here at Coram Deo. When I went with his father to pick him up at home to take to the hospital he was jumping with joy! He was looking forward to getting surgery to close his cleft palette and had no fear at all. It will be interesting to see how his speech will be improved after surgery.

photos - plastic surgery - part 2

Emerson Simplice is a young boy who went to the United States for surgery. He is doing well. His one eye is blind because he can't close his eyelid. The doctors decided they couldn't do plastic surgery on his eyelid at this time. One day he will need to travel to the United States to get his eye removed and a prosthetic eye be put in place. Then he will be able to get further plastic surgery on his eyelid.

This 2 year old girl has been raised by her father since she was 3 months old. The mother didn't want her because of her cleft lip. They are from the Leogane area.

Here she is the next morning after surgery as they were preparing to travel back to Leogane. With the donation of stuffed animals that we received this week we were able to give the children a stuffed animal before they went home. Pray for this father as he raises his daughter by himself.

This baby's lips are a little swollen but they will look better once the swelling goes down.

The medical team gave this young boy a toy that plays music. I couldn't get him to stand still for the picture because he wouldn't stop dancing. He was on his way to go home and provided the team with some entertainment before they started surgeries in the morning!

photos - plastic surgery - part 3

This baby boy was born tongue tied. After examining him the team decided to delay surgery until he is one year old.

Both parents of this boy stayed with him at the hospital.

This baby wasn't able to be operated on because he had a cold. Hopefully he will be able to get surgery in January.

This baby girl was operated on for her cleft lip.

This girl will have her cleft lip repaired and will now no longer have to put up with comments about her face.

haiti update - december 20, 2008

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

Hi! This week was busy with both the school program and medical program. On Tuesday we celebrated the last day of school here at Coram Deo before the Christmas break. The teachers did a good job at organizing the program and the children enjoyed getting involved in the special activities. They did things such as skipping, pushups, sack race, musical chairs and to top it off a bible verse competition made up of bible verses memorized during this first school semester. Calens Pierre is a 5-year-old boy who is almost blind. We don’t have the resources yet to teach him how to read by Braille but he is very attentive in his class and he held his own in the bible verse competition representing the handicapped children against the non-handicapped children. Another of the handicapped children did well too in the musical chairs game. A deaf student won! Jislaine Neanty is the deaf girl who refused to join the handicapped class in the beginning of the school year. She has done well in the other class. She brings this determination to musical chairs as well. The person playing the music would tap his foot at the same time he turned off the music and every time she reacted quicker than the other children. These games give the handicapped children confidence that they can perform just as well as the non-handicapped children in activities. We gave the children snacks and refreshments as well as a meal at the end of the morning. We also put together a small gift bag that they could take home. Jn. Eddy had approached me at the beginning of the morning asking if we could hand out prizes for the winners of the games. I didn’t really have anything left after making up the gift bags but had told him that I would come up with something. An hour later I received a phone call from a visitor to Haiti who had brought some things for Coram Deo and I went over to pick up the bag. She had made 12 hand-made gift bags filled with school supplies. With all the activities we had we needed 12 prizes, so this surprise gift worked out well! Kiki entertained the children with his abilities at using his feet. He showed the children how to use a hairbrush, open a bottle of coca-cola and thread a needle using his feet.
On Friday morning there was a meeting with the parents and to hand out the report cards. The teachers went over what the students had learned during the first semester and also explained to the parents how they could help their children at home. There was also a question period where parents could ask questions. The second semester will start on January 5th here at Coram Deo. We give the Lord thanks for the opportunity to once again have a school program here at Coram Deo.
Manu, Jacob, and Benson had a Christmas program at Sheri’s school on Thursday afternoon. Each class performed for the parents and visitors and they sang well. Manu’s class sang a Christmas rap song and Manu enjoyed it. It was fun listening to him rehearse his part in the week before the Christmas program.
The plastic surgery team from the University of Miami started operating on December 19th and will continue until the 21st. It is great to see children receive the gift of a changed face. I talked with Maggy of Project Medishare about a child who needed hernia surgery and who had been on our medical search list for the last year and she talked this over with the team and they agreed to do his surgery as well. 8 children on our list will be getting surgeries. Jameson Glezil, who is a student in the school program here at Coram Deo is excited about getting surgery to repair his cleft palate. He has no fear about undergoing surgery and is excited that he won’t have to live any more with the hole in the roof of his mouth. We have been providing meals for the parents and children while they stay at the hospital. The children only have to remain one day in the hospital so there is a quick discharge rate. A couple of children had colds and this blocked their opportunity for an operation but hopefully they will be able to get surgery in January with another plastic surgery team that Angel Missions is organizing at Bernard Mevs Hospital. Another Project Medishare plastic surgery team will be operating at the hospital in Cange located on the central plateau in March. It is great to see Operation Cleft Free Haiti in action as all these teams come to Haiti to different hospitals. Over time word will spread and people will not consider these children as a burden. One of the children who were operated on today is a 2-year-old girl and her father is raising her alone since she was 3 months old. The mother gave her to him saying that she didn’t want her. He has done his best at raising her and now she will no longer have the disfigurement that caused her mother to give her up. She is a happy girl. Pray for the recovery of all the children operated on and that they would have no post-surgery complications.
This week we got another donation of Feed My Starving Children rice meals and it came at just the right time to use for food at the hospital. We also received clothing, a large sack of cookies and stuffed animals from Love a Child to use as part of our community outreach program. The children in the hospital enjoyed receiving a stuffed animal as a gift.
In Haiti the Christmas season also brings an increase in crime. The UN and Haitian Police have launched “Boucle Bleu” (blue buckle) to provide extra security on the roads primarily to deter kidnapping through the Christmas and New Year’s season. There are lots of lottery booths in the area. This week a man won 50,000 H$ (around $6,200US$) in a lottery from a booth across from our street corner. Friday afternoon, around 2:00pm he went to pick up his winnings. He left and immediately got robbed on our street corner. It looks like the lottery booth organized this robbery. A shoeshine man got kidnapped by the entrance to the Cite Jeremie area while he was shining shoes. His mother had died and he was organizing the funeral. He had gotten funds together to use for the funeral. The area where he got kidnapped is a high traffic area and there were witnesses. Police were called and immediately the UN and police came into the area. The man’s older brother was there too and the police detained him after finding a gun on him. It wasn’t a registered gun. The police ended up freeing the shoeshine man and it looks like the older brother organized the kidnapping to get the funeral funds. Looks like he wanted some extra money for Christmas!
That’s all the news for today. Have a blessed Christmas!

Karen Bulte, Coram Deo

Monday, December 15, 2008

photos - various

This is a Chrisno Christmas Greeting from Santa Chrisno! Chrisno Jeudi is enjoying himself in Virginia with his host family. We give the Lord thanks that he was able to get surgery to treat his hydrocephalus and that he is doing so well post surgery.

Marienne, is a 14 year old girl who was injured in the La Promesse School collapse one month ago. She is now recovering after receiving surgery on Thursday. Paul of Angel Missions organized her care.

This man is from Jeremie and he is now doing better. He is making efforts to walk now. We give the Lord thanks for His healing mercies.

This man is a prisoner who has been in General Hospital for a few months now. His other leg is hidden under the sheet and is chained to the bed. He appreciates our visits. Pray for those stuck in the hospital.

We give the Lord thanks for this donation of food that we were able to purchase after receiving donation of funds from another organization.