Saturday, January 31, 2009

photos - various children

Guerdson Charles is a 16-month-old baby boy who has hydrocephalus that came to visit us this week with his father. He will be added to the list of patients to see the neurosurgeon at the next evaluations.

Shouby Barionette is a 13-month-old baby boy who has hydrocephalus. He is also on the list for the upcoming evaluations.

Lucson Jean just got discharged from Grace Children's Hospital after being hospitalized for tuberculosis of the spine. The disease is called "Potts Syndrome". He will need surgery to correct his spinal problems caused by this disease. He is part of our medical search list. Pray we can find a hospital to help him.

Iverson Louis is a 7-year-old boy who came with his father to get examined for a possible heart problem. They live in the Soleil 17 area of Cite Soleil. This boy has lost his grandfather and an uncle due to gunshots.

Hosanna is a grandmother who took in Woodlainy Samedy. She also lost her husband to a gunshot and was also threatened by gang members due to speaking out against the gangs on television.

photos - coram deo clinic - part 1

This is the medical team that did 2 clinics at Coram Deo on Tuesday and Wednesday and one clinic in Cite Soleil on Friday. We give the Lord thanks for their efforts.

Some students from Quisqueya Christian School helped with the translating as part of their community service works.

The patients waited in the shade waiting to be seen.

It was great that medications were provided as well.

An evangelist from Sheri's mission evangelized to the people while they were waiting to be seen.

photos - coram deo clinic - part 2

Santanio Edmond is a 3 year old boy who was born tongue tied. He needs an operation to release his tongue so that he will be able to have better speech. It is a simple procedure. Pray we can find a doctor who can do this for him.

This little girl is Marie's niece. She came to the clinic day to get help for her skin problems. This girls' sister died Sunday after having a fever and then seizure. The family did not have access to fever medicine. This girl and her family live in the Bois Neuf area of Cite Soleil.

Paulna's mother came to the clinic as well with her youngest brother Zachary. He is a happy boy.

This father came to the clinic with his son.

This young boy is looking serious!

photos - cite soleil clinic - part 1

This is Eglise Maranatha. It is located on the main road to Cite Soleil. We held the medical clinic inside the church.

I have known Joel and Willy for 10 years. They have a couple of schools in Cite Soleil and are always finding ways to help the people who live here. Part of the grafitti on the wall says "Aba Minustah, viv retour Aristide". This is translated in english as "Down with Minustah (UN), long living for the return of Aristide".

Lukner helped at keeping an eye at the front door of the church.

The patients were able to wait on the church pews and didn't have to wait in the sun.

There were a lot of patients who had high blood pressure and medications were provided to treat this.

photos - cite soleil clinic - part 2

The pharmacy table was at the back corner of the church.

The other back corner was the consultation area.

This is a view of the main road in Cite Soleil that runs past the church. The top of this street is Rte. Nationale #1.

A lot of people also make a living running a small boutique.

This is a view of the street which leads down to the wharf. Garbage always clogs up the canals.

photos - cite soleil clinic - part 3

This young boy was standing in front of the church. He is 9 years old and has never been to school. He's trying to look cool for the picture.

These shacks are right at the water's edge.

The children who live around here enjoyed meeting the visitors.

The children make their own toys. This boy has made a kite out of a piece of plastic and some twigs. He is preparing to launch his kite.

Here he is showing the visitors his home-made kite flying in the air.

haiti update - january 31, 2009

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Hi! This week was a busy week with the medical program. We started out the week making arrangements for a cat scan for the young boy who had the eye tumor. When I arrived at the hospital Sister Genevieve told me that the boy had suddenly died on Sunday. Sunday morning he developed breathing problems, which was quickly followed by seizures. The tumor must have been in the brain already. He was doing well on Friday when I last saw him. The mother was looking forward to him getting the cat scan. The Lord called him home and the cat scan was not necessary. Keep his mother in prayer as she mourns the loss of her son. She did everything possible for him that she could.
We had 3 medical clinics this week led by Kezia, an American nurse and a medical team staying at Sheri’s. We closed the school program on Tuesday and Wednesday in order to hold the clinics. 69 patients were seen on Tuesday and 105 patients were seen on Wednesday. The team provided medicines as well. On Friday we went to Cite Soleil and had a clinic in the church Eglise Maranatha. Willy and Joel were the hosts of this clinic. 55 patients were seen. After the clinic was done we visited Ti Haiti and the wharf area so that the team could see the areas where the patients came from. We give the Lord thanks for the opportunity to hold these clinics. It is a blessing to see a lot of people get some medical help.
This week was also a week of seeing the effects of gangs. A father brought his son to the house. Iverson Louis is 7 years old and the father told me that he had a heart problem. He was examined by the medical team and they found his heart to be functioning well. They live in the Soleil 17 area of Cite Soleil. A lot of people living there have been affected by the gang violence a few years ago. The father, Jackson, showed me a photo he keeps in his wallet of his father. It is not a nice photo because it is one showing him dead with a bullet wound to the head. This is the reminder he carries along with him to remember his father. His father was killed in the Soleil 17 area in 2007. He went on to tell me that his brother was shot and killed in 2008 by a bullet to the heart in the same area. Keep this father in prayer as he struggles to provide for his family.
A grandmother came to the house with a 2-year-old girl. The mother died and the father couldn’t look after her. She has been looking after Woodlainy since May 2008. She has been doing her best to look after her but she is having difficulty too and wants to see her put into an orphanage. She comes from the Boston area of Cite Soleil. The situation she is currently in is difficult and I don’t want people I know who have orphanages to be stuck in a possibly difficult situation as well so we will instead be going to the Haitian social services department to see what they can do to help out this grandmother. By how she describes the father, he is a gang member. I asked her if he had given his permission to put the child in an orphanage and she told me that he doesn’t care about her. She showed me a photo of when she first took in Woodlainy and she was severely malnourished at the time. The grandmother is a strong person. Her husband was shot and killed in a robbery a few years ago in Cite Soleil. She was interviewed on television. A reporter asked her a question about what the government and UN needs to do in Cite Soleil and she made a comment against the gangs. Gang members living in Cite Soleil saw what she had said on the news broadcast and threatened her. A gang leader sent word to her and forced her to come to the gang base. Over the next 3 days they ordered her to clean their house. The third day the gang leader pointed his gun at her to shoot her and the gun for some reason wouldn’t fire. 3 times he tried to fire his gun and every time it wouldn’t fire. He let her go and ordered her to come back to the house the next day. Fortunately for her, the next day the UN conducted an operation and the gang was broken up. Pray for this grandmother and that a way can be found to help her grandchild. The grandmother is a Christian and she also has a good name. Her name is Hosanna! The gangs don’t have the presence they used to have in Cite Soleil and this makes development possible. Pray for the development that is currently taking place in Cite Soleil.
Cite Soleil is what everyone talks about when you mention gangs but there are gangs established in other areas of the city that cause problems. Last week a Haitian lawyer was kidnapped in front of his residence in the Delmas 31 area. His body was found a few days later wrapped in plastic in the Delmas 75 area. Kidnapping is not as bad as it used to be but is still a source of income for gangs and Haitian professionals and business people are the prime targets. The result of this kidnapping has been that the police are focusing on the Delmas 31 area. On Monday and Tuesday police conducted operations in our neighborhood in the Cite Aux Cayes area targeting a gang called “Tete Mur” (Top of the Wall). I guess the gang like climbing over people’s walls. I found out that 2 members of this gang are people that I know. They managed to avoid getting arrested. “Wendy” is on the police search list as a person that they want to arrest. Years ago we had helped him with his schooling as well as a few younger brothers and sisters as part of the school program that we had at Coram Deo during that time. The father left the family and the mother wasn’t able to afford the rent in this area. The family moved to Cite Soleil and the family dropped out of the school program. It looks like Wendy came under the influence of the gangs. He is now back in this area as a member of the “Tete Mur” gang. I hope that these guys were not a part of this lawyer’s death. This afternoon the children came up to me to say that the police were arresting people on our corner. I went outside and watched them take away 3 motorcycles and arrest their drivers due to not having the proper papers. It is good to see the police actively working in the neighborhood. Pray for the training of the police force and the efforts being made to improve the justice system in Haiti.
Friday evening I found out that my nephew was involved in a serious vehicle accident caused by black ice in my hometown of London, Ontario. He is Tanya’s son. Currently he is in intensive care in the hospital. His best friend was a passenger in the vehicle and the doctor’s do not think that his friend will survive. Please keep them and the families in prayer.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Sunday, January 25, 2009

photos - medical cases - part 1

Here is Chrisno Jeudi back with his mother. We give the Lord thanks for a successful surgery to treat his hydrocephalus.

The mother is a couple of months pregnant and worries that she can't look after Chrisno. She would like to see him adopted.

Vanessa Jules came with her mother to visit us. Vanessa and her mother are now sleeping in a church as she can't go home to her husband. He told her to abandon her and the mother couldn't do it.

Since her surgery in November, she is now able to sit and hold her head. She also is a talkative little girl!

This little boy has an eye tumor. The tumor pushed the eye out of the socket. The bandage is covering the tumor. The results of a cat scan will show if the tumor has entered the brain. Keep this boy and his mother in prayer. She is doing the best she can to look after her child.

photos - medical cases - part 2

This mother lives in the Bel-Air area and came searching for help for her 7-month-old son, Jackenlove.
He has kwashiorkor malnutrition and is currently in the Missionaries of Charity Hospice receiving medical care for his malnutrition. Once he is released the mother will be placing him into an orphanage. His legs are swollen from the effects of the malnutrition.

This is his twin brother. He is not quite as sick. The mother can not look after both of them and has decided to place one of them, Jackenlove into an orphanage. The father died while the mother was 4 months pregant in an accident on Morne Cabrit.

Taina Senat is a young girl with osteogenesis imperfecta. She has already had several fractures. She hasn't had any fractures in the last couple of years though.

Her leg bones are bowed because of the fractures. She doesn't stand or walk. Pray for strength for her.

photos - incidents

There was a large "manifestation" of people going up Delmas to support one of the candidates while he was registering as a candidate for the upcoming senatorial elections in Haiti. A mob of people were beating a couple of thieves in front of us.

When they were done everyone headed back up Delmas.

The mayor of Delmas has been busy enforcing the law of building homes in designated areas. A family I know had there house built on the street in front of this wall. The poor will build wherever they can find a place to build. The mayor sent workers to destroy illegally built houses in the streets of our neighborhood. I don't know where this family is now living.

Here is where a bar and music stand was built. On these 2 corners street parties would be held. It made for some noisy evenings during holiday times!

Since the new year there has been a change in administration at Grace Children's Hospital. They now have a new director but a private security company was hired. There is some conflict in the changeover and as a result the clinics are not functioning and the gates are locked. The TB and HIV programs are affected by this turmoil. Current patients are lining up in front of the gate to get their TB and HIV medicine refills. New patients will have to wait until the conflict is resolved. Pray that the problems will be resolved soon and that these clinics can continue to see many patients again.

haiti update - january 24, 2009

“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.” Psalm 35:1

Hi! This week was a busy week with the medical program. The fuel shortage is over now and the gas stations are functioning normally again. Lukner arrived in Cayes and met up with Chrisno’s mother, Joanna late Saturday afternoon. They ended up leaving Cayes on the midnight bus to Port-au-Prince. One of the passengers that was on that bus with them ended up traveling without his shoes. He got on the wrong motorcycle to go to the bus station and ended up getting robbed. The thief took the money that he had and liked the guy’s shoes so much that he ended up going to the bus station in his bare feet. As part of Michaelle Jean’s visit to the Cayes area the government of Canada presented the Haitian police force in this area with 24 brand new 4x4 pickup trucks and 22 motorcycles. Maybe the police will be able to catch more thieves now. Canada is also going to construct/rehabilitate 14 police stations in the south with an investment of 3.2 million dollars so that there will be more places to put thieves. Canada will be helping Haiti with 555 million dollars in assistance over the next 5 years.
We picked up Vanessa and Chrisno at the airport on Sunday and Joanna was able to see how much her son has improved. Joanna is pregnant with her second child and told me that she doesn’t know how she is going to look after Chrisno. She wants to see him adopted and live a better life in the United States. We are making arrangements with Angel Missions to see how this could be done. Pray for Chrisno’s health now that he is back in Haiti and also for his family. Pray for plans being made to help Chrisno and his family.
That same day, Vanessa Jules and her mother came by the house to say hello. Vanessa is a 2-year-old girl who was operated on here in Haiti in November for her hydrocephalus. She is now able to sit and hold her head up. She is a happy and bright girl who talks well. Her mother has been sleeping at a church in the Croix-des-Bouquets area since being discharged from the hospital. She is also pregnant with her 10th child. The reason that she is now sleeping at the church instead of her home is because she wouldn’t listen to her husband’s order to abandon Vanessa. Now Vanessa and her mother are suffering the consequences. Pray for them as they struggle to survive.
A mother from the Bel-Air area of Port-au-Prince came to the gate this week looking for help for her sick baby. Jackenlove is a 7-month-old baby who has kwashiorkor malnutrition. She told me that she wants to put her baby in an orphanage. Right now Jackenlove is too sick to be in an orphanage and we brought him to the Missionaries of Charity where he will be treated for his malnutrition. Jackenlove has a twin brother who is also sick. We saw him the next day and he is not in as bad shape. The mother told me that she could look after one baby but not two. The mother is also handicapped and has only one functioning hand. The other was burned off in a fire when she was a baby. Pray for Jackenlove and the plans being made for him as well as his twin brother and his mother as she does the best she can to look after her family.
There is a young child in the Bernard Mevs hospital who has a large tumor growing out of his right eye socket. The eye was pushed out by the growing tumor. A visiting eye surgeon from the United States examined him on Friday at General Hospital where he has been performing surgeries for a week. Dr. Branson and his wife have done eye surgeries in 45 different countries. His vision is to train national eye surgeons in their own countries to become better eye surgeons. He has a lot of patience. 4 times he has left surgical tools at General Hospital and every time he has come back to find them gone. He believes in the “teach a man to fish” principle. I told his wife about the lack of ear/nose/throat surgeons in Haiti and she told me that maybe one day they could talk an ENT surgeon into coming to Haiti. Dr. Branson and his wife are both Christians and know that the changes they would like to see in eye surgery will be long-term and in God’s time. Pray for their efforts in “teaching a man to fish”. We will be taking the child to get a cat scan done on Monday to see if the tumor has metastasized to the brain. If it has there is nothing that can be done to help him but if the tumor is contained to the eye socket region, he may be able to benefit from surgery in the United States. Pray for this child and the mother who does whatever she can to help him. Sister Genevieve, the Colombian nun who works at Bernard Mevs told me that when she told her that her child needed a blood transfusion she went out to the streets and begged for the $50H ($6US) needed for the transfusion.
Friday morning we were driving down Delmas when a large crowd of people were walking up Delmas. There were rara music bands and a float. It was a political “manifestation” for one of the candidates in the upcoming senatorial elections in Haiti. Friday was officially the last day for candidates to deposit their registrations at the electoral office on Delmas. These candidates were accompanied by their supporters as they went to register. It was a festive environment but it made circulation of vehicles on Delmas difficult. The manifestation that passed us had a few thousand people in it. Things were orderly until we saw a group of people turn around and starting to run back down Delmas. We were near the Econotire business when we heard some people shouting and pointing at a couple of guys standing near the entrance of Econotire and calling them thieves. A “hockey fight” with fists and sticks broke out in front of the pickup truck and we turned into the Econotire parking lot to get away from it. The mob of people beat up these thieves badly and when they were done they carried them away and headed back up Delmas with them. I guess they were looking for police to hand the thieves to. We didn’t see any police or UN in sight. One of the people in the mob came to me with his broken stick and told me that they couldn’t let thieves into the manifestation. Then someone else called out that there was another thief across the street by the gas station and this man then ran across the street to help beat up this thief as well. I don’t know how they can tell who is a thief and who isn’t with so many people around. I had my camera with me and was able to sneak a photo.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Saturday, January 17, 2009

photos - various children

Chrisno Jeudi is with his host mother getting physical therapy. He has grown a lot and while in Virginia he was able to get a lot of physical therapy. Here they are working on standing. Pray that one day he will be able to walk. He is a determined boy.

In this baby walker he gets to use his legs and develop leg strength with the goal of one day being able to stand and to walk. He travels back home to Haiti on Sunday. We give the Lord thanks for the surgery that he received.

Phara Simeon came with her mother. She is one of the babies who had surgery in November. She hasn't been eating well and had a fever. Her nourishment is not good as well. Pray the medicine helps. With a shunt in place, infections need to be monitored.

Jimmy Jean and his mother came with a gift basket. When the mother said she had a surprise I thought for sure it was another abandoned baby. She came with several bunches of tasty bananas! They are both thankful for the surgery he received.

This father came with his one year old daughter. The mother died and he can not look after his daughter. He came asking for help to find an orphanage and would like to see his daughter adopted. I will talk with a couple of orphanages who deal in adoptions next week and see if any can help out the father.