Tuesday, February 10, 2009

haiti update - february 7, 2009

“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.” Proverbs 11:12

Hi! This week has been a busy week with a visiting team from the Chatham, Ontario region. My cousin Jim and his daughter Jennifer, and Rob, Joanne, Kris and Brandy all arrived on February 3rd and will be staying until February 11th here at Coram Deo. They have been busy doing a lot of painting and repairs to the house. There were some repairs made to the playground equipment as well and the children now have a couple of swings to use. We give the Lord thanks for the funds that this team raised in order to do these repairs. They are saving some repairs though for the next team that will be arriving on February 11th and staying until February 18th. Rob is a dentist and he performed the first surgery we have had here in the kitchen. Santonio Edmond is a 3-year-old boy who we met at the most recent medical clinic that was held at Coram Deo. He was born tongue-tied and Rob did surgery to cut the skin that was preventing him to move his tongue. He now will be able to have better speech. We give the Lord thanks for his quick provision of finding a doctor to perform this procedure. The mother was very happy that her son was able to get this help. Rob also pulled some teeth for some of the children at Sheri’s school. This was the first visit for everyone on the team and we spent some time to visit different areas. We made a visit up the mountain to the Baptist Mission area, Paulna’s village and to Cite Soleil. These visits gave them a perspective of how the Haitian people live. The team brought with them lots of soccer uniforms and shoes that were donated by soccer teams in the Chatham area. They spent time on Friday fitting shoes and uniforms for all the children (both boys and girls) in the school program here at Coram Deo. Every Saturday afternoon the St. Louis de Gonzague school on Delmas 31 opens their soccer fields to the public and on Friday I told the children that anyone who wanted to come and play soccer needed to arrive around 2:30pm to go over to the school. We were a little late getting back from the Baptist Mission and were met at the gate by Manu, Benson and Jacob who said that the others were already waiting at the school. Kiki was all dressed up in his soccer uniform and shoes as well. When we got to St. Louis more than a few people had shown up. Around 30 children (both boys and girls) showed up to play soccer! We ended up setting up a few teams and basically just letting them go. They were excited and very enthusiastic. Jennifer and Brandy were watching over the girl’s soccer game and they told me later that the girls were the most vocal. They commented that the girls did quite a bit of shouting. I told them that some of the girls were either deaf or hard of hearing and this is how the others tried to communicate with them. These girls were also the only ones on all the soccer fields! We were kicking the ball back and forth with Kiki. He does well at this. Maybe one day he will be able to participate with the others and be able to run and kick as well. The only problem was with a couple of young guys who were watching Kiki kick the ball and when the ball went wide they ran off with the soccer ball. The children put up a chase to try and catch them. They learned a good lesson that day on working together as a team and on determination. Both the handicapped children and the non-handicapped children worked together in chasing down the thief! A couple of older guys intercepted the soccer ball thief and took the ball back. When the day was over I had to make 3 trips with the pick-up truck to bring everyone back to Coram Deo. The children are proud of their soccer uniforms and shoes and we hope to make this a regular Saturday afternoon event. The remainder of the soccer uniforms and shoes will be given to Willy and Joel for their soccer program for the youth in Cite Soleil. If anyone would like to donate soccer equipment there are very excited children living here in Haiti who would love to have them!
While the focus was on repairs this week there was an emergency where we had to bring a child in the community who had fallen on the street and broken his arm to the hospital. We brought him over to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Hospital on Delmas 19. This mission hospital treats trauma cases for free. Pray for their efforts as they help a lot of people here in Port-au-Prince to get emergency medical care.
Chrisno Jeudi now has a new home. Arrangements were made for him to stay at another home and we brought him over to his new home this week. Pray he continues to stay healthy and continues to get stronger.
My nephew Matthew is now out of hospital and recovering at home. Continue to pray for strength for him. His friend is alive but is still in hospital in a coma. Please continue to keep him in prayer.
This past week, traffic on the main Delmas road was re-routed to side roads near the CEP (Conseil Electoral Provisoire), which handles the upcoming senatorial elections. For the last couple of weeks they were going over all the applications for the upcoming senatorial elections, which are scheduled to be held for April 19. There were 105 candidates registered for the 12 seats in the senate that will be voted on. Concerned about “hockey fights” happening the UN and police have kept the area around the electoral council building closed to traffic. Friday the list of approved candidates was released and 65 candidates will be allowed to run in the upcoming elections. The rest were eliminated. There are now a lot of unhappy people. The biggest problem is that all the candidates of the Lavalas party were not allowed to run. This is the same as the conservative or liberal party being told that they cannot participate in the Canadian elections. There have been diplomatic concerns released by the American and Canadian embassies, as well as the UN. The UN had some water cannon vehicles prepared for riots because of the decisions made by the CEP. The Lavalas party though has called for calm from their supporters and this week the CEP is allowing all disallowed candidates to submit appeals. I hope that the CEP will reverse some of their decisions in order to stabilize the upcoming elections. Canada has provided funding for the acquisition and installation of machinery used to print CIN (Carte Identification Nationale) voting cards. People will need these cards in order to qualify to vote. Pray for the upcoming senatorial elections and for stability for the country.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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