“…This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:46,47
Hi! This past week has been the busiest week I have ever had here in Haiti. It has been great fun running around for the whole week. The report cards for the school program were prepared and handed out to the parents at the meeting we had on Thursday morning. Paulna and Benson went and spent a week with their families. Benson always enjoys spending time with his older brother. Paulna likes to go back to her village and spend time with all of her family as well.
We finally got all the paperwork together that we needed for Ivona Dessalines’ passport application and we went to Haitian Immigration on Monday with her father to apply for it. They gave us an appointment to come back on April 16th to pick up her passport. Pray we get it because her file has had more complications than any file I have ever worked on.
The hydrocephalus surgeries went well. 26 children had either ventriculoscopy or shunt surgeries. The neurosurgery team returned back to Miami on Tuesday morning. The baby who was abandoned in Cite Soleil and now lives at His Home for Children was one of the babies selected for surgery. His name is Joey (named after the doctor who runs the clinic where he stayed at). Joey had seizures after surgery but they are now under control and by the middle of the week he wasn’t having any seizures anymore. Calwens Sanon, the baby from Gonaives had surgery this time around to put in a shunt and he is doing well. All the babies are so far recovering well. Every time the surgeries are held there are always babies who die post-surgery. Sometimes I end up having to bring the babies to the morgue. This time around nobody has died yet! We give the Lord thanks that the surgeries were held once again. Continue to pray for all the babies as they recover from their surgeries.
We did a lot of running around this week contacting patients and getting a couple of x-rays done for those who were selected to be evaluated by the USNS Comfort doctors. The hospital ship arrived in Haiti on Thursday morning and the official welcome was held that afternoon. The hospital ship is 894 feet long and is 10 stories high. 935 people were on board for the trip to Haiti. People from all branches of the US military are on board as well as from Canada, France, and Holland. The ship has 1000 hospital beds, 12 operating rooms, scanner, MRI, 5,000 units of blood as well as boats and helicopters. There are also volunteers assisting here in Haiti for things like translating. The ship will be here until April 19th, where it will then depart to the Dominican Republic. The medical personnel hope to see 8,000 patients while the ship is here.
We think of Good Friday as “good” because Jesus died on the cross for our sins. In Haiti during this time of year there are a lot of raras on the streets. Driving around town we passed several. They didn’t cause trouble but these people were not celebrating because of what Jesus did on the cross. Pray that one day the nation turns to the Lord and away from the voodoo influence.
Revenge is part of the Haitian culture for those who are not Christians. Friday was a day that was chosen for revenge by some bandits. Pastor Pierre has some people in his congregation who live in a mountain village called “Nouveau Torrelle”. A 54-year-old man and his son were met by their home by a group of bandits. The son was shot a couple of times in the hand and his father got shot 3 times in his neck, shoulder and leg area. The bandits fled the area. The men in the village made a stretcher out of a sheet and a couple of tree branches and took turns carrying the stretcher over the mountain trails to the nearest road. The police transported the 2 injured people to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Hospital, which is located on Delmas 19. The son was treated and released but the father needed surgery to remove the bullets. Pray for the injured as they recover. The son had some sort of dispute with another person and this person arranged for the bandits to come up from Port-au-Prince to take revenge. We talked with the family at the hospital on the weekend. The police did arrest a couple of people but haven’t yet captured the people who did the shooting. Pastor Pierre is going to encourage the people in this village to communicate with the “Casec” (government representative) and amongst themselves in preventing another situation like this re-occuring in their area.
Early Friday morning we drove over to the Amiral Killick Coast Guard station, which is located in the Martissant area. Dorothy, Deedee, Chris, Kez and the children they were finding help for all got into Kimosabee the pickup truck. We got there early but there was already a large lineup of people. I dropped them off and went with Dorothy and her child Poutchino to go see a pediatric pulmonologist who was scheduled to work at the Cite Soleil clinic that was being held. We thought it would be held at the St. Katherine Hospital inside Cite Soleil but when we got there no medical team was there. There just happened to be a Haitian carpenter that I knew there who knew where we needed to go. He went along with us to drive to the Varreux Terminal area, which is out of Cite Soleil in an industrial area. We went to a couple of gates looking for information and just happened to meet a security guard who we knew and he gave us details exactly where it was. It was then that we found it. Contacts sure come in handy sometimes in Haiti! I took photos of the area and put them on my blog. It sure doesn’t look like a place where a medical clinic would be held! There were a lot of people standing and everyone wanted to be first into the gate. It took awhile for everyone to form a line. Finally people were let in when things were more orderly. We stood off to the side and were able to bypass the line with the paper we had in hand. A rara did go by on the street passing the clinic while we were outside waiting by the gate and soon after a low flying helicopter came by. I think that the soldiers inside the helicopter wanted to watch the rara too! Once we got inside the clinic area everything was very organized. There was even a portable x-ray machine there! Poutchino got a chest x-ray done and the pulmonologist examined him. He is a 6-year-old hydrocephalus boy who has been living at Dorothy’s. He is aspirating while he drinks and this is causing lung problems for him. The doctor at first wanted to get surgeons on board the ship to do surgery to put in a stomach feeding tube but in the end it was decided as being too risky. Vanessa of Angel Missions is going to try and find medical care for him in the United States. Pray for Poutchino because his lung problems are causing him to suffer from chronic oxygen deprivation. After we brought Dorothy and Poutchino home we returned back to the coast guard station and waited for the others.
There is a lot more that happened this past week but I am going to have to write about it in the next update. It sure was great to be this busy! That’s all the news for today. Have a blessed Easter!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo