Monday, July 6, 2009

haiti update - july 5, 2009

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.” Proverbs 17:3

Hi! This week was busy preparing to go to Canada for a vacation. I had to go down to Haitian Immigration to get a “visa sortie” (exit visa) stamp put into my passport. The person writing my name in the notebook looked at the name “Bultje” and was convinced that it was a spelling mistake in my passport. She asked me 3 times if I was sure that was how it was spelled. She finally believed me and I picked the passport up the next day with the stamp added to it.
We went to the US Consulate this week with Solyvien Favra and his father for a medical visa. He was granted the visa and now plans are being made for his travel arrangements. Angel Missions is organizing the medical care and travel arrangements for Solyvien. Pray for traveling mercies and for all those who will be involved in caring for him.
At the last medical clinic that was held here at Coram Deo there was a woman who came with a lung infection. The medical team examined her and provided her with medicine. She was weak and we gave her a ride home. Early Saturday morning I got a call from Lukner telling me to come to her home with the truck. Her husband “Jimmy” needed to go to a hospital. He had been severely beaten by an angry mob of people. This happened around 4:00am.near the Food for the Poor mission in Cite Aux Cayes. They accused him of illegally hooking into an electrical line. The mob hit him with rocks, a knife and their fists. When they were done with the beating they left him for dead on the street. Later, the police came by and noticed that he was still alive and brought him to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Hospital and they wouldn’t receive him there. The police than brought him to his home in Cite Jeremie and left it up to the family to find medical care for him. He wasn’t very alert when we laid him into the back of the pick-up truck. He had some lacerations on his head that required stitches and had a broken arm. Since Medecins Sans Frontieres couldn’t help him we drove over to the Brothers of Charity Hospice in Cite Pele. They told us that they couldn’t help this man either. We then drove downtown to the state General Hospital. There is a strike that just started this past week at the hospital. It started with the security guards and cleaning staff going out on strike claiming 8 months of unpaid wages. At the end of the week everybody went on strike at the hospital. There is garbage all over the hospital grounds. At the entrance to the emergency department there was a bunch of garbage. We walked inside the emergency department to see if we could find a doctor and there was only one doctor in civilian clothes and he told us nothing could be done as there was nobody that could help this man. All the beds in the emergency room were full of patients stuck with no medical care. It is a strange sight to see a full hospital with no medical personnel! Because there are no security guards some supplies and equipment have been removed from the hospital and some equipment has been damaged. In the morgue there is nobody working there and the corpses are left to rot. It is not a good situation at this hospital. Pray that the strike is settled soon. The man’s wife was starting to get upset and was thinking that her husband would now die without medical care. I called Dr. Ed and asked him if he could help and we then drove over to his house. We tried to get Jimmy to walk from the truck but he passed out and we had to drag/carry him into Ed’s house. We put Jimmy on the dining room table. It was good that Jimmy had passed out because then Ed didn’t have to use any anesthetic. He pulled on Jimmy’s arm to realign the bones and then the 16 year old son held his fathers hand up to keep the bones in position. When Ed asked the family what the man’s name was the boy said he would write it out for him and he let the hand drop back to the table, which caused Jimmy’s forearm to be out of alignment again. Ed then had to reset the bones again before putting on the cast. Ed sewed up all the lacerations that needed stitches and then we dragged/carried Jimmy back to the truck. It was great that Ed let us ruin his plans for the morning! We drove Jimmy and his family back to their home. Pray for Jimmy, that his wounds heal and that he finds another job that doesn’t involve hooking up electricity. We found out that the mob that beat Jimmy intended to kill him with their beating. They were surprised to learn that he was still alive. One of these people spoke with Lukner and told him that Jimmy was an electricity thief and they weren’t happy that we helped him. Lukner told him that when the family asked for help they told us that he was on his way to the bus station and was mistaken for the electricity thief and that an electricity thief doesn’t deserve to die.
Lukner is always looking to help people in the community and he was proud that Jimmy got some help. Another incident that happened this week didn’t go as planned. Somebody approached him asking about finding help for a friend. This friend has a handicapped child. Lukner explained where our house is and the father and this child came to visit us while we were gone. The father abandoned the child in our yard. We got back and Lukner picked up the child and brought him back to the person who had asked for help for his friend. Lukner laid the child in front of his feet, told him it was not right to abandon children and walked away.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reported that Haiti is no longer the poorest country in the western hemisphere. The economy of Nicaragua is now worse than Haiti.
The World Bank, IMF and Inter-American Development Bank have cancelled 1.2 billion US$ in debt that Haiti has. This debt forgiveness is 2/3 of Haiti’s outstanding debt to these organizations. Canada has also forgiven 2.3 million CDN$ in debt as well. Hopefully these debt forgiveness programs will assist the Haitian government in its allocation of budget resources.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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