“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8,9
Hi! This week was a busy one with the medical program. Angelo Lafortune and his mother returned from the United States after his post- surgery neuro evaluation. He had a brain tumor removed a couple of years ago and needs to make return visits every year to see if the tumor is growing again. The mother told me that the doctors say there is no trace of it. We give the Lord thanks for this healing. This will be his second year of school at St. Vincent’s school for the handicapped, which is located in downtown Port-au-Prince.
Doudeleimy Beaubrun and her parents also made a visit this week as well. They live in Paulna’s village. They brought us a gallon of milk straight from the cow. Doudeleimy is walking normally now and is ready to begin school. She was born with clubbed feet and had surgery in the United States to correct this problem. We went with Doudeleimy and her parents to visit a mission that is near their village to see about her getting accepted into their kindergarten program. We are trying to get Paulna’s youngest brother Zachary into this same kindergarten program as well. The director wasn’t there so we’ll have to make another visit again.
We then went to Paulna’s village, Bonnette, to visit a family. Doudeleimy’s father, Renis is an elder in the village and he told me about a handicapped lady who had a baby that she couldn’t raise. This woman suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and is paralyzed on one side of her body. She has had 7 children and 4 have already died. The family is very poor. They all sleep on one large bed that has only cardboard as the mattress. Her and her husband are not able to look after this baby. She told me that when she found out she was pregnant she was scared but kept attending prayer services at her church to ask God to help her. She and her baby survived the delivery at home. I spoke with Deedee and she is willing to help this family out by looking after this baby. We give the Lord thanks for a solution to this problem.
We took Sterline Bonhomme and her mother to an appointment at Healing Hands. Sterline has hydrocephalus and clubbed feet. She received surgery during the last round of neurosurgeries by the University of Miami medical team. After her surgery she developed malnutrition as the mother couldn’t breastfeed and she also couldn’t buy baby formula. Dorothy of Faith, Hope, Love Infant Rescue took her in and brought her out of her malnutrition state and also took her to Healing Hands for casting of her clubbed feet. Now she is back with her mother and is doing well. Her feet are almost normal! We give the Lord thanks for this care.
Another family from Pastor Pierre’s church in the mountains of Kenscoff came to the house with their malnourished child. She is now in the Missionary of Charity’s malnutrition program. Pray for the people living in this mountain area. They are struggling to provide for their families.
This week I was able to tag along with Sheri of Christian Light Ministries as she visited the Blue Ridge Mission. They are a Mennonite ministry that digs wells around the country. Sheri is going to have a well drilled on her property. Pray for the efforts that are being made for this to become possible. Blue Ridge also has a Christian literature distribution ministry of material that has been translated into Creole. One of the books that have been translated into Creole is “Pilgrim’s Progress”. Hopefully they will be able to provide us with some of these materials.
Fedner and Herold both passed their 9eme AF state exams and can now advance to their 4th year of secondary school. Jackenmy Milien (teacher of our handicapped class) and Samuel Marcelin both failed their Philo (Grade 13) state exams but are eligible for the exam rewrites that are taking place next week. Around 30% of those who wrote these exams passed. Pray for them as they prepare for these exam rewrites.
The protests for the 200 gourdes minimim wage continued this week. Monday was a difficult day for factories. Protesters started at the SONAPI industrial park in the Airport Rd. area. The police arrested 2 of these protesters and brought them to the police station that is located on Delmas 33 and charged them with inciting violence. The large group of protesters were angry and decided to walk over to Delmas 33 to demand their release. When they arrived at the police station they were saying things like “ The police don’t have any dignity” and “Free the students, arrest Preval (Haitian president)”. The police and the UN fired tear gas. The people were angry and set up burning tires and barricades on Delmas 33, as well as turning over garbage bins. A diplomatic vehicle from the United States embassy was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the vehicle was damaged by thrown rocks. After the protesters were sent on their way they went downtown to the Ave. Christophe area and burned 2 government vehicles. A large bus from the tax office was burned and also a Toyota Land Cruiser. This was done near the state medical school building. The protesters gave an ultimatum of 24 hours for the president and parliament to establish 200 gourdes as the minimum wage. Factories closed their doors for the week to avoid further problems. The SONAPI industrial park reopened again on Friday but worker turnout was very low. Pray for a resolution of these problems.
The police in Petionville have established an operation called “Prevention of Criminality and Community Relations”. Every individual, Haitian or foreigner must carry identification at all times. Failure to produce identification upon request could result in 5 days in jail and a fine of 500 gourdes. I am going to create badges for the older guys here that they can use as a piece of identification if they are stopped while on foot.
The invertor stopped working this week. I was looking at it with the children and told them that the “lucky rock” worked with the car battery but wouldn’t work well with the invertor. I used my hand instead to tap the invertor with and it worked! The children were happy that the invertor was fixed! We then celebrated by watching a DVD on my television.
Hurricane season will be affecting Haiti this week. The first named storm of the year, Tropical Storm Ana is forecast to be in our area on Tuesday. Tropical Storm Bill is next in line and may turn into a hurricane by Monday. This storm may affect Haiti at the end of the week. Haiti is vulnerable to flooding during these storms. Due to deforestation the capacity of water absorption into the soil (where there is soil) is diminished. In earlier times, 60 mm of rains may cause flooding. Now, it only takes 30 mm of rains to cause flooding. Pray for those areas that are susceptible to flooding and that people are aware.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo