Monday, August 24, 2009

haiti update - august 23, 2009

“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:13,14

Hi! Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend the wedding of a former sponsor student of Coram Deo. Mdm. Lukner worked here at Coram Deo for 7 years. She left Coram Deo in 2007. While she worked here we paid for the schooling of her children. Her daughter Sheila Rene was the one getting married. The wedding ceremony was held at the Montford Paroisse in Cite Aux Cayes and Mdm. Lukner had told me that the service would start at 3:00pm. I arrived at 3:00pm and there were not very many people there. The priest and a nun and the youth choir were there though. It is customary in Haiti for things not to start on time. I was prepared though and brought along my Sudoku puzzle book. The nun was prepared too. She brought a book and read it while we were waiting for the bridal couple to show up. I overheard the nun speaking with the priest about lateness of weddings and they were talking about a wedding that was supposed to start at 3:00pm and ended up starting at 6:00pm. The priest said something like if people want to get married they should show up on time. The choir and the musicians practiced their music while we were waiting. When it was 4:30pm, the priest stood at the altar and started the service. The choir sang a song. When I saw that he was beginning the service I went out to the balcony hoping to take a photo of the bridal procession coming up the stairs but there was no sign of the bride. I thought they were nearby and asked somebody if they were there yet and they told me no. I then went back inside. It sure is funny watching a wedding ceremony with no bride and groom! The priest started the ceremony by welcoming the families of the bride and groom (even though they weren’t there yet) and then prayers for the couple were said and a sermon on marriage was given. The choir and the people who were there sang a couple of songs. Just as the priest was at the part where the vows are made between the bride and groom the bridal party showed up at the door and everyone walked quickly down the aisle. It was the funniest sight. I have never seen a wedding procession with the entire bridal party and the family coming down the aisle at once. The rest of the ceremony went well.
Sunday afternoon there was a special program at the church across the street from Coram Deo. The church choir “Amies de Dieu” (Friends of God) were celebrating their 17th anniversary of existence. People in the church repainted the inside of the church and decorated it on Saturday afternoon. There were 5 different choral groups singing and it was an enjoyable program. The program lasted a couple of hours and the church was filled to capacity. The church used our school benches to have more seating capacity. It sure felt like a sauna sitting inside that church.and it felt cool when we stepped outside after the service. All the choirs sang great.
We registered a spina bifida baby over at Healing Hands this past week. Sister Genevieve from Bernard Mevs Hospital always calls me when she sees hydrocephalus children come to the hospital for help. She told me how much the mother cared for her child even though he was born with spina bifida and has a head that is enlarging because of hydrocephalus as well. The mother followed pre-natal care throughout her pregnancy and when she had the sonogram done the doctor explained to her that the baby in her womb had problems. She knew that she would have a baby that would be spina bifida. People around her told her to get an abortion but she didn’t listen to them. She told the people that this is the child that God was giving her and she was going to look after him. She has done the best she can caring for him since he was born. Pray that the Lord gives her strength. The Miami neurosurgery team will be coming to Haiti in October to do assessments of hydrocephalus cases.
The Smile Train has been advertising in the newspaper about their upcoming cleft lip/palate surgeries that will be taking place from September 12th to 19th at the Baptist Mission Hospital in Fermathe. Pray for the preparations taking place for these surgeries. We posted the advertisement on our gate to help spread the word around.
We helped Roberta get a passport for one of her children this week. Roodmael is a 6-month-old baby who was born with congenital cataracts in both eyes and because of this he is not able to see. With surgery he will get the opportunity to see. Pray for the rest of the preparations that Roberta is making for this child and for the other children in her care.
We went to Paulna’s village (Bonnette) this week with Deedee to pick up the baby girl that she is helping. Rachel is about 1 month old. Rachel’s mother is the lady who had a stroke a couple of year’s ago. She was happy to see her daughter get help. She has already seen 4 of her children die so this was a special moment for her. Pray for this family and for Deedee as she cares for Rachel. Michelore and Ednerson are 2 children who are from this same village and who also live with Deedee. They came along too to visit their families in the village. This was the first time that the people saw “Mich” stand and walk and they were happy to see how well he was doing. “Eddy’s” mother was happy to see her child walking and healthy too. Both these children have come out of their malnutrition state well. In this village is another child who is only 4 years old and who has rickets, which is a calcium deficiency. His leg bones are crooked and he can’t stand well. Pray we can find someone to help him.
Tropical storm Ana and Hurricane Bill did not cause any problems for Haiti. It is good to see that we are almost out of the month of August with no major storms coming through. The UN has been preparing for emergency food assistance just in case. 30,000 tonnes of food products and 112,000 tonnes of biscuits have been prepositioned in strategic locations. There are also 50 all-terrain vehicles that are available as needed.
In Haiti sometimes there are interesting sights. Near the airport road area I saw a man put on a construction hat and a spiderman mask, which covered his entire face. He then pushed a wheelbarrow down the road. Maybe he didn’t want anyone to see him dump some garbage by the side of the road! A few minutes later I saw someone who was begging for money wearing a graduation cap. He must have been an educated beggar!
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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