“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6
Hi! This week was a busy one with the medical program. Anayka Appolon is a 1-year-old girl who has hydrocephalus. We brought Anayka and her mother over to Healing Hands to register for the hydrocephalus program. On Thursday Drs. Dennis and Karen McCarthy and a team held a medical clinic here at Coram Deo. Around 175 children and adults were seen and medications provided. We give the Lord thanks for the help that was provided to those who attended the clinic. There were a few cases that will need surgery. Lucson is a young boy who has tuberculosis of the spine (Potts disease). The bulging of his back is getting worse despite already receiving tuberculosis medication. Keep him in prayer as we try to find medical care for him in the United States.
This week we also registered a couple of children into the school program. There are still families that are homeless since last year’s floods in certain areas of Haiti. One family has placed their children in homes of friends, as they have nowhere to live after their home was destroyed last August. Minor Delisme is a 7-year-old boy who is one of these children. He will be staying with friends of the family in the Delmas 31 area until his parents are able to have another home again. Pray for this family as they are still struggling to get back on their feet. We have had a lot of enquiries at the gate from parents asking help for schooling of their children but we can’t help everyone. In Haiti there is still close to 50% of children who do not have the opportunity to attend school. Pray that one day all children will be able to get an education.
While visiting Canada this year I have had discussions with people who don’t understand the difference between Coram Deo and Coram Deo International Aid. I established Coram Deo here in Haiti in 1998 in order to fulfill the vision that God gave me of helping parents find care for their handicapped children and to encourage them not to abandon them as Haitian society pressures them to do. A school program was also set up on the grounds of my home with the goal of integrating handicapped and non-handicapped children in a school setting. While assisting some people with their medical care and seeing their housing situation some began to live here at Coram Deo. In 2003 my father, people from my home church in London, Ontario and others established Coram Deo International Aid as a Canadian Registered Charity. A few years later older people and my father left the board and were replaced by others. As is common on the mission field a difference in vision and focus occurred and Coram Deo International Aid went on to establish Adoration Christian School and Coram Deo went under the umbrella of Mission of T.E.A.R.S. It is amazing how God works difficulties out so that His work can be accomplished. Coram Deo International Aid in Canada can now follow their vision as God called them to do and Coram Deo here in Haiti can continue as well with the vision that has been in place since 1998. Even though these 2 organizations are now separate and distinct entities the relationship between these organizations and amongst the Haitian people is still there. Samuel Marcelin is a teacher at Adoration Christian School and also a sponsor student there. He lives here at Coram Deo and serves as a mentor to the younger children here. Fedner Alphonse and Paulna Maczil were sponsor students at Adoration Christian School last year and they also live here at Coram Deo. Sponsored students at Adoration Christian School use our facilities for tutorial assistance and as a place for studying and fellowship. Marie Cypion lives here and also is our cook. Over the years she has learned to become a seamstress and she helps out Adoration Christian School by sewing uniforms for their sponsor students (as well as earning some money). Her sister-in-law is the cook at Adoration Christian School. Reginald Jules is part of Samuel Masseus’ family. Reginald lives here at Coram Deo and Samuel lives at Adoration Christian School. Last summer the parents and handicapped children at Adoration Christian School were informed that there wouldn’t be a handicapped class. Nine of these children entered our handicapped program. One of these children Jislaine Neanty is deaf and she gave all of us here at Coram Deo a lesson in determination. She refused to enter the handicapped class and I let her sit in the non-handicapped class and she passed! For the upcoming school year 2 schools in the neighborhood will be establishing programs for the handicapped. Adoration Christian School will be reopening their handicapped program and Pastor Leny and his wife who are from the Philippines will be adding a deaf program to their school program. Pray for the arrangements being made at Adoration Christian School and Pastor Leny’s and also that other schools would establish handicapped programs as well. Pray for the preparations we are making here at Coram Deo with our school program as well. In the entire country only 55 handicapped children wrote state exams. The majority of these were blind students. Of these 55 students, 15 wrote the 6eme AF exams (last year of elementary school), 16 wrote the 9eme AF exams (3rd year of secondary school), 14 wrote the Rheto exams (Grade 12) and 10 wrote the Philo exams (Grade 13). Considering that it is estimated that 10% of the population is handicapped (approximately 900,000 people), only a very tiny percentage of the handicapped have the opportunity to go to school. We give the Lord thanks that we are able to contribute in a small way!
This week the Haitian parliament approved a reduced minimum wage increase. The original proposal was 200gourdes per day but it has been approved as 150 gourdes ($3.75US). The existing minimum wage is 75 gourdes per day ($1.88US). There were a couple of large protests for the minimum wage to be approved as 200 gourdes this week. Starting at the SONAPI industrial complex on Airport Rd. the protesters visited factories pressuring the workers to join them. One of the factories we sometimes go to closed early for the day and gave the workers the day off!
Kimosabee, my pickup truck didn’t want to start a couple of times this week. The first time was at home and I used a rock to tap the battery terminal with and it then started. I kept this “lucky rock” and put it behind the seat. The next time was on main Delmas and when I looked for my lucky rock it wasn’t where it should be. One of the guys must have thrown it away when they were cleaning. There were no rocks laying around on Delmas and I tried to tap the terminal with the key and it didn’t work. A man who had a shop saw my predicament and came out with a padlock and told me to try that. Kimosabee decided to start after that. When I got back home I asked the guys where they tossed my “lucky rock” and that it was an important tool and explained my predicament on main Delmas. Now every time I leave the house I need to make sure that a rock is in my truck.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo