Sunday, September 6, 2009

haiti update - september 6, 2009

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7,8

Hi! Saturday night reminded me of Hockey Night in Canada! In Haiti though it wasn’t hockey that was being played but soccer. Brazil was playing Argentina and these teams are like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadians. Since our television went “poof” last week and we didn’t have electricity the older guys went in search of a television to watch the game at a friend’s house. Manu is a soccer fanatic and his favorite team is Brazil. He knows the names of all the players. Because it was evening I wouldn’t let him go out with the older guys but there was a television on at the restaurant near our house, which is owned by the Cadeau family. Manu managed to crawl between the legs of the men standing at the door and then under the table and managed to end up right in front of the television set. He had a good view of the match! I sat outside in front of our gate in my Canada chair with the other children and listened to the game on the radio. Pastor Octave was sitting on the street too in front of his house with his radio. It was a good match and Brazil won 3-1! Every time when Brazil scored there was a roar of cheers going through the neighborhood.
EDH still hasn’t fixed the broken line in front of our house but I figure with the doubling of the electrical rates in August I have saved one month of electricity bills now that the line has been broken for 2 weeks. The school program here at Coram Deo opens on September 7th and we registered a few more children into the program this week as well as registering Paulna, Fedner, and Herold at the schools that they will be attending. Pray for all the school programs that are opening. Funding is very difficult right now and we try to cut corners as much as we can (instead of pumping water to the roof we bucket the water into the house to reduce usage of water so that we don’t have to purchase water as often) as well as primarily relying on the Feed My Starving Children rice meals for our food (this is a real blessing!). Please consider a donation for our programs here at Coram Deo.
Naphtalie Bazile came to the house with her mother this week. She went to the United States a year ago for hydrocephalus surgery. She is doing well. Her head looks bigger and we are going to make sure that she attends the October hydrocephalus evaluations with the University of Miami Neurosurgery team. On September 12th the Smile Train plastic surgery team will be operating out of the Baptist Mission Hospital in Fermathe until the 19th. on children and adults who have cleft lips and palates. Please keep these life changing surgeries in prayer.
We drove out to Bonnette this week to return Ednerson and Michelore to their families. They are now healthy and can reintegrate with their families again. We give the Lord thanks for Deedee’s efforts at helping these children. Doudeleimy Beaubrun is a child in this village who went to the United States for surgical treatment of clubbed feet. Now her feet are normal. Her father is an elder in this village. Because of this connection the village sees how a life can change for a handicapped child and they seek to help other handicapped people in the village. Paulna and Michelore are 2 other children in this village who were helped with orthopedic surgeries. Miguelson Pacomme is a 5-year-old boy who has severely curved leg bones and he walks awkwardly because of this. A photo is on the Coram Deo blogsite. We brought him back to Port-au-Prince to meet with Mallery, an American who is staying at a local guesthouse. Pray that help can be found for Miguelson. Doudeleimy’s father brought us to the homes of 2 families who are having problems. Samson Felix is an 11-month-old baby boy who is weak from kwashiorkor malnutrition. A grandmother showed her 7-month-old grand daughter. The mother died last month. Pray that we can find someone who can help these 2 babies. One of our goals here at Coram Deo is to try to change attitude in the community towards the handicapped. The village of Bonnette is one community that has been changed. Handicapped people are helped and efforts are made by the people of the community to get them help. The next-door neighbor of Rachel’s mother (who suffered a stroke a couple of years ago that left her paralyzed on one side of her body) helps the mother to lift a pot of food on and off the cooking fire. In this way the mother can still have independence of cooking the food for her family. Last week when I stopped by to visit this mother she was cooking the family’s daily meal. I found out later that she had set aside a portion of the meal for me because she thought I would stop by her house again before heading back to Port-au-Prince. She is so thankful that her baby daughter is getting help at Deedee’s. Handicapped people in this village are not hidden and are part of the village life. It can be done in other areas as well. Pray that more missions will focus on helping the handicapped.
One mission that works with handicapped children is Hopital Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs (Little Brothers and Sisters). They have a physiotherapy program that offers free physiotherapy to the poor in the community who have handicapped children. Each week 50 handicapped children go horseback riding at Chateaublond, which is located in the Tabarre region of Port-au-Prince. 2 of these children were selected to represent Haiti at the 6th International Equestrian Games for Children, which were held in August in Germany.
The Haitian government ratified the OEA (Organization of American States) Interamerican Convention for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against handicapped people this week. This ratification will protect the rights of the handicapped and provide opportunities for their insertion into society. Handicapped people are given the same human rights and same fundamental liberties as other people. Pray for the work being done for the rights of the handicapped here in Haiti and in other countries of the world.
August finished with no tropical storms or hurricanes affecting Haiti! This is a real blessing. In a report published by Maplecroft (a British organization), Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone were named as the 4 countries most vulnerable to climate change in the “Index of Vulnerability to Climate Change”. Of the 28 countries at extreme risk, 22 are located in Africa. The 6 factors considered were: economy, institutions and governance, human development and health, ecosystems (forests, human impact, soil erosion), security of resources (water, food, energy) and population and infrastructure. The government of France is trying to assist Haiti with some of its flooding problems. Etang Miragoane is a lake that flooded and hasn’t receded. As a result the bridge connecting the west department to the south is submerged. The government had to create another transportation route as the road could only be traveled by canoe. France is funding $200,000US$ from August to October 2009 to improve the situation. A professional diver determined that the increased elevation is primarily due to the obstruction of filtration points where the lake water runs naturally to the sea. Debris in the form of stones, trees, clothing, mattresses, leaves and plants are blocking this natural flow. Clean up work has already lowered the water levels by 50 cm. Pray that the government can improve the natural drainage areas that are in place.
That is all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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