Saturday, November 7, 2009

haiti update - november 2, 2009

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27, 28

Hi! The above bible passage I saw written on a banner that people were carrying through the streets around the Champs Mars public park in downtown Port-au-Prince on the morning of Monday November 2nd. November is the month of a few Haitian national holidays. The first 2 took place on November 1st (All-Saints/Reformation Day) and November 2nd (Jour des Morts --- Day of the Dead). Day of the Dead is one of the biggest voudou holidays of the year. People will bring offerings to the graveyards so that the spirits will be satisfied and won’t bother them (hungry people will wait and eat the offerings once the people go away). Driving around Monday we saw voudou celebrants heading to where they were going. Here in Haiti November 2nd is a significant spiritual battle day and churches across the city had special prayer services to counteract the voudou ceremonies that were occurring. One of the activities that the protestant churches organized was having a large service in the outdoor band shell of the Champ Mars public park. Groups of Christians walked around the Champ Mars accompanied by a public announcement truck that blared Christian music over the speakers and an evangelist was preaching. What was being repeated often over the speakers was “Christ for Haiti, Haiti for Christ!” as the publicity truck circled around the streets. When the groups reached the park they entered the band shell where they were welcomed and joined up with the others who had arrived before them for a worship service. Pray for the work of the Haitian churches as they strive to bring the nation to Christ.
We made 3 visits to General Hospital that day. The first visit was to check up on the 2 abandoned babies we had seen the previous week in the pediatric surgery area of the hospital. The condition of the cleft lip baby deteriorated over the week. He was thinner and you could tell that he hadn’t been fed enough. He also has a colostomy. We found out more about the histories of these 2 babies. The cleft lip baby was born in the mountains of Fond Verrettes, which is near the Dominican Republic border. The family brought him to the emergency room the same day he was born. The mother then left the room during the evening and never came back. His name is “Mangui” and he is now 1 month old. Even though his mother abandoned him the medical staff in the emergency room saw that he got care and he received an emergency colostomy surgery as he was born without an anus. They transferred him to the pediatric surgery ward. Since that time nursing staff and parents of other patients have been caring for him but he has not been receiving the amount of nutrition that he needs to thrive. He only weighs about 3-4 pounds and is malnourished and anemic. The other baby has a colostomy only and his name is Marvens. He was born in Petit Goave and was also brought shortly after birth to the emergency room. His mother also abandoned him during the evening in the emergency room. The medical staff went ahead and did the surgery and transferred him up to the pediatric surgery ward as well. He has been up there for 2 months now and the nurses and parents of other patients are helping him out too. It is good that the medical staff cared for these babies. They could have just let them die and not performed the surgeries that they needed because there was no family present and they also could have sent them into the abandoned room after surgery but they are delaying doing so. We talked with Chris Nungester and went and picked her up and returned back to the hospital for a second visit. She examined the children and we were surprised to find out that the nurse who had just finished feeding the cleft lip baby was the pastor’s wife of the church where one of her employees attends. The cleft lip baby needs a lot of care and Chris mentioned that in December she would need someone else to help look after the baby while she was in the United States. When I dropped off Chris at her place I contacted Dorothy and told her about the situation and we made a 3rd trip to the hospital. Dorothy is willing to help Chris out for December. Mangui will now have the opportunity to join Hal and Chris Nungester at His Home for Children once Bien Etre Social allows him to be released from the hospital. Pray for their efforts and for those who God has placed in the path of Mangui to keep him alive. He was abandoned by his mother but he is not alone. Pray that we can find another orphanage to take in the other abandoned colostomy baby.
The baby boy who we saw in the abandoned children’s room the other week that was not in good shape died. He is now in heaven and suffers no more. The abandoned room is very full. We saw 4 children to a bed again. When we were leaving we saw a worker carrying a young child who was around 2 years old. I asked her if this was an abandoned child and she said yes. This child had been abandoned near the Archaie area in a place called Williamson and had just been delivered to the hospital. He wasn’t handicapped and the workers in the abandoned room will have no choice but to cram him into a bed shared by several children. Keep the children of this ward in prayer and that homes could be found for them.
In the pediatrics ward one of the parents there called me over to talk with another parent. She knew me from the Delmas 31 area and knew that we worked with hydrocephalus children. The other parent had a baby who was hospitalized with meningitis and had a developing hydrocephalus. Once the baby is discharged we will get him registered over at Healing Hands for the next hydrocephalus surgical team to evaluate.
We continue to go every 2 days to the Tabarre area to change the dressings on Jonel Colo’s head. The pressure sores are not getting any bigger and they are starting to heal. Tim Bos is coming to Haiti on November 20th. If anyone would like to donate antibiotic cream we could use it for Jonel’s head. It will be awhile before these sores will finish healing. I have been using “Equate Triple Antibiotic Ointment”, which can be found at Wal-Mart and it is working well! You can contact my parents or Tim if you can help out. Jonel’s mother had a difficult time last week. She had lent a neighbor $20H ($2.50US$). She asked for it back and the neighbor sent someone over to beat her up. When I showed up to change Jonel’s dressing last Tuesday her beating had just been finished. I encouraged her to file a report with the police and she did so. Her eye is still causing her pain from being hit by a rock. The person who beat her up is in hiding. They found out the police were contacted. We are also bringing her some Feed My Starving Children rice meals once a week. We got another donation of these meals from Love a Child last week. We give the Lord thanks that we are able to help out other people as well with food assistance.
The first quarter exams were written by the students here at Coram Deo last week. We give the Lord thanks for the opportunity to have a school program here on the grounds of Coram Deo.
It was a difficult week for Haiti last week. The senators called Prime Minister Michele Pierre Louis to appear before them. They accused her of not doing enough to create employment in the country and not spending the emergency assistance funds well enough that the government had received after last years’ floods. The funny thing is that the political party of the President; Lespwa, were the ones who led the no-confidence vote and because they have the majority they won. The minority parties came to the defense of the prime minister but the majority vote won. It is ironic that her own party overthrew her. She only lasted one year as prime minister. This past summer she gave an interview with a journalist, Michael Deibert and in the article that he wrote she told him that “chaos is good for a few sectors” here in Haiti and that Haiti’s political system would reject anyone who would not allow themselves to be corrupted. A new prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive will be presented for approval of the senate and parliament. Pray for stability in Haiti. It is difficult for new investment to take place here if there is no confidence in stability.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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