“Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18
Hi! This week I saw the contrast in the struggles of life in the lives of a few Haitian people that we encountered this week. Fonise Cadeau remains in Bernard Mevs Hospital but she is improving. At the beginning of her hospitalization the doctors ordered some blood tests. The most serious result was that her hemoglobin level was only 5.4. Normal values are around 10-12. This low dangerous blood level meant that she needed more than just 1 blood transfusion. She required 3 bags of blood in order to raise her blood levels towards the normal range. The nurse also told us that her results came back positive for Helicobacter Pylori and Typhoid. H. Pylori is the bacteria responsible for most ulcers and cases of stomach inflammation. This bacteria only grows in the stomach. It is a common bacteria. As many as half the world’s population is infected with this and those who are living in developing countries or in crowded, unsanitary conditions are particularly susceptible to getting this. Even before Fonise went out to the Aux Cayes countryside last Easter she was complaining of difficulty swallowing. This is a symptom of H. Pylori. An endoscopy is done to determine other complications. The doctor has ordered an endoscopy and the family indicated to us that this would be done in the next couple of days. The other diagnosis of typhoid is caused from eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water (easy to do here in Haiti!). Both illnesses are treatable and Fonise is responding well to treatment. She now has an appetite again and is eating. We talked with Fonise and her family and offered to them that she could stay here at Coram Deo for a while once she is discharged. She is still in a malnutrition and weak state due to the length of time she has been sick and it will take her some time to regain full health again. We had also made that same offer to the family back in August when we first found out she was seriously ill but the family told us that she was living with a cousin in Aux Cayes and no longer out in the countryside with her mother. One of the family members that we talked with today told me that he didn’t think she would survive. He thought that she had some untreatable illness. He now thinks that she just might live now. By God’s grace and some good medical care at Bernard Mevs Hospital, Fonise is alive and getting stronger by the day. Pray for her as she continues in her recovery.
On Friday morning we went to Bonnette with Deedee, Samson and Rachel so that the families could see their children and also to see how well they were doing! Rachel’s mother is the woman who suffered a stroke a couple of years ago. She was happy to see her. It was the first visit for Samson’s mother. The last time she saw him he was near death. He is now healthy! The neighbors were amazed at how well he was doing. We had to search out Samson’s mother. The neighbors had told us that she was at her mothers’ house. When we got there, I went inside the hut to find an elderly lady lying on a mat on the ground. She was malnourished and shaking and struggling to breathe. We knew right away from seeing her that she would die and that nothing else could be done. She was too far-gone. The family stayed by her side though and the grandmother managed to live until this morning. We received word of her death from Paulna’s mother. This grandmother managed to live a long life here in Haiti. It was God’s will that she would die. Pray for Samson’s mother as she struggles to raise her family and also for Deedee as she looks after the children in her care.
The children with orthopedic problems made their return journey to Cap Haitian early this morning. Ivona Dessalines and Lovely Nelson from Sheri’s mission, Lucson Jean and Islande Berlis and their families along with Amos traveled by bus to Cap Haitian. The trip took around 7 hours. The Gonaives patients arrived late this afternoon. Everyone is staying the night at the hospital eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Cure International orthopedic team tomorrow morning. MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) will fly Lovely and Lucson back to Port-au-Prince if they are chosen to undergo spinal surgery free of charge! Pray for all the children that will be undergoing orthopedic surgeries.
December 3rd was International Day of the Handicapped around the world. The Secretary of State for the Handicapped, Michel Pean spoke and said that here in Haiti handicapped people are victims of stigmatization and marginalisation and that all sectors (including government offices) of Haitian society need to change their attitude in improving access for people with special needs. Pray that this happens. One of the government run organizations who offers care to handicapped children suspended their activities this week due to lack of finances. C.E.S. (Centre Education Speciale) offered a special education class for handicapped children as well as a clinic where conditions like seizures are treated. We have visited this clinic in the past with children who had a history of seizures. Pray a way can be found for them to continue to function.
3 gangsters in the Grand Ravine area of Port-au-Prince made a step to changing their lives. At a ceremony in a church at Carrefour Georges, 1000 people witnessed something special. These 3 gang members gave up their weapons at the church service. They were dressed in suits and walked out of services with a bible only in their hands. The gangsters had said that 3 times in the past they had given weapons to the CNDDR (Commission Nationale de Desarmement) and nothing was done to help them reform. One gangster who went by the names of “Nasson” or “Adiles” stated that “Today I give my life to God. I am no longer Nasson or Adiles, but I am a servant of God. People may now call me Brother Joseph Jean-Claude. Another gangster who goes by the name of “Maxo” stated, “Everything is behind me. Today I consecrate my life to God and will leave the security of Grand Ravine to the care of the police” (in the past gangs from different areas would battle on each others’ turf). All 3 gangsters profess that they are repentant and have converted. Pray for these gangsters as they start their walk in the Christian faith.
November 30th was officially the last day of hurricane season. Haiti was blessed this year with no tropical storms or hurricanes! Rebuilding of damaged roads and bridges from the 2008 hurricane season continues.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo