“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:10,11)
Hi! This past week was a busy week! The team of 60 people led by Joshua Grooms and Jim Hambrick spent a busy week sharing their skills and talents at various missions during the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday medical personnel and helpers were here at Coram Deo conducting clinics for general medical, dental hygiene, and chiropractic care.
They set up an ear care station where they removed ear wax build-ups from people’s ears. The technique they used involved the use of lighted candles which were hollow in the middle and were dripless. Somehow the lighted candle caused the ear wax to rise out of the ear and into the middle of the candle. When the candle was extinguished the candle wax was unwrapped, and in the middle were plugs of ear wax which had come out of the patient’s ear. Manu has a skin disease called icthyiosis, and as a result he gets build-ups of dead skin and wax in his ear. He showed me the 2 large plugs of ear wax that came out of his ear. I am going to have to find a large supply of these special candles for Manu :) This candle process is an amazing ear friendly procedure and is very effective!
A couple of the visitors also did a health education seminar for the teachers and some of the older guys here at Coram Deo. The visitors said that those who participated in the seminar were very attentive and asked lots of questions. They left us with their materials so that we can use them to teach the students in our school program and also their parents, when we hold parent meetings during the school year.
Some of our Coram Deo people also served as translators throughout the week at the various locations that the teams went to. Manu knows some sign language and he assisted at an ear clinic at Pastor Lenny’s church. Pastor Lenny is a missionary from the Philippines and he has a deaf outreach ministry in the Delmas 19 area. He ministers to the deaf community that settled into the large La Piste refuge camp near Airport Rd. Manu had fun explaining to me the reactions of some of the deaf people when they saw people with lighted candles sticking from their ears :) A couple of them almost ran away :) The team left on Saturday after a week of doing pastor training, vacation bible school, medical/dental care, special education, health training and evangelization.
An extra surprise was when Jim Hambrick told me that they rented the Notre Maison house last week and are now in the process of making repairs to it. They will attempt to raise funding to purchase the house in a year. The Notre Maison house will now be a guesthouse for visiting teams and also used as the base of operations for their ministry centre. This is a great benefit for the Delmas 31 community. Teams will continue to help out missions such as Sherri, Dorothy, Pastor Lenny, Coram Deo, and others. Pray for their efforts in establishing this guesthouse/ministry center.
On Thursday afternoon we picked up Gordon and Diane Lewis, the directors of Mission of T.E.A.R.S from the airport. They will be having a busy week of meetings with the various crèches that they work with here in Haiti who do adoptions, and also meeting with Haitian government and legal officials. Presently in Canada, adoptions from Alberta and Ontario are allowed. There is an interest for adoptions to Quebec as well and meetings with government and legal officials will be made to know what the Haitian government expects for an adoption file to be processed. Haiti has passed the Hague convention for adoptions recently and now they are developing their adoption protocols. 8,000 adoptions are made from Haiti each year to countries such as Holland, France, the United States and Canada.
Haiti has a serious problem with child slavery. 300,000 children live as restaveks here in Haiti and many of them are abused and mistreated, and not given the opportunity to attend school. Parents give up their children in the hope of a better life to serve as “child domestic workers”. The International and Haitian governments are working to eliminate child slavery here in Haiti. An awareness campaign was announced this week by Compassion International, BPM (Brigade for the Protection of Minors), and IBESR (Institut Bien-Etre Social et de Recherche – Haitian Social Services). It is called “Ansanm Pou Yon Ayiti San Restavek (Together for a Haiti Without Restavek). 2 hotlines have been established. “188” is to report incidents to the BPM and “511” to report incidents of child abuse. Children are one of the priorities of the Martelly government. Pray for the government as they seek to improve the lives of the children living in Haitian society, and pray as well for an adoption process adhering to the Hague convention.
On Monday, my sister Michelle will be having surgery to remove her rectum (this is where the primary cancer tumour originated). She will have a colostomy for the next 4-6 weeks. Pray for Michelle as she continues her cancer fight. My mother will be entering the hospital on Wednesday for surgery to remove gall stones from her bile duct. After one week she will have further surgery to remove her gall bladder. For the last year she has had trouble digesting certain foods, and as a result lost a lot of weight. Her surgeon told her that the gall stones were the cause of her eating problems. Pray for a successful surgery, and that she will be able to eat ice cream once again :)
Last weekend, Manu, Sony and Fedner went to Jacmel and stayed at a family member of Sony’s. Jacmel is a beautiful area that is an excellent location for tourism. Fonise has been visiting her mother and siblings in the Aux Cayes region. Paulna is spending the summer with her family in Bonnette. Benson came back this week after visiting his family while I was in Canada.
Calens is also spending the summer with his older brother and extended family. One of the medical teams who had visited here during the year has arranged for Calens to get cornea transplant surgery. Calens is an orphan and we are having trouble finding a family member to be his official guardian. A passport or visa cannot be applied for as long as a family member does not appear in court and is officially declared to be his legal guardian. The sad thing is that the extended family is seeing this opportunity as a chance for them to go the United States. They won’t sign on as his legal guardian until we guarantee to them that we will send them to the United States as well. We can’t do this and I can’t ask the team to be responsible for an adult who might be an immigration risk. A medical visa is a great thing but when a person doesn’t return back to Haiti it could make any future medical visas more difficult to obtain. We will continue talking with the family and may have to wait until Calens’ older brother turns 18 years of age in January 2013 before pursuing legal guardianship for him. Pray for Calens, that one day his sight will be restored, and that his extended family will cooperate in preparing Calens’ paperwork.
Lots more happened this week but that will have to wait for another Haiti Update :)
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo