Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Haiti Update - April 30, 2013

But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.  And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn,  and the innkeeper,  and said to him,  “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend,  when I come again, I will repay you.”  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”  And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”         Luke 10:30-37
Hi! I started Coram Deo here in Haiti in 1998 with the help of family and friends. Since that time we have strived to help the Haitian people. There have been a lot of challenges but we have persevered. I strive, and teach the Haitian people who are part of Coram Deo to be the Samaritan. Sometimes we come across people needing assistance in our travels, sometimes they come to us, and other times Haitian people bring them to us hoping for an answer. We are grateful that Ed Amos set up his medical/dental clinic here at Coram Deo. Every day there is a gathering at the gate of people hoping to be seen for medical or dental problems.  He treats the ones he is able to help.

 Some people have problems that need specialized care. This morning a mother and her baby came into the clinic. She told Ed that she and her baby have HIV. They both are not in a treatment program. We will be taking them to Nos Petits Freres/Soeurs  Hospital later in the week to have them both tested, and enrol them in the anti-retroviral program once their HIV is confirmed as positive. The hospital has an excellent HIV program and medications are provided free of charge. Pray for this mother and her baby, that they both can be helped. 
Stevens Petit-Frere, a  7-year-old boy  is a child that Ed saw at the clinic a few weeks ago. He had a bad head fungus plus an enlarged abdomen. We took him for a sonogram today and the results show that he has an enlarged spleen, multiple cysts and probable non-hodgkins lymphoma. Pray for  Stevens.  He faces multiple severe health problems. Pray that we can find help for him either here in Haiti or in the United States. 

A couple months ago, Bradley, a 5-year-old boy, was playing with another child who had an umbrella. The child lunged at Bradley and poked him directly in the eye.  He  lost his eye.  Bradley lives with his grandmother in a refuge camp. His mother died during the earthquake and his father was never a part of his life. His grandmother came with a paper from the General Hospital eye clinic. The price of a prosthetic eye for Bradley is $300H (35 US$) and she didn’t have the funds for the prosthetic eye.  Johnny went with them to the hospital this morning but the doctor wasn’t  there. We have another appointment for Thursday.  Pray that Bradley gets fitted with a prosthetic eye.
We have 2 hydrocephalus babies and their mothers staying here the last couple of weeks. One is from the island of La Gonave and the other from the mountain region of Foret De Pin.  They are awaiting the arrival of a neurosurgeon who will be working with Project Medishare at Bernard Mevs Hospital. He just recently performed 8 hydrocephalus surgeries. He will be returning at the end of May to perform some more. Pray for the babies who are here, that they get stronger and healthier during this month of May.

Slade Alfred is a 9-month-old baby girl/boy. We aren’t able to identify the sex of the child because it has all the body  parts of a male or female (ambiguous genitalia). This baby will need genetic  testing to determine its’ sex. This can only be done in the United States.
2 of Marie’s relatives came with their mother from the Petit-Goave region to see Ed this morning. Both of the children have severe curvature of the spine. Both these children will need to get spinal surgery that can’t be done here in Haiti. Amos brought these 2 children and Slade over to the office of Angel Missions Haiti. We are praying that they can help us in finding medical care for these 3 children in the United States.

These are the children that we saw today.  All have serious and complex problems. I have a notebook containing many more names of children and adults who we are seeking help for. Most missions choose not to help these types of cases. The ones who do are overwhelmed with requests for help. Pray for all those with special needs here in Haiti and pray that one day Haiti will be able to provide medical care for all its’ population, and that people wouldn’t have to suffer with a treatable medical problem.
Our school program here at Coram Deo is going well. It is good to see the yard full of students, and also that there are now enough school shelters to house the children. During the week at any one time we have 150 people in the yard;  100 students and 50 people waiting to see Ed at the clinic. We are grateful to have caring teachers who seek to give the students a good education.

The pastor training seminars that the Christian Reformed Mission offers are being well-attended by Pastor Pierre and his group of pastors/church leaders. On May 8-10 there will be another series of Timothy Leadership Training Seminars. We currently sponsor a group of 19 pastors/leaders in the churches that Pastor Pierre has had contact with.
We are thankful that we are here in Haiti to try and help the people who come into contact with us. We are thankful for the prayers and financial support that people have given. Currently our funds are low. At the end of March there was a balance of $2.77 in our CDN$ account. The month of April brought to us through Mission of Tears $1,900US in donations. To function well in all our programs here at Coram Deo we need to have a monthly funding of $9000. We are not able to attain that level and have been striving to work at a $5000 level. For the month of April we are trying to work with ½ of that. As a result we can’t pay all our expenses.  We are asking that people would prayerfully consider helping us financially at this time.  We strive to be the Good Samaritan and to help the Haitian people. We can only do this with your help.

Karen Bultje,
Coram Deo

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kenscoff Mountains - Pastor Pierre - Part 3


Pastor Pierre regularly visits people in the community where his 2 churches are located. They come to him sometimes with their problems.

This woman is handicapped and has no family. People in the community donated these supplies for her to form a partial shelter. This woman is one of the poorest of the poor in the community. She has nothing.

These people use this fallen log as a bench. Combing and braiding hair is a common activity with the girls.

The people who live in the "lakous" keep an eye out on each other.

This woman and her son are preparing to head out and walk somewhere. She is checking him out to make sure he is ready to go with her.

This hut has fallen into disrepair. The thatched roof is starting to fall apart. Once this starts to happen leaks develop.

A young boy wearing borrowed cowboy boots from an older brother. People aren't fussy. They wear what they can put on their feet. It doesn't matter if it is a few sizes too large.

Ermichael is Pastor Pierre's older son. He is holding his younger brother Jeff Jr. (named after my cousin)

We help pay the tuition for Ermichael who is in his 4th year of secondary school. We also pay the tuition for his older sister Carline, who is in her last Philo year of secondary school this year.

Milus Pierre is another of Pastor Pierre's children. He suffers from seizures which is kept somewhat under control with medication. He suffered some brain damage from seizure activity when he was younger and is paralyzed on his left side. It was Pastor Pierre's search for medical care for his son Milus that connected us originally with Pastor Pierre. Pastor Pierre understands the plight of the handicapped as he has a handicapped son himself. Pray for Milus that his seizures continue to respond to the medication.

Hurricane season does a lot of damage up in the mountains. The wind strength is always higher in the mountains. Here are some remnants of a roof that was torn off last hurricane season.

This smiling woman is Pastor Pierre's wife. This is the inside of their home.

They grow bananas and other things around their property.

Ermichael is making a "rechaud", a haitian cooking stove.

Jeff is helping out his father by holding onto the camera case :)

Ermichael climbed up the avocado tree to pluck the ripe avocados.

There is a water source near their house.

Nieces and nephews of Pastor Pierre carrying some homemade juice.

Pastor Pierre visited one of the churches that he has contacts with. The congregation rents the building. No money for benches though. People sit on the ground during the service.

One of the workers who assist Pastor Pierre in his outreach.

A sand pile near the edge of the mountain road. Sand is shoveled into bags and carried further into the mountains.

A mountain road.

A view of Pastor Pierre's mountain top church. What a view!

The front of the church.

Inside the church stands one of the leaders.

A Reformed Church banner hangs inside with various bible verses listed and at the bottom it reads Jesus is King

A young girl in the community near the church.

This toddler doesn't look too happy.

A cooking shelter for this family.

A couple members of the congregation working in their field. Terrace farming is practised in the Kenscoff area to help prevent erosion. This is a crop of onions.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kenscoff Mountains - Pastor Pierre - Part 2


Pastor Pierre has a good relationship with the community and also his church congregation. He is a caring person and will seek to find help for those who need it. While visiting with one family a blind man cambe. He is seated in the white chair with his walking stick.

Families try to help each other when they can.

People do what they can to decorate their homes. This woman has a curain hanging up by the front door and also the wall of her door is wall papered with advertisements.

This hard working man proudly posed in front of his home with his wife and children.

Children learn from a young age to contribute to the family. These children are taking a rest after walking a long way with a couple of gallons of water each.

This "lakou" (yard) has several homes on it. As families grow more homes are sometimes added in the lakou.

There are a lot of young children in this community. Women do their best to provide for their family.

Housing styles vary depending on the poverty of the family. This wooden home is more sturdier than others in the community.

It is amazing how the thatched roofs are built. As you can see here they are thick and tight to keep the rain out.

This family even has a front porch.

This is a nice style home with plenty of windows for air circulation. a lace curtain hangs in the doorway.

This home is the fruit of the efforts of this older man. It is more difficult for the younger generation to build their homes. Deforestation for making charcoal has decimated the wood sources for people. In the past more people constructed their family out of wood.

The man's wife is bringing out some food for her husband.

They sit and relax in the shade.

Landslides occur sometimes in the mountains. A large section of land was lost in this particular landslide.

It is more common now to see the mud walled homes.

Family and friends gather near this photo to get their picture taken :)

A couple mothers holding their children. The child on the left has orangey coloroed hair which is the mark of malnutrition. It is a battle for these people to find enough food for their families.

This was the most colorful house in the area! The walls looks like they were whitewashed recently.

A mother and her children standing next to the heart painting

It is common to see grafitti on the walls in Port-au-Prince. This home had lots of different decorations. I think the children go ahold of some paint!

It sure does brighten up their home with the colors on the walls.

Bath time for this young girl.

Pastor Pierre comes from this community. Some of the children pictured here are relatives of his.

Here are some of the older children.

Here are some of the younger children.

A father who is sick is relaxing on a grass mat in his lakou.

Another lakou community.

These girls were dressed up ready to go somewhere.

This young girl was peeking around the corner of her home.