Hi! We had a couple of storms on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon that brought with them a lot of rain. Thursday afternoon was the worst with a lot of rain. Some streets turned into rivers. The American Embassy, located in Tabarre was closed Friday due to the flooding conditions. People heading home from work and school had to wade through water in places. Officially, hurricane season starts June 1st but storms don’t follow the calendar J Pray for those living in areas susceptible to flooding. It looks like it is going to be an active storm season this year.The school year is starting to wind down. The students here at Coram Deo write their final exams the week of June 3-6. Once again this year the grade 5/6 class covered 2 years of material over the year. They were able to do this with study sessions on Saturday mornings. Pray for the 12 students that we will be sending to write the 6eme AF state exams. If they pass these they will qualify for secondary school!
The community health workers returned for another day of testing for HIV and syphilis for the students who weren’t tested the first day. We are thankful that we didn’t have any children testing positive for HIV or Syphilis the second day. They handed us the reports for each child and we filed them into the students’ folders. International Child Care/Grace Children’s Hospital is focusing on preventive and early detection of diseases. The team will be returning again to do testing for Tuberculosis, which is a common and an easily transmissible disease here in Haiti. One of the health workers met with me to talk about handicapped people. Helping the handicapped is on her heart. She is part of a mission working with the handicapped in education and training teachers, workers and schools in implementing programs for handicapped students. She invited us to collaborate with them. Their organization wants to set up vocational and professional training for the handicapped. It is great to meet people who want to be involved in providing opportunities to the handicapped. She said that they would be holding seminars and will invite our teachers to participate in the next session. Please pray for those helping the handicapped. The workers are few and the handicapped are many.Our teachers have continued to follow the seminars offered by the Playmakers – Life Is Good Program. On Friday mornings the teachers spend school time in physical education and play. The teachers put into practise what they learned in the seminars. The children enjoy these fun times! Pray for the Playmakers-Life Is Good program as they help teachers and teach others about the importance of play for children.
Security is still an uncertainty here in Haiti. There are a lot of robberies on the streets. A couple of times Yonel’s wife has been robbed at gunpoint while buying food from the large outdoor market downtown to sell in her neighbourhood market. In the upper Delmas 31 – Hatt area there have been a few deaths that have occurred almost in the same spot. About a month ago a man working with a construction company that is rebuilding the Delmas 33 police station that was destroyed during the earthquake, was shot and killed as he was driving back to the Delmas 33 police station after making a cash withdrawal from the bank. He was shot dead in his vehicle by a couple of people riding a motorcycle. Somebody knew this man was carrying money. Either people working at the bank or people working at the police station were involved in this shooting I think. Last week as Yvens was walking home from school he heard gun shots. Police officers had shot and killed 2 guys who had stolen a motorcycle. Manu and Benson sometimes take a tap-tap to attend youth group on Saturdays at Quisqueya Chapel. Last Saturday Manu and Benson got off of a tap-tap by Delmas 33. They heard a couple of gunshots and started running. Soon a couple more shots were fired. Other people who were on the streets were running away from the area too. Pray for security on the streets as people go about their day-to-day lives. Part of growing up here in Haiti is learning how to be “street-safe”.A few weeks ago Marie-Mita and her 4-month-old baby daughter Jessica came to us asking for help, for herself and her baby. She is homeless and has been staying nights at churches that are holding prayer services. It is common in Haiti for churches to hold services throughout the evening. This was a way for her to get shelter at night. She told us that both she and her baby had HIV. We took her to the HIV clinic at Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs Hospital in Tabarre and they took blood tests which confirmed that they both had HIV. They referred her back to us to register her at the HIV clinic at International Child Care/Grace Children’s Hospital. Marie-Mita was started immediately on anti-retroviral drugs to control the HIV and her daughter started on antibiotics.
It is tough to try to help people who have absolutely nothing. Marie-Mita has had a difficult life since the earthquake. Her husband was killed during the earthquake. She met another man and lived with him hoping that he could provide for herself and her family. She didn’t know that he had HIV. She got pregnant and gave birth to Jessica. When blood tests were taken she found out that both she and her baby had HIV in their blood. The guy who she thought would be a father to her children took off and left her to fend for herself. She ended up sending 2 of her children out to the countryside to stay with people in her village. She stayed in the city trying to find help for Jessica. We gave Marie-Milta baby formula to give her daughter. The doctors have told her to stop breastfeeding. We helped Marie by paying for tap-tap fare back to the countryside so that she could be with her other 2 children. The hospital gave her a 2-month supply of HIV medications. We have been in contact with another missionary about placing Jessica in their orphanage and in August, when they return from the United States this may be a possibility. Pray for Marie-Mita as she struggles with HIV and raising 3 children alone. People who know that she has HIV shun her. She can’t turn to family as they are part of those who are shunning her. We hope to be an advocate and provide encouragement for her and to share the love of Christ. I hope to speak with the family one day and talk about the message of Christ.There were more medical situations that occurred this week. I’ll talk about this more in a few days. Have a blessed week-end!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo