Saturday, May 25, 2013

Coram Deo Haiti Update - May 25, 2013

“He calms the storm, so that its waves are still”   Psalm 107: 29

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

Grace Children's Hospital and the NHLPA - P.K. Subban

Grace Children's Hospital is located on Delmas 31, a couple of streets from us. Community health workers there recently spent 2 days doing blood testing for HIV and syphilis. We give the Lord thanks for the work that this organization does. It is playoff time in the NHL and I am sorry to see that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens were eliminated. It sure is great that players like P.K. Subban show an interest in helping Haiti and working to reconstruct Grace Children's Hospital, which was destroyed by the earthquake of January 10, 2010.

The Second Tropical Wave Of The Season Is Likely To Affect The Southern Coast Of Haiti


(Alterpresse) -

Port-au-Prince - Tropical wave number 2 of the season, formed in the night of May 23 to 24 east of the arc of the Antilles, which may affect in the next 48 hours the South regions of Haiti, informs the National meteorological Center (Cnm).

A mass of humid a moist air moving from the eastern tip of Cuba to the island of Haiti will cause rains in some districts of the country, including Nippes, Central, North, Northeast, the South, Grand Anse, South and southeast.

Those responsible for the management of risks and disasters continue to encourage people in hazardous areas exposed to landslides, mudslides and flooding, to follow the safety instructions.

It is generally advisable for these people to evacuate and stay with friends or relatives, who live in habitats and less exposed areas.

The first tropical wave and the displacement of another air mass have caused May 22 and 23, showers and thunderstorms,with strong winds in the Haitian capital and surrounding areas.

Some suburbs north and east of the capital were severely affected by flooding.

Update - Phoebe Jean



Phoebe was examined by the visiting American surgeon at Bernard Mevs Hospital. He told the family that the anus is not too small anymore and that the main thing is to prevent infection and see how Phoebe does. He told the family that she would have to have follow visits every month and that if the anus doesn't heal than he would perform a surgery to form the colostomy and repair the anus. Pray for Phoebe, that the wound caused by the first surgeon heals and that she doesn't get a serious infection. Phoebe is the first child for Lamique and his wife Micheline. They are good parents and do whatever they can to help her.

Lamique is a cement boss by trade. He recently applied to the Brazilian embassy for a work visa in Brazil. This week he got the approval. Thousands of Haitians have traveled to Brazil, most of them through illegal migration following the drug routes into Brazil. Lamique is immigrating the legal way and his visa request was granted! He came to the house this morning and asked if I could help him pay for an airline ticket. I told him that we weren't able to help him. Pray for Lamique, and that he would be able to find a way to get to Brazil and to be able to support his family. Being a skilled tradesman it will be easier for him to support his family in Brazil rather than Haiti.

Recently the Brazilian government deport 322 Haitians who had traveled illegally to Brazil. Below is the article:

(Alterpresse) - By Edson Wooldy Louidor

Bogota/Sto Domingo - The Director General of Migration from the Dominican Republic, Jose Ricardo Taveras was informed of the deportation of 322 Haitians from Brazil to Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, learned the Dominican press.

The Dominican official expressed on 21 May his disagreement with the decision of Brazil to deport to his country foreigners, whose place of origin was not the Dominican Republic.

He also announced the decision of the government of President Danilo Medina to not receiven any more Haitian migrants or other nationalities deported from Brazil, who may not pass through the Dominican Republic.

The decision to deport undocumented Haitians located in the Brazilian territory was announced by the government of Dilma Rousseff on January 13, 2012, during the official announcement of the new immigration policy of this country against Haitian immigration .

On occasion, the Minister of Justice of Brazil, Eduardo Cardozo, said that Brazil was determined to regularize the immigration status of all Haitians on its territory until 12 January 2012. But now Haitians entering the country improperly will be asked to turn around and be subsequently deported, he warned.

The official did not specify the country to which Brazil would deport undocumented Haitians. To transit countries: Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic or the country, Haiti? Everything seems to indicate that the Dominican Republic was selected by Brazil as the country of deportation; a decision that the Dominican government has not approved.

Pressed by the situation of thousands of Haitians repeatedly blocked at the border with Bolivia and Peru (in the Acre area), Brazil had convened on May 13 a multilateral meeting of the five countries involved in Haitian immigration to South America.

During the meeting, delegates from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, reflected, under the leadership of the Government of Brazil, the need to control the borders to act against the smugglers and to control Haitian migration to the South American region.

The Acre Brazilian local government had to declare a state of emergency several times to seek help from the federal government in Brasilia to cope with the humanitarian crisis affecting thousands of Haitian migrants who arrived at the border.

Brazil seems to be faced with a dilemma: to continue to welcome more and more Haitians on its territory (currently there are over 5000) or seek to deport them.

Why does the government of Dilma Rousseff not repatriate Haitians to their country of origin? This is the question that remains an enigma to many.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Haiti Weather - Severe Flooding


The last couple of days we have had some heavy showers/thunderstorms. Rainy season is here! This photo was taken from my bedroom window. I didn't want to get wet in the rain taking a photo :) The water is pouring in streams off the tin roof of the outside kitchen. We collect the rainwater from the roof of the house into our cistern.

The following 2 photos were taken by Alterpresse to go along with their article. Glad we weren't driving when the storm hit :)

(Alterpresse) -

Port-au-Prince - Major floods were recorded in the capital following torrential rains that lashed several parts of the country in the late afternoon of May 23, found AlterPresse.

Among the most affected areas include the Tabarre (northern edge) and areas of Petionville (periphery), including Freres and Pernier.

At Tabarre, streets were turned into rivers, hundreds of people took risks to cross stated an employee of AlterPresse.

Sewers and canals were vomiting muddy water and garbage, while huge traffic jams were caused by cars stopped in the water.

Tabarre offered the spectacle of hundreds of people, including children, youth, pregnant women, and the elderly sometimes aided by benefactors, trying to return to their home. This situation continued until very late.

The same situation was at Freres, where the Corail ravine flooded, throwing tons of silt on the roads, blocking traffic for several hours before an intervention by a team from the Public Works department.

At the entrance to Pernier, the access road has disappeared under a mountain of rubble from the Lima Ravine, which for several years has required a serious and urgent response.

The floods have not caused a loss of human life, according to preliminary findings, but people of Carradeux (Tabarre) complain that the water carried away everything in their houses. Many portals could not withstand the fury of the floods.

Humidity in the atmosphere will still cause the formation of showers and thunderstorms in some departments of the country, reports the National Meteorological Center (Cnm).

The Sud'Est, Grand Anse, Nippes, South, Central, North, West and Nord-East departments might see a very wet weekend

Phoebe Jean


Phoebe Jean is the 7-month-old daughter of Lamique jean and his wife Micheline. They live in Marchandes Dessalines, which is in the Artibonite region of Haiti. Phoebe was born with an anus opening that is too small. The parents brought her to St. Nicholas Hospital in St. Marc. The doctors there told her that an american surgeon would be arriving to do surgery on April 24th. The family returned to the hospital on April 24th and were told that the American surgeon wouldn't be arriving, but a Haitian surgeon would be performing the surgery. The doctors had told the family that the baby needed 3 surgeries. The first surgery would be to form a colostomy, the second surgery to widen the anus opening, and the third surgery to reverse the colostomy. The Haitian surgeon just took a scalpel and cut the anus, sutured the wound and gave the baby back to the family. The family came to us a few days later in tears and scared. The stitches had broke open and the wound was infected. Ed Amos examined the baby, told us that the surgeon who did the surgery did a butcher job and prescribed antibiotics for the pus oozing from the anus. We then brought her over to Bernard Mevs Hospital to see Maguy of Project Medishare. She told us of an american surgeon who would be arriving at the hospital on May 24th.

This morning Phoebe and her parents came here to Coram Deo for their appointment. We brought the family to Bernard Mevs Hospital for the appointment with the american surgeon. The wound is healing with the antibiotics. There is no longer a discharge of pus. Pray that Phoebe can be helped with a surgery

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sick Baby


Late this morning, a Haitian man that we know brought a mother and a young baby to the house, saying that the baby wasn't breathing properly. The baby was dehydrated and malnourished. The family lives in a refuge camp called Tapi Vert in Cite Soleil.

The baby had just healed after being attacked by a rat. The rat tried to eat his face. Terrible but true. Ed Amos checked him out, said the baby needed an iv to live and we rushed over to Bernard Mevs Hospital. The doctors there examined the baby and admitted him to the pediatrics ward immediately. Every week medical personnel from different parts of Canada and the United States help out at the hospital and work alongside the Haitian medical staff. The baby will be getting good quality care free of charge! We left the mother with some money to buy some food and will check back at the hospital tomorrow. Pray for this baby boy. We didn't have time to ask the name of the baby or mother. We are not sure if he will survive but he is now in good hands.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Canaan - Eryl's Mother - Photos - Part 2


One of the guys using a machete to cut the pole down to size.

Jn. Eddy, supervising the work.

The roof frame being formed.

Working together at building the frame.

Mackary nailing in the supports.

This is a typical temporary roof form.

More poles were added to support the roof.

Done. Now the supports will be put in place.

A landscape view towards the main road. Lots of room for expansion :)

The guys are building the wall frames.

Placing the poles.

Tarps for the side walls and roof.

A close up of the roof frame.

Placing the supports.

Using a bucket as a stool.

View of the surroundings.

Mackary getting some drinking water.

The neighbors built a weaved fence.

Raising the roof!

Lining up the roof with the support poles.

Nailing the roof to the supports.

Good thing it wasn't a windy day :)

Once everything is nailed and the tarps laid over the supports the structure is secure.

Eryl is a good son. He loves his mother and wants to help her.

Teamwork to nail the supports!

A human step ladder and a bucket stool makes just the right height to reach the top of the supports.

Mackary, the human ladder ;)

It is good to see how the guys improvised and problem solved their predicament of not having a ladder.

The house frame taking shape.

The guys are proud of what they built.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Canaan - Eryl's Mother - Photos - Part 1


Last week-end Eryl, his brother Jhonser and some of their Coram Deo friends went out to Canaan to build their mother a temporary shelter.

I sent my camera along with the guys and asked them to take photos of the area and the building of the shelter.

Jn. Eddy did the organizing for the project, purchasing a parcel of land and getting the materials necessary to construct the shelter.

Jn. Eddy's mother lives near the land site for Eryl's mother.

Almost everyone leaving the refuge camps in Port-au-Prince is heading out to Canaan or Jerusalem. Some of the construction going up is of permanent structures like this partially buillt cement block house.

I think this picture is really neat. A church with a cross and the light concentrated on the cross. A powerful symbol for a christian to be a light for the world.

Rainy season is here and some of the streets are muddy.

This is the area where Eryl's mother will have a new home.

Some of the material needed to construct a tarp house.

First step is to prepare the site.

A view of Rte National #1. Cell phone towers and the recently paved road. Electricity runs along Rte. National but no infrastructure is in place in Canaan.

A new city formed after the earthquake. Thousands of families are settling at the base and on the hillsides.

A medical centre being constructed in Canaan.

A finished home is off to the left of the picture.

The site of a school that is being constructed in the area.

A construction crew pouring the foundation for a cement block home. Notice one of the guys is following proper construction procedures. He is wearing a safety helmet. He must be the construction supervisor :)

Eryl's mothers home is a basic shelter.. no hard hets necessary!

A view of the hillsides.

One day hopefully the government will provide infrastructure to the area.

A tarp wall/home off to the side of this picture.

The guys designed the roof first.

Then took a break from the hot sun. They found a shadier spot to rest.

A contrast between the different building styles in the area.

Eventually this area will be built up with all cement homes I think.

Tanya, Marlene and the other Angels to Haiti team members are part of our Coram Deo family. They provided the funds to purchase the plot of land for Eryl's mother and for materials.

The guys working on the roof structure.

It looks better when it is all constructed. A good starter home ;)

It was a good lesson in teamwork for the guys.

The guys used what they had to build with.

Everything was cut and trimmed with a machete or hand saw.