CORAM DEO – HAITI UPDATE – NOVEMBER 19, 2016
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves”. Romans 13: 1,2
Elections and government are the focus of events right now. It sure was interesting following the events surrounding the recent American election. We are fortunate to have NU-TV and can follow American channels and also the Canadian CBC based in Toronto. It sure is great to be able to watch Hockey Night In Canada and my favourite team the Toronto Maple Leafs. They might even make the playoffs this year J It was amazing to see how some of the American people reacted to the news of Donald Trump’s presidential victory. Our Coram Deo family watched how people protested, burned the American flag and rioted. They asked me if the United States would redo the election because of the protests. In Haiti protests are a common theme. Haiti has an interim president because the last elections held in 2015 were full of problems. The elections were supposed to be held on October 9th, but due to Hurricane Matthew’s damage conditions were not possible to hold elections. Many of the voting sites were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. Elections are now being scheduled for Sunday November 20th. The country still is dealing with the post-hurricane problems in the South and now the North is dealing with flooding conditions because of heavy rains. The weather forecast for Sunday is calling for more rain. I am not sure how many people will come out to vote but I think the participation rate will be low. A former president, Jn. Bertrand Aristide was campaigning with the candidate for the Lavalas party that he founded. He spoke to the crowd of people and said that if the elections are not held on November 20th that the people should “dechoukaje” ( riot, destroy, burn). Pray for election day here in Haiti, that it be free of violence and that a president can be elected.
Violence sometimes is a problem here in Haiti. On Wednesday someone was killed in front of our house. A group of people brought a load of scrap metal to the scrap metal dealer on our street corner. They got into an argument about how the money should be split amongst them. Pushing led to shoving and then led to people throwing rocks at each other. One guy pulled out a knife and stabbed another guy in the abdomen. The man collapsed. Police arrived as the dispute was occurring and they didn’t throw rocks but started to shoot in the air. The welders who work by the wall in front of our house grabbed the guy who had the knife and held him for the police. The police arrested him and the injured man was rushed to hospital. The stabbing injury was severe and he died in hospital. The incident occurred around noon and our students were kept safe. Our gate was locked and secure. Ramsey climbed a tree to keep an eye on the proceedings. It is sad that this incident happened in front of our house. It is sad too that this isn’t the first time that we have had someone killed in front of our house.
Zulu, is a young man from the wharf area of Cite Soleil. He is a former gang member who is trying to change his life. He started a children’s program in his neighbourhood and we help the program out as we can. He came to the house on Tuesday scared. His brother is still in a gang and was involved in a gang conflict. His brother shot and killed 2 people. Members of the other gang were searching for his brother and Zulu was scared that they would go after him too. Pray for Zulu and that he can stay away from the gang life, and also pray for his brother. The gangs had a period of peace amongst themselves but that peace is starting to break. The police killed a gang leader in a police operation on Thursday.
Christianie helps out with cooking sometimes and lives in the Bois Neuf area of Cite Soleil. There was a gang reprisal that occurred near her home. A young woman from the Soleil 17 area was walking through Bois Neuf and some of the gang members raped her. The gang from Soleil 17 took action and killed several gang members from Bois Neuf. An innocent bystander was also shot and killed in the gang reprisal. Please pray for peace in Cite Soleil.
This week we were able to help Christianie and her family buy a piece of land in the Rte 9 area. Her family will now be able to leave the Bois Neuf area and all the violence that occurs there from time to time. Please keep her husband in prayer. He was injured when a building collapsed while workers were demolishing it. He still is recovering from his injuries and is not able to work. There are still some buildings that were damaged by the earthquake that still need to be taken down.
Over the years we helped Anderson attend a deaf school. He is now an adult and helps his mother. In August after doing laundry he walked through the neighbourhood and never came back. His mother searched for him and made police reports. He was last seen in the Bon Repos area. It appears that he died either by an accident or was killed. Sometimes in Haiti the handicapped are treated like they are evil. 3 deaf women were killed a few months ago. Please keep his mother in prayer. She misses her son and has no answers as to why he is not home. Not knowing what happened to her son is difficult.
On Tuesday we bought materials to repair 3 homes in the Kenscoff area by Pastor Pierre’s church. The families were very thankful for the help. We paid somebody to transport the materials. Kimosabe doesn’t’ have the strength to carry a heavy load in the mountains. The truck that went into the mountains had trouble getting back. Once the load of material was emptied there was no weight to help it make it up the steep hills. Finally they were able to get the truck out of the mountains by putting rocks behind the wheels as a support. It was raining when the distribution was made and the recipient families carried the materials down to their sites. We are thankful for people who have contributed to repair homes. Pastor Pierre is a good pastor J He cares about the people in his area and is being a good leader in his community. The hurricane relief is ongoing and we will be helping more families next week with materials.
The Timothy Leadership Training seminars held at the Christian Reformed Ministry Centre went well. We were able to send 18 people to the seminars. The pastors and church leaders that we sent came from churches in Kenscoff, Port-au-Prince, Cite Soleil, Leogane, and Belladere. Pray especially for the Leogane church. Their building was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew and will need to be rebuilt. We are thankful for the Timothy Leadership Training seminars that are held twice during the year. Please keep that program in prayer.
The neurosurgery team from Miami is arriving in Haiti this weekend to do hydrocephalus surgeries. They were originally scheduled to arrive in October but Hurricane Matthew blocked their travel plans. It sure is great that Dr. Ragheb and his surgical team are coming. Hopefully there will be no election problems in Haiti that will block the surgeries from happening. We have a hydrocephalus baby and her mother staying here who are from Fond-Des-Blancs (South region of Haiti).
Sometimes in Haiti plans go out the window J Monday morning Amos came to say that a girl was waiting outside who had a bone sticking out of her arm. I pictured that she would be in a lot of pain and when I went outside I couldn’t identify who it was from the row of people sitting on the bench. Edline is a 14-year-old girl who lives with her family in the Marmelade region (North part of Haiti). Her cousins brought her to the house for help. The family told me that Edline had an arm problem for 3 years. They said she had an abscess and would take medicine to treat it. A week ago the sore on her arm opened and an arm bone poked out of the site. Her parents put her on a bus to Port-au-Prince and her cousins picked her up at the bus station. Her cousins live in the ravine area of Delmas 31. The bone that is sticking out is near the top of her arm and her t-shirt sleeve covered it. When I lifted the sleeve the bone was exposed. We drove up Goat Mountain for the drive to the hospital in Mirebalais. We went to the emergency department and had to wait almost an hour just to get a dossier made. Getting treatment at the hospital is like winning the lottery. People come from all across Haiti for medical care. The only cost to a patient is 10 H$ (0.80 US$) I got a nurses attention and asked her if she could help us. When she saw the exposed bone protruding from Edline’s arm she pulled strings to get her to be seen. After she was entered into the system we drove back down the mountain. The hospital staff did blood work and discharged her with an appointment to come back on November 22nd for surgery. The doctor told the family that she had an injury from 3 years ago that was never treated and that she is in danger of losing her arm. It is amazing that Edline has no pain. Please keep Edline’s upcoming surgery in prayer, and that her arm can be saved.
The guys love to play soccer but sometimes injuries occur. Fedner lost his balance and fell onto his left hand/wrist. He was in a lot of pain and couldn’t move his wrist. We went to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Trauma Hospital in Tabarre and they did xrays and told him that he had a scaphoid fracture and would need to have follow-up with an orthopaedic surgeon and possible surgery. We brought him to the orthopaedic clinic at Adventist Hospital and he came home with a cast above his elbow. The doctor is not sure how the bone will heal but he is hopeful that surgery will not be required. We also brought 2 other patients to be seen that day. Please pray for Fedner and that his 2 broken bones heal. Fedner is the teacher for the 4eme AF class. It is a good thing that he is right-handed! He can still teach and write on the chalkboard while his left arm is in a cast.
That is all the news for today! Have a blessed week-end J
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo
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