26. May 2010 18:53
We are now home. Everyone made all their connecting flights without any problems. This trip was by far the best travel experience I have had since going to Haiti. On Monday morning we went up into the mountains to a little village that Pastor had heard about. We drove 3 pickups up as far as we could then walked the rest of the way. The heat bearing down on us from the midmorning sun was brutal. As we walked up and down this rock trail the people of the village lead the way. The small children there were so excited to see us - holding our hands and leading us to where they live. I couldn't believe the kids would carry their shoes instead of wearing them as we stepped on the large rocks. As we rounded a bend their homes came into view. Perched on a 20 ft ledge on the side of the mountain sat 4 homes. They were made of sticks and straw. Some had pieces of canvas tarps woven in. The were A-framed shaped with old suitcases across the top. As we entered in one I couldn't believe how sturdy they appeared. The walls were thick. There was a full size bed in the back with a cleared area in front. Inside smelled of charcoal but was amazingly clean. There was an infant probably 4 or 5 months old taking a nap on the bed. As I came back out of the home Pastor pointed way down the mountain to a few more homes scattered around. So far down I could barely see was the river where they get water. He yelled down to the people there and explained that is how they communicate to each other. This village consisted of about 6 homes scattered along this mountainside. It was like stepping back in time. There was no street traffic noises. No stress. There were dogs tied up as pets. They had eveything they needed to survive. They walk all the way down that mountain every Sunday to attend church at Chambrun. If you looked in the right spot you could see our red and white stripped tent set up that we have been having church in. That is how these people saw us. Although there is still a lot of devastation in Haiti from the earthquake it is encouraging to see how God has used this catastrophe to further His Kingdom. He has brought these people down out of the mountain and allowed us to provide them with food, water and medical care. I met a wonderful little 3 year old girl who lost her left leg in the earthquake. She will be going to school in the Fall and our family has decided to sponsor her. It was encouraging to see more men in church on Sunday then in past trips. The construction projects going on around the clinic is overwhelming. Teams from all over the Country are scheduled to work in Chambrun throughout the year. I heard many times during the trip about how people felt like they didn't do enough. Just remember that the Bible teaches that there is a time for everything and that the seeds we planted while there this week will be harvest by others who will travel there to help.
24. May 2010 02:33
Today we spent a wonderful morning in worship with 300 Haitian friends. We did lots of singing and they did lots of dancing! It is great to see all the people praising God under the circus tent! How awesome! After church we headed in to Port-au-Prince. We drove through the market district. it was pretty difficult to see. Not much as changed since January when I was here. It is sad that all of the money and resources that have been made available to the Haitian government is not being utilized. At least not where we can see it. There were times when we passed piles of trash so large they came up to the top of the bus windows! People seem to have accepted the conditions they have been given and are just going on with life. We spoke with our translator today while in PAP and he stated that the people are asking for the resignation of the President but the Presiden said no. There was a revolution on Monday on the streets of PAP demanding the resignation. The people are very upset that progress is not being made. We must remember to continue to pray for these people and for their government.
23. May 2010 05:22
Today was a very warm day - at least in the 100's. We spent the day at an IDP camp not far from the Embassy. There were probably 60 tents with approximately 300 people living there. It's hard to know how many people are living in the tents. We saw 180 people and the team did great. Everyone pitched in and did their part to help see all the people. We had a water table set up that allowed the patients to get a drink after they were seen. It was nice to see progress as far as the tents go. Many people had a regular tent. There weren't nearly as many people living under trash tents as there were in February. While walking around the tent areas I saw a lady cleaning out her tent that was filled with water from the rain that we have been having. The smell of meldew was strong in the air while all of her belongings were outside in the mud drying. The need for shelter here is still very important. I can't imagine living for any length of time in a tent with 5 family members. The people we saw were relatively healthy. The same minor complaints as we often see. The crowd stayed very well in control with only one disturbance that was very manageable. During Hi/Lo time tonight it was brought up about a man named Wilma at the camp. Wilma did more witnessing to our team than we did to him. He discussed how this place he is living is only temporary - that soon he will be with God. It's amazing to see how strong the Haitians are in their spiritual walk. To remain so positive and to think this too shall past is a message that we all can learn from. After working at the camp we came back and swam in the pool for a bit, relaxed on the rooftop, enjoyed each others companies. Tonight is surprise night to celebrate all the birthdays and anniversarys that we have had this week - 2 of each! God is doing mighty things here....
22. May 2010 03:21
Sitting out on the patio enjoying a wonderful rainstorm and the awesome cool temps for right now! We know it will be hot and muggy once it's over! Worked at the clinic for the last 2 days. Saw approx 160 patients yesterday and 150 today. Everything has gone really well. The team is working great together. Those that do construction have been working on putting the fence up around the entire campus. We watched as GAIN made a bridge using a container that was brought down full of food. It is so neat to see how people are thinking about ways to use the items that God has provide....I never thought about recycling a semi trailer container into a bridge to the warehouse! The walls are starting to be constructed on the warehouse as well. Lots of people working really hard to help the people of Chambrun. It's great to be a part of it!
20. May 2010 07:17
It's a hot one tonight. Has to be the muggiest I've ever felt it here. We had another answer to prayer today. We had prayed for months for a doctor to come down with us. We were not successful and had come to terms with the fact that we would be on our own. Today a Haitian doctor who had lost her practice from the earthquake came and spent the day with us. How awesome is that! When she left she said she would be back in the morning. Thank you God! Today we spent at the clinic in Chambrun. We ran one clinic room seeing 60 patients between 2 nurses and a doctor. We cleaned and organized the pharmacy and the rest of the totes. Wow, we have a lot of stuff down here! Can't wait for the hospital to get done so we can move stuff in! Ashley and Christopher worked on organizing medicine totes. Sammi Jo and Monica worked on organizing surgical supplies. Lisa helped in the pharmacy. Katie got to see patients in the clinic. Todd worked outside getting measurements of the construction projects. Brandon and Jason were busy laying pipe together. We are hoping the pipe they laid will assist in draining the rainwater off of the rebar of the new hospital. It is amazing to see the changes that God has made since the first NVM mission trip back in March 2008 when we stood out in an empty field envisioning all that God would do one day. Today we pulled up and saw 2 huge striped tents housing school children studying, dozens of storage containers filled with supplies, the foundation being measure out for the storage unit, the rebar sticking out of the ground forming the hospital, the school/church filled with donated items and the many people waiting outside the clinic to be seen. God is moving in a mighty way in Haiti and we are honored to be serving Him with all that He is doing.
19. May 2010 07:08
The day started out with a 3:15 a.m. pickup to the airport. We were told upon check in that not all of the 25 totes would make it down the same day. We selected the most important - food of course - and prayed that the others would arrive on Wednesday. We had a very uneventful trip even with a cancelled flight btw Chicago and Miami. We were rebooked without problems and met up with Tim and Cindy from New York in Miami. We arrived in PAP about an hour behind schedule. We got on a bus and took it to customs. A very hot, humid building with long lines. Several of us stood discussing how great it would be to see Pastor Pierre on the other side, knowing though that he would not be doing the pick up. What an answer to prayer and a sigh of relief when out in the crowd there stood Pastor. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I was worried about getting everyone and the totes through the crowd to find our driver and truck. We were all so thankful to see Pastor. The first answer to prayer. Next we went to find the totes. Another answer to prayer, all the totes had arrived. We were set to go! We sailed through customs with the help of Pastor and made it to the trucks. Not much has changed from the drive to the house. Lots more rubble along the streets. One big difference is the lack of military that I was use to from February. We arrived safely to the house, found our beds, met the GAIN America folks who are here and planned for the next day. Spent some time up on the roof reflecting on the people God has brought together on this team, what He will be having us do, how He will use us. The lightening show that God is putting on is breathtaking. No rain though. A gentle breeze. Found out that last week there was a 4.1 aftershock here...sad that there was not one mention of it in the news at home. How quickly we forget. I pray that God will keep Haiti on my heart and not allow me to forget. Please don't allow me to take one second of the life I have been given for granted. Bless the people on this trip as we serve Your people here in Haiti. Until we meet again......
18. May 2010 00:09
It's Monday, May 17. In less than 12 hours I will be heading on my next trip to Haiti. I am anxious and exicted all at the same time. This trip will consist of 16 people. For several of these people it will be their first trip there. I always enjoy seeing the expressions on people's faces when they first pull up to Chambrun and meet the children for the first time. The kids are always so excited to see us. This trip will consist of 7 medical and 9 non-medical. We plan on seeing the school children the first couple of days then operating the clinic or working in the IDP camps. The non-medical will work on painting, playing with the kids or any number of other projects that are going on. One thing is for certain, when traveling to Haiti to serve you must go with an open heart and willing hands. God will use us where He sees it is best for us. Often times medical people will find themselves with a paintbrush in hand for at that time God is wishing to use their painting skills more than their medical skills. I try and remember to keep in the front of my thoughts...Here I am...send me...use me....I am Yours.
8. May 2010 17:27
So what did I learn on my trip to Haiti?
- Haiti is a country of extreme poverty with generally deplorable living conditions accentuated by the earthquake disaster.
- Caring individuals like the visionary Pastor Pierre and the visiting missionaries are selflessly providing God’s message, friendship, food, shelter, education and medical care that is so badly needed. The Nehemiah Vision Mission is providing hope and relief thanks to God’s grace and intense human effort.
- Haitians are amazingly resilient in their ability to survive against all odds, ready to smile, laugh and embrace and very appreciative of the help.
- Travel there is easy, living conditions for the visitors comfortable and the camaraderie very uplifting.
- I loved providing primary care for the sick and forming friendships with the Haitians and missionaries. I will never forget their saucer-sized brown eyes staring at me as I examined them or the ready white smiles with laughter and warm handshakes as I worked with my new friends. They gave me so much more than I could ever give them.
6. May 2010 09:28
Our team of 8 had an awesome week in Haiti. We served the people of Haiti by holding clinic at 2 IDP (internally displace person) camp and at the Nehemiah Clinic site in Chamburn on 3 days. The second day that we were at an IDP camp, the camp was all excited for the team to see a new born infant who literally was just born. The infant was doing very well and the team assisted by further tying of the umbilical cord and reassuring everyone that she was healthy. Mom was up taking a shower. Most individuals in the camps were doing better than in January, but continue to have difficulty with headaches, heartburn, periodic diarrhea, various skin lesions and vaginitis. There was one child with chicken pox and some children with otitis media and probable strep throat. Similar problems were seen in Chamburn. There were some children and infants with poor hydration but most were not severe. Overall many could use help with food supply and we did pass out baby food, formula and pedialyte as available. We were very excited to see that Merta got a Petcart as she can now pedal with her upper extremities from her home to church. We did see one child in clinic at Chamburn with probable meningitis and treated him that day with instruction to return the next day but he and mom did not return so do not know if improved or not. A young preteen girl collapsed at church and had a fever of 104, she was treated aggressively to cool her off, giving IM Rocephin and po antibiotics. Her mom was instructed to have her return to clinic during week to be re-evaluated by next team. Dr Robinson and Dr Emily Fong were staying to continue clinic in Chamburn.