Saturday, March 27, 2010

Haiti March 2010 Day 6: Dubuisson

Our last day here was one of fun and sadness. We finished up in the camp that we found had the most need and where we found true comfort in being. After 6 days here in PaP (I’m waiting to hear from the team in Cap), we saw 1300 patients, pastored/counseled over 500 people,IMG00220-20100327-1120built shelters, taught and delivered water filtration systems, fed over 300 people enough for a week, taught basic hygiene to children like brushing their teeth,IMG00226-20100327-1358IMG00228-20100327-1358 had a question and answer session with mothers about their babies, danced and sang with the community, and witnessed a strength in faith that we rarely see. We had no expectations of what we were going to do, no preconceived notion of how it would all turn out, and no pretense of thinking that we were going to make a significant difference in what has happened to Haiti. But we did make a difference. To those who we cared for, those we cared about and those we took care of. We believed in the direction we were sent and we gave. And received.


A question was asked last night during team time: are we giving enough. The answer turned out to be relatively simple. It depends on what you give. Materially, we don’t. Medically, we don’t. Food, we don’t. Shelter, we don’t. But what we do give is everlasting, never ending, always there and remembered, and once given will be passed on to others. And we received it as well. It’s called agape. The unconditional selfless love of one person for another. With agape there is not need for thanks, for recognition, for praise. It is freely given without question, without asking and without conditions. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? He gives it to us all the time.  The beauty is that agape is never ending, never short, and always there. Did we give enough? Agape given and received. It is there always.


In all things give thanks,


Friday, March 26, 2010

Haiti Marcy 2010 Day 5: Ave Fouchard and GLA

It rained last night. We thought of those in Dubuisson and how wet and miserable all those people were living under sheets. We’ve decided to go back there tomorrow for our last day. We’ve found a place that has touched our hearts. But today, we went to a new place, Ave FouchardIMG00175-20100326-1136 a community that is city based, and although devastated, seemed to be moving in the direction of recovery. We found ourselves in an empty lot, down a one way path, with one way in and one way out. A steel gate separated us from the crowd that grew outside. Dustin and Kevin stood guard (no picture sorry).
IMG00173-20100326-1031 Brad (no picture sorry) and Trish in the pharmacy.IMG00156-20100326-0907Aaron guiding patients. IMG00146-20100326-0901

Vicky, Vic, Lara, Sara, Fitz seeing patients. IMG00161-20100326-0926IMG00166-20100326-0950IMG00167-20100326-0951IMG00171-20100326-0952IMG00172-20100326-0952And me…well, watching over things. We saw 120 patients in a very makeshift clinic and then left for God’s Little Angels orphanage.IMG00181-20100326-1413We came to know of them when we were here after the quake. A small newborn, Baby Jude,IMG00185-20100326-1418 had been brought to us by his mother asking us to care for him. He was severely dehydrated and in dire straights. We put in an IV and resuscitated him (go back to my blog of that time). We gave him to GLA to care for and he thrived for a while, pictures showing him chunky and growing. We saw him today and he had developed an intestinal infection and had lost a lot of his weight. He is back on IV fluids and meds and recovering. The children there are all doing well. We saw a great ministry.

And now for the thoughts. It isn’t getting any easier, doing this every day. Our team up in Cap has had a rough day. They counseled over 100 people, many of them children, with stories of loss and grief. Refugees from Port au Prince. We see and hear the same down here in PaP. It’s all over.IMG00178-20100326-1231 Think about what we have and what we want and what we really need.  All we really need is His love and grace. And we have it. So do those who are here. They may not see it or feel it, but they have it. Unconditionally. Now and forever. So, if you can, for a moment, just a short moment, pretend that you are them. Here in Haiti with nothing. A sheet for a shelter. No food, no water. Orphaned children around you. And all you have is His love and grace. Isn’t that enough? God speed your love to us.IMG00196-20100326-1435

In all things give thanks,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Haiti March 2010 Day 4: Dubuisson camp

Half the team left this morning for Cap Haitian to check on our MoM children and the projects there. There are about 30,000 refugees who have migrated up there from PaP and the need is increasing there for medical help and counseling. Our team will primarily do counseling and interactions with our children and families there. The other half of the team stayed here in PaP to finish out our 6 days of medical clinics, pastoral counseling, and clothing distribution. We went back to Dubuisson camp and saw 130 patients. We limited the number due to the fact that we are running low on medications and we wanted to do some prayer walking.

All of the 351 people living in this camp have been displaced from their homes that collapsed during the earthquake.IMG00140-20100325-1420 Many are without family members, and are living in the make shift dwellings you see. It is stifling inside. They sleep on cinder blocks covered by sheets.IMG00142-20100325-1421 They actually try to cook inside those dwellings, and I can only imagine what would happen if one of them caught fire.IMG00136-20100325-1415 The cook what little they have, and today all were cooking the rice and beans we gave them yesterday.

IMG00131-20100325-1122We were able to bring with us baby formula, powder and clothes and blankets. We packaged them up and gave them out to the mothers with the infants they were carrying ,some of them only 17 days old.

IMG00133-20100325-1140In the afternoon after we were done seeing patients, we gathered and broke into pairs and walked the camp with a translator and prayed with each of the people who were living there. IMG00139-20100325-1420Many tears were shed, many hearts were opened. And it was not only them, but us as well.IMG00138-20100325-1419

I wonder if I could endure living like this. I can’t imagine I could. I can understand how they have became almost catatonic in their emotions. Tearless. Empty. At the end of the day however, there was the slightest hint of a smile, a look of hope, and a genuine expression of thanks. They believed they had been forgotten. We came, and proved it not to be so. I only hope that more will continue to come. They deserve nothing less.IMG00144-20100325-1433

In all things give thanks,


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Haiti March 2010 Day 3: Dubuisson camp

Can you imagine what it would be like if you woke up one morning and found yourself homeless, with no food, no water, and your family gone. You’ve got no place to go. You have nothing. You feel nothing. Dubuisson camp is home for 351 displaced people, about 90 families, who lost their homes, their loved ones and had no place to go. They live here in make shift shelters made out of sheets, plastic tarps, gunny sacks and string. IMG00088-20100324-0955IMG00089-20100324-0956IMG00086-20100324-0954IMG00103-20100324-1042This camp is where we spent today. We saw 360 patients, built shelters, counseled, prayed, taught waster filtration and left 2 water filter systems, and distributed food to the camp. And we ran out of medicines. We’ve seen 890 patients in 3 days, more than we expected and more to come tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. I’m not sure what we will do. The pictures will tell their own stories. It’s late, and we’re tired. Some of the team are pictured but some are missing. They were the builders and the counselors and the pastors.IMG00094-20100324-1029IMG00093-20100324-1029  IMG00095-20100324-1030 IMG00096-20100324-1030  IMG00104-20100324-1127 IMG00105-20100324-1127 IMG00106-20100324-1127 IMG00107-20100324-1127 IMG00108-20100324-1127 IMG00109-20100324-1127 IMG00110-20100324-1128 IMG00111-20100324-1129 IMG00117-20100324-1210 IMG00120-20100324-1210 IMG00126-20100324-1459 IMG00127-20100324-1512

What would you do if you were one of these families?

In all things give thanks,


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Haiti Marcy 2010 Day 2: Fort National

You’d think we’d be just a little depressed after what we’ve been seeing, but look at the smiles on these faces. It’s because of what we been able to do, feel, share and accomplish. All good. So we came back for more.IMG00073-20100323-0808

We went back to Fort National this morning and saw another 170 patients by lunch time. We held our clinic right in the middle of where those how had been displaced slept and lived. They gave up their beds and tables so we could serve.

 IMG00075-20100323-1019 IMG00076-20100323-1020 IMG00077-20100323-1020 IMG00078-20100323-1021

Dr. Fitz did some minor surgery removing a cyst and for what it’s worth, the procedure went well despite scrambling to find what we needed. It was all there, but a hunt was needed to find it all.


All it took to remind us of why we were there, was to simply look around us and see the devastation.

 IMG00081-20100323-1104 IMG00082-20100323-1104

Everyone from these homes were living now outside under tarps, and that is where we were. With no water or electricity, Cori, our water engineer (really that is what she does) taught the leaders of the camp how to use the water filters we brought.


And in the mid morning into the afternoon, Michael and his pastoral/counselors went to the Tabernacle community and spent time with about 80 people…a lot of children, most with significant emotional trauma. And the children you see below, are the ones who escaped the nightmares, the recurring dreams of the earthquake.


And I’ve been watching this women for 2 days. She is alone and has stayed in that spot every day since the earth quake struck. She has no family, is mentally handicapped, alone and withdrawn. I talked to the camp leader and asked him to promise me that in exchange for what we were doing there for them, that he would personally care for her. No one even knew her name. We are so quick to run to the children, the ones with the pretty smiles, the adorable faces, the ones you want to hug and never let go. But do we, can we, do the same with her? Or is she too grotesque, too much out of our comfort zone, to hug her without letting go, to take a picture with her, to try to get her to smile….I tried once and she pulled away. I wanted to try again, but she seemed so far out of reach…emotionally and physically. For a day and a half, we walked and worked around her. I’m asking myself how we let that happen.


I think of why we came, and for the sacrifices we made to do so. I think of the being a servant to those who are in need. I look at her and wonder how good a servant I really am. And I remain committed to remembering that it is things like this that remind me of my need to be humble, to feel unashamed to be round those who are less like us, the so called normal people. I will remember her often and wonder if she felt the  touch of my hand if for only a moment.

In all things give thanks,