Today was a very eventful day.
At 9:00am, almost the whole team headed for the new school house to do a “massive” team paint job. It is amazing how much can be done when many hands get together and work with a common goal, enthusiasm, and great singing accompaniment.
After lunch, Wade spoke with our team to talk about the upcoming visit to the hospital. It was important to prepare us for what we might see and experience. Hospitals in Haiti are not at all like the hospitals we are familiar with. Wade said that in Haiti, most people will say there are two places you don’t want to spend any time at… the prison and the hospital.
At 3:15, we piled into the Haiti Arise van and headed for Petit Goave. Yippee… individual air conditioning vents for every seat in the van. The road to hospital was an experience! Many transport trucks, tap taps (passenger trucks), motor cycles and buses—all trying to climb up and over the hill that lead to our destination. It is best not too look too closely when you are a passenger because you have no control as the driver swerves in an out, passing on curves and cutting off others trying to pass us! Quite a trip.
The hospital was really something. In all honesty, it was cleaner and better organized than we anticipated but still was impactful. We headed to the ER building first. It must have felt strange for the patients when all these white folks from Canada walked in. We were fortunate to have Leah with us. She is a Haitian pharmacist who works at the Haiti Arise medical clinic. We also had Ron, Wade and a Haitian doctor on our tour. They all speak Creole. I was struck by how vulnerable these patients were to let us be present and to share their medical situation with us. This would never happen in Canada. We then all sang Jesus Loves You (Me) and then prayed aloud Haitian style. That means, we all prayed at the same time. It was such an honour to pray for these people’s specific medical difficulties. They were so gracious to us.
We also handed out the 100+ hygiene packages to all the patients. Each package included some soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a face cloth. A team of industrious Abbotsford women had made lovely cloth bags from colourful material that we used for these kits. Thank you ladies… the children in pediatrics were so pleased to have their own colourful cloth bag.
The maternity and pediatric unit were especially gut wrenching. We met a mom with her newly born twin babies… so adorable although quite under weight. And another mom who delivered her baby last night. The baby was born 2 months too early and weighed 1kg. So very tiny and it is still touch and go whether the baby will live. In Haiti there are no high tech bassinettes for these little ones. The mom was not able to pay for the oxygen to keep her baby alive. Your generous gifts made it possible to pay for all the oxygen that little babe will need.
There was a little boy who was probably a year and half old, but looked like he was only 7 months old. Very lethargic and undernourished. His mom had died and the young girl who was holding him found him all by himself and took him to the hospital. She was holding him and feeding him with an eye dropper. We are hoping that tomorrow we can go back to the hospital and pick up that little boy to come live at Haiti Arise. Marc and his team are working to make the arrangements to bring him home here.
So much more could be said. We were so blessed and humbled to be the hands and feet of Jesus today in the hospital. Singing Jesus Loves You to all the different wards and being able to pray for everyone was a joy. And all the Haitians, patients and family alike, were so gracious and welcoming. Your many gifts were used today to help buy medicine, lab tests, and food; Haitians in dire need were directly and tangibly blessed by you. We trust that God will do more than we could ever imagine with those gifts.
Bev and all of the team wish a happy 90th birthday today to Agnes Friesen. We were thinking of you today Agnes!