Friday, July 30, 2010

The End of The Most Memorable Experience...

Today has been a hard day....from the moment I woke up I was a bit weapy thinking about saying good-bye to some of the most amazing people I could ever meet. I had to fight back tears all day...our last day at clinic went really smoothly, praise the Lord! But then we(4 nurses) came back and debriefed with the chaplain and his wife which was really great and encouraging. And then got ready for our helicopter ride to the other compound, since that is closer to the airport. The Pilot was gracious enough to let me ride up front with him and he even took my picture!! It was an amazing experience! But when we lifted off, my heart just crumbled because so much of my heart has been left in Haiti...there have been life-changing experiences that have not only bonded a team of people together but hopefully in some way brought glory to the Lord.

It's really late and I need to get up at 5 to head to the airport, so I will write more tomorrow. Pray for safe travel for me and other team members...even some of the long term staff are leaving tomorrow too to head back to their homes and new adventures in life. I can't explain enough how thankful I am for peoples prayers...its been one of the hardest journeys I have been on but the most amazing as well!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

His Mercies Are New Every Morning...

After an extremely gut-wrenching day yesterday, this is the beautiful sky that the Lord blessed us with during dinner!
These are our wonderful interpreters that we worked with...Junior on the left, Charles in the back and Marc-Elie on the right.
This was a view of our clinic in the church building today...triage is the front area, then behind the curtain is where Dr Bourdes sees patients, and then pharmacy in the way back.
Me and 2 of our patients...

We were graced with another beautiful sunset tonight while we were eating dinner...

Praise the Lord for a new day! I have to admit that there was not a lot of motivation to go out and have a "normal" day ( a "normal" day in Haiti is very relative though!) My heart was just so heavy and it was hard to think clearly but then I was greeted by one of my interpreters, Marc-Elie-he told me how thankful he was for me and how I helped his haitian people...I definitely teared up a bit and just felt so humbled. When you work so hard to help give people a chance to live, even though it was slim, its just really difficult to not question if I should have done something different. One of the doctors I have had the privilege of working with reminded us that foreign medical missions is just a reminder of how NOT in control that we ultimately are and that our short time on earth is not what we were made for...we, as Christ-followers, are designed to live for eternity with Him. Back in the states, we are so blessed to have so many resources but its those resources that make us depend on ourselves and not on the Lord.

I was reminded of this scripture today ...

8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on oura]">[a] behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Once again, the Lord reminded us that we have to rely on Him to make it through the day and that there are people out there that still need to understand the love of Christ.

And it warmed my heart to know that as were setting our hope on Him, that so many people were "helping us by their prayers." I can't thank all of you who have prayed, sent me encouraging messages, etc...your prayers have literally carried us through this.

Today we went to a new clinic in the mountains called Moyambe...the day went really smooth and we were graced to be able to set up our clinic in their church building instead of under a tarp. And I am so thankful for our amazing driver Harold...he is such a good driver and so caring. I felt so safe with him. And we made it back just as it had started raining and even a bit earlier than expected. It was a blessing to get our re-stocking done and our showers done before dinner. And then we got to once again enjoy an amazing meal overlooking the beach with a beautiful sunset!

Its so hard to believe that I will be leaving here soon...the simplicity of life and great community here has been an amazing gift. And so much of my heart has been permanently imprinted with the events of this trip. It has certainly been one of the hardest trips I have been on, but yet I was taught so much, which I am eternally grateful for. I am so thankful for all of you who have taken the time to just keep up with what is going on down here!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Worst Tragedy I Have Ever Seen...

Today was by far, one of the worst experiences I have ever been a part of...the day started as normal as some of us were finishing up breakfast and getting ready for devo at 7:30am and then off to our clinic at 8am. During breakfast we were talking with a guy named Chuck, who just arrived...he is a training manager for SP and had just spent the day before with David, the main security guy for SP, at an all day disaster training. So as we were hearing about all the different scenarios that they endured during the training, David got a phone call- he said "there has been an accident, come with me now". We ran around frantically trying to figure out what supplies we could even bring with us and then we got in the truck and left...I was wondering this whole time where the accident could be and how far we would have to drive to get to it. Well, we didn't have to go very far... as soon as we pulled out of the SP driveway, it was right there.

I found out tonight that 2 tap-taps ( that is their main mode of transportation in which a TON of people pile in or even on top) were speeding and one was trying to pass the other and then they ran into another truck head on. When we arrived on the scene, there were bodies everywhere, many bleeding, some dead. We just tried to find the most critical patients and take care of them with our very limited supplies...we didn't even have gauze!! The first guy I cam upon was bleeding from his head and I pulled off his hat and he had 2 HUGE lacerations on top of his head. So I tried to apply some sort of make-shift pressure dressing. I knew that he had to get to the hospital because he was losing a lot of blood. There was a lady at his feet that was already dead. I was thankful for Marc-Elie, one of my interpreters, who was in the middle of everything and doing whatever we needed him to do.

We got some people loaded up into the back of pick-up trucks (yes, no back boards, no neck collars, nothing)...we had 3 people in ours. These poor people had lacerations, back problems, etc and they had to lay in the back of a truck and travel some of the most horrible roads ever. At one point, my guy who had the head lacerations was actively bleeding more so I have to lean out the back window and apply pressure to his head. When we arrived at the hospital we had to unload several cars of people...we ended up transporting around 24 people. One guy that I helped unload was in really bad shape-he ended up have a genital laceration, his left lower leg was barely hanging on-bone and flesh sticking out, peeing blood, coughing up blood- we kept pumping him with fluids and frustrated because we knew he needed to go to the OR.

After we left him, one of my fellow teammates was helping a little girl that she miraculously found in the weeds...she was probably 2 or 3 and had a broken leg, bleeding internally, crushed chest wall. Kelly, my teammate, was suctioning blood out of her nose too. Thankfully, they finally decided to take her to the OR...this was great but if she went, then I knew that the other guy who desperately needed it was going to have to wait even longer. So I picked up this precious little girl and carried her to the OR...and then we left, hoping and praying that these people would survive. Unfortunately, we found out later in the day that both of these people had died. I can only hope and pray that the little girl felt the arms of Jesus getting ready to welcome her home as I carried her to the OR.

When we got back to the compound, SP pretty much canceled most things and we had a time of debriefing where each individual went around and expressed what they experienced and how they felt. It was so needed and I was so thankful that SP was so intentional with that.

This has been emotionally draining on the whole compound and especially on the nurses...its hard to feel like you did anything effective or worthwhile but we have been reminded that we did all we could with what we had. And when things like this happen here, there is usually not such a quick response. It was God's grace that it happened right outside our compound and we had vehicles available to transport people. And the amazing staff of SP came out amidst the chaos and jumped into help, despite not having medical training.

I must trust in God's sovereignty in all of this and know that He is still in control...and continue to focus on the many graces throughout this experience and how He literally carried us through.

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corin. 1:3-7)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Life in Haiti is simple but not always easy...

This was the group that went to the fun!
This was us piling on the boat!!
This was the beautiful view of the beach as we were coming up on it.
Our boat that we took is on the right....I, of course, would have much rather had the one on the left! : )
I feel like there are just not words for this pic....expect just plain cool! Many of the staffers have these hammocks and they are awesome! SO getting one!
This is our crazy jimmy-rigged tent for our clinic today...praise the Lord we made it work!
This is an amazing view from where we had clinic today-Papa Tombre (same place we went last Monday)
This is our room (our room also holds the stock of meds) the end of every day we have to go through and re-stock all of our meds in our totes that we bring out to clinic. This involves counting pills and writing their names on little plastic bags. I, at one point in my life, had wanted to become a pharmacist....after this experience, let's just say that counting pills is not my thing!!

The title of this post is a quote from one of the staff girls as we got off our boat yesterday...our time at the beach was amazing and relaxing but the boat ride to and from it was quite the adventure!! We had a boat that was supposed to seat about 10 people but here in Haiti, things are not as they are supposed to be...let's just say they like to cram as many on their boats as they do their "tap-taps" (their main mode of transportation). Instead of 10 people we crammed on 25!!! And then of course they couldn't get the boat started and then once they did we couldn't even get a good enough speed to get any airflow going!! : ) ( I can't imagine why-I am sure it had nothing to do with the amount of weight that was on it!

Well once we finally got there it was breathtaking...clear water and palm trees and white sand! Despite the beauty you still had the reality of Haitian life....may kids running around with barely any clothes on or some not at all. Its amazing to see the physical beauty of the mountains, ocean, etc and yet still see devastation and destruction and tent cities everywhere. We spent the whole day at the beach and I definitely got some sun...everyone at dinner that night kept asking me if I wanted to borrow aloe! : ) The ride home in the boat was a bit more exciting because the they decided to add 3 more people...I mean, why not, right? Once you have totally gone overboard (no pun intended!) then why not just go all the way! And yes, of course it took us even longer this time to get it started and when it finally did, we had to breathe in a lot of smoky fumes!! Praise the Lord we finally got back!

We had a great dinner and then the Sunday night devo/discussion time...we sang a couple worship songs, talked about James and then broke up into smaller groups to discuss James 1:19-27. It was good discussion and the big point that seemed to keep repeating itself was having a constant attitude of humility and meekness.

Today was the first day that I was on my own in Pharmacy...I certainly prayed a lot and asked for many back home to pray. And I am thankful that I could feel those prayers! Our tent that was supposed to be already set up was NOT set up so we gad to take the time to do that which involved moving some heavy stones. We were exhausted before we even began!! We then saw around 60 patients or so and even got back a little earlier than expected! And praise the Lord, as hot as it was, the Lord still provided some breeze! Unfortunately, our drivers, interpreter and dr all had to sit around for over 2 hours and wait for our medical leader to get back so she could pay them. And Dr Bourdes drives every day 2.5 hrs to come help us and then has to drive home 2.5 hrs in the same day...not to mention he sees patients at his home AND sometimes has to be at the hospital.

I am truly so blessed to get to work with Charles, one of our interpreters...please pray for him. He is asking lots of questions and trying to understand the Lord in many ways....He is enabling us to have great conversations.

I have spent a lot of time this evening counting meds and trying to reorganize some things...I hope all this made sense because I am really tired. Another blessing of the day was going to dinner and seeing the beautiful sunset on the beach with a nice breeze! And then it was weird, right after dinner I went to take a shower and it seemed like it was really muggy again and not as nice as it was for dinner. The Lord blessed us with an amazing dinner experience!

I was reminded of this chapter in Isaiah during our time together on Sun evening...and then there was a great verse that carried me through today....

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail. (Isaiah 58:11)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blessings and Relaxation...

This is me, one of the other nurses and one of the most wonderful haitian drs-Dr Bourde.
This was our crowd that awaited us on Friday at the clinic.
This is me in pharmacy at our Ft Liberty location.
This is the helicopter coming to pick up Deb and Dr Kara-Deb was flying out on Sat to go home and Dr Kara, who is here long term was heading back to the other compound.

After the intensity of our clinic site on Thurs, the Lord blessed us with a site on Friday that provided some amazing breezes. What a praise! We were once again in a new location called Ft Liberty and we were not aware that a food distribution was going on at the same time we were supposed to be there. So let's just say when we arrived, it was complete chaos with people everywhere and already a line of people sitting and waiting for us to arrive. I spent the day doing pharmacy stuff so I could learn as much as I could before being on my own next week. It was non-stop action all day but once again I was so thankful for our interpreter Charles who helped me so much! We had some great laughter and it was a blessing to get to work with Deb and Dr Kara one last time before they were heading out.

I think one of my struggles is feeling like I am just providing medical care alone and not spiritual care too...we have had some opportunities to pray for people but my prayer for this week is that I would be more diligent in doing that, no matter how long the line is that is standing in front of me. And I appreciate the willingness of Tiffany to encourage us to do that as well. We are hoping to use one of our interpreters, Marc-Elie, to go around and minister to people while they are waiting whether its praying for them or telling them stories about Jesus.

Friday evening was dinner and then a meeting with the staff concerning disaster training including what to do in different situations like robbery, kidnapping, abduction, hurricane, etc. It was very informative and very good for anyone who travels. I so appreciate SP's intentionality with having specific rules and guidelines in place in case of any of these events.

Today, I was excited to get up and NOT have to put on scrubs (they are SO hot!). But we did have to go through and organize meds, re-stock things and even re-do some things that would be helpful for the next teams. I also printed off an eye chart for them to use for the drivers...they thought it would be good to make sure all their drivers can see! ! : ) That is probably a good thing! And then we got to lounge around, had another amazing dinner and then played some volleyball on the beach, with the huge generator providing us light. The sand here is black and covered in rocks so one of the staffers had payed some boys to clear all the rocks so they could set up a volleyball court. SO FUN!! I am so thankful for great community here and an amazing diversity of people from all over the world as well as people with a mile long list of missions experience. Then after the volleyball game, I showered under a full moon! I so love it!

Tomorrow is everyone's day off so we are headed as a group to an island to hang out and veg all day which will be amazing!

Please continue to pray for the Lord to prepare me for this next week...I have some anxiety about it but I know that I need to trust that the Lord has given me everything I need for life and godliness! Here is a good word from the Lord... (Isaiah 42:5-9)

This is what God the LORD says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:

6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,

7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 "I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.

9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pics From 7/21 and 7/22

This is one of our nurses, Kelly, praying for a patient.
This was our clinic from yesterday (7/21)...we had both teams working together on this day because our team was not going to be able to make it back up the mountain, where we were scheduled to be, after the previous days festivities! This is the triage area

This was one of my youngest patients today...a one month old.
This was our clinic today in Petit Guave...this is a pic I took from the triage area as everyone is sitting and waiting to be seen.
Dr Kara and one my most favorite interpreters, love them both!
Dr Kara seeing a very young patient, with our interpreter Marc-Elie.
The beautiful sunset from the beach at our compound! So beautiful!
This is most of my great teammates...from the left, Dr Kara...Nurse Miriam from PA...Tiffany, who is the nurse and head over the medical area here at this compound....myself (this was my "best hair in Haiti" night according to the staffers!!...Nurse Kelly from Michigan...Nurse Gloria from FL....and we are missing Nurse Deb in this pic.

A Day of Answered Prayers...

We were blessed to have Roger, one of the chaplains here, lead us in devotion this morning...he reminded us of the story of how Jesus healed the ten lepers but only one came back praising and thanking Him. And how we need to be more diligent in just simply thanking those that help us in any little way. We then shared in some communion together in the half done shelter overlooking the ocean (since I have been here the other half of the roof is on as well as some screen on the outside!)

We weren't sure if we would even be able to go to our site today because there was talk of riots all over Haiti protesting the president. The tap-taps weren't running (which is a big truck that holds a lot of people) and that is their main way of transportation. But thankfully, by God's grace, all of our drivers and translators made it in! And we prayed before we left that we would not have any problems with violence and once again God answered our prayers!

Our site today was in Petit Guave, which was close to the epicenter of the earthquake...we did a mobile clinic again at a new location. The SP people went ahead of us and set up our tent (the organization of SP is amazing!) When we arrived there were tons of people sitting and waiting for us. We hurriedly got things set up and started in...I was able to do triage for the first half and then did pharmacy for the second half...I will be honest, I was having a hard time today because the heat in the tent was intense and when I was trying to do vitals, I had mosquitoes flying all around me in my face. After getting a bit dehydrated yesterday, I was trying to be mindful of my fluid intake, but things just get so crazy and there are so many people to be seen that you try to push through. I finally had to stop and take a break. Even after eating and drinking something I was still struggling with not getting irritated while I was in pharmacy. But I kept reminding myself that no matter how much sweat, mosquitoes, dehydration and heat that I had to endure, its nothing in comparison to what these people deal with everyday of their lives.

Once again after getting back from the day we have to recount all our meds and re-stock for the next day. And then I was able to get a shower without rain this evening-Praise the Lord! And Edith, our wonderful cook, blessed us again with a fabulous meal...I have heard that this compound is known for their incredible food and they are so right! I have eaten better here than I do at home!! I also got some amazing pics of the sunset tonight too.

And I can't help but laugh, but after showering I actually took some time to blow dry my hair for the first time all week and you would have thought I went out and got the most amazing hair style done in the entire world!! I came to dinner and everyone was saying how I had the best hair in Haiti!! : ) Well praise the Lord, that certainly was an unexpected encouragement! : )

Another amazing thing is that as you all saw, my computer was literally would not turn on at all. Well, one of my amazing teammates, told me this evening that I should try my computer again...I looked at her and shook my head and said its completely dead. But I still got it out anyway and it came on and is working!!! She then told me when she was working with another missionary, who really needed his computer to stay in touch with people, she decided to lay hands on it and pray for it. She then told me she did the same thing to mine last night when we were all out of the room!! Praise God!!

One thing I am being even more mindful of is my words and even "little" back has been hurting terribly at night and sometimes I don't sleep the best. But then, I am quickly convicted, when one of our interpreters or drivers is with us or directly asks how my night was...and knowing that they all sleep in tents with multiple other people and sometimes have to endure pouring rain all night, I am suddenly reminded how unbelievably blessed that I am. We think that we have so many hardships and complain about so many things on a daily eyes have been opened even more to true hurting people that can still have joy amidst the daily hardships that they endure.

God bless you all for reading this...I will hope fully get some more pics posted soon! Pray for joy and compassion amidst the intense, hot conditions. And pray that the love of Christ would be evident in our actions and words!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So sad...

Hello everyone!

Today was a good day but a hard day...both teams were combined and we saw well over 100 people. And we were under a tent in the heat and I thought I was drinking enough and trying to eat snacks but I started feeling blah...just "spacey" and unable to think clearly. So I am guzzling more gatorade right now and hoping it was just the heat. Pray that there were be no lasting effects.

We had an amzing new translator today named Marc-Elie...he loves the Lord and has desperately needed work and had applied for a translator position with SP but hadn't heard back. So he just showed up this morning hoping to be able to help. And praise the Lord we needed him and he will hopefully continue with us. He is the youngest of 6 children and he remembers walking outside when the earthquake happened but he was not injured. Unfortunately only his mother was at home and she was crushed and he had to be the one to pull her out of the rubble. : ( And we also had the opportunity to pray with a witch doctor that came to see us. Pray for him.

And unfortunately it looks like my lovely computer has died once again...not really sure why since the hard drive was just replaced a few months ago. But its not turning on at all. Thankfully I brought a jump drive and have saved all my pics on there. So right now I won't be posting anything else on my blog unless it starts working. : ( I just wanted to let everyone know. I am so bummed and so sad.

Thank you all for praying and please keep praying. I may be working in pharmacy the rest of the time since one of the other nurses is leaving, so there is A LOT to know and remember and then you have to teach the patients through the translator how to take their meds. It gets VERY chaotic at times so pray that I would be able to think clearly and remember everything I need to know.

And thank you my beloved roomies for the encouraging cards...such a source of comfort and encouragement! Love you all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Experiencing the Great Outdoors in Haiti

This is coming to terms with the fact that this vehicle was not getting up that hill!
Some of my teammates hiking up the hill.
Even though we had to hike up the mountain, The Lord graced us with a beautful view!
This is where we held clinic today!
One of my beautiful Haitian patients!
This was one of the roads that we had to travel up and down.
This was one of our vehicles tried to get up the hill. And while he was trying to get the truck up, it started raining again! And then many of the Haitians came out to help push the truck, even in their bare feet!

Something came to mind this morning as I was getting ready for the friend Ryan, who is actually on a trip to Kenya, told me how one of his teammates had asked them to pray that the Lord would do something "utterly disproportionate" in their lives. That is something that has stuck with me and I even prayed for that today and then it was ironic (and so the Lord) that one of the staffers shared this verse this morning....

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

And wow, I wasn't quite prepared for what the Lord had for us was definitely beyond ourselves. Today we went higher up the mountain than we did yesterday to a place called was so high up that one of the SUV's couldn't even make it up there! So we had to get out and hike, straight up! You can imagine the beads of sweat rolling all over me! : ) Once we got to the top we immediately had to unload supplies and set up clinic. We ended up seeing 55 patients. I am so thankful for my translator! He goes ahead and asks the questions I want to ask even before I ask them!

And did I mention it started raining while we were having clinic? So it came down pretty hard and was very muddy when we loaded up and left. But we were at the top of a very large hill so that meant that the truck was sliding everywhere to try to get down it...I don't think I have ever prayed so hard! Some of us chose to walk but I honestly thought the truck that some of my teammates were in was going to flip over for sure! But praise God He saved them! And then there was the challenge that we had to still travel UP some hills on the way down...that meant for even more praying! I was truly amazed and humbled at how many of the Haitians came out to help with pushing the truck up...even in their bare feet!And did I mention that it had started to rain yet again! So we had to somehow get back down the mountain with all the rain. Some of us walked part of it and the rest was spent in the vehicle....I was drenched and covered with mud and water! And it took us over 2 hrs to get off the mountain!

I was very thankful for the Lord's provision in everything today and how he protected us! I am totally beat and need to get to bed but thank you to all who are praying for us! We felt the power of those prayers today for sure!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rid Me of Myself...

As we were waiting on the compound this morning for Dr Bord to arrive, the SP helicopter landed to drop off people and pick up others going to the other base. As you can see it lands right next to the tents we are sleeping in!
This is looking up the hill where we set up clinic (in the building at the top right of the hill)
Where Dr Bord saw patients.
My amazing interpreter Charles! He grew up in Haiti until he was 7 and then lived in the US for 21 years and then came back to Haiti in 2008.
This was the school where we set up the clinic...we were directly inside through the tin doors.
I feel like there aren't really words for this pic! : ) I am only taking a temperature under her arm!
Our pharmacy area.
Our triage area.
Dr Bord seeing patients.
One of my precious little patients!

This is the off-roading experience we had getting to our first clinic day!

When I awakened this morning, feeling groggy and having a bit of a headache, all I could think of was the phrase from a song that says "rid me of myself". I prayed that over and over again..this is not about me today, not about whether I am so very hot or so very tired...its only about me being the hands and feet of Jesus today and displaying some sort of hope to people that were hurting desperately. During our devo time this morning, one of the staffers shared these verses from Isaiah 61...

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those
who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty,
instead of ashes, the oil of gladness
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Praise the Lord for His grace in getting us through the first day of clinic! It was rough waking up at 5:30am...we had breakfast at 6:30am, devotional at 7:30am and then we were supposed to leave by 8am. But the dr that we were working with was coming in from 3.5- 4 hrs away and didn't get here until close to 10am.It ended up being a blessing because I got to read through some info on tropical diseases and get prepared! We then headed out to our destination at Papa Tombre up in the mountains...driving through rivers, going up very rocky roads. When we arrived we found out that we could set up in the school instead of outside under a tent. They had actually cancelled school since they knew we were coming!

A lady named Miriam and I ran triage, which was very crowded and hectic. And there was much to know and remember...and I had to know what questions to ask in relation to adults as well, which is a bit out of my comfort zone. We would ask them their chief complaint (through the interpreter of course!) and take their vitals. If it was a child age 1-12yo, we would go ahead and give them a medication, called abendazole, to treat worms. And then they would wait for the dr to call them.

After arriving back at the SP compound we then had to count meds and re-stock those that we used for the day. I am so thankful for the team of people that I am with...they are great workers and servants of the Lord! And I am just so thankful for the ways that SP takes care of their staff and people that volunteer with them...they are just so intentional and pro-active! Its an amazing honor to work alongside them!

Pray as we venture to another village tomorrow!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Transition Time...

A beautiful view from the Global Haiti Outreach compound (SP is leasing it)...where we stayed the first night.
Some of the team members...this is where some of us stayed the first night before venturing out to Laogone.
People all along the roads.
This is piles of trash that we saw along the roads as we traveled to the new compound.

This is our new home for the next 2 weeks at Laogone...such a luxury, we have air conditioned tents!!

Today was a day of transition as we left the one compound and headed 2.5 hrs to another SP compound at Laogone. It was an eye opening ride as we saw many tent cities and people everywhere...the roads were horrible driving, but I praise God for our amazing haitian driver!

We met up with Tiffany who is the nurse that runs the medical outreach here and got settled in...and thankfully with help from the staff, we got the lights in our room to work! Until then, I was unpacking with my nifty head lamp (which I think is one of the best inventions of all time!!) We got some chill time and dinner and devotional...and the staff here decided to start going through James, which is awesome since that is what we are going through at Apex!

After that, the medical team got stuff ready to take out to the clinics and mobile outreaches tomorrow. There is lots to know and be ready for and we will be getting up at 5:30 am, breakfast at 6:30, devo at 7:30 and then head out at 8am. Pray for strength as I am still trying to catch up from all the sleep I lost preparing for the trip...and pray that I would rely on the Lord's strength and not my own!

I so want to write more but its so late and I desperately need a good nights rest...and plus I am typing in the dark as my roomies sleep!

Please keep praying!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Grace-Filled Journey Begins...


Well, its so hard to believe, but I finally made it to Haiti after a long day of flying! Flights went smoothly except for a slight delay getting out of Miami. I was very thankful I was able to get a hold of my contact person at Samaritan's Purse who was then able to contact my pick up people down here to let them know! I have been overwhelmed with God's grace today...I started the day rushing around and a bit emotional because I was so exhausted. But then Melanie gave me a packet of encouraging notes from her and the girls for each day that I am gone (thank you roomies-I am so blessed to have you in my life!) And then I had forgot to ask for aisle seats when I checked in, but the Lord graced me with aisle seats on every flight!! And then I met a couple ladies who were going to be on my same flight to Haiti so I was able to have a buddy to go through customs with and walk out of the overwhelming airport with! : ) I admit that I did get a little nervous at first when I reached the very chaotic parking lot and was not seeing anyone from Samaritan's Purse there, but then, praise God, I saw the sign!! I have never been so overjoyed!

I also have to interject a thought was such a privilege to leave the Dayton airport today knowing that a Honduras team and Mexico team had already gone before me from Apex and then 2 friends were also heading to Kenya later that day. I am so thankful to be a part of a church that desires to GO! And I love knowing that even some of the same things I am experiencing, others will be experiencing too! It brings so much comfort! And leaving the Dayton airport was a youth group heading down to Mexico for a missions trip, then I encountered several others on the plane going on missions trips to Haiti and other places as well!

I was reminded of a verse today that is always a source of comfort as I head into the unknown is ...

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)

Once I got to the compound this evening, I immediately picked up sheets for my bed and then headed over to a medical meeting to learn of our assignments. I found out that I am only spending one night here and a few of us will be heading to a place called Jack's Beach, and yes its on a beach! (Praise the Lord!) : ) It is a new clinic that hasn't even started yet...we will be the first ones doing it! And we will be there the rest of the 2 weeks, as of right now.

I can't say enough how impressed I am with Samaritan's Purse and the people that they have on staff here. One of the staff nurses stays in the corner part of a big tent with her husband and she said its amazing how they can survive on so little stuff! Definitely something we all need to be reminded of!

I can't say thank you enough again to all those that helped support me and are currently supporting me through their prayers! I am so abundantly blessed! As I sit in the stillness of the night on the SP compound, with a delightful breeze blowing, I am thankful that the Lord has brought me thus far! Please pray that we can make an impact on the patients we see and with each other!