Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ordinary Days and Emergency Runs

Hello again from Haiti! It seems like the past month flew by like a flash, and here it is my turn to blog again. Wait... I guess I was super late last time, so it hasn't quite been a month. And this time I am determined to not be QUITE so late. So here goes.... =)

Sometimes life at clinic just turns into a big blur as the days fly by, and I can sit here wondering what I should ever say that could possibly be interesting to you all. But I will attempt to remember some of our recent activities.

One case we had recently jogs my memory in particular. There is a young man named Anglade who lives right here in our neighborhood in Aleg. He is in his mid/upper teens I believe, and well known to the community as a somewhat bad, or just pretty ungodly, young man. He has done things publicly that are just cruel, for no reason... and it is known he is not a Christian in any way. He showed up at clinic one evening around 9pm, with moderate to severe abdominal pain, and no other clear symptoms, except maybe a slight fever. We suspected a UTI and possible gallstones so sent him to sleep at his house after taking some meds to help him get a little more comfortable. But... the next morning, he returned, a little worse. This time he appeared to be starting into shock and was still in severe pain. Kayla began to suspect something much more serious was going on, and after some good work the helicopter came in to get him and transfer him to an excellent hospital. That morning found just Autumn and I working at clinic along with the Haitian staff, due to Katie and James being away for the day... but it all worked out, and clinic went pretty smoothly. The Haitians were doing a lot of talking and wondered if God was punishing this young man with his illness for some of the bad things he has done. They were very worried he would die (which wasn't totally an impossibility). We didn't hear much at first, but we have now gotten word that he has improved and actually been discharged from the hospital, though he hasn't yet returned home. James was actually able to travel out and see him at the hospital while he was there, which hopefully spoke to him and encouraged him. We still are not 100% sure what was wrong with him, although it sounds like it may have been a perforated bowel or something similar and serious. Whatever the case, we are thanking God for how things worked out and that he gave this young guy another chance at life. Please pray with us for him, that God could use this experience to touch his heart and give him a desire to serve God with his life.
Another thing that happened in the last number of weeks is the changing of doctors. We have a good Haitian doctor who comes in every Friday to do consultations and help deal with all the more complicated cases we see and need advice or help with. Dr. Felix Laguerre has faithfully been the one to come up on Fridays for the past number of years. However, due to his upcoming marriage in the United States, he left Haiti the 8th of August. On his last day at clinic we had a little “fet” (party) to give him a proper farewell and thank you, and to celebrate his years of service here. It was delightful having all the clinic staff together for a party when nobody was actually running around trying to manage wild blood pressure patients, find a dossier, or any of the many various tasks we all do each day. We sang together and prayed together....several people thanked and blessed Felix for his work here, and then he also spoke and thanked everyone for all they do. It was sad to see him leave....but with the change, we also welcome a new doctor.... Dr. Luben (sp?). He is from Port au Prince, but cheerfully travels up here on Fridays and in the short time he has been here, he has done very well. So we are excited about working with him, and so far the change has gone smoothly. I will leave further introductions of the new doctor for some later blog post.

This past weekend ended up being a little busier than expected, but in the end it all worked out well... praise the Lord! A woman who appeared to be in the beginning stages of labor showed up Saturday night around 9pm. The only problem was, her baby was not in position to be born at all, and appeared to be slightly premature. We were able to give her some meds and get her labor stopped for a while but the next morning she was having problems again. So we made the decision to take her to Ti-Guave where they will be able to do a C-section for her if necessary. Just before James, Katie, and I left with the pregnant lady, another woman arrived, who had had her baby in the morning but didn't arrive til late in the day due to coming from an area a long distance away from our clinic. She was having some severe complications following the delivery of her baby, and before too long it was decided she also needed to be transferred out to a hospital to see a doctor. So the 2nd machine was on the trail not very far behind the 1st. Both patients were transferred safely to the hospital and were being taken care of when we left town again that evening. And after our little convoy back up into the mountains again in the dark, we were able to wash off the 10 layers of dirt and drop into bed again!

Now for a few pics yet.... =)

This sweet dad was just adoring his baby girl one morning after she was born. I think he was pretty much in love!

Every morning we pray together as clinic staff before we start the day. One morning, a few of the neighbor children sneaked in and sat with us for prayer.

Dr. Felix and his dad, Direk, who works in the office at clinic.

The new doctor, seeing a patient last Friday.

See.... sometimes our head nurse works so hard she just about keels over. So she has to go scrounge up some Mamba to eat, to help her keep working, poor thing. =P (OK so actually I believe she was giving these to one of the many malnourished children she sees and takes care of at clinic...something she does excellently, and nearly every day.)

That's a little update from our corner of Haiti. God be with you and bless you wherever you are! Thanks again for your prayer support...we always need it. =)
-Mis Sharon

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Snaps From Our Week

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord , and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord . Isaiah 54:16‭-‬17

My dad sent these verses to me earlier this week and I couldn't help but ponder them. Satan is trying in every way that he knows to try and win the battle. Doesn't matter where we are.  No matter what we may be facing,no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper when we are on the Lord's side. That's a promise.

Well another week had passed and God had blessed us once again with a good week. There's a lot of changes that are happening around here this month and the next. Most of them are good changes:) one of them is a new cholera shack. It was started the beginning of this week and they've been making good progress.

The new cholera shack is located just off to the side of our clinic building. 
( this pic was taken this past Friday afternoon)
And it's progressing! 
This is a injury to the bottom of a from stepping on a piece of tin. The poor guy was in a lot of pain when we came in Tuesday afternoon but it's looking and feeling much better now. 
Mis Kayla doing a stitch job on a man's lip from a fall. 
And James stitching up both hands from a fall also. We see a lot of cuts due to falls around here because of the conditions of the trails and all the rocks. 
Mis Kayla visiting with our neighbor and checking up on her health condition. She came into clinic Friday afternoon with a really high fever. We we're thinking her sickness was possibly typhoid fever. She's doing much better now and she's well on her way to full recovery. 

God is good. Thank you everyone once again for your prayer and support. I know we say it every time. But we really can't say it enough. The lives of the people here are being touched whether it's in a physical way through the clinic,or spiritually. I know this mission couldn't be here or so what we do with out you.    Please keep it up. 
Thanks again. And God bless your lives as you serve him where you are. 

Mis Katie 

Monday, July 17, 2017

La Vie √ąternelle

The room was still and quiet, except for a steady whoosh of high flow oxygen rushing through a mask to provide life-support to the small form laying on the bed. The clock continued steadily ticking off the minutes, as we worked and prayed over the little lifeless baby on the bed. It had all begun with a phone call one Monday afternoon....saying that another nearby missionary was on his way to our clinic with a lady in labor. Upon her arrival, we found there were some severe complications, and we could not get a fetal heartbeat for the baby. Likely, he was dead a while before the mother's arrival at our clinic...sadly by the time these people sought our help, it was too late. As we began initial discussion of transport options for the mother, we soon realized we didn't have time to transport, and the baby was born into our hands, limp and lifeless. Then began our attempts to resuscitate and see if there was any chance of this little man reviving and making it. But it was not to be, and after a good while of resuscitation and watching the clock, we finally had to accept that there was nothing more to do, and the precious baby was in the arms of Jesus. The look on the dad's face as he saw his baby and heard us tell him that there is nothing more we can do, and the mother's emotional state and tears the following morning before she left, are things etched into my memory forever. Yet I am thankful we can rest, knowing the baby is safe with Jesus and doesn't have to suffer any pain here on earth. This is just one of the sobering and difficult situations from the last number of weeks here... and it all has made me do a lot of thinking.

Eternal life..... we all have it, but it's not a visible thing. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend, and yet easy to forget, how every human being has an eternal soul that one day will live on after they have left this earthly sphere. One thing we see a lot here in Haiti is death. I have come face to face with it more often lately than I ever would wish to. We have had to resuscitate lifeless infants, and give the last bits of comfort care to a young, dying woman who was succumbing to the irreversible disease process raging through her body. It is so difficult and painful sometimes to watch... to see the families struggle, and crumble at the news of their loved one, or baby, dying. Yet....death is something that Haitians seem to accept as a reality, and sadly it too often is. One night as I lay thinking rather than sleeping, I thought about the young woman who was in our hospital room that night, dying. We sent her home the next day as there was nothing more we could do for her...and she did pass away just a short time later. But that night as I listened to the crickets, and the drunk neighbor singing to the countryside at 2am.... I pondered life, and the sobering reality that each of us, at one time or another, will meet the end of our lives, and our Creator. It just made me wonder...are we ready? Are we helping those we meet each day to be ready? Because it's just so very real, and none of us know how much time is left for us. May we be thankful for the gift of life each day, and use the time given us well. I am so very thankful for the love of God and the hope and courage we can have, even here, staring death and suffering in the face. Death itself is not the end... and there are far, far better things ahead, for those who love God.

Thankfully we have also been able to usher some new lives into this world lately, and that is another miracle all its own, and so beautiful. OK it's messy, and loud, and sometimes we're so tired and it's not super fun.... but it's beautiful. The first breath and cries of a newborn are one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard. The miracle that a tiny, brand new person is making their arrival into this big world is just always amazing. And each of them has a soul that will live on for eternity.

Our days at clinic continue to be busy, with more constant, moderate numbers of patients. Sixty to one hundred people in a day is common right now. We have had numerous more severe patients staying in our hospital room over the last number of weeks.... but at the moment the “hospital room” is nearly empty again.

Around 7am on Tuesday, July 4th, Kayla and Autumn were summoned to clinic for a lady in labor. They soon had delivered a little boy. But after a difficult labor and delivery, the baby was not breathing and did not have a pulse upon his arrival. They immediately began resuscitation and did get a pulse back, and eventually spontaneous breathing, though we kept him on oxygen. There was soon cause for concern though, as the baby appeared to be seizing. They were able to secure a flight for him to Fond des Blancs, a good hospital with a NICU.... so some of our crew went up to the landing zone with the baby, while a few of us others stayed at clinic to keep things going that morning. Thankfully everything went smoothly, and we got everything wrapped up in good time. We did get news that the baby died several days later, so please pray for the parents, as it was their first baby, and it is a difficult experience for them.

This little person thought it would be great to taste the stethescope. =) With the malnutrition and milk programs that we have at clinic, along with just regular consultations for sickness, we see quite a few children at the clinic on any given day.

This man ended up staying in our hospital room for a few days, and fast became a friend.

His wife also loved to talk and spent quite a bit of time talking with us about many things. It was so good just to sit and talk and get to know them.

That's it for now.... I better wrap up since I'm way overdue for this blog post. (Please forgive me. =)) Lately with some of the more complicated and difficult cases at clinic, it has been testing us... I have felt a keen need of wisdom and discernment beyond what I have. Please pray that God would provide the wisdom we need in each situation, to give the best and most appropriate care....and that we could not just care for physical bodies, but that we could minister to souls and impact them... not only for life here on earth, but for eternity too.

-Mis Sharon

Sunday, July 2, 2017

I'll live for him Who died for me......

How happy then my life shall be! I'll live for him who died for me, My saviour and my God!

This chorus really encouraged me this past week! so I wanted to share it with everyone.

Hi guys........Wow!! another month has past in what seems like a blink of an eye! God has granted us another month! And I CAN'T complain! It has been a good one....Perfect amounts of people each day! And Grace where we needed it, What can I say...We serve an awesome God!

A few pics from our last month here at the clinic.......

Here's a picture of Mis Katie doing job a stitch on a horse that come in on Sunday afternoon! I must say, He probably was one of the best stitch jobs in a while as far as corporation! he never flinched!

Doc doing a surgery, And me assisting on a little girls wrist! She had a tumor a little smaller then a golf ball on the top side of  her wrist!

This woman came in with this gash to her head! She said she had fallen on the trail, and hit her head
on a rock! I ended up putting 10 Stitches in this gash.

Here's a picture after the ten stitches!

Well that's all for this week hope it gives you a little idea of what our last week was like here at the clinic!

 Please continue to pray far us as we continue to serve the people of Haiti!

                                                                                                                                               ~ James,

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Live Your Life for the Benefit of Others

Thanking God for yet another good week at clinic and for more meds. God is good.

 Things have been pretty low key for the most part around here.(besides the longer days at clinic with normal consultations and a bit of odd cases. ) We had one birth last week,but it had been a good couple of weeks before that  that we had one.

(Katie,baby,Kayla, Autumn and the Pt. Midwife)

Please excuse our unprofessionalism in this pic;) It was seven o'clock Thursdays evening when we got a nock on the gate. Sure enough,it was a lady on labor.(since it had been so long we were expecting it.) So Kayla,Autumn and I quickly ran to clinic to see what the status was on this lady. She was a first time mom and hardly in the first stages of labor. As we were down at clinic and just had decided we were going to send the lady back home,  it began to pour down heavy rain. So we sat up a bed in the hospital room for our patient and her husband  and decided they could stay the night and we would just make a quick dash for the house in the rain since it didn't look like it was going  to stop any time soon. We had almost reached our gate to our compound when we heard our names called out. "Mis Mis." We turned and looked to see yet a other laboring lady coming down the trail on a cot drenched from the rain. So we turned back around and headed straight back to clinic. By the time we got there,not only was the patient drenched from the rain,but so were we and the rest of the crowd that brought the patient(which meant for a really wet, sloppy,slippery clinic floor.    At first there was a bit of a concern about  the baby because of some meconium staining in the amniotic fluid.  But within an hour, a  baby boy was born! He didn't want to cry for a while after birth but he pinked right up and seemed to have been doing really well. 
The next morning(Friday) the baby was showing signs of maybe what seemed like seizures. So we had him sent out to a hospital a couple of hours away. Please pray for him when you think of him. His name is James. We have yet to hear how he is doing as of now. 


This dear friend of ours used to come to clinic for a bandage for his skin cancer. But since there wasn't anything we could do to make it better,we started having him come back every week for bandage supplies and "someone else was supposed to be doing the  bandages for him". On Tuesdays he came back to clinic with a complaint about his wound, so we decided we could bandage it for him this time. As I pulled the bandage back to remove it, I couldn't help but gasp at what I saw. The wound  was full of maggots crawling every Where!
Bless dear Autumn and Sharon for stamaching it up and pulling out each individual maggot from the wound. They didn't think to count them but they estimated over a hundred that they removed. 
Doc, James and Kayla performing a minor surgery on a young boy who had fallen on his hand a few days prior to this and had gotten the slightest tiniest cut that caused a major infection in his whole right hand. 
That brings me to the end of yet another blog. 

We can't say it enough. But thank you so much for your continual prayer and support. Please keep it up. 

Mis* Katie