Friday, July 22, 2016

His way is best.

 All things work for our good,

Though sometimes we can’t see how they could.

Struggles that break our hearts in two

Sometimes blind us to the truth.

Our Father knows what’s best for us,

His ways are not our own;

So when your pathway grows dim,

And you just can’t see Him,

Remember your never alone.

 

He sees the master plan,

He holds the future in his hand;

So don’t live as those who have no hope.

All our hope is found in him.

We see the present clearly,

He sees the first and last;

And like a tapestry, he’s weaving you and me,

To someday be just like Him.

 

God is too wise to be mistaken.

God is to good to be unkind.

So when you don’t understand,

When you don’t see his plan,

When you can’t trace his hand,

Trust his heart.

 

This song has been very meaningful to me recently. It’s so easy to get disillusioned and to stop trusting our heavenly Father when we look at the waves around us and forget to keep our focus on Him. We want to know what the future holds… We want good things in our life… But, trials and testings come our way and we begin to waver. We loose sight of his face and our pathway grows dim. If we only could turn our gaze heavenward and choose to trust him, our fears can be dissolved and we can have peace and joy in knowing that His way is best. Oh, the sweet peace that can be ours, if we rest completely in Him!

I'm going to throw in a few random pictures from clinic.... 

Here is faithful Mis Zitha giving meds to a patient.



Today is Friday and Dr. Felix is back again! Here he's doing a minor surgery on a lady's hand.


Sometimes I change bandages for our bandage patients... Meet “Monkey”.


I’m not sure how he got his nickname but none of us really know what his real name is. (and if we do, we never use it.) I was busy in the pharmacy but things had slowed down and I glanced out the window to see how many people were still outside waiting to be seen. Monkey catches my eye and waves his hand as if to say, “Hi Mis! I’m here! Did you see me yet? I want my bandage changed!” In a little while I call him in and he perches himself on the ancient black-paint-peeling-rusty chair and props his foot on another chair of equal character. “Bonjou, Mis!” he cheerily greets me and I proceed to remove his bandage. 

It’s a smelly job so I don’t waste a lot of time in cleaning him up and getting new clean bandages on his sores. This time I can see obvious improvement! The wounds are smaller and they don’t smell quite as bad as they did the last time I had changed them.

Ellamae is done seeing all the pregnant ladies so she spends a few moments with one of her little friends before it's time to go home.


Philip pops down to the clinic every now and then... There's always someone who needs a listening ear.


Yesterday was another one of those days where things did not go the way we would have chosen… An 8 year old girl was brought to the clinic but she was already very low. We don’t know for sure but it’s possible that she may have had sickle cell disease… She was full of fluids and, despite the efforts of the nurses, she only continued to get worse. Her lungs slowly filled with fluid till she could no longer breathe. It was so sad to watch as the tears slid down her mother’s face and her father paced about with a wild look in his eyes. Alyssa and Kayla were holding her as she was fighting for breath. Eventually, she breathed her last and Alyssa heard her last heartbeat. She was gone.




In moments like this, you simply have to trust that He knew what’s best. We did all that was in our power to save her and yet… she slipped from this life into the next. The last grain of sand slid through the hourglass of her life. He had called her home. 

We have no promise of tomorrow. Today is our opportunity. Now is the time to give our best to Him and serve him in whatever way he calls us. Let’s be faithful so that one day we can see him face to face!


The newbie, 

Mis Rachel

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lord, I can't ... But YOU can!

Bang, bang, bang, .... I awoke, rolled over and checked the time 5:58 am. A few minutes later, Janell came  to inform me that a cot was on the way. I enjoyed the few more minutes of peace and quietness. Soon someone came to the gate to inform me the cot had arrived. 

Arriving at clinic, I found a crowd surrounding a small cot. A boy 8 years old who had fallen 6 days ago and completely broke his left femur. However, in the time before coming to the clinic the family had sought other help which created more damage. The leg was tied off so tight there was little circulation. The lower leg had been plastered with a substance that caused second and third degree burns to 80% of the lower leg. The boy screamed in pain when we would attempt to clean or move the leg. After several hours we had the wounds cleaned and dressed. Thank the Lord, it was a beautiful day so we could fly him out to a bigger hospital with Ayiti Air Anbilans.
He was so brave!
The clinic was ringing by 9:30 am. We already had a lady in labour with her ninth child and several other demanding cases. Hans, Kayla, and Rachel took the little boy up to the helicopter. Ellamae and I started clinic. Thankfully, it was a small crowd waiting for us. We started consulting blood pressure people. It seemed continually I was being pulled this way and that.

We have another lady(#2) in labour arrived. We have another lady (#3) in labour on the way. She is decomposing can we send a ride? 

I sit back down to continue consulting when I here a commotion in the front room. I find an older man had collapsed in the front room. We got him up and into a bed. Got some fluids running into him and he started to perk up.

It was a welcome see Kayla, Rachel, and Hans walk in the door. We soon had everything finished for lunch.

After a short break, I went back down to check on a patient. She was perking up but, our ladies seemed to be making progress. I called Kayla down. We were sitting with the one girl (#2) when the other seemed to be having complications. We called Ellamae down. The girls went to sit with lady (#1) while I stayed with the other. Rachel came to be my assistant. We were waiting when Ellamae yells, “Alyssa we need you quick.”

I ran in to find a limp baby and a pool of blood everywhere. I grabbed the baby and started resuscitation. We called Hans down for an extra hand. We set to work assisting respirations. She had a good heartbeat but, was having difficulty breathing on her own. 

Meanwhile Kayla and Ellamae are caring for the mother. She continued haemorrhaging even though they were making all attempts to stop the bleeding. Lord, please stop the bleeding and may your will be down in the life of this baby I prayed. God heard our prayers and His will was done. His will was the best. 

Hans, Rachel, and I continue working with the baby. After 2 hours, she gave up. It was with teary eyes that we stepped back and looked at the small little frame. So innocent, so beautiful no one could deny the fact that she was fearfully and wonderfully made.

The mother by this time had stabilized and was doing much better. PTL!
Our babies over the past two days!

You may also wonder what has happened to other mother (#2) who is waiting to deliver. She seemed to cool off for a short time. We kept and eye on her but, I truly believe that God held that baby back. we cleaned up and got back to the house shortly after 7:00 pm.

After a nice refreshing evening, Kayla and I went back down to check our patients before bed. The lady (#2) in labour didn’t seem to have changed much. We decided we would give her 20 minutes if she would start in hard labour we would stay until she has the baby. Before 20 minutes were up she was wanting to give hard pushes. We called Bethany and Rachel down because they wanted to be at the birth. Before they had even made it in the door, a little boy made his appearance into the world. It was about midnight when tired, happy nurses rolled into their beds.

You may wonder what happened to lady #3 she never did make her appearance because she was already there :)!
This last collage is pictures from the past week. We have had many stitch jobs and extraordinary events. The one was a machete cut to the face in front of the ear due to a fight. Thankfully, it wasn't deeper and facial nerves had no apparent injury. 

The other a foot injury. The girl's foot had got caught in a Moto wheel while walking through market. We sent her out for surgery. 

The last is a head injury that came in the same time the foot did. A skull fracture due to a rock thrown at him. 


At times the work is taxing, stretching, and we can be tempted to feel overwhelmed but, God isn’t asking us to do it in our own strength. A verse that came to me the past couple days is “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him” (Psalm 28:7a)

Please continue to pray for the work in Haiti and provide support as God directs you! 

~ Mis Alyssa 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

We still exist!

We still exist! I wouldn't blame you for wondering, considering how silent we've been but...we're still here. The busy days have slipped into weeks and, well...I'll stop the excuses. Sorry for the silence! 

The days lately have been normal, for the most part, but a LOTS of normal so we're running hither and thither delivering babies, stitching those lacerations, lending a listening ear, and much much more! 

Here's a song I thought of recently. 

"I Believe in the sun even when it's not shinning. 

I Believe in a love even when I cannot feel it. 

And I Believe in God even when he is Silent."
I'm so thankful that we can know God is still there and still working even when it feels like He's silent. 

  I'll try to fill you in on a few of the big changes that have been happening here.
  We said goodbye to our dear fellow nurse one day and welcomed another nurse the next day. 
  Mali, thank you so much for all your time you spent pouring out to all these dear people. House calls, loving your Plumpy Nut kids, taking the time to talk and pray with a hurting patient when they really had no problem besides needing a understanding friend, your up-beat spirit in the middle of the night, and lots more. God bless you as return to life "lòtbò". We miss you! 

Rachel Oberholtzer is now our new pharmacist, and is doing a wonderful job! She's also doing a great job at fitting in to our team here. Welcome, Mis Rachel! 

Last week in the business of Mali getting ready to leave, we had the fun of deliver 3 babies in 12hrs. All of them were cute little girls, who didn't take long to enter the world! 

        Philip doing a stitch job one afternoon! 

The pharmacist! 


Thank you so much for your prayers and support!  
Mis Ellamae 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Twins and Much More!!

As I walked into the house one afternoon this past week, the song  "My Jesus knows just what I need" was playing. 

That phrase replayed in my mind. How true!! I soon began to think of the many ways that God had blessed us over the past several days. After a week of sleepless nights/ stressful clinic days/ big decisions etc. God saw need for a "ti repoze". Last Friday, we awoke to about 3 1/2" of rain. PTL!! We were not just thankful for the rain but also predicted a small clinic day which proved to be true. 

After a relatively quiet weekend, we dived into another week. This week has been more or less the usual. Colds, minor flu symptoms, cuts, scraps, and abscesses. 

On the subject of abscesses, imagine walking about with your face half swollen and you can barely open your mouth. Your face hurts so bad you don't want anyone to touch it BUT the only way for relief is for the infection to come out. That is the life of several people in Haiti. Why?? I don't have all the answers but many are tooth infections that have not been treated. No one would have wanted to be there to open the one abscess. It was a smell beyond description. If the one patient had been left she could have died before long due to a systemic infection. 



Another lady came in with a fast growing Tumor! She is eight months pregnant. Pray that God can give wisdom and direction in this situation. Her best solution is surgery in Mirebalais Hospital. She is a poor mountain woman who could never come up with the funds it would take for such a surgery. Pray she is depending on all of us!! 


The major excitement of the year happened on Wednesday afternoon!  ( I would love to let Mali or Ellamae share this story since they were involved but since it is my week to blog I will tell you what I was told;)) We were all awoke Wednesday morning to a message bearer telling us there is a lady in labour. Mali and Ellamae went down to clinic to check her status. She was progressing so they stayed with her. We started clinic. Around 1:00 pm there was news that a baby girl was born! BUT she still had another one. After about another 2 hours, a little boy made his appearance. Our hearts were all filled with gratitude to God for a healthy delivery of the TWINS!! Congratulations Mali and Ellamae you did an amazing job!! 
                Happy, tired, nurses!!


Thanks to God for providing for us so richly. Thanks to each one who reads this blog and supports us through pray and in many other ways. We feel the affects everyday!! 

~ Alyssa 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

God is Good!

One morning when I arrived at clinic, I noticed that someone had changed the quote on the white board. I didn't really stop and read it till later in the morning.
"I will never give you more then you can handle. I will let you bend but will not let you break" -Jesus. Wow, just exactly what I needed right then. Isn't it amazing how God does that?

Some days, the stress in the amount of work we have to do is overwhelming. But I'm constantly reminded that God will give me the strength to do what I'm called to do here.
This week has been very stretching, tiring, and stressful. Every single day had it own set of difficulties.        

Monday was a long full day with seeing just over 130 people total.
Tuesday dawned bright an early, with lots of knocks on the gate. People who had cuts that needed to be stitched, laboring mothers and little sleep.
  Mali and I had a lady in labor. A 13 year old mom. Yep, you heard right. 13. Our hearts broke. She wasn't progressing very fast so we told them to call us if anything changed... and we went to bed. We had barely been sleeping when we heard the knock on the gate and we made our way to clinic, but she really hadn't changed. That night we made our way to clinic 4 times till the night was over. On one of the trips down, we where greeted with a huge group of people who had brought in another laboring mother. Due to the high risk in such young girls giving birth, we transferred out first laboring patient out to a bigger hospital. Just after Alex and Mali left for TG with her, we welcomed our 3rd laboring mother.  I wondered to myself how much more we really could take, and as evening started to near I started to worry about loosing my second nights sleep. Neither of the ladies seemed in a big hurry to have their baby's. Finally around 1:00am the urgent gate knock came. We hurried down to clinic to be welcomed with the wonderful sound of a baby crying! I was so happy!  We still had a lady in labor, who wasn't making any progress. In the morning, we started clinic, but it was soon decided that we needed to take our lady out to a bigger hospital. It wasn't long till Alex, Mali and I left for TG. Thankfully we made it out to town safely and transferred her to a bigger hospital.  We found out that the first girl we transferred out had a C-section and mom and baby are doing well. We are still waiting to hear what the rest of the story is on our 2nd transfer but we are praying that everything went well for her too!
  Please to continue to pray for us. Big decisions and nights without sleep are stressful. We NEED your help!

In HIS service -Mis Ellamae