Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hello! I'm Marla Zimmerman from Northern IA. I've been here for 8 weeks now. 
I Work in the pharmacy and help out where I can. I have a lot to learn but I'm thankful for the training I got at MMI before I came, it give me a head start on a lot of things. 

I enjoy my work in the Pharmacy and I now have a love for meds like I never thought I could have!  
The last couple weeks we've  been having extra big clinic days, making it a challenge to keep the shelves stocked so when the month supply of meds comes, it’s like Christmas for me. opening boxes full of meds and then seeing the shelves full again is always a good feeling!

Last Friday some of us went on a hike following the dry river bed to the water hole. getting out and enjoy the beautiful weather and views is always refreshing! 

Saturday morning emergency run with Todd and MacKenzie 

Saturday night we welcomed a healthy little boy into this world!

Monday, June 6, 2022

Update by Mis Emily

"What an incredible honor we have, to help their hurting bodies but even more, to speak to the thirsty souls." 

We saw this in action again and again, in the work of Dr Philip and Dr Males when they spent a week with us here at our clinic in Aleag. It was a huge honor to have both of them here at the same time, representing both the American culture and the Haitian culture. Their years of experiance and wisdom was appreciated more than we could voice as they worked with us giving patient care, teaching as they went- reinforcing our skills and giving us quite a few more. 

Prior to their stay, we had begun keeping an eye out for patients who might be in need of surgery. Before we knew it, we had a list of possibilities, and it kept growing. In the middle of our Friday, we emptied out the Bandage room, and started with surgical consultants. Over 23 hydroceles, cysts, and  cleft palates later, we finally had to turn the last few patients away since it was getting much too late, and then as evening crept over the mountains, we scrubbed up for our first minor procedure- a wound reconstruction. 

On Saturday we transformed our Operating Room from the prior night into a schoolroom. Our Haitian nurses came as well for a few hours of classes. Dr Males did an amazing job switching from English to Creole to French, expanding our knowledge on hypertension and medications. 

The afternoon and early evening were dedicated to surgeries. We all got the opportunity to assist the doctors in surgery; opening, repairing or removing, closing, and post op care. Dr Philip explained his way through each step, and at the end of the day, eight overjoyed patients had gotten procedures done. 

One shy little girl could walk comfortably again after having a cyst removed from her foot. 

A hernia was repaired. A cyst taken from a young man's cheek. 

Our most memorable patient was easily a sweet middle aged lady with a ping pong ball sized growth on her right hand. She said she had learned to work with it, but oh my it was so horribly embarrassing to raise her hands in church in praise to Bondye (God) and everyone could see the large thing protruding from her hand. Her eyes filled with tears as she repeatedly thanked Dr Philip after seeing his neat row of stitches in her hand. Then with twinkling eyes she asked if she could take the removed growth home to show her family. We carefully placed it in a little plastic bag, and she gleefully put it in her satchel. She trotted down the trail with happiness in her step, raising her now normal hand with repeated "Mesi Jezi, Mesi Bondye, Mesi Dr Philip" while the other hand carefully held on to her backpack and it's precious little cargo in its little plastic bag. 

The 18th of May fell over the doctors stay- Haiti's Indepedence Day. Their was an early worship service held at our Aleag church, and all the children came waving their handheld Haitian flags. All the schools got together and marched past our clinic on up to Besace, where they held a celebration. It's a fun day for everyone, especially the little children. 

We really weren't ready to see the doctors drive down the trail again, but appreciated every hour they had spent with us. They had dedicated more than a week away from their families, blessing the clinic and community in so many ways. 

It's so many people like them who make this mission a success. From the doctors doing the surgeries and giving us skills to up our patient care while they arent here. The donors supplying the funds to make it all possible. And the prayer warriors, lifting us and fighting our battles with us. Together.. 

Together we have this incredible opportunity. To help the hurting bodies, and to minister to the thirsty souls . 

Thank you for your continuous support. 
Mis Emily

Early morning Independence Day service

Patients waiting for consultations 

A good Doctor knows that sometimes all a scared little boy with a machete cut needs is some time, gentle words, and of course a lollipop always helps! 

Doing an ultrasound on a possible surgery patient 

Monday, March 21, 2022

Dear readers, 
   A early morning gate knock announced that a baby was about to be born. We hauled out of bed and scurried down to  clinic. About an hour later, a baby girl was born. After checking the mom again, we discovered, much to our surprise that she had twins. We got ready for baby #2. Two hours later her contractions still hadn't started up again, we talked to our new DR, Dr Medor who started coming to work at clinic 3 days a week, and decided it’d be best if we transferred her. We headed out towards Fonde de blan thinking we'd have to do the 6 hour trip. Meanwhile Mis Dani talked to a Dr at Villa clinic an much to our surprise they told us they could take her in. So instead of a 6 hr trip it turned into a 3 hr trip. We sure weren’t going to complain about that.  A few hours later we heard that baby #2 had safely arrived into this world. We had a lot to be thankful for.  

   This past weekend, we enjoyed Bryan and Ashley Beachy with their 4 children as they came and stayed with us for the weekend. Verlyn went back to the states for a week of visiting his family and a much deserved break.  Saturday we took Bryan and his daughter Payton on a hiking trip to the waterfalls.  Hiking with Bryan, we learned a lot about the plants an trees of Haiti as he has worked with agriculture here in Haiti for 12 years. Like always, it was great getting out and hiking thru these beautiful mountains. We even took a different trail coming back so we got to see different scenery.  All the sore muscles the next day sure were worth it all. 

   We are so happy about having Dadou here for domestic help. So far none of us nurses have complained about handing all the cooking over to her. It leaves our afternoon more open to going out and visiting people or emergencies.  Plus Dadou's cooking is hard to beat. 

  Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord that walketh in his way ~Psalms 128:1~ 
Mis Gloria Nolt

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Missionary, blan (White), nurse, PARENT?! 

We've been called all of the above, but the last one came as an unexpected surprise. Life here in the Aleg mountains is never boring, especially now as we are short staffed. And it seems like the less people around to handle all the problems, the more of such we get. Austin and Emma left in January, Lorrayne left in March, just after Gloria came back from Furlough. We have one of the Haitian nurses staying with us overnight so we have more human power to stretch around. In the middle of all this craziness, we had a gate knock one afternoon. It was a neighbor with a message. We need to go visit Little Emma. She's very sick. 

Cody, Daniella, and I jumped on a machine and drove to the foot of the trail leading to Emma's little mountain home. We found her daughter Abigial sitting outside in the dirt, and beside her was the tiny human Emma. She could barely lift her head, and her body had shriveled down to what I guessed  was approximately 80 pounds. A neighbor man offered to help us carry her down the mountain since the trail was very slippery from recent rain, and he proceeded to pick her up and sling her painfully skinny body over his shoulder and walk effortlessly down the mountain. I brought Aby, dodging the puddles and sometimes grabbing onto vines to steady us. At clinic Emma requested to speak to Fre Noes, since she felt like she was close to dying. We drove crazily and snatched Fre Noas from his beanfields. And faced another dilemma. He refused to go anywhere in his muddy clothes! So we backed up to his house, and told him to hurry. Two minutes later he came back out, shirt tails still flapping as he unknowingly buttoned his shirt wrong, unbuttoned twice, only to proceed to do it wrong again. After praying with Emma, we took decided to keep Abigail at our house while we transported Emma to another hospital. 

Aby flourished, packing as much food as she possibly could into her stomach, till we had to remove food so she wouldn't eat herself sick. She had gone hungry to many times and now ate everything I'm sight. She gained a few pounds and her skin healed up from her scabies, while her legs gained a delicious plumpness, even as she became more active. She struggled with sleeping at night, so we took turns keeping her so no one would get to sleep deprived. 

Poor Aby was also introduced to various parenting techniques as we were thrown into the roles of 3 first time moms and 2 dads. Things became interesting after I offered a significant prize to Gloria if she could potty train her before she leaves. This manifested in howls from the bathroom  as Aby became used to perching on the toilet, and once in awhile puddles would appear on the floor unexpectedly, but 2 weeks on and Baby Aby was in fact, almost potty trained. 

Emma missed Aby terribly, so one weekend we packed up and drove the 3 hours to the hospital. She was overjoyed to see her little girl, and she was definitely getting better. They were able to spend almost an hour together. 

We still have Aby here, as long as we can if it doesn't interfere with our clinic work. We have someone who cares for her while we're busy, and so far it is working out! She brings us so much joy.

Please pray for Emma as she recovers!

Mis Emily

Thursday, January 13, 2022

(Temporary Backup) Update by Gloria

Hello everyone! 
   This finds us in just the start of rainy season here in Haiti  and also the start of a new year.  We all hope it's a better  year for  Haiti.  This last year was not a easy one for a lot of people.  
  Some more changes have happened since we wrote last time . On Sunday we said goodbye to our temporary administrators Austin and Emma Hartzler.  It was hard to see them go but I am really thankful for the 5 month they stayed here with us. Also thankful for all they did for us during this hard time don't know what we would have done without them.  God knew we needed them. Now we are looking forward to having our new administrators (James and Autumn Erdley) here Lord willing in a couple of weeks.  

 December 17th we had our Christmas staff fèt (party). We had lots of good food that our Haitian cook, Jetta, made. Took, reminisced over the last years event, had a moment of silence for Trent, staff pics, and had lots of fun. Then we closed clinic for 3 weeks and starting CLEANING! We got the whole clinic cleaned in a record of 2 days. We also did a lot of general clean up around the compound here, things that had gotten neglected this past year. 
 The 23rd we went to Ti Goave for another Christmas party hosted by Pastor Levy. We went earlier in the day to get some shopping done at market before we went to the party. Pastor and Madam Levy escorted Lorrayne, Emily and I in his car, a very exciting thing since its been at least 5 months since any of us had a ride in a car! The party was formal, decorated with reds and greens with a balloon backdrop and string lights. Tables lined the interior of the rented hotel party room, but even the decorations couldn't compare to the party goers who came- decked in their finest Christmas clothes!  We stayed at Pastor's house for the night and headed back up the mountain early the next day. 
 On Christmas day we delivered a baby girl,  Cody and Austin made brunch, we exchanged gifts and then in the evening we went to a double wedding at church. We came back late and had our Christmas supper. 
  The last couple days of the year of 2021 we spend on the little island called  Ile a Vache. It was a great get away. a time to relax and digest all that had happened in this past year. We also did some exploring on the island, visited their market and beautiful beaches. The island was a 20 minute boat ride from Les Cayes-that is if the ocean is calm. Unfortunately the day we came back it was a windy day and it took us 45 min to get to Cayes. 
    The rest of our days off we did a lot of visiting friends, studying creole, more deep house cleaning, etc. It was nice to have the break but we were all happy to jump back into clinic life again. 
   The first 2 days of clinic were crazy busy. Right now there is a bad fever an cold bug going around.  I declare there isn't one house hold in these mountains that doesn't have a sick family member in it. 
  We all are excited for this new year, please pray for us as we jump head first into 2022. 
 Thing's to pray for .
     • Austin and Emma as they go back to the states an get back into the groove of American life.
    •James and Autumn as they prepare to come here.
    • Us youth as we serve here without any administrators for a couple weeks. 
     • New birthing Center project.  
    • upcoming staff replacement, a guy for clinic and a girl for domestics until May. 
     • all the unrest and violence in Haiti. 
    Thanks for your prayers and support! 
   -Mis Gloria

Thursday, November 25, 2021

The only way God can show us He's in control is to put us in situations we can't control. -Steven Furtick. 

Control. It feels good. It feels powerful. And sometimes it's hard to admit when you're not. But there's also something so beautiful, peaceful, when we hand it all over to the Father; broken and realizing how little we can do outside His will. Surrender. 

This is how we were found on Monday.  A crazy, busy day filled with new life, and almost- death.  24 hours full of continuously handing matters over to the Father. 

1 PM- It's over four hours into treating patients, and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Patient after patient is called in for consultations with a nurse, Daniella is seeing her 9th pregnancy check up, Gloria is busy balancing a malnourished baby on her knee while she works the blood pressure program, and Cody is in the midst of treating Toe Guy. Except Toe Guy is now Toe-less Guy, and it appears like he might be missing a few more soon. What had started as a fungal infection in his second toe, had progressed to the point where he had to get it surgically removed. Now with some neglect, and impure water, the once healing infection had spread, exposing his tendon in his foot. The pain has to be unbearable, but he remains stoic. 

1:42 PM. Daniella calls me in; the mom in labor needs her vital signs checked.

By the time I get back to the pharmacy, a pile of dossiers are waiting to have prescriptions filled. Reyneld brings in more patients to the waiting area. 

2:30- The last patient starts his consultation, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Lorraine had brought up cookies for us at noon, and as delicious as they were, they couldn't quite be called lunch.  

3:10- The last patient walks out of the clinic, accompanied by a fistful of meds. Finally done. We cleaned up and head back to the mission for a little lunch. Danniella stays, monitoring her pregnant lady, so Lorraine prepared rice to send to her for a very late lunch. 

3:30- I'm soaking my foot in Epsom salt water, trying to keep infection at bay from a gash on the sole of my foot, when Daniella walks by, asking if I could grab some more baby bundles from the depo. Fre Reynolds( one of our clinic employees) wife is in labor and just came in to clinic!! 

3:40- The number of laboring ladies is now at THREE as Emma comes with the news- one of our neighbor ladies is at 5 cm!!! We prepare the birth trays and make sure extra chuck pads are available. 

4:30- Emma prepares to go check on the neighbor lady, who wanted to wait to come in till she was closer to delivering. 

5:54- I leave the clinic where we had been monitoring the first lady, who was fully dilated but not progressing. I grabbed more water for Danniela and I when the radio squawked. The baby was coming!!! 

6:01- I hurry into the delivery room, pulling on gloves- just in time to watch the baby enter the world and give a healthy hollar. A healthy baby boy, who immediately welcomes me by leaving an unpleasant brown trail down my scrubs and drip- drip onto my shoe. 

6:20- Cleanup is done after the first birth. One down, two to go. A shower would be nice. 

6:25- Austin, Cody, and Gloria hurry into clinic, grabbed the medical bag, jump on the Husky and say something about a baby before roaring off. 

8:00- The crew comes back, holding a sweet little bundle. Another perfect little boy!! Emma had just gotten to the house when momma said she needed to push. One moment later, the little guy made his appearance, much to everyone's surprise. The birth went well, and his  brothers now watch as Gloria places him on the scale. A solid 8 pounds!! 

9:00- Everyone is back at the clinic, the 2nd baby is returned to its momma, and the 3rd mom is only at 5 cm. We prep everything for the next day. Emma and Austin head back for some very cold supper. 

9:15- We locked up and were starting to leave when a crowd emerges from the dark. They're carrying a blanket wrapped bundle. 

9:20- We unlock again and take them inside, laying the bundle on the examination table. It's a little girl, about 8 years old. She lies unconscious, her head shaved, exposing a large bump with a still bleeding laceration. We start an assessment as Daniella gets the story from the waiting onlookers. This little girl who we'll nickname Jenny, lives in Port au Prince, and was visiting her grandmother near Fort Garry. She had gone to fetch water when she had been hit by a large rock tumbling down the mountainside. She immediately fell, unconscious, and hadn't responded since. Her parents were still in Port, so she was carried the hours to the clinic by her godfather. 

Jenny’s extended family waiting

9:35- We treat Jenny for shock and clean the blood from her head and nose. She responds to painful stimuli. Her pupils are a bit  sluggish, but reactive, and she doesn't have an fluid from her ears.. We start an IV, dim the lights, and monitor her closely. 

11:30- We discuss our options and call a Doctor stateside for advice. Jenny desperately needs a CT scan, and there are only a few in all of Haiti. 

12:00- I'm in mid conversation with a Doctor when our connection drops. We attempt to call him back but the call won't go through. We try several phones. No luck. 

12:15- We were able to contact the Doctor again, via whatsapp, and he directed us in administering anti- seizure meds. Jenny will now swallow on command, so we can give meds orally!! 

12:45- Jenny's heart rate is still high and much too strong, easily felt by laying a finger on her chest. She still seizes periodically. We pray hard for this little girl!! We know transporting her out will probably harm her on the bumpy trail. Emma speaks with Jennys godfather, telling him gently that we are doing our best, but it might not be enough for his little girl. 

1:30- The seizures subside as the meds take effect, and Jenny relaxes more. She still has no movement on her right side. We give pain meds as often as allowed, and continue monitoring. In the next room, Mom #3 labors on. 

5:00- Fre Reynold and his wife welcome they're second child- sweet little girl!!! 

6:00- I head back to clinic to check on Jenny and give her more meds. Her vital signs are more stable. 

7:30- We meet to discuss Jenny's best options. Her parents are requesting she be taken to Port if at all possible. We agree the trail would probably harm her. Haiti Air Ambulance might be an option now that it's daylight. 

8:00- Emma makes a quick trip to check in on Baby #2 

8:10- Jenny is more responsive, and when asks where it hurts, uses only her left hand to point to her head. Progress!!! 

8:30- Jenny's dad arrives on a motorcycle from Port. He's so glad to see her!! 

9:20- We are finally able to reach Haiti air ambulance and they agree to transport to a reputable hospital in Port. 

9:30- After several more phone conversations, it's time to move! Their chopper is lifting off soon! We prepare the transfer papers and write a report for the receiving hospital. Then, its time to package Jenny for her flight! 

10:00- We carry the backboarded Jenny out to the machine. Daniella and Gloria have the hard part- balancing the backboard and holding it to make the ride as smooth as possible to the soccer field- our landing zone- 20 minutes away across the rough, bumpy mountain trails. Cody is driving, and we tie the IV to the roof of the machine. 

Ready to head out to the helicopter

10:10- Their chopper is in the sky!!! Estimated time of arrival- 10:34. 

10:22- We make it safely up Jack Rabbit Hill, Gloria and Daniella bracing themselves to keep Jenny stable. We stop to let them adjust positions when I see I have a missed call from Dispatch. 

10:30- We go down the last hill, followed by Verlyn, Lorrayne, Emma and Austin's machine- to the soccerfield. 4 minutes to landing time. 

10:33- Don's orphanage is there, helping to clear the landing strip of debris and goats. A large crowd is already beginning to gather. The sound of a helicopters rotors gradually comes closer. 

10:35- The chopper flys close enough that we can see the familiar sign of the healing snake on the six sided star on the belly of the machine- then it flies right over us!! I speak with Dispatch, they have 2 different coordinates and missed seeing us. 

Hope in the skies

10:42- The helicopter flies over again, then straight in for landing. A nearby goat gives a terrified bleat and pulls at its tether as the Bird slowly descends onto the soccer field, blowing grass in all directions. The rotors stop, and 2 flight paramedics walk toward us. 

10:50- We've carried Jenny out to the chopper and give a report. They do a thorough assessment. The pilot, 2 American and one Haitian paramedics- are very friendly and helpful.

Final transfer

10:52- The hard decision is made to let the godfather fly with Jenny, since he had been there throughout most of her incident. Her father said goodbye, and Jenny waved a hand weakly as she was loaded and the doors closed. 

10:55- The chopper lifts off- taking Jenny to a CT scan, a neurologist, and a better chance of recovery . 

11:25- Our thankful hearts overrode our fatigue as we drove back to the mission to finish the day at Clinic. 

A few days later- the update on Jenny is good. She is regaining motor skills on her right side and on the road to recovery!! 

Thank you for following along on this exceedingly long post. Not every day is like this, but God has given us the strength to get through every one till up to now, and it seems like days like this make us lean harder on Him and make us in awe of his loving care..

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we try to serve Him to the best of our abilities!! 

Mis Emily

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Update from Mis Gloria

 Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is suppose to look like an enjoying it for everything that it is ~Mandy Hale~

   Hello everyone 

Its been a couple month since I wrote . There sure have been a lot of changes since last time . They were changes I definitely never pictured to happened here in my life in Haiti . 

Changes that change our lives . Changes that we really don't like . Changes that give us a choice of allowing it to build us stronger an bring us closer to God or to tear us down farther away from God .  

One thing that has never changed though an never will is- God. Going thru the death of our boss Trent . Being without administrators for a couple month taking on more responsibilities . Change of staff . Then getting new temporary administrators . Trying to find a new normal in it all .  Thru all this God has never just let us hang there . He always meets our needs . He hears our weary cry. Our God is faithful.  He keeps his promises "I will never leave thee , nor forsake thee."~Hebrew 13:5~

I am doing the malnutrition, milk program , and blood pressure program now. I enjoy it ,working with children and the older people.  It also helps me with my creole - forces me to learn more, having to communicate with people more! 

The last couple days have been busy . We definitely are happy about the part that we're having quite a few moms coming in to have their babies.  The last couple months had been slow for birth . It was nice to have a break but now we're happy that it's picking up ! 

Beginning of last week the team that came to change the school house roof made it back to the states safely.  We were very thankful for all they did an enjoyed having them here . Now since the roof is changed hopefully they can start school any day now . 

August 28 we all enjoyed a nice trip to Grand Goave beach where we met with some other mission staff youth. Had a bible study and then spent the rest of the day relaxing and chilling at the beach.  Made lots of good memories and had some good laughs. We all needed it . A day to relax and leave all our responsibilities back at the mission.  

Please keep Praying for us!

•for wisdom to all work together  so this mission can bring glory and honor to God . 

•that we can help the hurting even when are own hearts are also hurting.  

•that people can see Jesus in us as we strive to be his hands an feet .

• that the new birth Center project can continue since things have been on hold since Trents death. 

• for our safety as there's lots of unrest, shootings an kidnaping. 

•Erica and her children 

         Mis Gloria

One of the many cute babies on our malnutritious program!
One of the many cute babies on our malnutritious program!
Gathered together for the bible study at the beach.

Pic of our staff with the group that came to change the school house roof.

Pics of the roof project they did.

The whole group that got together at the beach that day.

Me taking care of a child on the malnutrition program.

Doing the blood pressure program!

Hello! I'm Marla Zimmerman from Northern IA. I've been here for 8 weeks now.  I Work in the pharmacy and help out where I can. I hav...