Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Picture Our Day

Is it that bad being a twin? One of our pregnancy program ladies had a surprise of twins born in her house. Everything went well, and at this point, the babies look great. Whitney and Marcile got to bathe them, and choose some cozy clothes for them.




      Two of our patients this week, were preferring being helped outside.  One is a very serious diabetes case. Her brother Alexis was the man who we just blogged about, who died with the demons in his body. When his sister came to our clinic, only a week and a day later, it sparked a lot of interest in our minds. We had heard that his sister had gotten demons thrown out of her, and so, when this teeny little mite of a thing showed up, our hearts went out to her.
    I decided to ask her about the demons. She said, "No, she doesn't have any on her, but she did stop going to church. I asked her if maybe this was the day that she would want to return to God, and ask for pardon.
    "Any time," she replied, looking seriously into my eyes.
    "Shall we pray now?" I asked.
    It was so precious to hear her ask God to forgive her sins. Her smile was so sweet when we were done.  Every time I poked her for a blood sugar check or an IV, she was so patient. I couldn't help comparing the peace in her body with the fear in Alexis' eyes.
    Everyone knows Joe by now. We tried to take him to the big hospital in Mirebalais, but it didn't work out. His family wasn't supportive enough, and by now, he is too weak to go again. But we wonder if God has him here for a reason. He is so popular, and everyone knows about him. But it is because of his terrible, rotting body, not because he says a lot. We decided to give him his own little room in our old storage shed. Mali, along with a bit of help from the rest of us, spear-headed spreading some paint on the dismal walls and cleaning up the place for Joe's last days.
 Please meet Marquise, our very trustworthy new Haitian nurse, who is working while Mis Leda is on maternity leave. We love her already.


And here is our "student nurse", Saintilia, who dreams of working here full time some day. She is standing beside MARCILE.  Marcile is labeled nurse of the day, because she went home this morning, and brought each of us white nurses coffee and cupcakes. I would say that she knows something about helping nurses cope with a busy Tuesday, wouldn't you?


Our team thanks everyone for their prayers. We just want to bless God for all He has done for us today! -Mis Woda, for the rest

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Can't You Hear Me?

                           
Meet Alexis. He is thirty-two. He arrived in our hospital, breathing hard. We tried to make him comfortable. We put him on oxygen. We arranged his pillows. We dosed up some meds. As soon as  we left his bed, he called out, "Nurse, nurse! Come here. Don't you see me?"
   So we returned. We arranged his pillows. Again. His eyes are still peeled back. He is afraid. We talked to him about becoming a Christian.
    We asked him a lot of questions, and tried to figure out his illness. He was swollen in his feet, and he was spitting blood. He had not urinated in a long time. Some days passed like this, because we didn't have a ride to town. We tried to keep him comfortable. We prayed and dosed up meds.
     Because of his dehydration, we put him on IV, but followed him closely because of his swelling. The doctor put him on a strong Furosemide push, but didn't get the normal results. Things were odd. Were his organs shutting down?
  Finally, we sent him to town. We wanted to know what was going on in his body. The doctor prescribed a whole bunch of tests.  But before long, Alexis got on a motorcycle and came back home. Then Alexis' family came back to us.
    "Alexis is not good. He is worse."
     He spent another night in our clinic. During that night we had dreams. Disturbing dreams. A sense of restlessness was in the air. Whitney and I went down and spent about an hour trying to make Alexis comfortable, during the tiny hours of the morning. We tried  to find something that would let him and all the others in the hospital get some sleep. We gave him a shot.
    But there was no peace for Alexis. He didn't want to make that decision for God, it seemed. Nobody else could choose for him.  And there was nothing else that our small hospital could do for his body. His family wouldn't agree to sending him out to a bigger hospital. Our only option was to take him home and hope that his family would change their minds. We prayerfully drove him home, and laid our hands on him for one final prayer before we walked out.
 
                     

     The next day we sent some people to pray with Alexis again. They told us that three demons were on him. We were hoping that Alexis still had time to think clearly enough to choose God and life..

                                  
     So we reallt don't know if Alexis made that decision for God or not. We were sobered by the fact that serving Satan is a disappointing journey. Was his body so weakened by the demons, that his chances of choice were over?
      We thank God for His protection over us during this time, and also for sending wonderful men of God, like Fre Nores, Fre Dolph, and Fre Direk,  our "Haitian fathers" to shepherd us through every step of the medical decisions and pain of Alexis' passing.
     We find hope again in the fact that "Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world!"
      -Mis Woda for the team

Healing from the inside out

" Mis, please, I need to tell you sorry." I nodded absent mindedly as I continued to apply pressure to his abcess.
"Mis,I lied to you." I looked up, slightly more interested, "About what did you lie?" " I told you I was a Christian, but I am not." I put my gauze down on the chuck pad and leaned on the counter, this could be interesting.

  Michael (the abscess man) came to our clinic about 6 weeks ago with a small but deep abscess on his right posterior side. Kate took very good care of him for 2 weeks. Instead of healing it was starting to open up. We were getting worried, Doc. Felix thought we should put him on a round of Cephtraxone. After a week it still wasn't closing up properly. Kate felt uncomfortable about it so we sent him Tit Guave.
 
 Two weeks ago I walk into the clinic and he is standing there grinning. I was happy to see him and thought he was coming to show us his healed abscess. Turns out it wasn't quite healed yet. It looked a lot better but it still needed care. This is were the above story comes in.

 "Mis, I am a very wicked man, I have always done everything I feel like doing. I have a lot of girlfriends and I live my life the way I love. I got sick about 3 months ago. I did not want to come to your clinic because I knew it was Christian so I went to Tit Guave, then on to PAP. My fever never left me.I still refused to come to your clinic. After a while an abscess broke on my side and people told me that this clinic was the best for wound care. I came, but every day I felt convicted as you nurses smiled and loved and prayed. I wanted to get better so I could leave. When Mis Katie told me to go to Tit Guave I was happy I could leave and not be in that Christian environment anymore. After a couple weeks the Tit Guave hospital went on strike so they sent me back here.  I didn't want to have to face Jesus again but I had too."
 By that time my eyes were starting to water and I didn't know what to say. I talked with him and told him that today is the day of salvation. Choose Jesus NOW!!! As I went back to work I had to wipe tears from my eyes.
  As soon as he was gone I ran to Rho and Whit  and told them. Their faces lost the sadness from our Alexi case and broke out in happy smiles.
 Friday morning he walked in with the biggest grin ever. "Nurses, I choose Jesus!!!!" He is so happy and you can clearly see already the changes God has brought into his life. 
 Sometimes we wonder if we even do touch peoples hearts for eternity. Sometimes we get tired of talking about Jesus to people that nod their heads in a stupid lie and say "Wi" to everything we ask, Sometimes we feel like being impatient with negligent patients.....but this story of Michael has lifted our spirits and helped us remember the purpose of our being here. To help them physically but also for Eternity.
Micheal.......
 
Keep us in your prayers as we as a team reach out to our patients!!
 
-Mis Mali

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Four New Faces

Ah, back to blogging, and having a hard time of it deciding WHAT to blog, 'cause so many things have happened since I got back!  Maybe I should have blogged sooner.  :)  Two very full weeks have rushed by, sweeping me right back into the strong current of constant clinic commotion and everyday life in Allegré, Haiti.  Sometimes it feels a little more like you're white-water rafting through one thing to the next!  (or anyway what I'd imagine it to be like:)   
 
So what's happened?  Let's see, there was the machete cut to a young man's forearm that took 12 stitches, or the brave eight year old boy who came in yesterday with a gash to the top of his head that took 11 stitches...  Apparently he went to bathe and slipped on the rocks, revealing plenty of pearly-white skull beneath.  And then there's Alexi, another whole story that I think Rho will tell you about soon.   It's been a very heart-rending situation to see.  He's a young man that we thought was dying of kidney failure, and then we found out someone had put a couple demons on him.  Medical diagnosis or demons?  Or both?  We can't always know, but we can always pray, and that's what we've been doing. 
 
And those four new faces... I've lost track of order and time, but somewhere within the last two weeks there's been four births.  It must be the season, 'cause it seems like more than usual to me.   
One baby was born last Sunday.  Rho and Mali had left with Donny Saturday evening with a few heart patients they were taking out to the hospital in Mirabale, so Marcile and I were on duty here.  
We were woke up at 6am Sunday with someone knocking at the gate telling us a lady, named Joann, was in labor.  She progressed steadily, and by 9:00, we went to clinic to stay for the long haul, passing the time quickly tending to other bandage patients.  Janelle and Julien kindly volunteered to come down and help too, and I was grateful, 'cause we used them a lot!  
By 10:00 the mother started pushing and right about then there came in a crowd of probably 15 people into the gate carrying in a lady on a cot.   You never know what kind of an emergency you'll find on a cot!   I left Marcile with the mother (who was now screaming "Woi!" with each contraction) and ran outside to check it out...  
In the meantime, Janelle and Julien are making beds, fetching items, controlling the scene, and doing all kinds of other things to be a huge help!  
We got the new lady, who seemed semi-conscious, in on a bed and were in the process of checking her blood sugar when I hear Marcile call urgently, "Uhhh, Whitney!?! Can you come here?  I think the baby's coming!"  I run in and decide I still have some time, told her she's doing great, and I'd be right back.  So I run back to finish helping Janelle check the new lady's blood sugar...
They told us she had fallen and hit her head and couldn't walk or talk well since then.  She was awake enough to mumble about her head hurting her extremely, enough mumbling for us to notice her difficulty talking and the suspicious drooping of the left side of her face.  She couldn't lift her left arm either, and her left eye was less responsive than her right eye.   Another stroke victim?  Likely, but then in the back of our heads we're also trying to determine if she had a stroke that made her fall, or if she fell and could have some spinal injury and/or internal bleeding from that...   But her vitals were all stable, so we decided to monitor her and get back to that baby that was well on it's way!   And at 11:15 she came, a healthy baby girl!  We prayed through that birth, and thanked God afterwards for making everything go so perfectly!

Then this past Friday we had another exciting birth in the middle of a very busy clinic day.  I was just putting gloves on to finally bandage the leg of a sweet little old man who had waited very patiently for me, when I heard some commotion outside and a serious sounding "Woi!", that typical cry of a woman in labor.  I thought, "Wow, another birth already?" and finished donning my gloves.  I wondered if it was the lady who's due that's been staying close by at the neighbors only with false alarms, waiting for real labor to start.   Right then Rho popped her head in and asked if she could redirect me to go check the lady out.  I said sure, but wondered if I'd have enough time to quick get that bandage done?  She didn't think I should wait, so I assured the man that Mis Marcile would bandage him, and that we'd give him a milk since he waited so long, and I grabbed everything I needed to get vitals on the laboring mother.  She was in the hospital room, since the birthing room was fully occupied with other patients.  I was glad Rho told me not to do that bandage first, cause this mother was in active labor with her fifth, too active to even get those vitals taken!  Marcile soon came in to assist, and after we got the mother on the bed she had just enough time to run and grab everything we needed before a chunky baby boy showed up!  We hardly even had enough time to get nervous before that one was over! :)


This was the first baby born the day after I got back.   Extra cute, I thought.  :)
I missed getting any pictures of the third and fourth babies, but I added a couple other cute little faces...:)  This little preemie baby girl below just came in for a check-up and to get salve to help a little eye infection.


















And then one more baby who's been sick with the fever lately, MaKayla Joy, who is a real joy to have around!  We were all glad to see her smiling and saying, "Happy, happy, happy!" again the last couple days.   That means she's feeling better.   :)














Another word on that young man, Alexi, I mentioned earlier.  We just found out that he died early this morning.  I think Rho will still blog about him.  That was hard news to hear, hard to understand...and yet how can we question God's sovereignty in letting him die when he did and how he did?   Pray for his family.  There's so much darkness and bondage there.  Sometimes I feel like I get real glimpses into hell when I see inside of people that are slaves to sin, slaves to Satan.   Sometimes it can seem impossible for the Truth to conquer and set all those people free...  At times it leaves you feeling so helplessly outnumbered.   But then I remember again, we don't need great numbers of Christians to be able to be victorious and fight, so long as we have the power of Jesus!  I remember again the reality of His power, and I wonder what I'm doing...if I'm doing all I can to live against Satan in my own life, and all I can to fight for others too...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Stitch In Line







...when a Band-Aid just won't fix it.   The two stitch jobs below are the two I mentioned awhile back.
This guy told us that his brother got angry at him and his mom gave his brother a knife and he cut him with it.   Ugly story, beautiful healing...








Lovenski, the 9-yr old boy below is the one I mentioned that went to the river to bathe and fell on a wet rock.  He handled all our poking needles so bravely, but he-and we, were ready to be done with it all when it was over!
He's a very shy little guy.  I always like giving him a piece of candy and making him smile. :)
Another young boy below, Tiga, was brought in the other night with burns all over his body.  They said they don't know exactly what happened cause his mom was out of the house when it happened, but thankfully none of the burns are very deep.  The poor Mother though was almost more distraught than he was!

I promised Rho that I would get a post done...I fell asleep working on it last night, so I'm kinda hurrying to finish it this morning! ;)  So I'm down to just a few minutes before it's time to gather at Donny's house for devotions and then time to head to clinic for the day!
Please pray for the people that come into the clinic, that they would see and feel Jesus there!  We see so many sad, hurting people, and sometimes we wonder if we're reaching them at all but then we see and hear inspiring little stories of people being touched, and we're reminded to keep praying for them!
Have a blessed day!