Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gods plan, the best plan. 

“We need you Mis. My dad fell of a horse and his pain is eating him”. I smiled to myself at his way of explaining his dads pain and assured him that we’d come see what was up. Ben, Autumn and I ran down to clinic to find him on a typical ‘lil make-shift cot right outside of our clinic gate along with a crowd of people. We transferred him to our emergency room and did a quick assessment. He had a large hematoma on his forehead and when Autumn moved his arm his upper arm showed an “elbow” where there isn’t supposed to be one...a very broken humerus and none of us found it humorous. :) We set and splinted it and put him in our hospital room for the night and Ben transferred him to a hospital in Grand Goâve early the next morning to get it casted.
That same afternoon, he shows back up at clinic on a moto...just like he left. No cast, just the same splint we’d put on him. I think every single one of us groaned. He had an ex-ray from the hospital but said that the hospital in Grand goâve told him that they don’t have a Dr who can set and cast bones for 2 more days and advised him to go back to the blans (whites).
Backing up a ‘lil, in the meantime we figured out that he was the father of two brothers who had robbed our mission a couple years ago. They had broken into one of our houses while everyone was gone and taken quite a few electronics and cash. Since then, different ones have been able to become friends with them.
Anyways, so when their father came back to clinic that afternoon, we had no choice but to cast his arm. None of us current nurses had ever done a cast before so it wasn’t the speediest process ever. We had had a long day and I think most of us were tempted to feel very discouraged and pretty annoyed at the lameness of the other hospital. We had invited company for supper and we would’ve all loved to be enjoying good food with them.
The dear ‘lil old man was incredibly tough and had an amazing pain tolerance. He had to have been in a ton of pain but he just sat there and grinned as I cocked his hat to the side (just cause that’s what I do to people who wear hats to clinic. For no reason, it’s just a weird Emma-thing and I’m not even embarrassed about it). His wife just sat there with a very calm and concerned look on her face the entire time and his son (the one who robbed us) was a huge help as we casted not only once, but twice. We casted the first time and it didn’t seem quite right. I had this weird gut feeling about it and Kayla and Ben seemed like they did too so we proceeded to remove it and start over. Anyways...in case you didn’t know, casts are super hard to remove without the proper equipment. It took probably an hour to get it completely removed before we could start over. His son was a huge help to us. He did most of the cast removal and we actually had a lot of fun. We did the 2nd cast and were MUCH more satisfied with how it turned out.
As they were leaving, and I stood there pondering the last 24 hours events, all the confusion made sense. The robber, the very un-Christian family, The broken arm, the lame hospital and the Gods love in our hearts. God gave us the opportunity to spend several hours working closely with them and serving them in that way and looking back, it was beautiful. Yep, there was quick research and quite a bit of sweat too but I think it was Gods plan and I feel honored to be a part of His kingdom.

Look past the unknown and allow God to use you. Lend your ear and offer that cup of cold water to the least of these today, friends. It’s worth it. Very worth it - I promise.
I’m posting a few photos of Ben, Kayla and I doing the cast. Enjoy. :)
-Mis Emma

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Miracles❤

She slipped into my hands with a shower of miconium staining and amniotic fluid. Her lips were tinged blue and her chest lay still. The minutes seemed like hours as we rubbed her and blew air into her tiny mouth, willing her to breathe. With the aid of breaths and oxygen, her chest began to rise and fall all by itself. And she broke the silence with the most beautiful cry ever. Miracles happen to those that believe. And our miracle came in the form of a tiny little girl that Mis Emma named Nevaeh.
A bit of background on this baby and her parents. She is the 7th and only living child. All the other babies died between 5-7 months of gestation. Cause of death isn't exactly known. Quite possibly the mother had preeclampsia, as she did with this baby as well. It was exciting to see her get past 7 months and still have her baby. She was afraid though and we worked to keep her blood pressure at a safe level. In the end, everything turned out ok. I felt honored to have been able to deliver that little girl and help to give her breath. God gave us a miracle right before our eyes, and we're so thankful to him for giving us wisdom through the whole experience. We couldn't have done it on our own. Everytime I see a birth, I'm struck again by how amazing a new life is. There's nothing quite like holding a slippery perfect little human in your hands and listening to them cry. It's all so worth it. Every sleepless night. The days when your hair stands on end, your eyes are red rimmed and basically crossed, and your brain just gave up on trying to understand the language. Nursing can be hard and heartbreaking. But I wouldn't trade my blood splattered flipflops and sweaty days for the cleanest, coolest medical facility in the states. Haiti and its people have stolen my heart. And I'm proud to call this tiny island home.
As a side note, I'm Autumn🤗 I was down here for 2 months and worked in the pharmacy. My gallbladder decided to give up on me and I was in the states for 4 months having it removed and recovering. Now I'm back working in the prenatal program. And I honestly couldn't be happier 😊❤
Until next time.
Bondye beni ou💙
Mis Autumn💊

Saturday, January 20, 2018

“Ding ding ding” -it’s a very familiar sound around here. Its the sound that could mean basically anything. It could mean that there’s a neighbor kiddo at our gate asking for the same thing he’s been asking for all afternoon and the afternoon before, or it could be someone alerting us of an emergency at clinic. It’s often the sound that makes us mentally groan...ok yes, I’ll admit it, I have audibly groaned. 

 We’ve been staying pleasantly busy at clinic. We’ve been delivering lots of babies and none of us are sad about it. In fact, just knock on our gate and tell us there’s a laboring mother on the way and you’ll make any one of us happy. :-) While you’re at it, check your clock to make sure it’s not supper time and you’ll make us even happier. We’re not picky, it’s just a thought. :-) 

The miracle of each new birth never ceases to amaze me and being able to help brand new, slippery, and hopefully screaming babies into this world is highly exhilarating. I’ve learned to LOVE the sound of a new-borns cry-especially if I don’t hear it right away. We’ve had a couple of those in the last couple weeks (check out the last post if you haven’t already) and God’s faithfulness and strength is those times is beyond amazing. We serve an awesome miracle-working God. 

We like suturing too so if you ever need sewn up, those gate knocks are welcomed too...just make sure it’s a nice clean cut, those are funnest (I AM aware that that’s not a word). Again, not picky at all.  

 

Here’s a pic of the 3 other nurses besides myself with a baby they had just delivered. 

This is our ‘lil burn guy. I wish I had a pic of his burn when he first came in to show you all. Someone apparently accidentally dumped a boiling pot of soup on him and the side of his face, neck and down the side of his trunk were burned badly. He’s a brave ‘lil trooper and comes every day to get rebandages. His burn is healing up beautifully and we may or may not be getting attached to him. :-)

And this is me...and I think it’s self explanatory. 

Once again, pray for us and thanks for praying. Until next time. -Mis Emma 


Monday, January 15, 2018

It’s me again and to be perfectly honest, I haven’t the foggiest idea what to write about. Life here can hardly ever be considered “normal” but when the unusual, unexpected, and abnormal happens consistently enough it basically becomes normal and I don’t know which thing to write about. 
 We closed clinic for a ‘lil over two weeks for “vacation” and spent most of it scrubbing and getting everything re-organized and ready for 2018. I think everyone is really enjoying being back in clinic life and working in a newly cleaned and organized facility.
We’ve been having very nice-sized days here at clinic which gives us a ‘lil time on some afternoons to go visit friends or invite friends over to play ball or make food together.
I’m still loving working with my dear blood pressure patients. Mr Chocolate, from my last blog post brought me his promised chocolate and today I was promised a beautiful chicken. :-)
I’m gonna throw a few random photos on here and hope that they’ll upload for me this time. I’ll  let them speak for themselves. :) 

Thanks for praying for us! -Mis Emma

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Surgeries

Hi everyone my name is Ben, I've been living here in Haiti for just over two months. First off I'll be blogging about some surgeries that we're done at our clinic close to a month ago now. We were blessed to have Dr Phil Sutherland come and do some surgery at our clinic. With having a clinic here in Haiti we have people come that needs surgery done and we don't have a regular doctor here that can perform surgeries, so it's a real blessing to have Phil come about once a year and catch up on surgeries that need done. Most all the surgeries where removing lumps and tumors of various sizes there was also a lady that needed a small toe removed so he cut it off and repaired her foot. This was a very good experience for all of us I feel we learned a lot being able to work with the doctor as he performed the surgeries. For most of us this was a first time experience helping with surgeries but the doctor had lots of patience and work with us. These surgeries took place on the 8th and 9th of December. Since then quite a lot has happened life is busy and full of surprises I really like it here in Haiti! Today was our first normal clinic day since we had been closed for 2 weeks over the holidays feels very good to be back at clinic again. God bless you all, until next time Ben.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Doing the best I can 

...because that’s all I can do. A friend recently shared this with me. “Do the best you can, and when you know better, do better”. It was a really good reminder for me. Sometimes living in a different country, speaking a language I’m not fluent in about things I feel an inadequate knowledge of to people of a different culture has my brain hiccuping. I’m thankful every day that with Gods help, I can do the best I can - for Him.  

I started doing th Blood pressure program last week and I’m loving it. I thoroughly enjoy the ‘lil grandmas and grandpas I get to interact with every day. Even the stubbon ‘lil guy who come late for his appointment and obviously hasn’t been taking his meds and claims to have taken them every single day with lots of water. I preached at him about their importance for his well-being and he promised to come on the day of his next appointment with a gift of chocolate for me. Pretty sure that was an attempt at making a brownie point with his new Mis. Maybe a chocolate brownie point?:) 

         This is me working this morning. 

    And this is me and Mr. Chocolate 

I’m having trouble getting the photos to post so hopefully they go thru this time. Sorry about that. :-/ 

I know we say this often but please do pray for us. We need it. -Mis Emma 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Change and God's Faithfulness

The last couple weeks at our little clinic have been filled with change. And there is more just ahead. The months of November and December are bringing quite a bit of staff change here, which is both difficult and good at the same time. So far, James and Katie Erdley left for home on November 16th, at the end of their term. Ben Lapp arrived here November 1st to begin preparing to fill James's spot. Ben has been doing great and adjusting well. There is another girl coming this week to fill Katie's spot, and then another girl coming in early December to fill the vacancy from my upcoming departure... incidentally this is the last blog post I will make here! That fills my heart with sadness and many mixed emotions. But back to the staff... Autumn Stauffer who was here for 3 months earlier this year and then returned to the States for a while due to health reasons, is returning as well, in early December. So currently, there is much shifting around and flexibility of filling in the cracks and doing what needs to be done to help things go smoothly right now. We were blessed to have Whitney Smith, a former staff member and head nurse, return to help us out for this month of November. It was a life-saver for us and help beyond measure to have her here faithfully pitching in and lifting the load. We had a lot of rain this month... it had us getting creative trying to dry laundry and stuff, but it made for some very short or non-existent clinic days... which was a welcome break. At the moment we are seeing some sunny days again...and large clinic days. But God is just very faithful and is supplying all our needs! An answered prayer since last time I wrote is the trail/road between our location and Ti-Guave... it has been repaired and even some larger vehicles have been able to get through now, so that is definitely a praise report. Please pray that throughout all the changes at clinic currently and in the month ahead, that God would just continue to give the needed strength and grace. Pray for the new ones that they would learn and adjust fast, and for Kayla our head nurse (by the end of December she will be the only American staff member at clinic who's been here longer than a few months) that she'll have abundant grace and wisdom as she continues to hold the course here and works with a new team. We know... that our God is faithful, and that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever... and we rest in that.

One morning at clinic, the staff were in a jolly, picture-taking mood. This is Madame Daniel (a cleaning lady) and Zitha (one of the pharmacists).


Then a few others had to get in the picture... Madame Leger (the other Haitian pharmacist), and Kadet, one of our gate guards.



We had a very sad case appear at clinic early one Sunday morning... a local young man who we know very well and who had been caught stealing, was brought to clinic. The story was that he had run from the authorities and fell in a wooded area, giving him some serious cuts and trauma to his face. He had a lot of bleeding in his mouth, scrapes and cuts in a few other places, a broken jaw, and was hurting all over... could barely walk, and barely talk. This was a young man that we knew had stolen from us, and broken in to the clinic... and here we were, bandaging his wounds as he was in custody and on his way to jail. In a quiet moment outside the clinic as he waiting to be transported to Ti-Guave, and we had just finished bandaging him up as best we could.... he asked me to pray for him, among his parting words. Would you all please join us in prayer for Dennison, this young man? He has heard much truth and I pray these difficult circumstances in his life will cause him to seek Jesus as the true help and fulfillment he seeks. I won't post a picture here of how he looked that morning, in respect to the people who dislike graphic pictures of injuries....but please just pray for Dennison with us that God could reach him through this.

Another kind of disturbing moment we recently had at clinic was when a large snake (very rare for Haiti and our area) was discovered one evening when we went to check on patients staying in our hospital. The creature was draped over the shelves where we keep all the patient charts, and thankfully James swept the area with his light before just walking over to the shelves. After some back-up help was called, and a machete appeared, the boys made quick work of him.... and we all shivered and sighed. =P It was a bit unnerving, making us wonder if there would be more, but so far we haven't seen any of his kin.


This is Ben, currently the newest staff member.


This sweet couple braved the rain one day and came for their blood pressure program rendezvous together.


One afternoon I went to clinic to put a bandage on a small wound that looked like it might only take a bandaid or something slightly bigger. As I cleaned the wound I noticed a small piece of straw in the one corner of it. When it didn't brush off I got a small tweezers and tugged a bit. When that didn't work I got a bigger tweezers and pulled a little harder. To my surprise the tiny piece of straw got bigger, and bigger, and out came a piece of cornstalk a few inches long! The 9 year old boy claimed he had gotten the wound from a fall 8 days before and didn't know there was anything in his leg. So.... that was a fun and satisfying conclusion. ;-P


This is a sweet baby born at home, to one of the ladies who followed our prenatal program during her pregnancy. Always a delight to see healthy moms and babies after a healthy pregnancy and birth.

Now I must bid my farewell, to this blog and you, its readers. Soon...too soon... I'll be leaving this beautiful place and its people. Thank you for enduring the long blog posts and sometimes gruesome pictures. ;) Please keep praying for Haiti, this clinic, the staff, these patients... all the people affected by the work here. Prayer is powerful, and we depend on it more than you know. And thank you, again.


-Mis Sharon

Gods plan, the best plan. 

“We need you Mis. My dad fell of a horse and his pain is eating him”. I smiled to myself at his way of explaining his dads pain and assured ...