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!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Hello everyone!

I thought I'd write a post one last time!

 My life has changed a lot in the last month and I guess things changed for everyone at the GTH mission. You just learn to except change and go with the flow and learn how to quickly settle into a new normal. There have been quite a few staff changes and me being one of them!

I have moved on to a new phase in life, courtship.

I left my Aleg home of almost 2 years and moved to Port-au-Prince.  It was hard to leave as I felt like I was leaving my family, all my friends and the work that I loved. But I was also excited about about what God had in store for me. I'm so thankful for the time I was able to serve at GTH clinic. Thinking back over my time spent there, I just have this flood of memories that come to my mind.  So many sad and painful experiences but also many fun and joyful experiences.  I will never trade my time spent at GTH for anything. God has taught me so much and showed himself so faithful. 

To the staff at the mission and Clinic... keep fighting the good fight and serving the Lord by serving the  dear people you are working with. I love you all and will keep you all in my prayers 🙏.

A sneak peek into one of my days at clinic!

Please keep praying for the Mission and all the staff. Pray for wisdom and loving gentle hearts. Some days are very stressful and the decisions that need to be made are not always easy. 
- Marcile

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Update from Cody

 Hey Cody here again, figured we should do another update, especially with the earthquake and all that excitement. We did feel the earthquake up here at Aleg at 8:30, but it was not bad enough to do any damage. Reports started coming in about damage in Cayes, so we discussed options and came up with a plan over brunch. We loaded up medical supplies and some of us went prepared to stay all week if needed. We left for Petite Guave at 11:00. We met with the other missions and headed to Cayes with three land cruisers at 1:30. As we neared Cayes we came upon landslides, cracked roads, and damaged buildings. We found a badly damaged motel and went to see if we could help, but we could not hear anybody trapped. Someone came and told us that there was another motel down and there were people calling for help. We went and dug where they were saying Someone was calling, but could not dig very deep. We dug around for several hours but could not find anybody. We went back to Petite Guave to stay for the night. Sunday we went back to Cayes to help in the hospitals if needed, but their patients were taken care of. Andy Faller was in contact with the mayor of Pestel, and was told that there was medical help needed on his island of Grande Cayemite. Austin, Emma, Emily and I went with Andy and some from his mission on a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to the island. When we got there people swarmed us with the hurt people. We set up our medical bag and did what we could, until someone opened up the clinic that was there. There was no staff there so we set up and organized in there. We bandaged about 10 people and found several badly hurt people that needed to be transported to a hospital. We left them and told them we would be back the next day to help more. Kendal Nolt was at home for as few days after helping out down here for several weeks, but came back with three others from Plain Compassion Crisis Response. They flew in on Sunday to help with disaster relief. We went back to Petite Guave to regroup and plan for Monday. We went out again with PCCR and a lot more medical supplies. We took three boats out so we could bring people back in case we could not get a helicopter. The tropical storm Grace was on its way and was going to hit Hait around 2:00 and we wanted to be back to mainland before that hit. We bandaged about 50 people and secured 2 others on backboards for transport. We took a 6yr old with a broken femur and possibly a broken hip, an older lady with a broken hip, and a little boy with head injuries. We took them on a rough boat ride back to mainland and then took them to the Fond-de-Blances hospital 3 hrs away. It really started to rain just as we got there and rained all night. We got back to Petite Guave late that night. Tuesday morning the 3 others from Aleg went back to the mission, and I went with Jessi Myers to help with supply distribution in Cayes. We took supplies to several hospitals and helped out peope with downed houses. Wendsday we prepared for a medical run to Pestel and Corail on Thursday. Verlyn Danni and Gloria came down for the night to go along on Thursday. We got to the boat dock at 7:30 and headed to Pestel in two boats. In Pestel they did not need much help so we went to Corail. We found a hospital that had people that needed transported. We got the helicopters to come and fly them out. We secured the patients to backboards and the US army flew out one patient then the USCG flew out 4 others. All in all it was well worth the time we spent to help people get to hospitals. We finally made it back to the mission Friday around noon. A work team came here on Tuesday to replace a school roof. We will update on that later. Thanks for reading and praying and God bless.

- Cody

Editor's note:  This was written two weeks ago, but was delayed in getting posted.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Update from Mis Emily

 Hi everybody! My name is Emily Reiff, an EMT from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Last week I traded my ambulance, cornfields, and whoopee pies for the stunningly beautiful- but sadly broken- land of Haiti. This is my second time in Aleag, and I feel so incredibly blessed to get to call this Home for many future months. 

So many changes have been happening at this little mountain clinic. The absence of Trent- and Erica and the children- is hugely felt. But somehow the earth keeps turning like before even as the memories slip into our minds daily, sometimes filling our eyes and spilling down our cheeks. 

On Monday we said good bye to Kendall Nolt and Marla Zimmerman as both headed back to the states. They have been a huge blessing through these past few uncertain weeks, helping in the kitchen and in the clinic. But on Monday night we welcomed Austin and Emma Hartzler, a very happy welcome indeed. They have both served at Gospel to Haiti previously, and we're so thankful that they've joined us here for an unspecified amount of time till we get a new administrator family. 

Tuesday morning we said another sad good bye. This one was for our very own Mis Marceile. After more then 3 years of serving the people so well, her mission here at GTH is done. We'll miss her, her beautiful personality, and her servant's heart so much, but wish her well in whatever God has planned for her next! 

On Tuesday a nineteen year old momma to be came into the clinic. She was term, but hadn't felt the baby move for a week. It was obviously dead, so we made the decision to take her out to Fond de blancs hospital, three hours away. Cody, Daniella and I drove the machine while the momma, her little brother and her dad rode on the back. The trail is really bad right now, after all the rain we've had, and our momma became very motion sick. We stopped periodically as the poor dear emptied her stomach again and again. With the rough trail and the stops for sick momma,  we came to the hospital 30 minutes later then planned. 

On the way home through the dark trails, we heard what we thought was a rock being thrown up against the belly of the machine. A little while down the trail we lost power steering and 4 wheel drive. We very quickly got to a hill where we couldn't make it to the top. We discovered we had lost our drive shaft, and as we attempted to retrace our steps, we couldn't find it anywhere. We didn't have any service so we couldn't get ahold of the rest of the crew back at Clinic, but with a lot of prayer and a little bit of crazy driving skills (and backing up hills) by Cody, we brought the limping machine to Daniella's mom's house. She graciously gave up her bed and couch so we would have a safe place to sleep. 

In the morning we were able to get ahold of Austin, and they happened to have the parts we needed. They met us midmorning and got it fixed, and we finally got back from our emergency run- 18 hours late.

We are been having smaller days at the clinic, so we have some time to focus on some other things. We have started having a children's day once a month, where we invite the neighborhood children into our compound and spend a few hours with them. We usually bake them cookies and play games with them. The older ones always grab our soccer ball and challenge us to a game in our tiny yard beside the girls house, and meanwhile the younger ones will run the wheels off our little trike pushing each other crazily across the cobblestones. Lorraine teaches them Creole songs like Jesus Loves Me, and they'll sit in the gazebo in our hammocks singing and playing dominos. It's always a fun time, but I daresay they have way more energy then we do, when they leave we all feel a tiny bit wilted and they still go crashing out through the gates, ready for the next adventure!

Thanks as always for your continuous support and prayers for us! 

-Mis Emily 

•Always leave people better then you found them. Hug the hurt. Kiss the broken. Befriend the lost. Love the lonely.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Its so hard to know what to write after so much has happened in the last couple weeks. 
I'm sure you all heard about our "Boss” Trent being killed in a tragic small plane crash. All the staff here at the mission left for the funeral except for one. Our Haitian nurses kept the clinic going while we were gone. Thanks to everyone who made it possible for us to go! It was such a blessing even though it was emotionally draining and so sad. We said our goodbyes to our families and Erica and the children before heading back to Haiti.

Before heading out to Port and then on the to States for the funeral, we said good bye to our dear Doctor Sasou. She spent a year with us, serving and loving the people she worked with. She had a heart for every single one of her patients and spent the time to talk and laugh with them. She was always willing to go to the clinic for emergency's at any hour of the day or night. She will be greatly missed.

The trip back up the mountains on our way back from the funeral was an interesting one! The trail was blocked by a big dump truck twice! So it took some patience on our part but we still had fun!

Clinic life has been slow. Once the community found out that our "boss" died they just figured that clinic will be closed and told other people that clinic doesn't have any nurses working there!

Cody stayed in the states to go to a Missionary Medical Training and will be returning August 3rd. Kendal Nolt, Gloria's brother came along back to take Cody's place while he’s gone. We miss Cody but are having fun with Kendal here!

This is Kendall. He’s been learning fast! 

I'll introduce you to another new staff member... Marla Zimmerman. She is replacing Our house help girl, Loraine for a month while Loraine is taking furlough.

Marla got to be in on a couple births 

Please pray that we could stay encouraged and faithful in the work we do here. It was very difficult coming back and know that we will never see our Boss Trent again. Also pray that God would provide another Administratter for us! 
- Mis Marcile

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Thank you!

Thanks so much for your quick responses to our last blog post asking for funds for the lady with the fistula. The need is met! 
 Pray that she is able to safely get to Port to have her surgery done. The country is very unstable right now. 
Thanks again! 
Mis Emma 

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. ...