Welcome to the Gospel to Haiti Clinic Blog!
We are located in the beautiful mountainous terrain of rural southern Haiti, and our clinic serves its small community in many ways. These pictures and comments are about individual people whose lives we have been able to touch in some way. Look through the compassionate eyes of Christ, and pray for them...
Nourishing the Needy Program
I thought it would be good to write an update to let new subscribers know about the Nourishing the Needy and also give an update on how it has been going for us. But most of all I want to take this time to express sincere thankfulness to God who stirs people's hearts to pray and support through monetary aid this specific program so that these little infants, sometimes skin and bones when they come in, can survive. I love children and there is nothing harder than to see them come in barely able to utter the faintest sound, only big tears rolling down their cheeks. Sometimes a few more days without help would have meant death as a certainty.
Who is on the Milk Program? Babies whose mothers have died, often from eclampsia. Sometimes they had the baby in a different hospital, but they get infections etc shortly after and die. At times the babies are born right here in the clinic and the mom is sick, she doesn't have milk or very little. Sometimes the mother had a sickness that required a kind of medication that isn't good for the baby therefore the baby needs a different source of milk. Sometimes the mom runs of and leaves her new born and the rest of the family to fend for themselves, often times the dad isn't with them either, so relatives have to take care of it. These are just some of the reason that we sign the children onto the milk program.
How do we know if the people that come in are honest? I'll just mention some precautions that we take. If the mom is alive but can't nurse the child, and she is too sick to come in, she has an infection, or different ailments that are treatable, the relatives usually show up with the baby. We won't turn them away, we give them 2 days worth of milk and tell them that they need to bring the mom in, even if they have to carry her in on a stretcher from many hours away. It has worked well. Especially if the mom can be seen at the clinic and given medications to clear up the infection and is soon able to nurse the baby. Therefore we do not need to put it on the program full time. We have herbal supplements that tremendously help a lot of ailments.
If a baby is put on the milk program and the mother is alive, we require that she comes in throughout the next pregnancy for prenatal check-ups, to make sure everything is being done to prevent her from getting sick and us needing to put that child on the program as well.
Sometimes we have someone bring a child in and we suspect it isn't the mom, Shana will ask them to nurse the child, that brings forth a quick shocked look if she isn't the mom. If it isn't we won't chase them of, we will do everything we can to help the child, it always turns out well.
At times it has happened that the mom didn't come in for check-ups, or she had the baby at a different hospital but then sends relatives with the baby, and we know that is was a preventable sickness that the mom has, we will ask them to pay as much as they can each time they come. Sometimes it's 5 Haitian Dollars ($0.57USD), sometimes it's 20 ($2.30 USD) It keeps them accountable. Each situation is different, but we try them all, and have them pay whenever they can.
Currently we have 19 children on the program, there are a few that are handicapped, mentally, some with cerebral palsy and such like illnesses, and they have been and will be on their for a long time. But each child is closely monitored. They are required to bring the child in on a continual bases, each child has a file, when they come in we pull their file, check the last weight, then weigh him/her again. For the most part we see continual weight gain. If we don't we have a little chat with the caregivers, and if we don't see a change in weight within a few weeks, they get removed from the program. There are different reasons for that, sometimes they could be selling the milk for money, sometimes they don't accept the child and don't take care of it and use the milk on their own children or themselves, etc. But these situation are few and far between.
Are the babies that are on the Gospel to Haiti website, the only ones we give milk to? No, in fact we give or sell milk powder almost every day or at least on average 3 or 4 times a week. Moms come in with infants that are needy or need a quick boost for a couple weeks or even a month or two, and we will help them along a bit.
This is not always easy to do, because of the lack of funds to buy extra milk powder for that reason. But we try never to let a child leave without some kind of help. We are thankful that we have always gotten by each month. God is faithful, and trusting Him with that need, He has proved Himself mighty and very faithful.
Sponsorship or donations for the program. We currently have 7 out of the 19 children sponsored. It's a one year sponsorship, 100% of the funds donated are sent to the field. It can be a monthly, quarterly or one time donation. The sponsorship is $40.00USD/month, $120.00USD/quarter and/or $480.00USD/year. We also accept any donations, it is used to buy extra formula for babies that we help.
We buy two kinds of formula, one is called Celia, it is quite expensive but it has a huge amount of everything good in it and has worked amazingly for 0-6 months of age, then we buy Bonju Formula, that is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Calcium, that is given for the ones 7 months and up. Both formulas are rich in all manner of good stuff, therefore the cost is higher, and we feel it's good to make sure if we help them we help them in a way that builds their bodies up from the start.
Each child that gets put on the program we also put on the Nourishing the Needy blog on the gospel to Haiti website, we take pictures and keep updating the pictures on a continual basis, and we keep updating the weights. When or if a child dies for any reason we will automatically assign the sponsorship over to another child that isn't sponsored until the year is over.
Again I would like to say thank you to all of you who have supported this program, also all of you who will in the future. Each breath these children breath is a breath of thankfulness. And you are storing up treasures in heaven. If you feel lead to sponsor a child, or even send donations whenever you can, please feel free to contact Donavon for sponsorship information and signup sheets, or any other questions regarding the program.
My heart is over whelmed as I try to put my thoughts into words. Almost two weeks ago, we had a patient come in who was in severe respiratory distress. A young 25 year old man, who had a lived a very undesirable life. He had ruined himself so young. He was rough, tough, one you wouldn't want to mess with. He was brought to our clinic with a very short life expectancy.
How would Jesus reach into a life like his? My flesh wanted to run the other way and hide but my heart wanted to give the love of Christ. Everyone left him. No one wanted to take responsibility and care for him. We were left to sort everything out. Where was his family? Where was someone who truly cared?
My heart ached as we spent hours beside his bed sharing Christ, praying, and singing with him. The spiritual battle was strong. You could feel the rage between darkness and light. The young man fought on. He was fighting to hold on. Fighting to not die. He was scared. He didn't want to give up life. He would ask …
Where do I start? My week has had a
lot of ups and downs; hurts, joys, miracles and sorrows. Things I don’t know
what to do with, but God does and that is what matters! Monday morning dawned early with a knock at
the gate around 5:30am…. A lady in labor. And it’s my turn! J She had already made lots
of progress in her labor before coming to us and I expected the baby to be born
in the next several hours, but she was a 1st time mom so you never
quite know. I had noticed some variability in the baby’s heart rate but nothing
to major so I just kept monitoring it. She
labored, but not hard, throughout the day. She was making slow progress; in the
evening I thought the baby was about to come but, oh not yet. I left her for
the night with instructions to come call use when they needed us. A knock never
came in the night, though I thought and dreamt about her. So I made my way down
around 6-6:30am, baby’s heart rate was really good but he still wasn’t making his
appearance. I came ba…
"A hurricane is coming! It's name is Matthew!". Such was the neighborhood talk leading up to the storm this week. Everyone wondered if the blans (whites) knew just how bad this one would be and just when it would arrive. Walking to clinic on Monday morning, we wondered what our day was going to be like. We thought either we would have a really big day, or else small. To our delight, it was the latter! We had 13 patients who braved the light rain and wind. By early afternoon the street was quiet. Everyone had gone to their houses to try to stay warm and dry. The Hurricane didn't start with all of its furry until around midnight on Monday night. Around that time, the wind and rain started to really pick up speed. I can't find the words that I want to describe to you what all happened in the next 24 hrs. Alyssa, Rachel and I mopped up water, and more water. The tin on the one corner of the house started to make a rather odd noise, so we alerted the guys and they soo…