Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Snapshots from our week


Hello everyone!
It's a great day to praise the Lord!

I'm attempting to give you some snapshots from our week at the clinic. Only, this post is more than a week overdue (thanks to our poor internet service) so the pictures aren't exactly 'fresh off the press'. And, since I wasn't overly inspired to write a lot of words, I threw together a scramble of pictures. I hope you can get a little picture of what clinic life is for our team...


This poor guy had a nasty abscess right in the middle of his forehead.
Here James and Alyssa are cleaning the junk out of it. 

a patient that Alyssa was following


A new burn patient that showed up at the end of clinic one day...
Unfortunately, it took several of us to hold her down while Alyssa cleaned her up.
- all cleaned up and bandaged!



A very sad case that broke our hearts... this lady was possessed and
did not care much for her baby. She tried running off and letting the
baby in our hands but showed up again.
Kayla with the child of the possessed lady...
Some of our staff went out to assess the situation and 
a relative was made responsible to make sure that
the baby is cared for.

This little guy decided that he wasn't going to waste any time
in showing his face and was on the floor screaming till the two of us made it down to clinic.
Here I am with one of the ladies that is on the prenatal program.

this guy had a nasty gash on his finger

This little guy had a serious burn on his face and across his torso
but his parents were very faithful in bringing him to get his bandages
changed and his wounds healed very quickly!

I'm very thankful for these six months that I've been able to work here in the clinic. But, the time is drawing close for me to make my departure. Haiti has stolen another chunk of my heart and the goodbyes tear me to pieces. Just when I feel like I might actually be making progress in language learning... when I feel like I could really throw myself into the prenatal program... and when heart-ties with the team have grown strong; then, I turn around and realize that this chapter of my life is about to close. [tears] But, I know that God was the one who lead me here and he's the one who is calling me home once again. So, I trust it all to him and follow where he leads.

Thank you all for your continued interest and support in the work. Our prayer is that we would be able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people we come in contact with daily.

just a little one in his service,
Mis Rachel

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Little Ones

Little faces, innocent eyes, each one grasps your heart. The cry of a newborn…. the heartbreak of a mother as she releases her little one to the arms of Jesus…the distressed cry of a child unable to breath…. the fear in a mother’s eyes as she tries to wake her lethargic child burning up with fever…. the love in a mother’s eyes as she holds her young child, who will never be able to live a normal life. All these experiences fill the heart. We know it is only because of God we can do what we do.

Then we see a father who loves and cares for his 13 month old who got severly burned. His love for his child goes beyond what I see in many fathers. We watched a mother as she patiently talked to her son. She desperately wanted him to know who she was. He had been beaten with a rock. After suffering a major concussion, he walked away with few injuries. PTL!

This past week has been a record breaker with doing almost 500 consultations that doesn’t include the regular people that come on the blood pressure program. The unusual thing was almost 50% of those consultations were children. Our pharmacy is not stocked to support this amount of children. We are scratching to keep the amount of medications suspensions/syrups we need to support this population. We pray God will provide. 

We are also excited to welcome James and Katie Erdly to our team, a brother and sister from PA who have come to serve for a time. Katie is our new pharmacist. James is our field man doing emergency runs and filling in where needed. 

Due to a lack of words as to how to describe the past week. Here are some pics to give you a glimpse into our lives.

The little burn boy I have been bandaging. Kayla with her little boy who had a concussion, and Rachel, Katie, and I with a new baby. 

James with one of the children and a few of the other many faces we saw this week. 

Thanks for your prayers we feel them. 

~Alyssa 



Sunday, November 20, 2016

moments


Letters joined make words,
And words to books may grow,
As flake on flake, descending,
Forms an avalanche of snow.

A single utterance may good
Or evil thoughts inspire;
One little spark, enkindled,
May set a town on fire.

What volumes may be written
With little drops of ink!
How small a leak, unnoticed,
A mighty ship will sink!

A tiny insect’s labor
Makes the coral strand,
And mighty seas are girlded
With grains of golden sand…

Our life is made entirely
Of moments multiplied,
As little streamlets, joining,
Form the ocean’s tide.

Our hours and, aye, our months and years,
Are in small moments given:
They constitute our time below,
Eternity in Heaven.
--Unknown
the beauty of a rose

I was struck by the profoundness of this poem the other week when Donny read it in devotions. Little things can have a huge impact on the world! It could be just a smile to brighten someone's day... or a word fitly spoken to cheer someone on their way. Or on the flipside, we could ruin someone's day if we have a sour attitude. Yes, we have an influence on the people around us! Will I be able to look back at the end of the day with joy or sorrow because of my actions and attitudes to those my life has touched?? 

a sunset on the trail


Life in the clinic continues... some days are easy; and some, not so easy. The weather has changed. Cooler air brings an over abundance of children and adults in with coughs and colds and fevers.

Rachel & Ellamae

And time brings more change... Our dear faithful teammate, Mis Ellamae, is gone. She was a huge blessing to the patients and a very supportive coworker! But, the time came for her to leave. We bid adieu and she went back to the land of snow flurries and warm fuzzy blankets. "We miss you, Ellamae! God be with you and bless you as you follow His will and move on from here."

Kayla and Ellamae with big smiles after a stressful birth

I apologize for the silence on this blog for the last few weeks. Just so you know, we are still here and covet your prayers as we continue on in the work. =) 

~Rachel

Friday, October 21, 2016

Changes...

Clinic is back in progress after Hurricane Matthew passed through over two weeks ago. We still see and hear the affects everyday. As the weeks go by, more and more stories come out. My heart broke as a young girl sat at my desk telling me about her mother and baby sister's death during the hurricane. The mother had been very sick following the birth of her child. I had been following her very closely every 2-4 weeks. The week before the hurricane she had come in and was doing very well. I had told her I don't think she will have to come back many more times. I guess she will never have to come back. 

As I sit and listen to the stories of each one I can't thank God enough for His protection. Yes, people have got hurt. Lives have been lost, this poverty stricken country has had yet another "blow" BUT God is still good! He loves each one and longs to have the hearts of each one. He wants to strengthen the Christian and win the lost. My pray is hearts can be broken so He can use each one. 

Monday we bid good bye to the team who came to help clean up. We felt so blessed to be back in our house before they left. Thanks for coming everyone! 


We also bid goodbye to Hans after two years of service. He was or emergency man and did many behind the scene things for us at clinic. We will miss his help and insight. May God bless you as you adjust to a new normal. Thank you Hans! 

            Ellamae with her patients! 


Continue to pray for Haiti and the many needs! Pray God can work a work through us for Him! 

~ Mis Alyssa 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hurricane Matthew


"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 soon risked the wind and rain to come try to see what was going on. They tried their best to fix the problem and hoped that it wouldn't get any worse. It was around 4 am when a sudden down pour of rain made water come into our living room and it was too much for us girls to keep up with all the mopping so we called for the guys to come help us. Andrew went outside to see if he could create a water way so it wouldn't flood the living room again. Hans told us girls that it wasn't safe for us to even go outside, because of all the flying debris. I wondered really how much more wind our house roof was going to take. If you watched close, it would go up and down with every fresh gust of wind-and it felt like the wind was only getting stronger. We waited for dawn to arrive so we could really see what it looked like outside. The sight that we saw was awful. It looked like a war zone. It looked like someone had taken a shredder or something over the whole valley-stripping it of its beauty. The wind and rain continued to pick up speed, and soon after 8 am the roof on the girls house couldn't take it any longer. The feeling of looking up and seeing the dark sky where there is supposed to be a roof over your head, isn't something I want to experience again. We ran and grabbed as many valuable things as we could, and ran to Donnys house since it was very unsafe for us to stay in the house. The next few hrs felt like 2 days. As the strong wind and rain continued to pound down on the house, we begged God to have mercy on us, and to calm the storm. Finally around 3pm it slowly started to slow down some. We soon ventured out of the house a little to investigate the damage. It was devastating. 
The clinic has been very slow since the Hurricane. Everyone is busy trying to get their places back in order. 
Thank you so much for praying for us, but please don't stop now. We need wisdom and direction on what is the best way to help these dear people.

Mis Ellamae


 Top: After we clean up at Clinic. Bottom left: was Monday morning. Bottom right on Wednesday afternoon.  
Top left: Girls House after the right side of the roof came off. Top right: inside the house. 
Bottom: during the Strom. 
Top left: Girls house. Top right: the coconut tree that fell over on to Donnys house.  Bottom: during the storm. 
The clinic

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bandages, babies, and more

“But, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power may be of God, and not of us… We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair… For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” [excerpts from 2 Corinthians 4]

The above verses have become more meaningful to me in the last couple weeks. It’s so easy to focus on circumstances around us and forget the big picture. Sometimes I feel very much like just a jar of clay but, it’s amazing to know that even though I am just an earthen vessel, I can be filled with the power of God and then it’s His work and not my own. If I step back and look beyond the temporal and gaze into the eternal, it doesn’t really matter if things aren’t easy or if life seems difficult. The tough things are so small and fleeting in light of an eternal glory. 

Here's a picture of the patient we call 'Monkey'... You may remember him from one of my previous posts. He's been one of my faithful bandage ever since I came. His sores had been improving and getting smaller but I was not happy to see that they were looking worse again this week.


I enjoy taking care of my bandage patients and recently there have been a lot of them!! It can be difficult to know how to treat them. Sometimes what works well for one person doesn't work for the next. I was very happy this week when I could tell several of my patients that they were looking good enough that they didn't need to come back. It is such a joy to watch them improve!

Saturday, a week ago, Alyssa and I had a lady in labor at the clinic. Progress was slow... But, when she finally did have her baby we didn't get back down to clinic in time. Baby was laying on the floor patiently waiting for the nurses to arrive. She was an adorable girl with a head full of black hair. 


On Friday she came back to clinic with her mom for a check up. Her mom was delighted to see us and we were happy to see her! Here she is with Alyssa... Six days old! 


Thursday this week is when the dentist is supposed to be arriving. He comes from Germany and is planning to do dental work here for a week and a half or so. It will make us busier but I know the mountain people will be very glad to see him and have their teeth worked on. 

Here's a picture of the guys out making things ready for a big rain. I'm sure many of you have heard of hurricane Matthew. By the looks of it, we'll probably be getting a lot of rain and wind here soon. Please pray for our dear mountain people as this could potentially cause a lot of damage to their houses and make major washouts and landslides.



Thank you to each of you who pray for the work here! We appreciate your prayers very much as we continue to serve our Saviour in the mountains of Haiti! 

 

Just a jar of clay,

Rachel


Thursday, September 29, 2016

  Monday dawned bright and clear. A perfect day for patients to travel to the clinic after a quiet weekend. The crowd waiting to be seen on the benches was huge when we arrived and it was obvious that this was going to be a long day with its share of challenges and opportunities.
  I put on my best face for the pushy crowd of older folks waiting to be seen for the hypertension program and began to assess them and listen to their complaints one by one. It's always refreshing when I ask how one of them is doing and the response is just a happy smile and the creole equivalent of "doing great!". However there are more that seem to require quite a bit of encouragement to look on the bright side of life.
   We have all been stretched a bit thin the last two weeks due to Kayla being gone on furlough and this being one of the busiest times of year. Monday was no exception. Clinic was finally wrapping up by mid-afternoon after over 140 people had been seen when a small man showed up all sweaty and excited saying that there was a lady in labor in Gran Fond (about a mile from the clinic) and that some how the guys that had been carrying the cot were no longer there and there was no way he could bring her down by herself. I decided I'd go ahead and drive up and pick her up as the situation sounded desperate enough. Halfway there I met a large crowd carrying her on a cot. Looked like her transportation was working fairly well but I stopped and let her and several other of her friends get on the UTV. One man who had been drinking kept trying to climb up and hang on the right side of the rig. I made sure he knew that it was not safe and that he couldn't ride their. Finally he gave up and we sorted out who was riding down with the lady and started off down the trail toward the clinic. Unfortunately a little ways down the trail the people riding with me frantically yelled at me to stop because that same guy had fallen off the right side while we were moving and was laying in the road behind me. He had somehow managed to hide out of my sight crouching on the right hand running board, slipped off because he was drunk and didn't have a good grip, and now had blood running from several cuts on the back of his head. After tying on a bandage to stop the bleeding we drove the last little stretch to the clinic where I cleaned up and dressed the fellow's wounds. He seemed a bit more subdued after that and stayed around the clinic for the rest of the afternoon because he had a headache which he claimed prevented him from walking home.
   The next evening Alyssa, Rachel and I ended up bouncing out the trail with this same lady due to her having complications and being unable to deliver her baby at the clinic.
   Around noon on Wednesday another laboring mother arrived who was very hypertensive with pre-eclampsia. She also didn't measure full term but she wasn't sure of her actual due date and had received no prenatal care. After doing everything we could Alyssa managed to bring her systolic BP down to around 180 from 215 and once again out the trail we went hoping to send her to the hospital in Fond des Blancs since they have excellent maternity care and OB services. We had planned to meet an ambulance at the hospital in Ti Goâve (the Ti Goâve hospital almost never has their maternity ward properly staffed) who would take her the rest of the way to her final destination but he got stuck behind an election campaign parade on his way back from Port au Prince and arrived an hour and a half after when he said he would.
   Delays and long waits are things one learns to deal with very early on when living in Haiti. They have a way of making you feel very helpless and insignificant and can be a great excersize in faith when things are out of your own control.
   Keep us in your prayers as Haiti is gearing up for a second try at a presidential election in a little more then a week. There is a lot of potential for instability and violence depending on how things turn out.
    Pray that we will all have the patience and grace to deal with frustrating circumstances the way that Jesus would and leave the battle in his hands.
  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cholera is Back

Bang, Bang, Bang, the gate sounded just as were sitting down to a relaxing supper. No, not another Cholera case BUT yes it was. When the first case came in two weeks ago, I expected it to be a single case incident. However, it has turned into a small out break. Thankfully, all the cases have been contained to one zone. It has made for lots of clinic time, late night runs, changing IV’s etc. has made for some busy days. As of today, our numbers were at 19 cases we have admitted.

Ever since Cholera came to Haiti in 2010, it has been a battled “maladi”. Due to the increase rainfall in Haiti this year, the numbers are expected to be higher. We ask for your prayers as we work long and hard to educate people so that they can go back to their communities and teach them the importance of proper sanitation. In addition, how they can avoid spreading it within their families and communities. Pray that God would give us wisdom and Cholera would STOP if not against His will!
The Cholera Shack


We have also been having clinic days averaging about 110 people or more everyday. One day last week, it was getting long and hard, when it started to rain. Have you been praying, one of the girl's asked me. We both agreed we had been praying for something. God answered our prayer. The crowd didn’t get smaller but it stopped others from coming! We are blessed to be able to provide these people with hope and bring healthcare to many who wouldn't have it without the mission. 

Thanks to all of you who support us everyday. We could never do what we do it without the support of all of you. 

A few random pics from the past week….

Patrick cutting gauze. 

Rachel with one of her many bandage patients! 

One of the many little people I see everyday. He was very dehydrated the first day he came in. I didn't know what his story would be. However, with a course of treatment he is doing much better. 

This little 4 month old baby came in today. She has a full cleft palette and hair lip. She is doing amazingly well. Her parents are very caring and have been doing a great job of making sure she can get the nutrition she needs. We are in the process of arranging surgery for her in the near future. 

~ Mis Alyssa 



Friday, September 9, 2016

"Do you ever sleep?"

  As we were leaving a birth on Sunday night/Monday morning, one of the guys that was staying with another patient asked "Do you guys ever Sleep?". 
That's exactly how I felt that night. The laboring mother wasn't progressing as fast as we would've liked, Kayla and I were both extremely tired, and the mother was been very unreasonable with anything we asked her to do. She was very fearful because her 1st and only child had died when it was only 1 month old. We asked her if we could pray with her, and she agreed. We asked God to do a miracle and bring a healthy baby safely and speedily into this world. 

  Finally at 1:05am the baby made its appearance into the world with his cord wrapped around his arm, then yet again around his neck. We thanked God for yet another miracle.  

  
A cot has just arrived-the patient has been having diarrhea and vomiting since this morning, and is very dehydrated. Yes, it's cholera. We've gotten a lot of them from two different areas. It continues to amaze me how fast a person snaps back to normal when you get an IV running into them. You can join us in praying that the cholera wouldn't keep spreading. It can fast become a epidemic. 

       Mis Leda was working when this young 15 year old boy arrived. His mother says that he fell into the fire when she was out in town, and nobody took care the burn till they brought him to us. The smell was awful, and the maggots were sticking their little heads out all over the place. We cleaned it three times before we transferred him out to a bigger hospital.

  

The young boy who had the Burns. 

One of the ladies on the prenatal program had twins boys, they are a month and a half old and doing well. I thought I was kinda neat they were born on my birthday. 


-Mis Ellamae

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

As you have done it unto the least of these

       I have been reminded a lot recent of the verse in Matthew 25 that tells us when we care for someone, visit them, clothe them etc we are doing it unto Him. The thought has been encouraging to me knowing that even when I am at the end of my day, or feel like I have no strength left every act of love I show is unto the Lord!
     No matter what happens God IS Good ALL the Time! I sit here on my bed when I should really be sleeping, it's 10:30pm! I am very tired, but inspired to write. My exhaustion is more emotional than physical though.  You can feel so drained after you've done all you can do for a sick baby and it still doesn't fix it; then you have to go talk to some patient's family members about your policy of how many people can stay at the hospital overnight and they don't  listen! "Lord please give me patience for the moment and wisdom for what to say next!" You have a very busy clinic day and on your way back to the compound children are asking favors and all you want to to is get alone to rest and think.

   We have had a very busy week, large clinic days, emergencies and a couple births! In 3 days time we had two helicopter transports. The first Saturday morning for a young man of 21 who had fallen down the mountain on his way home Friday afternoon; from what we could tell he had a fracture on the left side of his pelvis, and two possible fractures in his right arm. Then Sunday late afternoon a 55 year old woman showed up on a cot with a very swollen right thigh  telling me her leg was broken. She had been climbing in a mango tree and a branch broke, causing her to fall. Hans admonished her she should have a younger person climb the mango trees. :-) Yes, we agreed her leg was broken and praise the Lord Monday morning was beautifully clear and we were able to fly her out.

   This past Thursday  I was brought a very malnourished dehydrated 16 month old! Oh how do they get to that place?? There is hardly anything to her! It was nigh unto impossible to get and IV line started so Alyssa and I put in an IO line. (Like an IV but you put it into the bone) That worked well until evening when it became dislodged and was perfusing the fluid into her leg. We again attempted and IV but to no avail, so that left us with instructing the parents to have the baby drink. That worked pretty well, and the parents were trying. She made pretty good progress, was drinking ORS/water and pediatric shakes. I was very pleased with how she perked up, she started reaching for water herself and drank well. I kept her through the weekend, thinking Monday if she was still doing well I might send her home with careful instructions and have her return in a week. Sunday night she wasn't feeling well and throughout Monday she wasn't as perky. Tuesday morning she was very dehydrated again and seemed like she had aspirated fluid or something into her lungs. We again attempted and IV unsuccessfully and reverted to an IO, that went very well and we once again had fluids running into her. She perked up through out the day but, didn't bounce back to where she had been. Tuesday night things looked grim. I felt so at a loss as to what to do. "God please give me wisdom..." I put her on a little oxygen because her respiratory status was depressed. After that there was nothing more i could do, it seemed her little body would not absorb anything. I told Hans and Ellamae we'll just have to leave it in God's hands and wait. I went to bed and slept peacefully. Around 5:30 this morning (i am finishing writing this Wednesday evening) the father came to the gate asking for me saying the little girl was very low... I went down and found her very weak, lethargic, feverish and with junk in her lungs. I started her with more fluids for the fever, propped her up to help with respiratory status. It seemed we were near the end....I had done what I could, now if God wanted her to continue living He would perform a miracle. Well, about 7am her little heart stopped and her breath was gone... God chose to take that little bud of life home to Him. My heart aches, but i know she is in the arms of Jesus!  She is healthy and well!
This is the little girl who passed away

    So many people I care for... I have medical knowledge to do what I can, but it is all in GOD'S hand! God and the Haitians have taught me say, "Mesi Jezi" for giving this child to me. Thank you that I had a chance to love her and the privileged of caring for her and her family!
   Thank you all so much for your prayers and support! We really need them and feel them! God carries us through each day no matter what it brings!
~Mis Kayla

Here are a few more pictures...


The little girl who lost her finger last week, getting a bandage change! It is healing very well!



One of my adorable "Plumpy Nut" children

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pictures.

Sorry... It looks like my pictures somehow weren't on my post so I'll try again.

Here they are in the same order that they should have been on the post. 

The baby that was born on Monday morning...

Kayla with one of her blood pressure patients...

Ellamae and Makayla with one of the babies that were born at clinic...

Janell... Your presence is greatly missed!!!!

A nasty wound...

A smile for the nurse 😊

Alyssa & Frè. Noes

And... an extra one of Kayla and I with a set of twins that came in one day this week...