The Battle Belongs to the Lord
Since the first of the year we've been doing some renovation on the little area uphill from the clinic to the fence. Thanks to several of our local "bosses", Lucien and Auguste, the area that had always been an eyesore is now paved with rough yet tidy stones that help keep the mud at bay as well as discourage the ever present litter. I put a new clothesline up as well to the great delight of the cleaning ladies at clinic who until then had been patiently improvising with a few short ropes hung between the trees.
Another project that has been in the development stage for quite a long time is renovating the old stone two room outbuilding above the clinic into a medical laboratory. That project so far has involved a new metal roof, reinforcement of some of the old framing, and running electricity to the building. It seems that we are legally required to have a lab to be able to finalize our clinic's registration with the Haitian Government and besides that, with the long distance we have to send our patients for blood work it will be a dramatic boon to our level of care if we can do some more basic tests here ourselves.
Last Thursday we experienced one of the tougher things that medical faculty have to deal with. A young girl with a very swollen liver and abdomen was carried in in severe respiratory distress. A very sweet and friendly little thing, when we'd ask her how she was doing, she would barely gasp out between breaths, " Pa pi mal!" ( not to bad). However, she was not doing well at all but we elected to keep her at the clinic on oxygen and try to stabilize her and perhaps transport out to another hospital in the morning for a higher level of care. By 22:00 it was obvious that she would have a hard time making it through the night so we decided to transfer out to the Cuban hospital in Grand Goâve. Alyssa and Ellamae went along for patient care and we headed off down the rutted trail in the landcruiser. Halfway out to town our little patient´s struggling breaths finally ceased. Her heart had stopped. As I turned the rig around with a heavy heart and started back up the trail towards home the words of that song, ¨Oh Lord Jesus how long?¨ kept going through my mind. ¨How long till death will finally be vanquished once and for all? Why does life seem so unjust and cruel at times? Only God knows the answers to these questions and I am slowly learning to take these things and leave them at his feet and not spend to much energy trying to sort it all out. Dealing with these types of situations, especially when we are at our wit´s end to know what the next step is, forces us to lean on Jesus. He´s promised to take our cares and carry them for us. Sometimes I wonder why I´m so slow to talk to him about stuff. He´s always been there when the going gets rough. He knows his plan. The fight is His. The winner of this war has already been decided.
Pray for the team here. Pray that we´d have an extra dose of courage and wisdom for the difficult times. Pray that we would through our love and service keep expanding the borders of the Kingdom of God.