Thursday, January 26, 2017

Highlights

Hello! My name is Katie. I am still a fairly new member to the team here at Ileg mission...( or so I feel at times) ;)  I arrived November 16th along with my brother James. I took Rachel's place in the pharmacy and the regular bandage station and I  expect to be in there for the next few months. I am also on a birthing team with Kayla, which as been a joy to me to be a part of. Since I haven't blogged yet I'm going to share with you bits and pieces of  things I've been able to be a part of and some things that are a highlight to me!

Visiting people on weekends has been one of my highlights here. Last Saturday a few of us visited a co-worker at clinic (Adolf) and his family. They fed us a Haitian meal and we visited for quite a while which is really good for us that are still learning creole!:)

This is the Adolf  and his family.


Spending time with the children here has been a other highlight of mine! These three neighbor children have found a special  place in my heart since the first day I met them! There's something so special about all  the children here that melts your heart in a way that it can never be the same! 

This is one of my very faithful bandage patients.  He's had a small wound on his leg for quite a while that just wouldn't heal! But this week  I guess it decided to changed its mind!

Thank you all so much for your prayer and support! I know God uses it in more ways  then our eyes can ever see.   Mis Katie.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hurts, Joy, Miracles and Sorrow

         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 back to the house but around 7:30 we were called again. This time baby was ready to come!  Though it as still a long process… we found ourselves with some complications. Baby’s heart rate dipped into the 80s and 90s and the second time it happened it wasn’t coming back up. NOT GOOD! I went and talked to Alyssa. We thought maybe the umbilical cord was around the neck… It was. Thankfully we were able to slip it off and over his head. But, still we knew this baby had been compromised and needed to deliver. Through some hard work by the mother and prayers by the nurses he finally made his appearance but limp and white, not breathing. Alyssa, Katie and Sharon whisked away with the dear little angel to try to revive him. But, it wasn’t to be. They worked on him for over 45 min, trying to get him to breath on his own but he wouldn’t. At one point they even lost his heartbeat and proceeded with compressions and his heart started again. The decision was made to stop resuscitation, there was nothing more to do! It was so hard! His strong little heart kept beating for hours.  I gave him to his mother to hold, his father and others took turns. I explained there was nothing more for us to do but that it was in God’s hands. I left the baby, his little heart still beating away with the family and came home for a break. (That birth and everything involved took most of my clinic day.) I went back down later in the afternoon just to see how things were going and was very surprised to hear baby sounds coming from the hospital room. Here was our lite angel breathing on his own.  It was irregular and his muscle tone was still not good at all but it was enough to turn him pink and give us hope. And there was his sweet young mother with hope in her eyes. We had hope, yet reality was still there… he had been without oxygen to long and there was no way from a human stand point that he would have a normal life even if he did live. I explained again to the family that it was all in God’s hands! His little heart kept on till about 4:30 the next morning, and then he went to be with Jesus! Where there is no more pain, suffering or heartache!

The little angel after he pinked up some


With his Mama

Wednesday afternoon during my on call shift a set of twins were brought to me, needing some love and care! Their mother is ill and they had not been getting proper nourishment and care. Mashed up spaghetti, crackers and sugar water is not proper nourishment for a 3 month old! One of the twins was definitely doing better than the other but still hungry. The one baby was very weak and dehydrated. I put him on oxygen right away (which helped him perk up), and attempted and IV. The IV was unsuccessful so I decided well try oral fluids first and proceeded to find some formula. That seemed to help.  I then successfully placed and IV in the little guys foot and he perked up even more. (What a miracle to get an IV catheter in to a vein that tiny!) The dear little things had a bad odor and not very proper clothing so I told Katie to get some things to wash them up and went and found some better clothes. Katie was so excited when I told her that yes we can bath them put lotion on and make them smell good!  Oh they were so sweet and squish-able! It felt so good to have some babies to hold and care for after just losing one.  We got them stable sent them home with a little formula, and told them when that is out to come with some money to buy more.  And to bring the ill mother to clinic! I was crushed to find out 2 days later one of the twins had died and the other one wasn’t doing well, but that and aunt took it out to Port-Au-Prince.  Why God? I don’t understand! I am grateful to know he is without suffering, but it still hurts me!
James giving one twin a bath, the little one doesn't look very impressed 😉 

Isn't he adorable!
This is a glimpse of a few things that have filled my time and heart recently…. God doesn’t give us an easy road to walk but he gives us his hand to hold!

His servant,
                    Mis Kayla

 Extra Thought.....
      What kind of a sermon are you preaching, what sort of Bible are you walking? These kind of thoughts have been going through my head a lot recently. You know everywhere we go people are reading us like a book, what do they see? It’s often not what we say that matters the most; it’s how we act, react, respond and just plainly how we go about life. Be a book that points people to Christ, preach a sermon that reflects God's love! And you may not even have to open your mouth. 😉
Happy nurses with the twins!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Of Heartbeats, Patients, and Patience

A warm hello from the mountains of Haiti! I am Sharon Swartzentruber, the newest member of the clinic team...(and still trying to figure out this blog thing). =)

December 19th found my plane landing in this beautiful country. December 20th was the last day of clinic before the annual closure for cleaning and a short vacation....that day I was able to visit clinic and observe operations. Then clinic re-opened January 9th, so last week was my first week working at clinic. It is difficult to convey in words the mixture of heartbreak and beauty, joy and pain, that are experienced in the small building we call “the clinic”.

Part of my responsibilities in a normal clinic day involve checking fetal heart rates of many unborn babies, in varying stages of development (hint: I might be working in the prenatal program). I am much more comfortable now with listening for that tiny, sometimes faint, lub-dub sound, than I was a week ago. But it never ceases to send a little thrill all the way to my toes when I hear it.... the sound of a very tiny little heart, perfectly made and formed by God, beating away, full of life. What a miracle!

Then, I wonder.... what will this child's life be like? Will he/she be loved and cared for? Will they learn of God and His love? Endless the questions could be, but what I know is this....that each day at clinic we are given precious opportunities to touch lives.... lives of mothers, fathers, children, babies. Even though it may be for only a few minutes, we have an opportunity to convey a glimpse of the love of God to these hearts. Something that strikes me at times is the emptiness and lack of emotion or joy in the eyes of people, even some of the children. I cannot imagine what all they have seen and experienced in their lives, however long or short.... the Haitian people do not have easy lives. But the Father Who created each and every one of us seeks their hearts and a relationship with them...and how can they hear, unless someone will go, and tell them....show them....love them?

This isn't always easy to do in the middle of a chaotic and busy day, with people everywhere, and a crowd of people still waiting each time you look out to the benches that compose our waiting area. There are trying and difficult patients at times.... ones who have wounds that smell so bad your nose nearly goes on strike....ones who demand that they be seen by a nurse immediately no matter what else is going on. Sometimes it takes a deep breath and prayer sent heavenward, and you just keep praying for the grace to keep smiling and being kind. And that grace is abundant.

One morning last week as we took the short walk down the trail to begin our day at clinic, a brilliant rainbow stretched across the sky just above the clinic building and out across the valley. It was a beautiful and clear reminder of the faithfulness of God....how He keeps His promises...even here, way back in the mountains of Haiti.

Here are a few random pictures from the last week at clinic. One day we had a very tiny visitor...a perfect little preemie baby who was actually doing very well, but weighed less than 4 lbs. 

And then there are the normal views that you would see if you walked into clinic in the middle of a day....for example, Mis Alyssa doing one of her many consultations.

 These are some happy nurses with a little guy who safely made his appearance last Friday morning just after 1am. =) 



Please continue to pray for us, as we strive to reflect the love of Jesus to those we meet and serve here...and God be with you as you do the same, wherever you are serving Him!

-Sharon

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Well I don't even know where to start? Because this is my first blog....and there is so much I could write about!! But I guess I'll just tell you a bit about someone I just recently met! His name is Herman, he is a moto Driver/Road boss.....beings that he often is a Forman on the road crews! So the other week we got called to the clinic one morning and it was this Herman. He was operating his


 Moto kick start when for some reason the kick start broke when he apparently had most of his weight on it causing it to go through his foot...... It entered the bottom of his foot and came out the side! Leaving a hole in his foot about half an inch in diameter! So we did our best to clean and stitch it up and send him on his way.....but as he came back day after day it was just getting worse!! Especially when we couldn't get him to stop trying to work!!! So we finally decided to hospitalize him and keep it elevated! And Praise the Lord over the past 5 days it has been getting better better!!! So if you think of Herman you can pray for his foot that he would have 100% healing! 

                                             

And thank you for your prayers and support! We cherish them all!! 


James,

Clinic Cleaning

Greetings from the mountains of Haiti!! 

Many of you may wonder if we still exist. We do even though we have been very quiet. 

A little update on the past few weeks. We closed clinic December 20 and reopened January 9. It was wonderful to have a break from the daily clinic life and tackle some other much needed projects. 

The first project was the clinic. We scrubbed it from top to bottom chasing all those unwanted dust bunnies away. It was rewarding to see the floor change colour before our eyes as we scrubbed and scrubbed.

                          

The outside was more inviting after a few rakes and shovels went through. We had fun pulling weeds, stacking wood, and pressure washing the court yard. As a team it was rewarding to tackle some of the corners that had been neglected since Matthew had passed through. 

             

Thanks for all your support! 
                 ~ Alyssa 

P.S sorry this was not posted earlier due to Internet issues.