Thursday, October 26, 2017
“If God Wants/Wills.” This phrase is heard often throughout the day in our little clinic. It is a facet of Haitian culture that can become very commonplace to those of us that work here.... but it is one I never want to forget, even when I return to the hustle and bustle of American life some day. As I give out rendezvous for people to return in a week, 2 weeks, or a month, for their check-ups... a very common phrase at the end of stating their tentative return date, is “si Bondye vle”. If I forget to say it, the patient will often say it for me. It doesn't really matter if the person is a Christian or not, they will say this. I'm not sure how much they think about what it means, as it is such a habit in the Haitian culture. But as Christians, this can actually have significant meaning for our lives. Such a simple phrase... if God wills. Yet, this is so much the reality, especially in Haiti. We make plans for our lives, but hold them loosely, knowing that ultimately it is God, Who is in control of our lives and the details of them. Here, when things don't always go right, or as planned, we often have to be especially flexible....we DON'T always do what we planned to. Some days, one unforeseen problem arises after another, and it's easy to be frustrated, or stressed. But if we can just rest, and trust in God's constant care and faithfulness....and allow our hearts to truly accept what God wills for each day, and learn the lessons of patience and whatever else He needs to teach us... this brings peace. So that's just a recent random lesson I have been thinking about, for whatever it's worth. =)
Things continue to go well here, despite bumps and bruises along the way. OK there actually really haven't been many of those last items. =) In September things picked up at clinic and we had some bigger days with over 100 patients. One of the Haitian nurses was off for 2 weeks of vacation, and our American pharmacist (Autumn) is in the States currently for health reasons, so it left the rest of us working longer days at times to get things done. But overall it really has gone very smoothly and we can't complain. We often have one or two or more people staying in our hospital room, with more serious illnesses. Lately there have been a lot of people coming in with flu-like symptoms.... coughs and colds. A few moments in different recent days I have stopped in the middle of writing a chart and just listened.... to the chorus of crying, coughing, howling children out in our waiting areas. Some days it can make a person feel like groaning when about 5 or 6 of them are going at it at once, but we always make it through, and even with our hearing and sanity intact (ok that's questionable, but nevermind!).
I'll just go ahead and confess it... this blog post was partially written ever since September when I was on the schedule to post and didn't. Y'all can come lodge your complaints in person with the customer service department here...that way I get to see you. =) So by now, most of October has already rolled past and it's hard to believe we're nearing the month of November. Currently Kayla, our head nurse, is in the States for a furlough. That leaves James and Katie and I here for clinic, at the moment. The month of November will bring more staff changes as James and Katie leave at the end of their term, and more new staff join us. We know that God will be faithful to supply our needs, just as He's done before....He's been so good.
Here are a few pics from the last number of weeks...
We have had a regular stream of births the last while, which supplies us with...cute babies to hold! ;-) Often there are moments in births where I breathe a prayer... and kinda hold my breath each time, waiting to hear the brand new baby cry. And when it does.... I always have to thank God. Every single safe birth and new life is a miracle straight from Him.
This is a very real life moment from clinic. Katie does a superb job at dealing with the many impatient blood pressure patients who attempt to barge through our door immediately after prayer every morning at clinic. They all think they need to sit on the first chair, or at least ahead of the person who came in just in front of them...they literally push and shove and sit on each other at times, in order to get ahead in line. This one dear lady did not one to listen to Katie's directions one morning and began to give a long and dramatic explanation of why she couldn't listen to what Katie was telling her to do. Dear Katie patiently listened and dealt with the sweet but impatient little lady... and I couldn't help but grin at the little lady's sincerity in her imploring, and Katie's abundant patience in spite of being a little frustrated....she couldn't help but laugh too, by the end of it. The lady was so cute and was pleading her cause so valiantly! =)
One morning I had a little visitor helping me with prenatal appointments. =)
Mis Kayla, seeing one of her many patients.
Dr. Katie was seeing blood pressure patients one day. (OK she just borrowed the Dr.'s coat. ;))
One day when one of our cleaning ladies didn't show up to help clean the clinic in the afternoon, Reynald and Kadet decided to pitch in and help sweep the floor. They did a good job, and had fun doing it. =)
One morning we accidentally matched in gray scrub tops, so we had to take a picture! =) This is Katie and I with Madame Leger, one of our Haitian pharmacists.
There are a few things you can specifically pray for here right now. One is the road and machine situation. There is a spot on the trail between us and Ti-Guave (the nearest town) that is nearly impassable with our machines. It has been too narrow to pass with a Land Cruiser or truck for the past several weeks due to rain and some other circumstances. Thankfully we have still been able to get out with our smaller machines/UTVs, to take out critical patients when needed. But the road is getting worse and we may soon not be able to get through with even our smaller machines. So please pray that the road will soon get fixed, and that we won't have any emergencies that have to go out if it becomes impassable. Also, one of our machines was wrecked in an accident recently, so until we can get another one to replace it, you can just pray that we don't get any critical patients that have to go out. =) Another prayer request is just a reminder I guess, to pray that we can show the love and spirit of Christ in the darkness around us here. It has felt especially dark at times recently, as someone has broken into clinic multiple times at night, not taking anything significant, but clearly looking for money. There was also a separate robbery at the mission compound as well. Sometimes it can feel discouraging when we pour our all into helping and loving the people here, and then they turn around and steal things and break in. People need Jesus. And so do we.... to consistently have love, patience, grace, and forgiveness in our hearts for these people...every day, every time the gate rings out with a knock for the 20th time in the same afternoon, every time we're so tired but heading to clinic at 3am to check on a lady in labor or other patient, again. All I can say is that the grace of God has also been abundant, and though we've been busy, there has been plenty of strength and wisdom from above for every need, and we're safe and blessed through each and every demanding day and situation.
Thanks for praying...and for your patience with our unfaithful blogging. =) Please keep praying for us even if we don't always post when we should! ;-) God bless you all richly, as you serve and share His love wherever you are.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
The love of Jesus to me is greater then anything else I've ever known.
These words to this very familiar song rang in my mind this week as we worked with people and tried to show them the love of Jesus that is so great! In Haiti especially, there is a great recognition of God, and God most definitely exists to these people and they all might "believe" in him. But there's such a great lack of love for him. Just like anywhere. Oh God help us to show them your love so that they can learn to love you how your people are meant to love you.
So yet another week has past by and clinic has began to pick up and become busier And busier. This time of year seems to always be a bit more busy because the Haitians gardens are either harvested,or are nearly harvested so therefore they have more time and money on their hands to come to clinic. Thank the Lord for cayenne pepper! It's become quite the famous answer to making a child sneeze after they've put a been or corn kernel up there nose.
(Miss Kayla administering the cayenne)
(James enjoying one of them as company as we awaited for the next one to be born.)
All 3 mothers were first time mom's.
There was 1 girl and 2 boys.
All 3 births went very well and all 3 babies are doing well.
She was the bravest little thing.
She was on a moto (motorcycle) on her way home from school when her foot got caught up in the sprockets.
She's a very fortunate little girl.
The cut was very long and deep,
but thankfully didn't cut any tendons.
She still has all movement and feeling.
Sunday evening James and I responded to knock on the gate saying we needed to go to clinic for something serious. When we arrived, we witnessed a young 19 year old man sitting out side the gate at clinic and he was covered from head to toe in blood. As the story came out, he had just been stabbed 2 times from a "friend"/ fight.
As we assessed him,we found that he did have 2 very deep stab wounds. One to the chest, and the other just below his shoulder blade on his back.
Just as we were able to begin work on the first guy,we got news that another one was coming. So we quickly prepared for another.
This time it was a middle aged man that had nothing to do with the fight,but happened to have been passing by at the moment and was hit on the forehead with a rock!
Both men are very fortunate. We were able to stitch both of them up, give them some meds for the pain,and then kept them for a few days. We were able to explain to the young man how fortunate he is to still have life and that he's not just lucky,but that God spared his life because of his great love for him! He acknowledged that, but needs to hold it in his own heart. You can pray that he wouldn't forget that,but that God could use this instance to reach him in such a way and become his saviour!
Your prayers I know are never in vain. So please continue to pray for us as we strive together to further the kingdom of Christ.
As always,we say Thank you!
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