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?

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 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!


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