Sunday, July 17, 2011

The 'Short' Version of My Experiences in Haiti in May 2011

           I had some life-changing experiences when I was in Haiti and my heart was broken while I was there.  This is the short version (haha!) of my experiences while I was in Haiti and how I responded in turn.
            For one week I lived with my team members at an orphanage that housed 25 children and is run by Tina and her niece Jessica.  The construction team completed a house in the Village of Hope that will house a few elderly people.  The medical team, which I was a part of, worked at Pastor Roro’s medical clinic in Peredo.  I had the opportunity to help with Tina’s formula program, which provides one can of formula a week to families in need of assistance.
            Day 3 at the medical clinic began just like the day before:  Dr Jim, Dr Randy and the two Haitian doctors were in patient rooms, Laura was taking people’s blood pressure and talking with them as they waited to see a doctor, Diane was with Okie and his dental team in the dental clinic room, Destiny and his optometry team were in the eye clinic room, and Erin and I were with Marie, the Haitian nurse, in the pharmacy filling prescriptions. We were caught up with prescriptions and I wanted to take some pictures, so I walked around the clinic for a little bit.  I came out of the dental clinic after observing Diane assisting Okie pulling out a girl’s molar and went to the pharmacy to talk to Erin.  Instead, I found Erin outside of the pharmacy feeding formula to a teeny tiny little baby using a syringe.  I found out that the mom, Cristella, had walked 2 hours from her home in the mountains to bring her 18 day old baby to the clinic because she knew it was his only chance of surviving.  Her husband was a victim of the cholera epidemic and passed just less than a month before Josiah was born.  He was the main breadwinner and without him Cristella surely had a hard enough time feeding her 2 other children, ages 1 and 5, let alone herself.  Without getting the proper nutrition she was unable to produce milk and could not feed her baby.  She asked Tina if she would take care of Josiah because she knew that it was his only chance to survive.  Tina agreed to take Josiah and he became the 26th child at the orphanage.
            This really opened up my eyes to the extreme poverty that so many people are living in.  It made me want to do something, anything, to help.  So that is why I am returning to Haiti on July 15th to live in the orphanage.  I will be helping Tina and Jessica take care of the kids.  I may also help out with the formula program and with mission teams who come and stay at the house.  I am unsure of what exactly God has planned for me when I get down there but I am putting my complete trust in Him.  I also do not know how long I will be staying there but am thinking 4-6 months.
            I have to pay $200 a month for food and housing in addition to my airfare.  Fortunately my church has been able to provide for me financially.  So all I am asking is for your prayers and support as I follow God’s plan!

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