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Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Canaanites

This is kind of an exciting week for me because it’s my last in a while. Next Wednesday I’m heading for the North – I guess it still exists? Sometimes you wonder here – it tends to feel kind of isolated, and narrow focused. The other night we went to Club Indigo for internet, and their’s was down too, so we sat and watched TV for a bit. It felt so strange! Guess it’s not a bad vice to not have here.
Canaan news:
We have 5 new children here. They’re siblings. The dad died a little over a year ago in a gravel pit accident. Years ago he worked at Canaan, and S. Gladys really felt called to take the children. The mom died more or less in January. The oldest two are boys, and then 3 girls. So Canaan finally has a baby. That child will have problems learning to walk. Everybody wants to hold her. Actually, they’re doing very well; she even gets to crawl sometimes.
Rolancia (11 months)
Mackenson (13) Diuner (10)
Jolette (8) Lina (4)

An interesting challenge for me this week has been Louinel. He is 4 months old and weighs 2.5 kg (about 5 pounds). I’ve had him come for about 2 weeks, giving the mom milk to take. His little feet are all swollen from malnutrition and he was barely peeing all day. Well, he just wasn’t gaining. So Tuesday, when I saw he would gag every time he drank something, I decided something else had to be done. I put an NG tube into his stomach and now we’re feeding him by tube. The mom comes and spends all day. WE NEED A HOSPITAL! He actually gained weight today. One of the girls on the nutrition team is a huge help with that. The mom isn’t feeling comfortable doing it, so I think this is going to be a working weekend! When clinic is closed, we bring her up to Canaan. Please pray he’ll do OK. Little ones like that you have to be careful of not overfeeding him, and I’m not too sure where the balance is (Stephanie???). At least now he’s peeing ok finally. Amazing how much better that makes me feel!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

St Mark MM

Why am “I” in Haiti?
I often ask that question. First, I know there are so many people that could do the job better, sometimes it frightens me. Sometimes I feel the reason He has me here is because He loves me so much - there are so many blessings. Then at other times I feel like God has me here for punishment – it’s not an easy life. At other times, I think it’s because there are so many lessons that I still need to learn about life that He plunked me down where I’d have to learn or else...
Whatever the reason, I am often (usually) grateful. After all, those are all valid reasons. In knowing others could do things better, it keeps me humble. In experiencing God’s love, it’s worth it all. In punishment, it’s probably needed then. In other lessons, well that’s the purpose of life, right? Learn what you need to learn. For me, relationships is probably the top of the list there. It’s what you can pray for me personally the most if you want to pray for me. Living here, you can’t avoid it. It’s always around you – the Canaan kids, the Canaan staff, the clinic staff, patients, teams coming through – short or longer term, friends; And then the people of Haiti...
I often pray that God would give me a passion for the people – after all, that’s who I work with. After a day like today, I feel a bit lost in that area. I’m not sure where my place is, or what I’m to do, because I feel so helpless. There is such a big need, and I have to turn my head the other way. Is that really God’s way, or do I not see something I need to be doing?
We went to St Marc, where a pastor said he had a village of 60 malnourished kids. A team of 9 of us (incl. translators) went. It was an interesting place, seeing how to get to the place we basically walked up a mountain of rocks. About the width of a narrow road, it was solid rock – probably 200 feet or more steeply up, with houses all around. Pictures don’t show depth very well.
The walk up

Starting down

Pastor Galile

Almost down

Something close to a fight broke out over tracts.
It was a wonderful view, since the ocean is right there. When we got there, they handed us a list of 120 people waiting. What makes that difficult is that the majority of those don’t qualify for our program – either they don’t fall into the age bracket that we have, or they’re not malnourished enough to admit.
Getting ready to weigh and measure

I had the difficult job of initial screening.
It didn’t take them long to notice one of the first things I do is check their upper arm circumference. I had a dozen moms shove the arms of their little ones to me – some even grabbing my hand and putting it on their child’s arms. Honestly, that hurts because I can at a glance see that their child is too old for the program. Then they say, I’ll give my child to you. One actually pushed her thin 10 yr old to me and stepped back, begging for me to take her; many of them saying ‘this one has no dad, or no mom and dad’. And all I can do is look at them and be sorry. Is that really all I can do????
In two weeks (July 1) I’m taking a break and going back to Canada, and some other traveling for 2 ½ months. I’m hoping the time away will renew my energy, and give me some wisdom to see what my place here is.
Till next time!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A day for me.

This has been an intereting day! My first patient was our friend Chris, who cut his finger and needed 5 stitches. Maybe after a little bit I'll actually become good at this! Then while getting ready to see another patient, I hear a commotion outside and a 4 yr old boy is having a seizure. I brought him in. I must admit, I'm not too comfortable with seizure patients yet. I did a malaria test and it was positive, but I still sent him to a hospital. His fever went from 101 to 104.5 F in about half and hour. I kept thinking "cerebral malaria", so better safe than sorry. I gave them money and sent them off. Then I got a little 4 month old baby boy - heartwrenching. He weighs 2.6 kilos (about 5 pounds). His poor feet were SO swollen, and I think his face too, though mom said that was normal for him. So we're starting him on a milk routine. He's too young for our Medika Mamba. He's from the mountains so hopefully mom will bring him every week. Made me want to just take him home with me! So cute and small! A75 yr old lady came in - had a stroke on Thursday; left side is paralyzed. Don't thing this is it for her! A lady I had once was in church 2 months after her stroke. Pray this one will recover. Thankfully I had a wheelchair given to me by Christian Aid Ministries, which will make this easier for the family. And then of course, others: teaching them to take blood pressure meds correctly, etc etc.
Well, I thought I had more time to finish this but I have to stop - go home. I'm at Club Indigo, since our internet wasn't working. Probably due to the nice storm we had tonight.
Thanks for praying! Please continue.....

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Hello everyone,
So not all that much has happened this week but I want to remind you I’m here, so here’s a little note. Ha!
Thursday afternoon, Bobi and I took Sister Gladys to the airport (after being here two days after a 2 week absence), along with two of the older guys. We barely made it, we had such a hard time getting sister Gladys away from everyone here, and then ran into the worst traffic jam close to the airport I’ve seen). They’re on their way to Convention. The boys are training to become leaders in the ACE school, have worked hard this year, so it was good they were able to go. This is the first year in many that none of the students went. It seemed time to make the kids realize going to the States every year isn’t something they can take for granted. It is a privilege for working hard in school, and since very few seemed to make that effort it was decided to not take the kids this year.
Friday Bobi and I went to Port again. With Jamil traving, I sat in the driver’s seat of a car being towed to Port. Now that was a challenge for me, but it went very well, I must say. I kept having these visions of ramming into the back of the truck, so my breaks got a good workout, as well as my leg muscles. Since we had to wait till 4 p.m. to pick up Lydia (a girl that was here for 2 months last fall), we were able to use Jamil to drive us around Port. We went to different car dealers. Yes, we’re still looking for a vehicle and feel (in faith) the money will be there when we find the right one. Man, but they’re expensive! We want to try getting it before I leave end of June. Pray the money will be there, and we’ll find the right one. It takes time, so we have to go back again, but we covered quite a few places. Then we also looked around for some patio furniture/plants. Shopping is definitely more challenging here. Don’t for a minute envision yourself shopping in North America for these things. This took from 10 to 4 p.m., rushing it.
The guys of the team got a huge blessing today. You should see how they work! One of their projects they’ve been given this week is levelling the ground in front of the new boy’s dorm, across from the cafeteria. It’s the closest to discouraged I’ve seen them. They’re dealing with TOUGH ground – the normal rocky, then also where they’ve done a lot of cementing, so it’s also got concrete in the ground. Well, after church they were watching the ESTRELLA road construction people drop off one of their huge machines (sorry don’t know the name of it, but it has the thing that goes into the ground to break it up and can lift out dirt). They’re like “wouldn’t it be cool to use that thing!”. One of them’s like, “would it be okay to go ask them if we can?”. I said they speak Spanish, if you can and want to, all they can do is say No. So off they go. About two minutes later they come back saying, Yea! They just went up and asked and the guy said yes, he’ll be back in 20 minutes, they can have it that long. Tyler, one of the guys, knows how to drive it, so they quickly started working; saved them at least half a week’s worth of HARD labour for the three, if not more. The road is becoming SO nice. Those of you who have been here, you’d be amazed. They are almost to Canaan with building it up, which alone smoothes it tremendously. The pavement is almost to the detour already. They’re going through Montrouis, even if the bridge isn’t fixed, but they’ve also smoothed and tarred the detour, so it’s more bearable. Now’s the time to pray!!! We want to ask them to fix, possibly pave our whole entrance too. God can do it, right? I think He loves to do special things for us, if we ask Him. Just look at my little story of the rain! So please pray for that this week!!!!
God bless you all!