Isaiah 30:21 - Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Building!

Thanks to all those who helped donate/build/and update the clinic and Mamba buildings.  The patients now have multiple benches to sit on and a new roof extending from the new clinic building to the old clinic.  Instead of having to stand or sit for hours in the hot sun anyone that comes to be seen will now have a place to sit down and wait in the shade.  The new Mamba building has a gorgeous new roof (if you saw the old roof and all the holes in it you would think a roof could be gorgeous too) an extended porch sitting area, a new exit door, new tile (my favorite part, makes clean up a breeze) new steps, and new paint both inside and out!

How the new and old clinic looked before any updates

If you look closely you can still see the tree

A view of the patients waiting to be seen

How the old Mamba building looked before any updates

Even the chickens like the new waiting area


Side view of the building

New paint! New roof!
The first day of using the newly renovated building. 
Mamba patients using the new building and benches

Thursday, September 15, 2011

James Joseph

One month ago I didn't know his name or where he lived.  His name is James Joseph and to get to his house just follow the path down the hill past the clinic, go through the broken wall, watch out for the prickly thorn bushes, take a left, six houses down on the right, arrive at the back door fence.  

One month ago I didn't know who his family was.  Sweet Momma James as I call her who adores her son and her other child a beautiful three year old girl.  

One month ago I wouldn't be able to tell you his life story.  

James Joseph is 13 months old.  He smiles and laughs just like any normal 13 month baby.  He's starting to walk, a little unstable at times, but when holding on to his Mom's hand he's a pro.  His Mom adores him, still breastfeeding, a rare occurrence at his age.  Looking at him you would think everything is fine, except it's not.  

About two weeks after I got back from the States one of the girls here told me there was an American medical team coming to Pierre Payan, the next town over and that James and another girl with wrists problems needed to go see them.  I knew who the little girl with the wrist problems was but didn't know who the other boy was that we would be taking. 

James came to the clinic this summer and a visiting nurse from the States took on his case.  His case is complicated because it's not something that can be fixed with just one surgery.  He has an ectopic bladder, which in short detail means he has an open hole in his stomach which is where he pees from.  His case is extremely complicated and requires more care than available in Haiti.  Stephanie, the American nurse, was working on getting him to the States, but while doctors were willing to help it was becoming a problem to find a hospital who would agree to cover the cost of the very expensive surgery.  

So here we were two American girls, two Moms, and two babies loaded into the truck to visit the hospital to see what could be done.  At the hospital, there happened to be a pediatric urologist on the team who saw James and wanted to help but doors closed again.   

One thing that has been really hard to handle is how much suffering there is in this country that could be treated if there was access to good medical care.  If this case, or any of the cases that I come across, happened in the States we wouldn't think anything of it, but here it's different.  Just yesterday tt Rousseau, one couple walked five hours down the mountain, without shoes because they didn't own any, just so they could bring their sick son to the clinic.  Patients wait weeks, and sometimes months, until there is a  medical team that comes with a doctor on it that can help their ailment.  And the hard part, when you really think about it, is that sometimes help doesn't come for these people. 

So after having the door close again, last Thursday morning I walked down the hill, past the clinic, through the broken wall, watching out for the prickly thorn bushes, took a left, went six houses down on the right, arrived at the back door fence and hollered for Mamma James to come out.  We were going to see what could be done for James today.  

Our first stop was Mission of Hope, a mission about 45 minutes away from Canaan that had a clinic, school and orphanage.  We knew his surgery couldn't be done there but our hope was they could point us in some sort of direction and possibly give us some contacts in the States to reach out to.  After waiting about two hours, honestly not that long as far as waiting goes around here, we finally saw the doctor.  It probably turned out to be his quickest consult for the day because after taking one look at James' stomach he referred us to a pediatric hospital in Port and so away we went.

This part of the trip was somewhat comical because after arriving at the hospital and showing the guard our referral slip he directed us to the reception desk.  The reception desk referred us to the clinic.  The clinic referred us to the emergency section which was past the reception desk who then tried to make us go back to the clinic.  Five sweet talking minutes later we were on our way down the hall to the emergency section where the emergency reception nurses took his information and referred us to the surgeon, who as luck had it, had already left for the day. 

I felt bad for Mamma James, who for umpteenth time that day, told the surgeon's receptionist James' story.  I hadn't realized how many hospitals she had in fact visited, only to be turned away from help and let down.  I hadn't realized how many people either stare, or gasp as if to say what is that, when they see his deformed stomach.
We have an appointment to meet with the surgeon this Monday in Port.  We also have contacts in the States who are working on getting a doctor and most importantly, a hospital, take on James' case, but so far we are still waiting.  I am secretly hoping, and praying, that our Great Physician will open doors for this to happen before I have to take Momma James back to Port on Monday.  I want to spare her one more disappointment.  

Please pray for this family that doors will finally open and that we can find both a doctor and a hospital that will agree to his case.

I've learned that Haitians have a resilient and God fearing spirit.  They always end or begin any sentence that deals with anything pertaining to the future with God willing, or if God wants.   And so for the time being, for now, the plan if God wants is to still take Momma James and James to Port Monday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Rousseau - The program almost doubled in size within the last two weeks as word spread up the mountain that there was a program available that helped little kids gain weight.  One Wednesday a mom from this village brought in her daughter to check who entered the program.  I showed her before and after pictures of kids and told her if she knew of other kids in her town to have them come and we would check them.  The following Wednesday she came back with her sister and niece.  The Wednesday after that ten more showed up who were from the same town that ended up qualifying.  This week about ten new ones were waiting.  All from the same town.  Please pray for this village as almost every kid that entered the program in the last two weeks have been from this one area.  

Recent pictures of the Rousseau program
Sleeping on the scale is better than screaming on it
Baby Regina
Parents waiting for their turn to be called
Checking for a fever
One five year old we put in the program today
Happily sleeping after learning her last weigh in today