It's been another busy week here in Haiti! Fortunately, yesterday I was able to 'getaway' to a local beach resort and spend a day by the Caribbean sea. For those of you who grew up with me, you will be able to appreciate this more, since it was always a dream of mine to live by the Caribbean sea! It became clear to me yesterday that the Lord never forgot about it. :)
I'm including some pictures from the day, and I look forward to returning there again sometime in the future! :)
As far as the rest of my week goes, I'm sure you are all anxious to know about my sink situation. Well, on Wednesday afternoon, the plumber came to check out the problem, and after a bit of sweat and elbow grease, my drain was working perfectly! I also had him check out my low-pressure shower head while he was here, and now I can actually wash all the shampoo out of my hair in the shower instead of having to rinse the extra suds out in the lower tap. It was pretty thrilling!
Another eventful afternoon this week was on Thursday when I travelled with the van der Mark family and a few Haitian's from the mission to a school shelter in Cabaret. It was the same place I had visited a few weeks ago with the medical team, but this time we brought with us a ton of new clothes that had arrived on one of the containers. Before we left, we organized all of the shirts by gender and size, and then we took a large truck full of everything to the school. It was such a blessing for me to be part of the distribution of the shirts. From the moment we arrived, all of the residents began coming out and swarming around the truck. They were so thrilled that we had come to them and over the afternoon more and more people lined up.
We tried to bring some order to the process by having the men, women, and children line up and come in a separate times, which worked for most of the day until the end when they realized we would be leaving and things got crazy! We had all of the clothes in a school room (where the people with lost homes have been sleeping) and one by one they would come in to get sized in some clothing and then exit the room for the next person. This method was working well for us, until we started recognizing people. We began to realize that when people would leave with their shirt, they would get back in line to come and get more clothes. It was hard to turn away these people, knowing how desperate they must have been to stand in a long hot line just for an additional shirt, but we still had many more clothes to give out.
As we were passing out clothes in the schoolroom, there were also many young men and women poking their arms through the cement holes in the walls. I could hear them calling out to me 'Blanc! Blanc!' (which means 'white' in creole), hoping that I would pass them some clothing through the windows so that they could avoid the line. As the hours passed, the crowds of people outside grew, as word began to spread through the villages, and the volume of people's voices got very loud. By the time we left, we managed to give out clothes to the majority of families, but there were still people who did not get to us in time. It was very difficult for us to leave, but we had to abide by the rule at the mission - where that staff must return to the mission grounds before dark, due to the danger in the villages at night. Hopefully we will be able to go out again soon and give out the remaining clothes.
I want to share with you one encounter that I had in the school room that I will never forget. After giving out clothing to the men and women, young mothers began coming in with their babies. As we began to sort through the baby clothes, one of the mothers gestured for Cheryl to see her baby (she had remembered that Cheryl was a doctor from our previous trip). As Cheryl held the baby, I could see her concern as she told the mother that she would need to come to the Hospital of Hope the following day. The baby had an extremely high fever, and Cheryl said it was very important for the baby's survival that she come to the clinic. As Cheryl wrote down the mission information for the woman, I came aside the mother and felt the baby's forehead... It broke my heart. The poor baby, only two weeks ago was burning hot. She was wrapped in a thick blanket and wasn't even sweating. It was clear that this baby was very sick and immediately I shared Cheryl's concern for the baby's survival. When I got home from Cabaret I began to pray that the baby would make it through the night so that she could receive treatment at the hospital.
The next day was Friday, and I was anxious through my whole morning of teaching to see if the baby had come and if she was alright. I spoke to Cheryl when she returned from the hospital later that afternoon, and to our shock, the mother and baby had not come. Cheryl thought that it was probably due to the cost of transportation to get to the mission that the mother was unable to afford. So in this blog, I urge you to pray for the precious baby who is in desperate need of a doctor. I don't know if I will ever see or hear of the mother or baby again, but it is my prayer that the mother will find a way to bring her baby to the clinic on Monday and that she can get the proper treatment for her child.
Please keep this in your prayers, and I will update you when I know anything.
Thank you again for all of your prayers for me and the missions staff in Haiti. It is such an encouragement to know that I am being lifted up and that the Lord is in control and working through each aspect of life here.
May we continue to live in the peace that He is Sovereign and that there is hope in every circumstance.