What a day!
I just got back from a day in the mountains with the medical team, and it was probably one of the best days in Haiti I've had yet!
At 7am this morning the medical team gathered and I tagged along as we loaded two trucks and ventured up the mountain. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but even during the first few minutes of our journey, I knew I would be in for quite the adventure! As we climbed the hills along tight curves and dusty trails it was exhilarating to see the view from above the mission... I've tried to attach a few pictures to help you visualize it, but they surely don't do it justice!
So after we arrived at the church, we gathered in the church service which had already begun, even though it was just after 8 in the morning.... Yes, Haitians are definitely early risers! It was quite enjoyable for me to see 4 separate groups of singing groups perform from the congregation. First it was the older men, who even had some subtle dance moves to go along with their song.... It was pretty entertaining! :) After the men, 2 groups of ladies got up to sing and then were followed by the children. It was really neat to see how each age group contributed and played a part in the service. After the singing, we joined in communion and the pastor spoke. Following the message, a few men from the mission set up a projector and a bed sheet for the screen and we were able to play the Jesus movie for the congregation by using a generator powered by an ATV... It was a pretty ingenius system and it worked great!
During the movie, I went outside with a few group members to prepare for the clinic and John, who I mentioned in my last blog, did some exploring and came back with a few different fruits from the trees surrounding the church. I ended up trying one that I have still yet to know the name of, but it was really good. It was green like a lime on the outside, but had a really slimy texture on the inside. I was a little nervous to try it at first based on the weird appearance, but it was worth the risk. :)
After the movie ended, the doctors set up their stations and we organized the medicines to be distributed. Based on my lack of medical experience, I didn't have much to contribute in the treatment area, so I instead got the sweet job of passing out dolls and suckers to the kids. I loved it! At one point, I had a friend sitting beside me on the bench for quite a while, and at first I thought that he was waiting for his mom to get treated, but after a while I realized why he had to stick around. On the side of his neck there was quite a large abscess that needed to be removed. So I tried to keep him happy by making up little skits and songs with the finger puppets I was giving out and slipping him suckers all afternoon until finally the doctor said it was time. I couldn't bear to watch the operation, but I could hear my buddy moaning and whimpering as the doctor treated his infected skin. It was really hard for all of us on the team to hear this little boy in so much pain, but we can at least be thankful today that he was able to be treated (as abscess can eventually lead to death if not treated), and trust that these next few days of recovery can be smooth and that no other infection will develop. Please pray along with me for this little guy.
Another part of the day which was definitely a highlight for me was watching the ultrasounds of the pregnant women who came to the clinic. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. One of the doctors on the team happened to have this really cool gadget that hooked up to his laptop and he was actually able to perform an ultrasound and show the women their babies right there on a bench in the church. I've seen ultrasound pictures before and watched them being performed on tv shows, etc., but to see it in real life, I was really blown away. It is something I will never forget!
So after about 5 hours of clinic we had treated over 200 patients, and were ready to pack up and head back home. Before we left though, we were blessed by the pastor of the church who had prepared a meal for us. The team and I sat down on his porch and enjoyed a Haitian meal of rice and beans, fried goat, Creole sauce and pasta. It was quite a treat and definitely a sacrifice for the pastor, which meant a lot to all of us.
After a special prayer time, we began our exciting journey home, which included driving through a river, road racing with the other mission driver (I won't go into details mom, haha), and some amazing views on our descent. It was in that moment as we drove down the dusty mountain trail and I was able to overlook the mission below that I once again felt that familiar feeling of fullness in my heart. I was at such peace and joy for where I was in that moment. Today was a day of sacrifice and serving, but my cup is overflowing. I am amazed at how the Lord took my simple offering and multiplied it to others, while at the same time blessing me in return so abundantly.
Tonight I'm sitting on my couch with a body that is sore and exhausted, but my heart is bursting with joy and so alive in the moment. I am thankful for days like today when I am able to be a part of a mountain adventure, but most of all for the way that the Lord shows up in such stunning ways... It's as if He's saying, You ain't seen nothing yet!