Friday, March 15, 2013

Gross Story

I received a phone call informing me that another orphanage we support has 2 very ill children.  The broken translation suggested that these 2 children were "pooping animals".  I immediately thought they probably have parasites.  This illness is very common in Haiti.  It is severely contagious and needs to be treated immediately.

After a few more phone calls we had a plan.  I spoke with our nurse at Grace Village and asked her to go to the other orphanage, get stool samples, and bring the children to the laboratory.  She sprang into action.  Grabbed her first aid kit and gloves and was ready to go!  She jumped into our truck and our driver brought her to the other orphanage to help out with this medical situation.

In life, we are asked to do things...sometimes we are excited about the opportunity, sometimes we may feel inadequate, and sometimes we may want to run in the other direction.  Today, I was so proud of our staff in the way they helped take care of these 2 children, how they quickly responded, and gave them the medical attention they needed.  Each time I am stretched and challenged, I am reminded of how I am not alone in life's adventure.  I have a mighty God with me through everything.  Even the gross and ugly parts of life.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hot Pink Glasses

I brought one of our older boys, named Junior, to see the doctor and he brought his scratched pair of glasses with him.  He hoped the doctor could give him medicine for his ailment and give him a new pair of glasses.  Few people wear glasses in Haiti (and many are amazed at how contacts work...I wrote about this in a previous blog) and I didn't know if this doctor had glasses, but we were hopeful.  We visited with the doctor, he prescribed medications, and then Junior asked if the doctor can fix his glasses?  To my surprise, the doctor said we needed to talk to a different man at the clinic named "Big Samiel".  So, we walked to a different room and I asked, "Ki kote, Samiel gwo?" (which means, "Where is big Samiel?").  A man asked me to wait for him.  I told him, "Mwen pa konnen li." (which means "I do not know him.").  The man told me in broken english, "He has big head.".  I said, "OK." and we waited for Big Samiel.  Soon, we saw him walking towards us and he asked us to come in a room that already had about 5 other people in it.  He asked for the Junior's glasses prescription and we didn't have one.  He had never seen an eye doctor.  He was given a pair of glasses to help him read in school and they were perfect for him.  Big Samiel told us he was very busy today helping people, but he could look for a pair of glasses for a little bit.  I thought to myself, that is great news...he can read the lens strength on the glasses frame that we have, and go into an organized storage room to find the exact same prescription.  Instead, he grabbed a huge duffel bag (see photo below), plopped it on the desk, and began digging through it.

Each used pair of glasses was in a plastic baggie with a small piece of paper that had the prescription written or typed on it.  There must of been thousands of glasses in the duffel bags.  I asked if I could help him look and he showed me how to read the paper with the prescription.  We both were digging through the duffel bags while Junior stood close by, peering over our shoulders, in hopes for a new pair of glasses.  Big Samiel found a pair and Junior tried them on.  They were the right prescription, but the wrong style.  This young man wanted something cool and with small frames...possibly rectangular in shape.  So, we kept digging.  I reached to the bottom and pulled out a pair of hot pink, large circle, plastic frames and noticed they were his prescription.  I said, "Gade li!" (which means "Look at these!") and Junior's eyes lit up and he had a huge smile on his face as he said, "Mwen remen anpil!" (which means "I love them so much!").  He is so thankful to have new glasses and especially loves his pink frames!  He is a trendsetter!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Emotional Roller Coaster!

I thank God for giving me patience today during a difficult, stressful, medical situation.  Today was an emotional roller coaster.  One of my dear friends, an elderly in our ElderCare program, was brought to Mission of Hope, a clinic to the west of Grace Village, in our Kubota.  He has leprosy and has no feeling in his left foot.  The disease has eaten half of his foot, leaving it exposed.  He gets it bandaged every other day by our nurse.  He is full of joy and walks his goats in the field every day.  I have been told he is a living miracle.

This afternoon, I received a text message from Jess.  It was a miracle that I received the text, and many more to follow, because I do not have a phone plan that allows me to receive texts right now.  The text said Ofane, one of our elderly, is at Mission of Hope and needs prayer.  She didn't know what happened to him, but his foot was bleeding excessively, he was passing out, and vomiting.  Mission of Hope is a clinic and was not able to give him the medical care he needed, so we needed to bring him to another hospital.  He was so weak.

During Ofane's emergency, our truck was at another hospital with one of our boys who needed a cast.  Our driver and I left the hospital and traveled swiftly to Mission of Hope.  When I arrived, I saw Ofane slumped in a wheelchair.  He was breathing slowly, his eyes were droopy and closing, and his blood pressure was dangerously low.  We needed to transport him to the other hospital, but the nurses at Mission of Hope said he is too fragile to travel and they need to get an IV in him before he leaves.  They were having great difficulty getting his IV in a vain.  They tried for 45 minutes, with no success.  During this time, he kept drifting off and we were afraid we would lose him.  He was so weak and when he talked he told us he needs to sleep.  We told him "No, pa domi!" (which means, "No sleeping!").  I tried all of my tricks to keep him awake.  I did silly dances, I made goofy animal noises, I told stories about his goats, and I sang to him.  (I noticed the receptionist was laughing at my silly behaviors.  I was quite entertaining!)  Every once in a while his eyes would open and look at me.  He reached out for my hand and said, "Kati".  I told him that I was here with him and that Jesus loved him.  I told him I loved him too.  He slowly started to come back to us.  He started to smile at my silliness.  At this point, we removed his vomit covered shirt.  He sat in the wheelchair still slumped over, but was much more responsive.  The nurses asked us to give him something salty and all we had was a little packet of goldfish crackers.  He ate some.  The nurse asked him if he had Jesus in his heart.  He said, "Poco" (which means "Almost").  He then asked Jesus to live in His heart.  He prayed with Jess and the nurses.

I truly believe Jesus gave him another chance to live.  He was so close to death.  His blood pressure began to rise and we could transport him in the back of our pickup truck.  We wheeled him to our truck.  When he got in the truck bed, he said he didn't have a shirt and needed a shirt if he was going to see the doctor.  In Haiti, one always wears their best clothes to see the doctor.  We didn't have a clean shirt for him, so I gave him mine since I had an extra jacket I could wear.  His brother and our nurse brought him to a different doctor.  The doctor was able to get the IV started and stop his foot from bleeding.

This evening, Ofane was brought back to Grace Village.  I was so happy to see him!  He was walking and singing!  Ofane amazes me!  He was so happy to have Jesus in his heart.  I helped him change his clothes and prepared a bed for him to sleep in.  Our nurse is going to stay with him tonight and monitor him.

When I sat with him tonight (photo below was taken tonight), he was back to his joy-filled self.  He called me, "Ti Ka", which is the nickname he gave me.  He moved his arms in a dancing motion with me.  He sang and praised God for healing him and providing doctors and nurses to care for him.  He sat with alert eyes and a bright spirit.

Lord, thank you for Ofane and for sparing his life 
so his story can be shared to bring you glory.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Foutbòl (Soccer) Game

Yesterday morning our older boys were invited to another orphanage in Titanyen to play a soccer game.  They love to play soccer and were eager to get to the field.  The boys put on their blue jerseys, cleats, and soccer socks with shin guards, and climbed into the Kubota.  The boys held on tight as the Kubota drove down one hill and up another to the soccer field.  

All of the other children piled into our pick-up truck and were driven to the soccer field.  We sat on the sidelines in the tall, dried up grass.  I led the children in some simple cheers.  We shouted, "Alle, alle, alle, vit!", (which means, "Go, go, go fast") and "Bon, bon, bon travay!", (which means "good, good, good job!".  We even had a drummer boy on the sidelines.  He found a big metal can and a large plastic jug and used 2 sticks to drum to the rhythm of our cheers.

The players were good sports and used different strategies to take the ball from their opponents.  It was amazing to see them kick the ball with their feet above their head.  One boy did an backwards cartwheel.  They seemed to keep the ball up in the air a lot and would bonk it with their head or kick their feet high.

What a great game!  We won 4-0!  The kids had a great time and it was fun to connect with other children in the community and build new friendships.  On the way home, I piled into the Kubota with a few of our children to head back to Grace Village.  Well, we didn't get far when we realized our tire was flat and the gears were not shifting.  So, we decided to walk back to Grace.  The Kubota driver stayed with the Kubota and waited for the mechanic to come and fix it.  One of the male guardians and I decided to run up the hill.  Woohoo!  What great exercise!  Today was a blessing to all of us!