Thursday, May 16, 2013


Oh my!  There was a knock on the door and Jess yells, "Kathy!  There's a medical emergency!".  I quickly went to see what was going on.  Little Mayck had blood dripping down his face.  I was so thankful that I keep a cabinet full of first aid supplies in our living room.  I quickly put on some gloves and applied pressure to the gaping cut above his eye.  Thankfully, our doctor was on site and we walked to the nurse's room.  Dr. Sem took a look and said, "He needs stitches.".  I wondered if we had the supplies.  We had never done stitches at Grace before.  After a little looking, we found everything we needed...including lidocaine.  He was a brave little boy.

He sat in a chair and held my hands as the doctor prepared him for stitches.  The worst part was the shot of lidocaine in the wound.  He squeezed my hands so tight as he cried.  I kept talking with him and telling him how brave he was and reminded him to close his eyes.  Dr. Sem covered his face with a special cloth and had cut a small hole out where he would be doing the stitches.  He only needed one stitch and Dr. Sem did a fine job of sewing up the wound.  The photo below shoes Mayck all done with stitches and ready for his bandage.

Mayck came over to my house to rest and relax while watching a movie on my computer.  He loved it and was back to himself in no time!

Helping with one head wound was a rush of adrenaline for all of us involved.  Well, there was another knock on the door and the man told me, "Dr. Sem needs you.  There is another head injury.".  I thought ...Oh my!  What a day!  Ok, I am on my way!  I arrived to the nurse's room and the doctor needed my help.  The nurse had already gone home, so it was up to me to assist.  Good thing God prepared me earlier this afternoon.

One of our construction workers was hit in the back of his head by a cement block.  His wound was quite a bit bigger and he needed a few more stitches.  Well, we found all of the needed materials and we were ready to stitch him up.  I was a true nurse.  I opened all of the sterile materials and handed the needed items to the doctor as he asked for them.  At the same time, I tried to distract the injured man's brother since his eyes were growing big and he looked a little woozy at the sight of the blood.  I brought him a bench to sit on and talked with him in Creole to distract him.  He was very concerned about his brother.  Dr Sem loves to teach and so he kept showing me what we was doing.  He wanted me to see where to give the shots of lidocaine, how to grab the skin with the special needle to sew, and how to tie the knots with the needle and clamp.  He showed me his every move.  After the stitches, I helped clean up the area and medical supplies.  I assisted with packaging the medications for pain and infection and explained how to take the medications in Creole.

What a day!  I am so thankful that we have trained professionals at Grace Village to help in medical emergencies.  I am extra thankful that Dr. Sem was still here at Grace Village when the construction worker got hurt.  The doctor was supposed to leave 10 minutes earlier, but he stayed a little late.  God had a plan.  I think God knew I would need help.    

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Let's Fly a Kite

Last night, I was talking with one of the boys and he was telling me that he knows how to make a kite.  He told me he uses sticks, a plastic bag, and string.  I asked him if he could show me how to make one tomorrow.  He instantly lit up with a big smile and said "yes!".  This morning there was a knock at my door around 7:30 with a boy holding some skinny sticks and asking if I had yarn.  I went to get a ball of yarn and followed him to the patio of the boys dormitories.  We sat together and soon a dozen boys were gathered around wanting to make kites.  They ran off and found skinny sticks, old plastic garbage bags, and small pieces of string.  They ran back to the picnic table where I was sitting and laid all of their supplies on the table.  We helped each other by holding the sticks a certain way while someone else tied them together with string.

Soon, the "trash" turned into a kite!  They even trimmed the edges of the plastic bag to make it look fancy and added a tail using scraps of fabric.  They showed me how to tie the plastic to the little sticks.  So carefully and slowly they wrapped the thread so that the sticks wouldn't rip the plastic.

They also showed me how to wind the yarn around a small stick.  This yarn was tied to the middle of the kite and the person flying the kite would hold the stick of yarn as the kite flew to extend the kite higher into the sky.

The children are so resourceful.  It amazes me how they can take "garbage" and turn it into a treasure!  That reminds me of Jesus.  He sees all of the garbage in our lives, he loves us and accepts us just as we are.  When we choose to follow Him, He takes the sins in our life, and cleanses us.  He makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  He turns us into treasures.  He delights in us when we live a life that glorifies Him.  We are precious in His sight.  You are a prince or princess because you are the daughter of the King!       

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Can See!

I heard there was an eye doctor coming to Titanyen and knew it would be a great opportunity for our children and elders to get a check-up.  The doctor was going to be at the clinic next to our orphanage for 5 hours.  It was free to see the doctor and free to get glasses.

We had some children and elderly that had been complaining about their eyes, so I brought them to the eye doctor. We waited 1 ½ hours to be seen by the doctor.  In Haiti, you don't make an appointment.  You show up, wait, and when it is your turn you are seen.  Some people may wait literally all day to find out that the doctor's work is done for the day and they cannot be seen.

I was amazed at how their eyes were checked.  There was a special eye chart called an "E chart" that hung on the wall.  It had many E's turned to the left, to the right, and upside down.  The illiteracy rate in Haiti is so high.  Many people are not able to write their name or read.  I have seen many people write an "X" in place of a signature.  So, they are not able to use the kind of eye chart we use in America.  They would tell the eye doctor which direction the E was facing by pointing with their fingers up, down, left, or right.  Wow!  The E's got smaller as they progressed their way down the chart until they could not read them accurately.

If they had difficulty reading the chart, the eye doctor would use a special computerized machine that would give him more information.  In the photo below, one of our children is using the special machine and you can see the image of his eye.

One of our elderly needed bifocals.  When the doctor put them on his face he shouted, "Mwen ka we!" (which means, "I can see!").  He was so thankful to be able to see.  It was precious! I am so thankful that there are organizations that can help our children and elders.  What a blessing it is when people give of their time and expertise to help those in need.