Trip comprised of 12: 1 MD, 2 CRNAs, 1 NP, 4 RNs, 1 vet, 1 vet tech, 1 lay person, and 1 daughter. 7 churches were represented. 3 new team members.
God always has HIS theme for each trip…we may or may not know it before we go but He makes it apparent during the week. This time was no exception. This one was all about relationships and reconciliation.
The night before got word of rioting in PAP and were unable to confirm with TJ Johnston there, nor our priest, Pere Soner, or an American Vet in PAP as to the state of the city. We could not contact anyone in the Embassy and I had not completed registering our team with the US Embassy there in PAP.
The morning of our departure, there was still no word on conditions in Haiti. We got our 18 bags and boxes checked at the airport and then prayed for protection, safety and guidance. We were meeting 1 person in Ft L and the other in PAP. We had determined we would not leave FL without knowing what PAP was like.
God answered our prayers….3 emails from all of the 3 persons saying PAP was quiet (rain had dispelled the crowds). Our travel was smooth even with some early departures and arrivals! We always ask for special prayers going through customs as we never know how much they will ask for or if they will take our medications.
Our trip into the mountains to Lotore was smooth and shorter than usual as they went a different way because of earlier heavy rains. We made it in record time of 1 hr 45 minutes with no flat tires, engine malfunctions or broken axles which is a miracle in itself! The Catholic church lent their ambulance for the travel.
Thursday afternoon, we arrived at St Barnabus school and church to set up for what we thought would be our clinic starting the next morning. We looked out our door to see children and adults lining up, so clinic was open
Each morning before clinics began, we would gather in a large circle (many of the Haitians would join us) and pray. We have about 20 Haitians working with us: translators cooks, drivers, crowd control, registration, and those that we don’t even see but make sure we are taken care of). Carmil is the layreader and runs the school and church at Lotore. Over the next 2 days, 165 adults, 125 children, and 100 animals were seen.
In the adult clinic, Leslie Jordanger, nurse practitioner, hung curtains to separate exam rooms and stocked a dressing and IV supply box. Burns were dressed, machete wounds were sutured, knees were aspirated, animals treated and neutered. The vet clinic travelled some to other villages to see donkeys, goats, pigs, bulls, cows and mules.
More important than the numbers: Each patient and animal owner was individually prayed for and some accepted Jesus as their Savior for the first time. I think Billy Fairey said in his presentation on heartreach that the prayers are what we pray for: health, guidance, housing, to walk with the Lord a little closer.
Each night we had devotionals. Different team members shared how God was impacting them on this trip. It was amazing to see how relationships were changed, healed and transformed just in 1 short week. A father and daughter going through a rough time were brought closer together by serving each other and others. A husband and wife renewed their relationship by working together. A Haitian-American relationship that had been full of strife for many years was reconciled.
Our relationship with Pere Soner continues to grow and become more close. He is such a strong man of faith even in the midst of daunting circumstances. He came to LaGonave in 2005 to fill some very bigs shoes of the previous priest, Pere Val. Over the years, the relationship has grown to mean so much to me. Just an example is in an email he sent me after the trip when I wrote about some dates and to thank him for his spiritual guidance:
|Bonswa Dr Mandy, I’m happy to know you got back safely but a little sad some people were sick. Everyone of you is my prayers, thank you for your encouraged word, hopefully the Holy Spirit keeps us in the same way.
I can’t forget your permission requested: “please papa, tanpri papa” when you wanted to get in the big truck. it makes me hahaha.
Our trip down the mountain was uneventful and some of us got to ride in the open supply truck after begging Pere Soner to let us do it. “It is too dangerous” he said, but he conceded. As we were finally in the back of the truck here comes Pere Soner on the back of Carmil’s motorcycle with no helmet!
We did have some illnesses after we returned: several of the team members have just gotten over some GI complaints, and our vet tech just got out of the hospital with presumed Dengue Fever.
God was so good to us on this trip. He provided safety, healing, and restoration.
Reported by Amanda Drosieko