Dear Patient Friends and Family,
Here, finally, is the first installment of my Haiti trip reports. I thought it would be good to start off by saying that the Lord answered our and your prayers! Some, even before we had prayed them. He is indeed faithful!
Here are a few highlights of ways that the Lord blessed us while we were gone–I kept a list (for the first few days, anyway!) of these. Here’s a portion of it:
*We got through the airports easily and smoothly–no lost luggage or lost people
*In a similar vein, we weren’t stopped at the Dominican/Haitian border–which meant we didn’t have to spend hours unloading and having the guards look through all of our medical supplies (which can often entail not just time but large amounts of money)
*The Lord provided so many small “blessings” to us, through the Dominican church and through the Quisqueya school campus, where we stayed–we had a school room to sleep in (that had ceiling fans!), showers, running water, and working American-style bathrooms where we stayed–more than any of us had ever hoped to have while down there!
*Our team had a lot of unity and worked together very well. The Lord answered your prayers directly, and I was so blessed by each member of the team!
*We did have interpreters while down there (praise the Lord!). Many of the university students in Port au Prince were no longer able to attend school, because most of the universities were destroyed. So, the school and the hospitals hired many of them to translate. One day while doing a clinic at a tent city, we prayed specifically for a female interpreter, to help two of our team work with the women in a gynecology tent. The next day, the Lord answered our prayer and we not only had a female interpreter, but a very, very good one!
*While at the tent city, we had to send one of our team members to the hospital an hour away with a patient. The ambulance was very late in coming back with Lee. We immediately sat down and prayed as a group for their safe arrival. Within a half hour the ambulance arrived, with Lee intact : )–it had broken down several times along the way but they did indeed make it back safely.
*The Lord gave grace in that most people did not get horribly sick while down there–a few bouts of illness, mostly lasting a day or so, were mostly the extent of it. One team member, Stacy, was very sick by the time we left–but overall the Lord sustained our team and gave us health.
*The Lord answered prayers and gave us all the wisdom we needed to function (we hope!) safely as medical professionals. Yes, our abilities and knowledge was stretched beyond our usual scope of practice–but because we had MDs with us, and such an amazing variety of nursing specialties (the Lord definitely directed this as well!), we were able to provide good care to the patients.
*On a personal level, the Lord sustained my joy while I was down there. I felt eager to be there, eager to support our other team members, and I feel that the Lord was giving me eyes to see things that were hopeful or joyful. One day at the Rescue Mission (tent city by the presidential palace), we had just gotten off the bus and Omi, the RM leader, immediately took us by the hand to see a baby that had just been born a few hours prior to our arrival. “See the baby! Come see the baby!”, she said, with such joy and hope. It encouraged our hearts so much to see her joy and the joy of the family in the birth of their son. There were many other, much smaller, moments of joy and hope that the Lord allowed me to see–some ridiculously small (such as the Dominican church bringing us extra food, which included Pop Tarts!), some big (such as the Lord preserving us as we were nearly hit by a truck going up a twisting and steep mountain road), and some that were, for whatever reason, encouraging. I had the opportunity to talk with and give medication to a very, very old woman while we were in the mountains. Seemingly not a big deal, for us at least, as we were seeing so many people that day. However, this woman (who looked to be about 97), wrinkles cut deep in to her face, had such a joy and happiness in her eyes (and a HUGE smile to go with it!), touched my heart and encouraged me that day.
I could go on-there are so many stories to share. However, as one of my goals is to keep my blog posts short and readable, I will stop for now. In the next couple of days I will post again, hopefully with some pictures. In the mean time, please rejoice and thank the Lord for all of his answers to prayer!