i left you at our last day in passe catabois... it was a doozy. marrah and kasey went to the clinic with anne marie and even sat in on some surgeries. from what a i heard it was a pretty typical day despite the hernia repair. as always it is good to see medical minds experience the clinical life of the developing world. mary kate and i spent the morning cleaning things up and spending some quiet time which was good for the soul. we headed down to the hospital to find some of the patients and children eager to interact... so we brought out the colors and coloring pages. ah the simplicity of coloring. adults and children alike were gathered on the roof. kate got peed on :) hehe. i told her she was now able to join the club "i got peed on in haiti". she didn't think it was very funny :)
the clinic wiped marrah and kasey out so i soon found them passed out on the ceramic floor in the bedroom. so while they slept i had to have a little heart to heart with louvnet. as beautiful of a kid as he is... and as haitian as he is... he still struggles with the difference between wants and needs. no one is immune. it was a hard conversation but i truly believe that he understood. and i feel as though he and i both look a little more like jesus after our conversation.
annaleise was called down to the clinic for an emergency and invited mary kate to go with her... which was a huge BONUS :) there was a tap tap roll-over accident and patients needed to be seen. as far as we could see there were no serious injuries, praise the Lord. it's in those moments that you thank the Lord that there were no serious traumas like we see at home in the ER... the patients would just die. many more realizations have been verbalized... like wondering how in the world they get by using 800 mg of ibuprofen for a high dosage of pain medication..cleaning a wound with drinking alcohol that the neighbor made.. no electricity and headlamps for lighting.. nurses suturing and using whatever hands they can get to treat the people that find themselves standing in the clinics doorway. sometimes there are just no words.....
during all of the taptap hubub i was frolicking about passe catabois with some of my favorite children: rosmanette, jan kelly, weedlin, michellda, mickende, fedna.... visiting michellda's family and going to see gena and her 12 brothers and sisters. it was sweet time with the kids... and i think we all enjoyed some quality time before we headed out. the river looked too enticing so we couldn't keep from diving in and enjoying a swim! they were singing and dancing and just embracing the day. it's on my hard days that i will do my best to remember those moments... pure joy despite overwhelming circumstances surrounding me.
our last night was filled with reminders of why we had come... and very sad faces of children. we ran into anne marie who told us that she had just spent the whole evening pleading with the hospital in port de paix to take a patient who was severely anemic and needed to be transfused or would die. a medical emergency... she literally had to get on her hands and knees to beg the people to admit him and treat him. sweet Jesus... i have no ability to wrap my mind around that. #1 the stupidity of the hospital to not treat a medical emergency (which is a common occurance) #2 the fact that God has given anne marie a heart to be an advocate for these people, that is completely mind blowing. and beautiful. ------------ it broke my heart to see kate say goodbye to some of the children. mariejinette and yolta in particular. the relationships are what change you. haiti is not just a country... it is a beautiful place made of beautiful people with amazing stories and that is what you cannot shake.
wednesday morning started early with more goodbyes and a seemingly short ride into port de paix to find the Lashbrook's children's home where Sandra has been staying. the drive into port de paix was gut wrenching.. it is a broken city for sure. trash ridden, broken down buildings, over populated... and pulling into the orphanage was an uneasy task at first. thankful that the Lord was holding us during those moments... especially me. we were welcomed into a home by haitian people and they pointed me right to the reason i came.. to a little girl lying in a pack and play along with 7 other children in the same room. i don't remember much about the first few moments of reconnecting with her... but i do know that she is beautiful, and growing, and healthy, and loved. the interns that run the homes filled with over 100 children keep the babies along with the help of over 80 haitian staff members. the boys home was at the edge of the carribean which was completely breath taking... almost too good to be true. i got to hold the most beautiful little girl in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. we helped to make dinner for the boys..home made pizza... and just enjoyed spending time with the kids and getting to know the interns who are living out the Gospel daily. so encouraging to see God using them to make fathers from the fatherless. the night time is where our time in port de paix got challenging. but funny.... at least if you look at it from one perspective :)
showering consisted of a 5 gallon bucket and a measuring cup. best shower ever. no joke. the inside of the house was like an oven. i wish i could say i was exaggerating but even being from louisiana did us no good at this point. even with the generator going and fans blowing on us we were still all miserable and dripping sweat. as if i haven't learned to think things couldn't get much worse... they did. the generator cut off and there were no more fans. everyone and everything in the house including rats and roaches came out to visit. before we knew it... 17 people were crowded into the living room wondering what we were going to do about the situation. there was a lot of laughing... and whining... and screaming. the next thing we knew we were walking down the streets of port de paix at 1 am with all of our luggage, air mattresses, children, and in our PJ's :) we went to the boys home to sleep in the guest house that ended up being about 20 degrees cooler, praise the Lord. we got about 3 hours of sleep with 4 of us sharing 2 twin sized air mattresses with our new friends doing the same. mary kate got so carried away that she thought it was cool enough to snuggle.... i shot that idea down :)
this morning, thursday, our flight was scheduled to leave PDP @ 6 am... but this being haiti we didn't take off until 645 am. we pulled up at the guest house here in PAP @ 8 to find some very sweet people who will be our family for the next few days. what a blessing... and did i mention this place is like the hilton in haiti?!?!? :) praise the Lord (PTL) for cokes and fans. most of our day was spent at the birthing center doing pre natals for the women in heartlines program. the knowledge and resources that they are providing these women are empowering and life changing. this is how change is going to happen in haiti. i see God's hand in everything they do. we got to see the heartline field hospital with it's few remaining patients... such a sweet little community of people. at one point there were over 100 people and now they are down to 15 who are still remaining waiting on a medical visa or placement in a home due to most of their homes being destroyed.
one particular young woman caught most of our eyes today.. her name is jenny. she is 16 years old and has a 6 month old son named kenny. kenny was born at 7 months and weighed 3 lbs. it is a miracle that he is alive after his unassisted birth in the slum and hard beginning to life. she is still at heartline's hospital even after Kenny is a happy, thriving baby boy due to circumstances at home. she told me that the baby's father died and she has no one to help her. beth shared later today that her family in cite soleil no longer wants her and is not willing to help with the baby at all... she is at the hospital until the Lord provides a way for Jenny and Kenny. these encounters are daily... the needs are overwhelming. beth and john handle the challenges with grace and mercy and with a lot of love and a whole lot of faith. i have a whole lot to learn.
we will be staffing a medical clinic tomorrow.... WITH our friend Megan who made it in this evening! we are so excited that she joined us :)
looking forward to embracing another day in haiti... we still need your prayers and your love.