The team had a great day of ministry on all fronts.
The children’s team is finding that as much as the kids love to DO things, they just want to be noticed, played with, and hugged – all of which is fine with the children’s team J. The team is doing a great job keeping the kids occupied and happy while rotating through the medical stations.
The medical team saw about 150 people today (adults and children) including about 30 who got teeth pulled by our dentist Dr. Brendan. Also some unusual and more serious cases were brought for attention today, including one neglected wound on a child’s foot which required a great deal of cleaning and debridement with local numbing first. The second was a 17 year old girl who had been socially shunned because of extra digits on both feet – she had also never been able to wear shoes. After repeatedly being asked if she was sure she wanted to proceed, both extra toes were amputated by a team led by Dr. Zinna including Dr. Tricia and Nurse-Practitioner Erin. Although warned she’d be in a lot of pain for a while, the teenager left with a smile because she would no longer be shunned – and she left with a pair of (oversized) shoes on her feet – her first ever.
One thing difficult for the medical team, as always, is to see the effects of malnutrition – 8 year olds are the size of typical American 4 year olds; bloated stomachs and discolored hair are far too common.
The carpentry team has been successful in getting supplies to make 30 benches (really bench/desk combinations for several students to use) for the Charette orphanage/school. The wood will be taken by truck tomorrow to Charette, and they will be built over the next two days of ministry there. An ambitious goal for four carpenters, but they are up for the challenge!
Charette is a remote location about an hour away from Cambry. Most of that hour trip is up a mountain, so the school bus transporting the team can only go ≤ of the way – after that, the team will transfer to smaller 4 wheel drive vehicles for the rest of the trip. They will be there for two days, but will come back to Cambry to sleep tomorrow night because there’s not enough room, water, or food for them to spend the night in Charette. This is only the second visit Charette has had from a ministry team – the first was last year, and it was part of our July 2009 team. They are excited about going tomorrow!
The teaching team finished up two extraordinary days of teaching. Craig M and Phil G apparently connected so well with the participants that they were extremely appreciative. And at one point, they were enjoying things so much that many were doubled up laughing – including Dony the interpreter. Praise God for the gift of laughter for these Haitian leaders who are often in situations that are extremely trying and discouraging!
People are feeling well and none have had to slow down or stop their ministry due to illness. This is a huge item of praise!
Another praise – at some point tonight, something electrical blew at the compound just as sweaty hot people were thinking of cool showers and air conditioned dorms. Instead it was pitch black, with only flashlights for light. Unfortunately, no power means no water supply (electricity is needed for the water pumps) much less no air conditioning. And importantly, no way to re-charge medical equipment like scopes used for examining ears, etc. But within an hour, Louis had been contacted and from somewhere in Cambry found an electrician. Soon power was restored and cheers broke out! Please pray that the repairs would be permanent and a good (cool) night’s sleep would be had by all.
Please also pray that the visit to Charette over the next few days would be wonderfully productive and that the children (who are not used to visitors – many white people at that) would overcome shyness and enjoy the children’s ministry and allow the medical team to help them. Many have never seen a doctor – none have seen a dentist. Pray also for safety traveling up and down the mountain.