Another need came to light today, this one a little closer to “home” – Louis’ home, that is. Louis, the St. Germaine brother who is the pastor at Cambry and co-leader of El Shaddai with Dony, has taken several young people under his wing when they had nowhere else to go. A young man in his late teens or early twenties, Serius, was in dire need of some attention to his mouth, and so a week or so ago they decided to take him to someone who claimed they could help him. Things went badly awry, and today Serius’ drove the team around in horrible pain and a face so swollen it was misshapen on one side. Our dentist, Brendan, and others took a look and tried to assess the problem and quickly determined that infection had seeped into Serius’s jawbone – likely life threatening if not dealt with given how far it had advanced. The only thing to do: get him to a hospital for long term antibiotic treatment and possible surgery.
Once Louis was made aware of the severity of the problem, a plan was set in motion. The only hospital deemed safe enough to send him to is in Port au Prince, so Serius will be going there tomorrow. As our team learned on their last trip just following the earthquake six months ago, hospitals in Haiti are very much a “pay as you go” proposition – in fact, you have to bring your own medicines and supplies with you when you check in. If you don’t, you don’t get checked in. Money is in short supply in Haiti, and El Shaddai staff routinely give what they have to feed, clothe, and help others in worse situations than they are in. Seeing the need, our team pooled their cash and gave it to Louis for Serius. No one knows if it’s enough, but it’s another way that the team made an immediate and concrete (although unexpected!) difference this week. It is likely that without a trained medical staff on site this week, Serius’ situation would have not been recognized as the dangerous one that it is. Louis is profuse in his thanks.
Tomorrow might be the most logistically challenging day yet – the team is going to a new church being planted in the slums of Cambry. The building is not even completed yet, but people are being gathered for worship. The team will be setting up shop in that building (without a roof) for the day tomorrow and throw open the “door” for ministry. The needs are expected to be great, probably in overwhelming numbers. So as has been typical, they will start their day, work as hard as they can, and leave with many hurting and needy people waiting to see them. But they could stay in that one location for a month or more and that would still be the case. Such is the heartbreak of Haiti.
Praise God with the team in that AnnaMarie is feeling MUCH better and is hopeful of putting in at least a ½ day tomorrow. If you’re going to get sick in Haiti, doing it with one of our medical teams is really the way to do it – she had every medical person “consulting” on her symptoms and determining treatment as a team. That’s a lot of medical know-how!
Prayer for tomorrow:
-For the chaotic situation the team will be working in tomorrow – that they will be equal to the task of focusing on what can be accomplished and do that well, and leave behind the frustration and sorrow of what they cannot possibly accomplish under the circumstances. Crowd control will be a big need; please pray that it is done effectively and safely.
-For Serius as he and Louis go to PAP to get him the help he needs, and that medical care would be given to him quickly and properly.
-For the heartbreaking needs left behind in Charette. Pray that God would meet them even when human efforts seem so inadequate.
-Pray even now that Saturday’s travel back to PAP would be smooth and timely. They plan to leave Cambry at 5:00 am, travel for up to 5 hours (it shouldn’t take that long!) and arrive at the airport in plenty of time for their flight out to Miami at noon, and from there home (Chicago, Las Vegas, Florida, and South Dakota)