It was a very good day at Savanne. The medical team saw 85 patients; unlike other trips there very few were in dire health. But stories of pressing need were seemingly everywhere. Here are a few situations in which the team was able to make an immediate and potentially life changing impact:
- A child close to a year old had a herniated umbilical cord, something the team couldn't deal with onsite but they were able to give funds for the child to go to the hospital for the needed surgery. Without money up front, the parents could not have taken her for medical attention.
- A local policeman whose son is epileptic came seeking help. He was very clearly not interested in anything spiritual, but after being shown care and respect (and very real help for his son including funds for medicines available at the hospital) he allowed the team to explain about Jesus' love and let them pray for the child and the family.
- Antoine, whom some of the team met a few years ago as a newly widowed father with two children and very little hope, was with the team today. Since their initial meeting, Antoine has become a follower of Jesus and remarried. An educated man, he was despairing of finding work in Savanne but decided to try to start a business of his own; he bought a motor scooter out of the proceeds of the sale of some land his wife owned and thought to be a "taxi" driver with the scooter, apparently a common way of travel around Savanne. But two months ago, he was held up, shot at, and robbed of his new scooter at gunpoint. His wife has now gone to Port au Prince in hopes of finding work, leaving him and the two children on their own. The team decided to hire Antoine today as a helper and he worked very hard for them all day. The pay they gave him for a day's work will feed his little family for a few months.
- Fifteen year old Jessica is an orphan, first losing her parents at a young age and her grandmother a year or so ago. She now sleeps with whatever friends will take her in. She's never been to school. She has almost nothing. Pastor Monchera met her today with the team and he will see what he can do to move her towards some kind of education that will lead to meaningful work.
The team is very grateful that God knew the funds the team traveled with could be better used in Savanne than at the airporton Saturday, and grateful for those who gave sacrificially so the team would have funds for needs such as these.
The children's ministry was a busy and slightly crazy place today, with 150 children coming through in small groups to hear a bible story and paint shirts that they got to keep (pictures attached). The wait was long and patience ran thin for those waiting outside, unfortunately, so the team had to stop before they intended as things were getting a little out of hand outside. It's almost to be expected in Savanne, even with the best planning and experienced people on crowd control.
And yet...there was peace and quiet and time for a quiet snuggle (third picture attached). Sometimes faithful service is given by holding a child.
The team also got to catch up with an "old" friend, Jude, who became a believer on a previous trip to Savanne and is now a changed person in every way. Besides his new life in Christ and his place in Savanne as a growing believer influencing others, he's a self supporting fisherman thanks to a micro-business loan which he is committed to "paying forward" by bringing others into his business to support their families by fishing. He brought a bucket of "profit" to show the team today. He is so grateful and proud to be working and supporting his family.
Tomorrow a shift in gears - the team will split up in three directions:
- Three will stay at the Guest House cabana for a day of outdoor seminary classes for approximately 60 area pastors. The last time our team did this, pastors walked for up to two days to come and slept out under the trees at night. It's a precious thing for them to get teaching like this. Our team is ready to talk about the fruits of gospel transformation, and how grace understood and applied changes everything about life and ministry.
- Three will go down the hill to the orphanage next to the Guest House to have a "community clinic"; the local Haitian nurse and an interpreter will be with our team members as well.
- Eleven others will go back to Savanne to try to see those who were missed today. It's impossible to see everyone, but they will try to see perhaps 40 or so more. Three translators and a security person will be with them, as well as the pastor of the church in Savanne.
Please pray for:
- Antoine as he seeks gainful employment and fights discouragement. Pray for protection for his wife in Port au Prince and for him and his girls in Savanne.
- Jude as he continues to grow into a spiritual leader in Savanne, and for his fishing business. Ask that God bless it so others can benefit from gainful employment it can provide.
- Jessica, who has shouldered more responsibility for her life than any teenager should have to. Pray that Pastor Monchera can find healthy alternative living situations and educational opportunities for her.
- Our team as they re-group for a different day tomorrow. By now they are getting weary of the pace, surely, although equally encouraged and buoyed up by making a difference in so many lives in such a short time. Pray for health and good rest and good fellowship and support for each other.
Thank you for persevering through such a long update!