Thank you so much for supporting our team today. Although there was some physical discomfort for a few team members, there was much good done today in Maniche. You would have been proud of the way everyone threw themselves into the tasks they were given, even if not at 100% of their strength.
And it was a big job. It was very likely that doctors had never set foot into this town of 25,000 before. You'd think from the welcome the team got from the happy mob of hundreds when they rode into town that they were heros. Maybe they were.
One 22 year old walked 20 miles, catching rides where he could, when he heard doctors would be there today. He hurt his knee a few years ago and it had never healed. The swelling was described as "grotesque". But with some help from our team, the right medicines and clean bandages, this young man will be alright. Another young boy had an infected cut on his finger, and the infection had moved all the way up into his shoulder. Without some simple treatment and antibiotics, it could very well have killed him. To these two patients and many more this team certainly is what heros look like.
They saw 140 patients in just over 7 hours, rotating short breaks and never really slowing down. They used the four room cinder block school house as their clinic. Everyone was prayed for, or with, today as well.
The reaction of the pastors was priceless and touching. They were so elated that the team could care for their flock in this way that they, as well as the mayor, stayed with the team all day smiling and dispensing hugs to whatever team member happened by. Most of the pastors were at the training conference earlier this week, so they felt they were welcoming friends.
It was sad and very difficult for the team to have to stop without seeing everyone who had waited their turn all day. There is a good chance that this town will become a regular stop for our teams in the future, though, as it is not too far away from the Guest House. It was a fulfilling and yet immensely draining day.
The pictures attached tell the rest of the story - faces, smiles...and a surprise for the team back at the Guest House.
Tomorrow is a long day that starts early - they are scheduled to leave the Guest House at 4:00 am for a five or six hour trip back to the Port au Prince airport. Their plane leaves there at 1:30 EST. From there, customs in Miami and then connecting flights home.
- For the people of Maniche, and the pastors who shepherd them.
- For the renewed health of the few on the team who are not well tonight. The medicines available to them from the best medical team in Haiti (their teammates!) will surely help. Time and rest will help, too.
- For safe and smooth travel over rough roads, long flights, many miles...and yes, another Midwest snow event coinciding with the arrival in Chicago tomorrow night for many of them.
- For re-entry into the Western "first world". The team has immersed themselves in a very different "third world" environment this week, and it's astonishing how quickly that world becomes the "norm". Getting back into a groove here can be difficult in some ways. Perhaps they'll want to talk, perhaps not. They will be very tired. They will be sad to leave each other even though they will be very glad to be home.
- For the ministry done "in nam Jesi" in Haiti this week by your loved ones. Lives were touched, some changed, and some literally saved through medical intervention.
- For the generosity of their supporters, including those who sent cash with them to use 'as needed'. Since it wasn't needed in the airport upon arrival, a large amount was used during the week to pay for hospital fees, modest helper stipends that will meet the helpers' financial needs for months, and outright gifts as needed - approximately $1500 in total. Some of that was left with Louis to use as he saw fit, but he was asked to see if he could help Vilia Seidi with rent, Jessica with schooling, and a couple in the church in Savanne for a micro-business loan. In these ways and others, the team's impact will be felt long after they go home. And yours, too.
This will be the last update unless there is some reason to communicate tomorrow. The team would ask that I convey their gratitude for your prayers, your donations, your financial support. Thank you!