Mission Statement

Chicago Metro Presbytery exists to extend the gospel and to oversee the work of the ministry of the PCA throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area to the glory of God.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Haiti Update 11/12/16

The week of medical ministry in Haiti by our team of 13 has been an immensely productive one - in five long days they saw over 1000 patients. Some lives were clearly saved by their timely work, and many were made immeasurably better by the medical care they received, and by the emotional and spiritual care as well. The team has done a hard job in challenging circumstances amazingly well.

But now any remaining meds are sorted for a final time and stored safely to be left in the pharmacy in Cambry for use by the local ESMI doc or our next team. The duffels are ready to come home, mostly empty this time instead of stuffed. And the team is ready to come home, too, pretty much exhausted but knowing their work made a big difference this week.

The day ended with the team being sung to by approximately 40 kids, some who were brought from Dariverger by one of the pastors just to say thank you. They brought gatorade to make it a real party, and the time singing with the kids was a great way to finish their week among them. It was great to enjoy a little bit of down time with together!

Some good news - little Fechina was able to get a tetanus shot today. One of the pastors was tasked with going out on a recon mission to find some of that vaccine, which was then stored "MacGyver-like" in a makeshift cooler (an insulated water bottle with a broken up ice pack to keep it cold) until it could be given to her. She was also given a series of 7 antibiotic injections today (no IV, because the drug they wanted was only available in an injectable) and they re-opened her wound to drain it again, as well.  She was doing so much better by the end of the evening they let her go home with her family. The ESMI doc will use meds left behind to follow up with her. The treatment today not only saved her hand, but very likely her life. How awesome is that?

It was also a "what are the chances?" kind of day today. Yesterday, the team noticed (for the first time ever, after multiple trips) that there are deaf people living on the grounds of the Cambry Orphanage. It's a small live-in school and one of the translators explained that nobody talks to them or even notices them anymore. Well, one of the docs happens to know sign language so she invited them over for medical care. Great, all good, nothing too unusual there. But today one of those same people was in a bad car accident and - because his friends knew the docs were there - brought him right to them for care. He was unconscious and had several his teeth knocked out, and some broken bones. If the doc hadn't reached out to them yesterday, that never would have happened. On top of that, our team had probably the one person in Haiti who had the skills and the tools to GLUE his teeth back in. What are the chances? The other docs didn't even know that was possible. It was one of several "coincidences" that happened this week that left the team with the clear message that God was going before them. How wonderful is that?

The team was also able to show generosity by meeting physical needs requiring financial assistance. Several donors had sent money along with the team members, and with money the team members themselves donated, they were able to meet about $3000 worth of various needs. They leave with a list of needs, too, mostly for medical procedures beyond what a team like ours is capable of (like hernia operations and CT scans) for which donors will be sought. Haitian healthcare - if available at all - is "pay as you go" up to and including bringing your own bandages for after your surgery. Most Haitians don't have the means.

Tomorrow they pull out of the guest house in a coach bus at 5:00 EST for the long ride back to Port au Prince. Their plane leaves at 2:30.

Please pray for:

  • Fechina and all the others who are physically fragile but on the mend. Praise God for her apparent swift turn around from a very dangerous situation. Please also pray for the two children with chronic malnutrition from the Cavallion orphanage, and for the accident victim.
  • The rebuilding of Cavaillon and the other orphanages, churches, schools in the ESMI system that are damaged or destroyed. Ask that God provide the means to restore, rebuild, and even make long term improvements in the living situations of the children. Pray also for the desperate situation in Savanne, where the poorest of the poor are trying to survive this latest catastrophe to come to Haiti.
  • The health and safety in travel for the team tomorrow. Ask God to give them each a smooth "re-entry" into life here after a sometimes surreal and non-stop, intense week in a third world country. Most of them will jump right back into a work environment Monday morning. Pray for God to graciously meet them in any discomfort they have.
  • Pray for ESMI staff and local pastors who remain behind and live with the stresses of this ongoing situation every day. Pray for strength, grace, and patience as they deal with massive need.

The team is very grateful for your prayer support this week. They will have much else to tell you in person when you see them!

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