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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Haiti Update 11/8

The team spent the day at Cavaillon. The orphans are not living there, but the villagers needed care and were grateful for the team - so grateful they sent them home with 8 coconuts picked right off the trees there, which is a true sign of Haitian appreciation. The team was cracking them open and sampling the milk for dessert before bed tonight.

Some amazing stories emerged from the people of Cavaillon regarding the hurricane and its aftermath of torrential rains, which hit a few days afterwards:
  • A 76 year old woman told the doc who saw her (and anyone else who would listen - she seemed to need to talk about her experience) that the hurricane came through and the waters rose so fast she was literally swept away in the torrent, then down to the river. She kept telling herself to keep her head up, and sure enough, someone plucked her from the raging water and brought her to safety. Upon returning to her home, the bad rains came back through a few days later and the poor woman was swept away again - same river, same bobbing, holding her head up, same last minute rescue. She has been saying "why me?" since then, especially in light of the fact that she was friends with all of the others who lost their lives those days.
  • Pastor Samuel stayed at Cavaillon even after the children were evacuated because his wife is an invalid and can't travel. They thought they'd ride it out in the school, but as the waters rose, he moved (with her on his back) to the more sturdily built water building where he propped her up on the highest surface, the water serving platform, but again the water rose to about 4 feet high in that little house and they thought they'd die there. Just then, the huge gate buckled and crashed and allowed the water levels to sink enough for them to get out and make their way to the church (again, him carrying her on his back) to the altar area, the highest part, where they stacked benches as high as they could against the rising water and waited then for the waters to slowly recede over the course of 8 hours. They are both okay.
  • A mother brought her 10 year old son to see the docs because "he's had a runny nose since the hurricane". When asked more, it turns out that the boy was swept from her arms in the flooding waters and recovered some distance down river by strangers. Someone recognized him and returned him to her. The team was amazed at her stoicism in relating this story, but it's likely that she and the elderly lady as well are still truly in shock over the experience.
  • A man came to have previously cared for broken bones looked at. Swept away in the flood waters, he was bounced around in the river until his leg, wrist, ribs, and fingers were broken. Somehow he managed to pull himself to the side of the river only to have a tree fall on him. He made it home to find it gone, and his livelihood with it. He literally had nothing left. With all he'd been through, he was understandably downcast and depressed. But the team was able to give him enough funding to buy food, and find a room to stay in until he could begin to rebuild his life after his body heals.
The team saw 150 patients today. Lots of scabies because people are sleeping outside unprotected, and the typical concerns they are used to seeing like wounds, infections, and high blood pressure. No cholera as yet in Cavaillon! 

Another activity that went on today was debris clearing. One of the team members brought a chain saw (apparently you can check a chain saw in a box to fly with you on American Airlines. Who knew?) and it was put to good use today with a few others already on site cutting downed trees, which are now stacked and ready to be used for cooking fires. It was awesome to see the progress, but a hard day's work.

Tomorrow the team will set up at Bon Berger in Cayes. They would like to go to Savanne, but they've been told there's no structure standing for them to use as a clinic. They are hoping that even though its a few miles distance, some from Savanne will find them at Bon Berger for care. 

Thursday they will go to two places, Dariverger and Big House. Orphans have been moved out of Cambry to return to both of those places, and a check-in would be good for them after a malaria outbreak at Cambry a few weeks ago. 

Friday and Saturday will be spent at Cambry, where they'll see the Cavaillon kids. With the departure of the kids to Dariverger and Big House, there are probably only 240 living there now instead of almost 500.

The water is flowing again at the guest house, and showers were MUCH appreciated by the team after 48 hours going without. Electricity is also on, so they will hopefully have a  restful night in the cool air before starting another very busy day tomorrow.

Please pray:
  • For continued health of the team; restful sleep each night is a key part of that. All are doing very well.
  • For safety in travel and in serving the residents of Cayes tomorrow.
  • For things like water, electricity and cell signals to work. No pictures again today; for some reason texts are not getting out.
  • For God to bless rebuilding efforts in Cavaillon so the children can move back to safe and useful structures soon
  • For the traumatized survivors of the hurricane as they try to rebuild their lives
  • For opportunities for the team to share their faith in Jesus as well as their medical abilities.

Thank you for your prayer support. The team is grateful. 

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