There were some who needed follow up care from injuries sustained in the hurricane, but fortunately people were in pretty good shape with just the typical concerns our teams have become used to seeing - infections, wound care, scabies, high blood pressure, and general illnesses. No cholera was seen today, either. Reports of it breaking out seem to be localized elsewhere in Haiti.
An unexpected opportunity came their way today in that they were asked to see the older (teenage) students at the school in Bon Berger, approximately 80-100 of them. It was clear that many were suffering from STD's, so the family practice doctors took them aside in small groups before they were done with them to educate them on sexual health.
The sound of chainsaws once again formed the background to their work. The church had planted a lovely and stately arbor of trees leading to the church, which had grown significantly over the years to form a lovely long arch - but they are all gone now. Sadly, they've been cut into wood that will now provide firewood for people. Nothing goes to waste in Haiti.
Louis St. Germain took the team leader into Savanne for a car tour. The situation there is so desperate that it was deemed unwise to take the whole team for the tour. In fact, no one left the car, which also had three guards in it. ESMI has sent food and supplies into Savanne, but they are quickly used up and desperation abounds. The church which ESMI started and is thriving has no usable building any longer. It's pretty much gutted. One good piece of news is that Jude, a friend from our team's first visit to Savanne four years ago, is alive and well. He is a fisherman, and his boat took a wild ride in the hurricane. He had lashed it to something he'd hoped would be secure, but the hurricane's water surge was strong enough to pick up the boat, untether it, and deposit it two miles inland. He found it by wading through chest deep water after the storm and pulled it back through the flooded streets of Savanne to tether it once again at the shore. Fortunately it was not destroyed, but new nets are needed for him to fish with it again.
Tomorrow the team will go to two locations nearby - Dariverger and Big House, both of which house orphans. Before being re-homed there, they were all at Cambry for safe shelter during the hurricane. A few weeks ago a malaria outbreak occurred there, so the team will be doing re-checks and general well being checks on those kids, as well as seeing community folks as possible. Between the two locations, there are approximately 100 kids, with apparently 350 still living at Cambry. The team will see the children at Cambry Friday and Saturday, which includes the kids who were in Cavaillon.
The team is doing very well. The restoration of water at the guest house has greatly increased their comfort - a shower at the end of a long hot sticky day in Haiti is delightful to them. Their only frustration is that cell signals are very spotty and there is no internet available, so communicating with family has been practically impossible. But families, please know they are ok! Those same communication issues are keeping all the great pictures our team is taking stuck on their phones in Haiti. Hopefully we'll see some yet before the week is through.
- For the long term and short term provision of the means for people in Cambry, Cayes, and Savanne to re-build a life for themselves out of practically nothing. There are little or no social service resources in Haiti, and very little means to support yourself. In Savanne, the unemployment rate is astronomical. People live at a point of daily desperation, and Haiti seems always on the edge of collapse into a huge humanitarian crisis. The magnitude of needs is overwhelming.
- For the teenagers the team met with today. Pray that they would develop a right view of their worth and their bodies so that mutual respect and physical health would flourish.
- For the team to maintain their health. They are all doing well, even with the long days and growing heat and humidity over the past few days. At this point in the week, it is natural to begin to feel the strain and grow weary. Pray that God would give them strength and stamina and hopefulness in the face of dire circumstances and unrelenting needs.
- For electricity to remain available, as cool sleeping space is key to good rest for those not used to the heat of Haiti.
- For continued opportunities to share the good news of Jesus and his salvation to hurting and lost people, even as the medical team brings health and healing to their bodies in His name.