“This is NOT missions 101 - this is missions on steroids”
“We really need people to pray for us!”
All of the above were heard today in Duchitie. The team got there later than they’d hoped, but the “advance team” of Dony and the church planter of the three month old mission church with local leaders had done an excellent job of setting up space for them to work. And word had spread far and wide that American Christian medical people were coming to Duchitie, to this new Christian church, coming in Jesus’ name. When extreme need meets limited availability you get the kinds of conversations and feelings represented above.
In fact, the team was fine, but a growing crowd caused anxious moments and a lot of stress. At one point, the team leader told Dony to say to the people crowding in and clamoring to be seen “either walk out the door calmly and wait or we’re leaving”. And they did walk out.
The day was complicated by some additional team members and one translator succumbing to the gastrointestinal difficulties that have been circulating around the team. No more than 2 or 3 at a time have been incapacitated, but Duchitie is no place for that kind of issue. Also, the heartbreaking tug of knowing you are leaving sick people - especially sick babies or pregnant moms - behind without treatment is traumatic. The team was wonderful today and very efficient - seeing 120 people, some with complicated and time consuming needs, but they will leave Haiti with a much deeper and visceral understanding of the ocean of need that Haiti is. In fact, some were brought to mind of Jesus’ experience with crowds and the heartbreak he felt on their behalf.
A special thank you to those who took the time to pray earlier today. That quick request went out with only the team leader knowing, yet not long after, a few team members told him they felt a sense of calm, and even the feeling that people - lots of people - were praying. When he told them tonight that was indeed the case, they were awestruck and grateful. Please do NOT underestimate the role you have on this team. The rest of the team certainly does not!
Now the team is back in Cayes, sorting and prepping for another day, after a dinner and a team meeting that allowed them to decompress. There was a lot of stress-reducing laughter at dinner, finding some of the funny things that happened today. It felt good, and they feel better being at the house, working together and processing their thoughts and experiences with each other. A good night’s sleep will help a lot, too.
On another front, the LaHatte water board came to Cayes today to sign the covenant required by Living Waters so that they and our team could work towards getting their system up and running again - the surest weapon against cholera in their community. It was a covenant pending the raising of funds, so all committed to pray. A rough estimate at this point puts the task at $14,000.00
Tomorrow, it’s back to Savanne for both medical and water teams. It will be another busy and stressful day, but all want to finish well and do what they can with the time they have. In the evening, one more round of repacking supplies, this time to organize what can be left their for ESMI’s medical staff. The van to pick them up for the trip back to Port au Prince will come very early Saturday morning, starting a long day of travel back home.
- For the people of Duchitie to see the gospel and embrace the gospel
- For those who were treated for very difficult or chronic things, such as malnutrition, high blood pressure, diabetes, and infected wounds. Medical care is minimal, difficult to get to, and expensive so many go without
- For the team to process their experience today and this week in ways that grow their faith, give glory to God, and incline their hearts to see the mercy and love of God in all things, even hard thing
- For God to provide the resources to repair the LaHatte water system
- For the teams' time in Savanne tomorrow - that the water system would be repaired so that it functions well, and that many would be physically and spiritually nourished by attentive and caring actions from by team.
- For the health of our team, physically and in spirit, and for good nights’ rests tonight for all.
- For the wrapping up of the pastors' training work being done in Jeremie, by Sean and local pastors being trained to train others