The team has come to the end of their week, spending a long day in Mayan capped off with an excursion to a lovely beach at Port Salut (the only port in Haiti at which cruise boats stop - but no one gets off the boat!) for a few hours of R&R before tackling a few last tasks back at the Guest House. It will be a long night of re-organizing supplies (some to leave, some to bring back), packing up their own things, and hopefully catching a bit of sleep before leaving tomorrow at 4:00 am EST for the long trek back via coach bus to Port au Prince. This is one tired team, but exhilarated by a great week of ministry and so excited to be coming home!
The time at Mayan was fruitful and so very appreciated by the 65 people the medical team was able to see. Everyone pitched in somehow, as the entire team was together. The remote nature of this place (one person said travel to this location was more suited for donkeys than for people, as it’s up the side of a mountain) means that western-style medical care is scarce. There’s also a lot of poverty, which is typical for Haiti, but today our folks were literally giving their own extra clothes and shoes away. Over the course of the week, they’ve given away many hundreds of dollars for people to use for further medical care and other needs. The team saw lots of scabies, lots of undersized kids, adults with chronic and untreated issues, and bodies that were just worn down from the nature of life in a third world country. There is now an ESMI sponsored church there the proclaiming the love of Jesus where before only voodoo held sway. It is so strong in the region that people doubted a church could thrive, but it’s taking hold.
On the way back, they actually stopped and made a housecall! An elderly woman, Zabette, practically housebound, who Pastor Louis knows got the 5 star treatment for her ailments from our top notch team - surely the best medical care anywhere in Haiti this week was available from our team.
The stop at Port Salut was truly the first “break” all week. Two hours of lovely beachfront relaxation, with a rented cabana for their use and snacks, all provided as a “Thank You” from Pastor Louis. On the menu? Bite sized barracuda you could pop in your mouth whole, lobster, and plantain with a cole-slaw like salad that is SO spicy even the Haitians can’t eat it. Not sure who does eat it, or why they serve it. Only for those who’ve already fried their tastebuds, perhaps!
A few last pictures from today. Enjoy!
Although the hour is late, we hope you’ll see this in time to pray this evening for a few things:
- Safe and on time travel tomorrow to Port au Prince, then Miami, then scattered flights home to Chicago, to Texas, California, and North Carolina.
- A good “re-entry” for our team into normal life. The experiences, pace, sights and challenges of Haiti stay with visitors a long time and for a while life back here feels in no way “normal”. Pray for our team as they navigate those feelings.
- Praise God for the water systems that were brought online this week - three! Amazing and truly life giving! Praise Him for the children's ministry that loved, loved, loved on kids at every turn, and carefully and joyfully shared stories of God's love for them, and for the almost 500 patients our intensely hardworking medical team was able to treat. Lives were changed in wonderfully different ways by the different teams, but changed for sure.
- Pray for the Haitians who faithfully minister year in and year out - Pastor Louis and all the ESMI staff, Pastor Mongerard in Savanne, the pastor of the new church in Mayan, and many others. Ask that God would sustain them and protect them from harm, from evil, and from discouragement.
- Pray for those who heard the gospel this week, that it would bear much fruit. Pray especially for Malone as she is fearful of her father’s reaction to her new faith in Jesus.
- Pray for the orphans in Cavaillon and LaHatte, for their care and safety, for their hearts to turn to Jesus, and for them to grow into people who will not only serve the Lord but be good citizens in Haiti who bring change to their beleaguered country.