If there’d been a wish list for how today at Savanne could have gone, it would have been completely checked off!
The water team connected the system to the new well (causing a bit of a “water park” experience for the nearby children, as it gushed for a bit while being connected - talk about being in the right place at the right time for those kids!) and is ready to be “shocked” tomorrow...Lord willing, Savanne will once again have clean water as of tomorrow. This is HUGE, and once again the water team deserves kudos for their great work. God bless engineers and people who are good with their hands who know how to do stuff like this, for it truly will save lives!
The children’s ministry had a blast acting out Bible stories, doing skits, and telling kids about Jesus. They took over the empty water house for a bit today for their “stage” and then moved into the clinic waiting room to have a bit more room. This team made it even more fun by having some costumes to wear - in the 100 degree heat of Haitian summer. That’s artistic dedication!
The medical team saw 110 patients in about 7 hours of non-stop work. Four doctor “stations” were fed from intake and triage, and from there patients went to the pharmacy - all under one roof. It’s amazing what you can do with folding chairs and an empty concrete shell of a building - lives were saved today in that unlikely place! Lots of babies, the elderly, teenagers, all waited their turn peaceably in the chairs provided for the chance to see a doctor - perhaps for the first time ever.
One patient, a 17 year old girl, was treated all day for a high fever, congestion and likely pneumonia, and definitely dehydration. As the day went on, more of her story came out. Her father, in order to help her get well, took her to a voodoo witch doctor, which is a common practice. That person gave her a piece of chicken bone sharpened into a toothpick-like piece, which was woven into her clothes. The witch doctor would say this is supposed to protect her. As she spent the day with our team, she heard more and more of the gospel, and through an interpreter, agreed that she needed Jesus in her heart. When her mother came back to check on her later in the day, she told her mom “no more voodoo, I follow Jesus now”. Her mom, although taken aback, was not upset, but the team wonders what her father will think! Her name is Malone Gouzi.
Longstanding friendships were renewed, too, as some of the former gang leaders, deeply enmeshed in voodoo before coming to Christ and now serving as leaders in the church, welcomed our team. It’s good to see them thrive!
Although all of the teams worked very well and very hard, there were needs they couldn’t meet, and sick people the medical team couldn’t see. In addition, the level of need and the effects of lifelong poverty were difficult to experience. During the team’s prayer time tonight, one person prayed “we’ve seen things that will make it hard to close our eyes”. And yet, they must for there is more to do tomorrow.
The water and medical team will go back to Savanne for the first part of the day. The children’s ministry team will head straight to Cavaillon to spend the day with the kids there. At some point, the Savanne crew will join the team in Cavaillon for one more chance for play time with the kids.
Friday, most of the team will head to Mayan, a more remote location that has been visited only once before by our teams, but where ESMI is planting a church. The ministry by our medical and children’s team will be a big encouragement to that community, and they’ll be busy! The water team will stay closer to "home" and check out the water system right down the hill from the Guest House at Cambry, which was installed by others a long time ago and no longer works. It will be a fact finding trip to see if it can be repaired and put back in use by our February 2019 team.
Please enjoy these pictures, some from today (the well, the waiting room, and the story time) and some a “catch up” from Cavaillon. All show our team expressing the love of Jesus to the people of Haiti. Isn’t that wonderful? Thanks for your part in making that happen!
- For Malone and her new life in Christ, and what that might mean in her family
- For the team and the stress they feel from the press of time, the heat, the desire to meet as many needs as possible yet knowing they can’t meet them all, and from the unrelenting reality of want and poverty in Haiti.
- For the people who have heard the gospel by word, story, and skit, and seen in it action this week - ask that God would call them to Himself.
- For the hardworking interpreters and ESMI staff, without whom our team could not do ministry
- For continued health and safety for our team.