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May 5, 2010 8:47 PM
Maggot Overload, Sugar Cane in the Sauna and Futbol Haitian Style with a Riot...
Our morning began with cleaning out the '87 Suburban with the many dusty road trips out to Leogane.
We heard about a wound being cleaned at the clinic and so we walked down to see the Norton team in action only to find the most unforeseen situation.
An elderly woman had an open wound on her thumb that was so bad, a maggot a half inch long had been removed and was crawling on the medic's cloth on her lap.
David's compassion and concern for the woman really evoked some emotion and we filmed his response.
The next trip into town was for a run to the bank which revealed a grocery store that reportedly from the earthquake, killed almost 100 people in just one location.
The traffic was intense and moving so slow you felt like you were being cooked in a sauna, dripping sweat all down your back.
David then asked for sugar cane and we stopped and began a new adventure in biting and then sucking the sugar juice out of the fibrous cane. You are not suppose to eat the cane and the process was cumbersome but refreshing in the sweltering heat.
We returned back to the ranch and headed out to a nearby village where April has a children's ministry.
We played soccer or futbol and these young kids were fast and very good.
Let's just say Justin and David played goalie and got scored on big time and I was out of breath and went for a ball and cut up my knee, but we had a blast and the Norton team sang songs and played games with the younger children along with some dances.
At the end, a mom got rough with the kids as they about rushed April like a riot over a bag of candy! The mom started yelling at the kids to line up and go one at a time.
We escaped with our lives only to drive down that old dusty Haitian road one more time atop the ole Suburban..
Week long reflections from the heart to come....
May 5, 2010 8:13 PM
First let's begin with good news. Our two housecalls from yesterday are doing quite well. In the clinic today Jean and I debrided a severly infected thumb on an elderly, wheel-chair-bound woman. The skin was sloughing and once we opened the wounds more, we discovered maggots were infesting the site. We had only toradol for pain to offer the woman. She was an awesome patient as we vigorously scrubbed and scrubbed. We also treated her with injected and oral antibiotics. She was instructed return to the clinic tomorrow. In the afternoon we played games with children in a nearby neighborhood. We enjoyed Haitian versions of hide and seek, duck duck goose, London bridge, and red light green light. We also showed the children our conga line and the Macarena. They and we had a blast. There was also a soccer game being played in the background. A very good day. We are all looking forward to going home tomorrow.
May 4, 2010 7:03 PM
Sketch a Cat, Cherry-picked friends and the Joy of Salvation and Hope from a Home
The day began again with the wheels rolling at 420am and amazingly awake with anxiety of completing the task.
As we approached the workday I began with diligence for the long haul until 5-6pm--yes, carrying one block at a time.
The children came around and I found an opportunity to gather a notebook and etched out a sketch by way of pen of Garfield. They knew his name and then wanted me to draw a picture of their pigeon. (See the pic)
David had a neat moment where a young boy befriended him and brought him a mango and then a handful of cherries. (Really touched David"s heart that the boy was willing to share with him)
The Pastor shared about the hope he gained by building his home that he lost after the earthquake. His wife had such a joyous glow on her face as she expressed thanks for the team's efforts.
A real weight was lifted emotionally from my heart after being there two weeks after the earthquake. A sigh of relief knowing you were finally able to help a Pastor begin his home to continue preaching the Gospel.
May Jesus be our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
Thanks for all your prayers!!
May 4, 2010 5:12 PM
A man came to our hosts' home late last night with complaint of nausea, vomitting, and epigastic pain. Dr. Crafton assessed him. He vomitted once so we gave him phenergan and instructed him to see us in the clinic tomorrow. He met us at the clinic door. Dr. Crafton performed a detailed assessment and found the 19 year-old boy to have an abdomen that required surgery. We gave IV fliuds and IV antibiotics to him. April, the clinic leader found a man to take our patient to Port au Prince to the Unisersity of Miami hospital operating there. The ambulance was a 1980 Suburban with a hood that was secured with jute twine. No ACLS crew was available, of course. We were informed that had he gone to a Haitian hospital they may have refused to treat him. Later that evening one of the locals informed us that our patient died. No known details as of yet. At the same time this morning Dr. Crafton and I delivered a 6 pound 12 ounce baby boy. We received a call this morning, prior to arriving at the clinic, stating that a woman in labor was coming. So we rushed over there. Her water broke upon arrival and contractions ensued. Dr. Crafton blurted out "game on." About 15 minutes later there was a baby boy. We were giving the mother IV fluids while massaging her uterus. It took about 45 minutes to deliver the placenta. We had to be quite creative with our limited resources. The delivery was not sterile. There was no water and no electricity. We sterilized our instruments with alcohol gel and Dr. Crafton stitched the perineum with 2.0 vicryl. Not the preferred choice. We observed the mother and baby for 3 hours and they were released. Susan and I walked the two home. Susan carried the baby while the mother walked ahead of us. The mother seemed disinterested in the recent events. We escorted her back to a tin shack, which was serving as her home. The events were very sad indeed but they do the best they can under the circumstances in which they find themselves. Now, that I am writing this blog a woman shows up at the gait with a febrile infant who is also experiencing rectal bleeding. I ran back to the clinic to retrieve Tylenol and flagyl. We also gave the mother some Pedialyte for the infant and told her to come to the clinic in the morning. This is quite commonplace here because there are no emergency rooms and no immediate care centers. Several patients today had malaria. There was a boy for whom Dr. Crafton, Jean, and I made a house call. Dr. Crafton suspected malaria and tuberculosis. We treated him with IV fluids, chloroquine, cipro, phenergan, and Pedialyte. Again, he was instructed to see us in the clinic tomorrow. A very busy and fruitful day.
May 3, 2010 7:49 PM
An Unthinkable Accident, the Notebook, Zombies and Import Hot Dogs
Try this at your own risk and never complain the 9-4 or 5 day. 345am wake-up, wheels rolling by 420, work til 6pm (some with obsession may do this)
Anyways, drive to Leogane average 1 1/2-2 hrs and traffic not too bad until 5:30am and at 545am the unthinkable accident.
We pass two dead bodies with blood on the street, a woman and a young boy. When you go home tonight, hug or call a sibling/mom and thank Jesus for your family.
A sight that started our day and very rough to see as you reflect on the duration of life and making the most of every opportunity per Word of God.
The workday brought a moment where Justin began teaching English to some young kids and he learned some Creole and they learned English as recorded in the Notebook.
The cool thing was as Justin returned to the pad, I asked if they would carry block and on Saturday they just laughed and mocked the one-block carrier..hmm and said no.
I suggested the chain-gang line and they said yes, I believe due to Justin earning some respect and unity. They helped the rest of the day and I had a boost of energy when a 12-14 year old boy worked hard for this Pastor.
On the way home we enjoyed the delicious Miami import hot dog, notice with the entrepeneurial cut down the center to include the double option of ketchup and mayo...or some sauce. After 12 hrs of masonry it was right on! Again with the Gladiator energy drink
And oh yes, hold on for the Zombies. Joel, resident missionary told me that the witch doctors give them meds to slowly stop their heart, bury them in the ground and they awake, come out and end up vegetables or 'zombies' due to lack of oxygen. (A way to get back at someone for an insult or injury)
Pray for the True Light of the Gospel, Jesus their Savior to penetrate hearts....
May 3, 2010 6:26 PM
We went to the clinic early this morning and patients were already waiting for us. We received 30 patients today. Many parasitic infections and much wound care. We treated a woman today with psychiatric issues who had ligature-induced wounds around her ankles and arms. We were informed that her family binds her arms and legs because they are uncertain how to deal with her ailment. Also, we held an 18-month old boy with severe dehydration for over two hours in the clinic. IV fluids and IV antiemetics were administered at the clinic. He was able to ingest Pedialyte prior to discharge and his mother was instructed to return with him in the morning. We also assisted with keeping the pharmacy organized. April really needs funds to assist her with wonderful work she is doing here. The most exciting news today is the tremors we experienced during lunch. We were uncertain as to what was happening at first. Then we remembered the earthquake and became a little nervous. April walked us around the neighborhood today. We visited and had Bible study with many of the church patrons. One session was in the midst of a VooDoo village with live animals wandering around. Some trepidation but a good experience. All in all a good day.
May 3, 2010 4:25 AM
We went to the mission church today with our host family, Joel and April Hess. The experience was great and rewarding. A four-month-old was brought to the mission house today by its mother with complaint of vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Dr. Crafton assessed the patient and we gave Pedialyte to the mother with instructions and asked her to bring the child to the clinic tomorrow. Also, an American lady from the orphanage broght a four-year-old boy to the house who had fallen and his right incisor was protruding parallel to the ground. We extracted the tooth intact and no bleeding occurred. Dr. Crafton gave oral care instructions to his caregiver and they were on their way. April, the clinic leader, informed us that these "house-call" events happen all the time. Not much else happened today. We are excited about the clinic tomorrow.
May 3, 2010 1:47 AM
A Time to Worship, Machine Gun Guards, Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head....and a Catwalk??
Sunday brings the joy of an early morning commute to church, with burnt foreheads in eight minutes.
James, a mission resident had to pick someone up and I was curious as I wanted to give him a Love Much bracelet.
As he approached the church, he came down the isle with an elderly woman in a wheelchair. She was blind and had given her life to Christ and James is faithful in picking her up for church. It reminded me of David on our team that helps assist Jason to church who is only mobile from a chair.
The service was beautiful with a special sung by a young women's group we captured on video. After lunch we ran into town for diesel and a major lightning strike hit over the house. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a machine gun guard and I caught a lightning strike via mobile phone by accident capturing the recklessness of drive-thru fill up. (See Facebook)
We went to a youth service in the afternoon that was designed for students to sing or perform and as they were near completion a line of girls and then boys did a catwalk strut towards the altar and the crowd went crazy.
They began cheering and then the boys chose a girl from a line-up on the stage and walked back out down the isle.
Discipleship in Haiti, listen, learn,
Love much! Pase bon nuit...
Good evening church
May 1, 2010 6:21 PM
Starting at 0530 we drove 1.5 hours to Leogane by way of Port au Prince to set up the mobile clinic. The city was quite alive at this time. We carried all our supplies in a 1980 Suburban with shoddy breaks and no air conditioning, but we all had a great adventure. The immense devastion and horrific poverty were evident throughout the journey. We were to set up the clinic in a roadside tent serving as a chapel but there were plans for a funeral later that afternoon. So, we relocated to the earthquake-stricken chapel. People began queing outside the door as soon as we arrived. Jean served as the triage nurse while Michael and Dr. Crafton performed assessments, diagnosed, and wrote prescriptions for patients of all ages. Barb and Susan assisted in the pharmacy by providing medications for immediate dispensing or for the patients to take home. We served 115 people and more kept coming. April and a local doctor assisted with interpretation of Creole. Many were diagnosed with dehydration, anemia, parasitic infections, and dermatologic conditions. The conditions were not what we were used to but we did a fantastic job and all are eager to continue with our medical mission.
May 1, 2010 5:03 PM
Leogane for Thirty Years, Mobile Medics and Bricklaying for Gladiator
Imagine just for a moment that you have served God faithfully for 30 years and in 30 seconds you lose part of your church and your home.
How strong is your faith when we have the slightest setback in the states? Or our first response to declare 'you give and take away' but.. 'Praise the Lord'?
The Pastor we are helping has been a faithful Haitian pastor for the Gospel for thirty years.
Dr.Crafton's team had a great day holding a mobile clinic and treating over 100 patients in six hours. Leogane was in great need of medical assistance and the team was so encouraged by the gratefulness of the patients.
The rebuild of the Pastor's home came with the Americans adapting to the melting sunbeams. We ate in the shade and twenty minutes later past noon felt like stepping out into an oven in that short amount of time.
David became a blocklayer to set the outside walls and Justin and I carried blocks. You basically lose feeling in your arms after two hours, develop heat rashes and dehydrate in the process.
Not that bad, who is ready to join the next team? God is Faithful and the source of our strength, all joking aside with the end goal of a two-hour drive home through Flag Day for the long anticipated....Gladiator Energy Drink made by Coca-Cola.
Amazing, have a coke and a smile today and Love Much for Jesus' Kingdom.
A man once told me on the Navajo Reservation who framed our children's home in two weeks its Joshua 1:8 and...
Hard Work!! That's ringing in my ears now..
Let's go church, leave the building and comfort?
May 1, 2010 3:21 PM
Elephantitis, Hey Joel and Dancing for Witch Doctors
We woke up this morning ready for a morning commute into the local neighborhood outreach about to leave when I noticed this man's foot.
He was a local mission worker whose left foot looked swollen and he had elephantitis and it had healed at one time per Joel and now has returned.
How is the healthcare system treating you now? We really will be okay in America guys...
Next stop, the men's bible study group Joel meets with each week. And it's 'Hey Joel, Hey Joel'. Exciting to see his ministry to this group and how they made him laugh declaring 'we want your phone'--'give us some food', joking with each other and building friendships through Bible to relationships with Jesus....
Towards the end of the day we visited the witch doctor's neighborhood. A very dark place with a pool of swamp water with supposed dances for the witch doctor by women.
Five minutes later we are introduced to a woman who gave her life to Christ and came out of that lifestyle and I thought of Scarlet Hope in Louisville and how they help young women find joy in Jesus. You should have seen the look on this girl's face when she shared her story,
What a testimony and for the saints back home to realize what a difference we can make as we venture out by faith to share the Gospel----thank you Joel and April for your ministry.
To the Body of Christ---lets keep going......
May 1, 2010 3:19 PM
We walked around Despinos this evening. April introduced us to many of her neighbors. The experience was great although heart-wreching. The Haitians have been very receptive of us coming to their homes and seem to understand our purpose amd intent. A very good day.
April 30, 2010 4:47 PM
We walked to the mission-sponsored school and toured the classrooms with the principal. The school teaches only first grade through grade 6. Several of the classes sang songs for us. We were treated to a Creole version of "How Great Thou Art" by the fourth grade class. The children were lovely. The clinic ran by April Hess was next to the school. It was quite remarkable. A very organzed set up for the treatment of patients. The clinic was closed. However, a little girl with a minor head injury knocked on the door and needed some attention. A small wound was cleaned. We gave her a lollipop and she was happy to return to her family. We helped April organize her "pharmacy" so that she and we are better prepared for the mobile clinic we will be setting up in the nearby town of Leogon. We are looking forward to the adventure. Also, April was exceedingly appreciative of the autoclave Norton helped to provide. It will certainly be used.
April 30, 2010 8:04 AM
First full day is upon us. Driving to the mission compound yesterday was uneventful. The landscape was much the same. We were informed that the many tents we saw along the route have risen due to the thousands of displaced people since the earthquake. These areas are known locally as "tent city". Today, Friday our plans are to walk around Despinos and meet and visit with the local people. April and Joel Hess will be our guides and interpreters.
April 29, 2010 9:33 PM
Title: 4am Cannons, First-Blood and Tent Warfare--love much Haiti!
The day awakens to what felt like a cannon in my room at 4am as Heather wakes me up with 'Its American Airlines, your flights have been changed.. 'Crew legality'..Nice, we flew through Dallas and all went well with our flights.. until, I went to get a pen out of my backpack and sliced the edge of my finger with a razor. I did not realize it until waiting for the restroom only to find blood dripping from my hand. Drew first-blood before entering the country of Haiti.
David is learning Creole via Iphone and Compton quite the logistics man with flightstats.com. Norton team doing very well and we all just soaked up our last ounce of Air-conditioning before 90 degree plus days for a week.
Feel the heat, intense with sweat dripping down the brow now as I share our battle/joy of tent warfare, I mean construction of 6 man tent with all six contemplating completion. (I held the light)
We are excited to see the community tomorrow and God's redemption in some recent converts. May Jesus name be glorified among the nations!
Love Much Haiti Team
April 29, 2010 7:40 PM
We made it to the mission without incident. Much devastation noted on the journey. Uncertain whether usual or from the recent earthquake. People are very friendly here. Our hosts, Joel and April Hess, are wonderful and gracious. Great food for dinner. We will survey the area tomorrow and visit the clinic. More later.
Read the Communication With Details About the Trip