Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Last day

So I realized I haven't posted a pic of myself in Haiti, and I keep talking about this group that was here while I was, so here's a pic.

Had a great rest day yesterday, did the famous hike up to Cap'iat and then spent the afternoon at club indigo, enjoying the beach and watching USA futbol.The hike is so refreshing and beautiful. Nothing like climbing a mountain to refresh my spirit

That was a bit sad. A good way to close out though, at Indigo, remembering the beautiful beaches and soft sand and the great friends I made while there. Plus the food there was so fantastic.

Oh, I hate waiting in the terminal here in Port. My Creole is so terrible that I can't strike up conversation with the bystanders. The other blan's around me are like normal missionaries who travel in groups and concerned with their own affairs. But no, Miss Independent, I always seem to do these trips alone. So I sit alone and think. I have a bit of distraction because I am in shock at the modernness of this upgraded gate, flat screen monitors, air conditioning, elevators, hello 21st century! Not sure I have ever seen a flatscreen in Haiti ever. But still just left thinking.
I think about how much I am not ready to leave, how much I love this place, how much I love being the Lords hand and feet. I always sit and sort of reflect and ask the Lord if He will let me come back. So that's what I have been doing. So, yes, I think I will be going back. But there is a part of me that want to visit other islands and other starving lands. My mind drifts to Fiji, Philippines, Cambodia, Honduras, Malawi, Indonesia....and I wonder what desperate needs I would find there. What starving children would I find? What kinds of strange illnesses would I rack my brain with? Oh I've got the bug...Lord You have captured my heart for the nations, for your precious children, the orphans, the widows, the abandoned, the fatherless, the hungry and the sick. It is but a gift to serve these knowing that what I have done for the dirtiest, the smelliest, the most desperate and the least, I have done unto You Matt 25:35-40. Thank you for letting me touch You and serve You this week.


Okay guys, this is a quick one. So funny, felt like a day in the US with such normal illness that I cared for-reflux, Viral illness, Ear infections (minus the occasional malaria patient or hypertensive 60 year old). Of course this is a little more what I am used to here. Thank you Lord for a day of rest for my heart. I am not sure what I would have done with another lethargic 2 month old with 101 fever.

Anyway...we were trying to close up around 1pm and guess who shows up. Ismaylove, my little 2 mo old baby that we took to Pap yesterday! They discharged her! I was so in shock, but the pictures say it all. You'll have to compare and contrast, the pic of the hand was from 2 days before. Pardon the sad face (she had been feeding and had her pull away for the pic. But she even matched the mother's color! Amazing

Thank you Lord! Yup, 2 blood transfusions later and we have a baby that looks like a healthy alert Haitian baby. I can rest now.

Port au Prince and back

A little GI illness has been spreading through Canaan and caught a few of our group in its grasp, so we got a bit of a slow start getting out of clinic and on the road.
Our little malaria baby was obviously sicker yesteday, grunting, more pale (if it were possible) and now with vomiting and diarrhea and fever again. Perfect.
Amazingly the the 4 year old with the heart problem showed up too! Yea!. So about 9 am Elsie and the kids and mom's piled in the truck and headed it to port. Was wishing the whole time we had a siren. I was convinced that the only thing that would help our little baby now was a blood transfusion, at the minimum. I had actually kept the IV alive over the last day, so we had that going for us. So I found myself by the airport again!

Went to PaP yesterday, what an adventure.
Drive by those awe inspiring tent cities again too.
When we arrived where the University of Miami base was supposed to be by the airport we found it was gone, it had been moved! We were just gutted, now what? Drive around Port to find a hospital no thank you! Luckily they had moved to a more permanent compound through the rainy season and we did find it. It was a bit crazy but we made it through and in about 20 minutes we were standing with an American neonatologist in the Childrens ward. Quite a scene, I should have taken pictures. It took about 2 hours to get them settled in, and the poor mother so dishelved there with all the Americans buzzing around her.
They admitted the 2 mo old but we brought the 4 year old back with us with plans for the mamba program and the pediatric cardiologist (who is coming in 6 weeks with his echo machine) to take a look at her.
It was nice knowing that I was leaving her in trustworthy hands. For those who this means something her H&H was 3.4 and 9. When I left they were crossmatching the mother for a blood transfusion and giving her IV antibiotics! YEA!!! My prayers were answered.
Oh and yesterday had such an amazing moment with all the med students and Elsie talking with Sizette and her aunt about HIV and what that meant. She's so precious. Please keep her in your prayers!

Whew! what a day.

Day 3

This trip is going too fast. I feel I am just getting settled in to Haiti mode. So
many sick babies are coming in. There were 2 children today that we started IV's on for IV fluids! I haven't started an IV in Haiti ever. It's a little intimidating getting out one of the three or four 24 guage needles knowing that if I miss, I'm not just hurting the child, but stealing IV access from the next sick baby. But there is grace. Next time I am taking 24 guages with me somehow!
Anyway, one of them is so sick 2 mo old with 103 fever, and she is so lethargic and paler than me, turns out she has malaria! We kept her and her mom here and Canaan so we can watch. I have been checking her every couple hours, she is one of the sickest babies I have ever seen here. If she doesn't look better we will probably take her to Port au Prince. Oh Lord help. I'm not sure what can change between today and tomorrow besides her getting more anemic and more weak. And that's scary, Lord give me faith. Have been praying a ton, for patience, for these little kids. I always keep the people in mind as I consider their illnesses, how much different it is for them to stay in a strange place with no help, no phone, no money. I want to help this child but I can't on my own, and not with my American agenda either.

Some of the other heart wrenching situations included a 4 year old that besides her major malnutrition and anemia has a massive murmur that sounds like a VSD (good ol' PNP education there folks!), and this terrible drowning cough and fluid retention indicating she might have some kind of congestive heart failure. She was so weak she couldn't stand on her own. Oh Lord, why here. I would be alarmed caring for this kind of patient in the states. Hopefully we can take her to Port au Prince too.

The third was the most heart breaking of all, a 12 year old that came in for bad cough, but she was so small we couldn't help but think there was more going on, so we tested her and she was positive for HIV. Wow. Seriously what a day. And I thought the 6 mo old with diarrhea and fever was challenging. But we made it through! Just really need to keep focused on the Lord and remember the love He has for "even the least of these" and what an opportunity I have in doing this.

I have really enjoyed getting to spend time with Elsie, what an amazing spirit. Gosh I have missed her. And such a natural and beautiful mother to Caleb, it's so cute. Oh and we got fresh mangoes today! So amazing! We were a mess trying to eat them off the seed.

Have been very frustrated with my Internet situation. Writing blogs on an ipod touch is not ideal. Brought a computer but it doesn't work without power and it doesn't pick up the internet signal. Hah! The one thing I am looking forward to about the states is getting my computer back.

Haiti Day 1

So I am absolutely amazed. I arrived in Haiti in the middle of the world cup. I know that they love soccer but Hatti hasn't been to the world cup since the 1970's. Instead these people love Brazil!!! It was amazing driving down the destructed streets of. Port with broken buildings and roads everywhere only to see people gathered around televisions and radios cheering and jumping up and down. Nice to see joy, especially with this being my first time back since the earthquake. The tent cities are sobering. Such a strong reminder of the travailing and the affliction of this people still. Mont-Rious (the town where Canaan orphanage is) and the road to it is still beautiful and fun. And Canaan itself is such a breath of fresh air with people buzzing around from other teams ready and eager to serve, so motivated by their love for the Lord and their burden for these people. Some of the kids here even remember me which is fun. But besides a belly full of plantains and breadfruit the best thing so far has been getting to see my friend Elsie. She's the full time missionary nurse who runs the clinic here. Looking forward to a full
day in clinic with her tomorrow!!! I am so challenged and encouraged by her life here and how she has just put it out there for the Lord to use for two years now. I am so challenged to be willing to do the same. I read a prayer by A.W. Tozer today, it was so encouraging and challenging, I honestly need to commit it to memory, and repeat it as a confession everyday-whether in Haiti or not.

Father I want to know Thee , but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without onward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart , all those things which I have cherished so long and and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou may enter and dwell there without rival. Then shall you make the place of your feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it for Thyself will be the light of it and there shall be no night there. In Jesus name, amen.

It was so comforting to read such a ragamuffin confession of a prayer by someone who I admire so much.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ripple effect

Making my forth trip to Haiti in a week. Such a blessing, so exciting, so ready, but am I? Is my heart really ready for what I will see? So much has changed in Haiti since the last time I was there. New roads built, millions of buildings toppled, new needs, more crippled, more orphaned, but tons of aid, so many more “workers for the field.” I feel like I am going there for the first time, almost, and yet I feel like I am visiting an old hometown. How amazing that I can have this kind of familiarity with a 3rd world nation or an island nation. How my heart burns for island nations, for their needs, their people, and their little children. Not in my wildest dreams, wait, no, this is one of my wildest dreams….that I am able to go to and invest in lives of these children: the lost, the desperate, the hungry, the abandoned, the hurting, and the broken. And even more loftier a dream: that I go in hopes of seeing goodness in a desolate place, in hopes of seeing provision in a dry and weary land, in seeing people healed, in seeing people satisfied, in seeing people find joy.
It’s amazing really. I am but one person. In my little week I will attempt to impact my little circle in Montrious, without knowing if I make a dent or even a scratch. But then there are so many, many more who are going to this precious little country to do the same thing, in their little circles. There are those who go for a week or two or go for years, each has their circle and their impact.
I have decided that even though I may not see a tremendous change, I will trust and believe that the course of the nation is being changed, hope is being restored, hungry mouths fed, lives, changed a a country is being transformed before our eyes.. I am trusting and hoping that the people are finding mercy and hope and satisfaction and healing; and that each day things are only getting better. I am clinging to the Beatitudes as I prepare my heart to go…..
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall be called sons of God
Blessed are the peacemakers for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

I especially cling to 6th one, “Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy…” What an idea, giving of mercy resulting in receiving more mercy. What does mercy look like to you? I see mercy as a ripple on still water. Mercy is giving compassion and offering favor or forgiveness that is not deserved or earned to one in distress, given unconditionally. It’s a real definition of sacrifice: love given without regard of return. So as I have unconditional favor and love for a people that did nothing to earn it (except be in need), I will receive mercy as well, even though I didn’t necessarily deserve that compassion or favor either. What is more is that, as the Lord shows me His compassion, love, and help that I don’t deserve, I will have more compassion and love to offer to others who don’t deserve either. Now that’s a way to transform a people.

Sacrifice a little unconditionally to one who didn’t earn it, so that their heart is awakened and they might sacrifice a little to others who didn’t earn what they are receiving so that they go out and give to more to a few others, and out it goes. A small ripple at first, then a bigger ripple, and eventually a wave, and then another wave, and then a bigger wave. Now mind you this is not strict theology by any means. But imagine: have mercy or sacrifice of yourself by showing unconditional love and favor; so pouring out a bit of yourself, expecting nothing back, and therefore filling another that they might be awakened. Then you have two people awakened to the compassion and love of their Lord, finding fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy through mercy that you have both received, that it might continue.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy….Transforming lives….definitely not a stagnant process.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Managing the (small) storms

So this week has been the biggest emotional roller coaster in my year so far. Now that I am at the end of it I can say that I have:
-incredibly loving parents
-frighteningly cool dreams
-a spectacular boyfriend who is now out of the country :(
-a crazy/fun job
-an exciting new job approaching
-a big nasty cold
-best friends back in the country for a bit ( yea!)
-great and supportive friends
-a better public speaker than I was 2 months ago
-many prayers answered or revealed
-life direction confused every 30 minutes
-a continued addiction to coffee
-a plane ticket to Haiti
-not had enough time in the prayer room
-land sickness
-scars from my dog
-a continued battle with fear
-a scheduled trip to South Carolina
-a trip to New Zealand on the dockets
-a tri-athalon to train for
-and lots of paperwork to fill out that I don’t want to work on
.....I think that’s that enough, but know that more is coming

It is really all so crazy, all the little things that happened this week, as if I just put all the things that hold my emotions in balance and put them on a sheet, and tossed them up in the air like the parachute game. I hit Friday and literally didn’t know what to even feel anymore, only knew that I was aching and needed peace. Today, I found it, and it has been good. One thing I have learned is how often the Lord and His hand is visible in the whirlwind and the storm. When your life feels the most churned up, there is His presence the most. When the Lord appeared on Mt. Sinai His voice was in the thunder and the strom, when His wrath would appear or His goodness appear often it would appear in a cloud or a storm. Even in Nahum it says, “in the whirlwind and the storm is His way.” I guess I am going to have to really adjust to this, the whirlwind and the fearsome storms that is.

At the end of the day, the week or the month, it so often seems that all works out. Maybe not how I predicted or even hoped, but it does work out. It reminds me of the storms in Haiti, from far away they looked so dark and alarming fearsome and yet if I would stop to look at the storm clouds brewing on the mountains it would be so beautiful.

Ahhh…despite the foreboding or amazing lists of events in our lives, peace and joy does come in the morning.