Sunday, June 26, 2011

Haiti Day 10

Hello faithful saints, It’s been 10 days, and it’s crazy to think my time here is drawing close.  Only  5 more clinic days!  Each day is overwhelming, but I can’t get over how I love each one.  Friday was very overwhelming.  Another sick 2 year old with persistent diarrhea and fever for 2 weeks that isn’t responding to what I did on Tuesday.  An 11 year old in renal failure and now developing Congestive Heart Failure and then a 12 month with severe malnutrition and dehydration, that I had to IV hydrate and then enroll in the medika mamba program.  But I feel the Lord giving me the wisdom for each situation.
But, I have to tell you that your prayers avail!!!  But keep praying.  So things are moving along with little James Joseph.  I have found surgeons in St. Louis that will do it they are looking for the funding.   It sounds like he will need 2 surgeries and about 2 weeks of hospitalization.  So exciting!!!  So next step is immigrations, contacting embassies and also finding a host family in the US, so  if anyone has room for a mother and a 7 month old for about 2 -6 weeks,  please let me know.  They  will be creole speaking but we may be able to send a translator too.  We’ll have to see.  It looks like this might happen at the end of July. 
Otherwise, the team left yesterday, and missing their energy and encouragement so much. We had a great day at indigo together and a fun night by campfire dancing around with the kids.  But now, I feel like all our work has come to a screeching halt.  We had a huge storm last night, and I couldn’t help but think that the Lord might have held it off so that they could get all the things done that they did.  Lunch was just so quiet today, and the kids just so laid back now.  Went down to the clinic today to get some supplies and was just amazed at all they did in a matter of a week.  They definitely didn’t work at “Haiti pace.”
So some sad news to close.  I often am critical of all the nasty dogs that run around Canaan,  ( that are here as guard dogs)  we particularly have a pack of Doberman/ Shepard mixes.  Well at some point one of them cut their leg so bad it was in the bone, and I noticed she was laying around yesterday and saw her leg was badly infected.  I let Pastor Henry know that I was deeply concerned about the dog because I could see the infection was bad enough that they needed to take the leg off or she would die soon.  Well Pastor Henry  didn’t have the heart to put her down without trying to help her first, so recruited Katie ( 2nd year med student) and I to be his temporary vets tonight.  I honestly believe this was one of the most miserable and challenging things I have ever done.  I mean granted I did learn a lot when I was scrub nurse, and knew exactly how and what to do, but dog anatomy is a little different and we didn’t have any anesthesia. We used a ton of local medicine that I could inject, loaded her with antibiotics and prayed a lot.  She was so sick she really didn’t move much, until we go to the bone. Then she took of running leg half attached.  I cried my eyes out for about 10 minutes, sucked it up, went and found her, prayed again, and finished the job.  The Canaan boys just ate it up.  But I bandaged her up and hoping she might make it through the night.  I promise I’ll post pictures if she does.
Okay, on that note, really honestly, please pray that things keep moving along with little James Joseph.  That he stays healthy and all the funding pieces and visa pieces line up.  And that my child with renal failure continues to improve and we can get him mended over the next days while I am here
Hope and love,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hait day 7

So it’s day 5, 6 in Haiti??  I don’t know, I’ve kinda lost track.  I know by the time this gets out it will be 8 or 9. We have a very busy place with a team of 40 here right now, water runs a bit scarce on these days and all the houses are very full.  They also brought a team to cook while we are here, so it has been great for giving the kitchen staff to have a break.  I miss the Haitian food and this kids love it.  The kids also love the Vacation Bible School they are putting on. The construction crew nearly has the water pumps totally working, plus even more construction on the clinic.  So far  loving life at Canaan and in love with my daily cold shower.  With all the people using the water supply there was talk of bucket baths for a while, but I’m in the one house with running water all 5 days, Thank you Lord.
 I have had a full 4 days in clinic, and it just feels overwhelming.  Every kid has cough, fever and diarrhea and doesn’t want to eat, all for 3 days, and it takes a bit of work to sort out who is sick and who isn’t with each patient.  How do you really be sure who has pneumonia, UTI, malaria, typhoid, infectious diarrhea, or just a cold, without any testing or xrays on site???? It gets tricky for sure, grace and lots of prayer helps, oh and John Robert, the new doctor that works here, he’s been quite helpful. Then there are the occasional exciting patients too.  The 6 week old with a 102 temp, the 2 year old with a fever for 2 weeks who had negative malaria and typhoid tests.  Yesterday I drained a paronychia and an abscess, today I sewed up a kid from Canaan who cut his hand and leg on some sheet metal, but on Tuesday there was James Joseph.
He is a 7 month old I saw, who first came to clinic at 3 months of age.  The mother was telling me he had a complaint of fever and pain, only to find that he had more than a fever.  I didn’t know that the clinic has been trying to find him help in the states for months to no avail.  This child has a genitourinary malformation that is only seen in textbooks, and typically is fixed at birth.   He actually was born with his urethra (not his penis) coming out with below his umbilical stump, but then his reproductive parts are then stretched out towards his groin and then massive umbilical hernias that don’t reduce very easily w/o making him void everywhere. He voids through a small cleft in his lower abdomen, but it constantly leaks, and skin never heals.  He also constantly gets urinary tract infections, and there is a chance that this cleft opens into directly into his bladder.  It is a sight to behold.  He has very poor quality of life, but he does eat, he does poop okay, and he can stand well enough and is starting to explore.  He does have some reproductive residual parts, but a diaper doesn’t really work for his needs.  But without testing it’s hard to tell what’s really going on.  Needless to say he needs a pediatric Urologist and ASAP.  The problem is they don’t exist in Haiti.  I’m not going to post pictures b/c it is quite grotesque and not fair to the child
So I am calling on you all:  I am calling on you to pray.  Pray for healing, pray for open doors and provision and pray for willing spirits.  When I come back to St, Louis I am going to start a search for this child.  Specifically how to pray is 1.) I need to find a hospital that will take him, and either someone who will pay for his hospital stay or hospital that will do it for free. 2) I need a surgeon who will do the procedure and 3.) a host family for the child for a family that is non-english speaking.  ( in fact the family speaks Haitian Creole and French).  So this thing will not happen by my strength, or anyone here in Haiti, so I am asking for prayer now, and to be praying for hearts of people.  If you think you have these connections please let me know, at, and I will be happy to send you pictures for the professional aspect.
I will write more later, but this child is heavy on my heart and something like this could be fatal if not fixed eventually.  I won’t accept failure until I know I have used every gift and resources that Lord has given me and the community around me in St Louis and Canaan.  God bless you all!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Haiti Day 3

So I have found my first couple days in Haiti to be refreshing and quite uneventful, until this evening.  Saturdays here are very laid back, the kids normally go on hikes. Sundays are church and fried chicken days and I get to play with the kids. Some have grown solo much in the last year. The real work starts early Monday morning.  I'm so used to hitting the ground running when arrive that I'm actually enjoying some slow moments to let my mind get used to life here again, so it's been amazing that I have had time to even work on a blog.  Had some very nice days of 85 and evening breezes and even a hard rain the last 2 nights, drives the mosquitoes in but keeps it cool. So not blistering hot yet :-). I find myself falling in love again with the sound of crickets at night, roosters at dawn and donkey brays in the morning and the cold showers.
I have to say as a whole the nation I think is showing signs of progress. I have seen more police presence than I have ever seen in my 5 years of coming to Haiti , more infrastructure being developed, more horses around - strangely :-), outlying  tent cities are becoming more permanent structures w/ goats behind them and more like new villages with markets within.  Things are still desperate throughout but i can see small bits of progress.  I will be able to feel a better pulse after clinic Monday.
Things at Canaan are interesting, a lot of the full time missionaries have gone back to the states for the summer and the leadership just came back from being gone for a month. The orphanage kids feel a bit out of sorts, which I guess is to be expected since Pastor Henry and Sister Gladys have been in the states.  It's so amazing how the kids have grown in the last year. Things feel a little strained, but on the whole things are growing. I have had some interesting dreams/ nightmares already and I'd like to blame it on the side effects of the chloroquine ( the anti-malaria medicine I take), but I'm not convinced. The new clinic has been up and going for 3 months, still needs a little more work, and even gets to have some power in the morning, woo hoo!. We had a team of 40 young adults arrive from North Carolina today, which has things bustling now, and the kids at Canaan are just eating it up.
It has been so good to see Elsie and catch up with her, I love seeing her take on this 'mom' role as she goes through the adoption process with Caleb. She is seriously my hero.  And Caleb's extended family is so happy to see him in Elsie's capable hands.  He's a handful but so cute and personable.
Oh cool news for all you who have hearts for adoption. Elsie has made an amazing friend here who has a Cresh. This is formal agency that is required for children to be adopted through in Haiti. And this friend has a heart not only for orphans but also for adoption and is fed up with the corruption and the high cost of adoptions, so is creating a way to adopt children from Haiti affordably. Hallelujah!!! So, if anyone is
Another fun connection actually, more of a divine appointment was in the airport on Friday.  I ran into old friend and KAA kamp nurse colleague Lori Tugwell.  I haven't seen her in 5 years at least ( since the last time she was at Kamp) and ran into her and her husband in the airport.  She has since adopted 2 children from Haiti and then is now ministering to a orphanage in Port and facilitating adoptions there.  How cool is that?  In the airport of all places. I can't wait to get back to the states and talk with her more about what she does in Haiti.  That is the interesting thing here, communication between villages is a little hard, with no hard lines of communication like phones, word of mouth only spreads village to village, and there are literally orphanages and children's homes and Missions everywhere you go.  I think there are 4 or 5 in Montrious alone, where I am, each serving a different need.  It bothers me sometimes to think how many foreign based ministries there are here.  I just get frustrated thinking that the Lord should have accomplished so much more if there are that many missionaries here.  Today as we were driving around looking at the town and then all the ministries around this righteous indignation rose up me, and I grumbled to the Lord that He wasn't doing enough for all the work all these people put in and for all the money American's pour into this country.  And as I prayed/grumbled I was reminded that sometimes I need to be humbled as much as the people need the aid. Meaning, it's the challenges I face and the broken people that bring me to tears, that bring me to my knees crying out for justice and mercy, that force me to hope for something to the point that it hurts.  It's places like this that bring me and thousands of others to our knees, as we finally really feel out of control, see things happen outside of the sphere we can fix, and realize we aren't all sufficient, He is.  This place makes me realize how much I need Him, how sovereign He is. And even though it may not always look like it through my eyes, Jesus really loves His children.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

pre day 1, and ready to go

I’m going to consider this entry 1 of my trip, an emotion ridden one at that, though I’m sitting on my bed at 11 pm in St. Louis still.  I somehow feel I am already in Haiti.  Nowhere near tired, even though I am supposed to wake up in 5 hours ( thank you evening shift conditioning ), and just wired with wonderment of the coming days. 
I have been so stirred to pray about this trip and really prepare; more so than any other trip I have made to Haiti.  I feel as if I am already there, and honestly in my heart I have been there since last Friday.  I have spent the last 2 days trying to figure out what is different about this trip; thinking about past experiences in Haiti, past patient encounters, past miracles and clinic adventures.  And when I lay it all out, it doesn’t look much different than what I do each week at work, it’s still the medical needs of the day that walk in the outpatient door.  Some significant emergencies, most aren't an emergency at all, just a person or family need of help.  Albeit the people and the stories look and sound a bit different, but honestly, life in the ER is significantly more exciting and adrenaline charged. Both working in the US and serving in Haiti are equally challenging.   But amazingly serving in Haiti combines my two jobs into one, I get to be a medical provider and fully functioning nurse at the same time and educate my patients while I getting to openly share the love of Christ, provide for their medical needs and seek wholeness and healing in their lives.  As a result, this thing I do every year is like Dark Chocolate for my soul.   
As I have prayed I know there is honestly nothing I can do to prepare me for what I am going to encounter.  Each year there are different challenges and desperate situations, sick, sick people, who challenge me to hope, and seek the miraculous, and trust that sometimes God does know what He is doing with this world of ours.  I wish I could prepare for what’s coming this year, but all I can do is be ready to moldable and remember that my God is big and capable of much.  So instead I pray for the people, and for the faces I see in my dreams.  And I find myself stirred for a people who are desperate and in need of significant breakthrough, in need of something I can’t physically give them.  I am stirred to pray for this nation that is so corrupted and eroded and devoid of anything our world really needs.  I find myself hoping for strange things like the soil to be restored and fish to return to the waters and for them to find a GDP once again.  And I am moved by the empty stares of the mother’s who bring their severely malnourished child for me to help, as they sit there starving themselves. Strangely I know these stares all too well from my day to day work, just a different form of starvation from a different nation.  And while I love the patients I get to work with in the states, and the challenges they bring, these people, these Haitians, are so precious to me. With every child I encounter there it’s as if I get to feel the love that Jesus has for His children, and feels as if when we usher these families into the clinic I am getting to sit there at Jesus feet when He said, “let the children come unto me”. There is intense joy and satisfaction with each day, knowing I have completed a job or a task well done.
These are the times when I look at the direction my life has gone, comparing where I am now to where I thought I would be by now and stand amazed.  I am somewhat less accomplished and nowhere near where I thought I would be 10 years ago.  And yet I feel I have been divinely prepared, through my work in the ER, my love of serving and coordinating and being the missing piece in a system, through my masters training, my OR experience , my love for children, my love of the outdoors, my tolerance to extreme temperatures, my affinity for educating a family, my love of traveling and getting to know new people, heck even my straight hair that doesn’t require electricity for styling purposes.   And this causes me to know this what I am called to do, this is where my giftings Mwe adore' Ayiti

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Haiti bound

So it’s that time again folks.  In less than 2 weeks I am going to be heading to Haiti again.  It’s crazy to think that this is going to be my fifth time there!  I keep thinking I should visit a different country, and pursue some of the other calls on my heart, but every time I go, and every spring I start itching to go back and serve in this precious country that I love so much.  There is something about the country and the children there that, has just captured my heart, and I get to work and serve in a way that I could only dream of doing in the US.  I am going back to the same ministry that I have been going to the last 3 times, in Montrious.  A sweet little coastal town settled on the ocean about an hour North of Port au Prince.  I’ll be going for 2 weeks and working in a medical clinic and also doing malnutrition outreach for the children in the local village.  I work very closely with a nurse who is a full time missionary named Elsie and work based out of Canaan Christian Community.  A ministry in Montrious, Haiti, that is a huge resource to the community there offering medical services, a children’s home (orphanage), a Christian school, vocational training, and a church on campus.  Canaan has become very dear to my heart, because it is such an anointed and blessed place in the midst of such a hardened and desolate country.  God’s hand is clearly at work and visible around their chosen land, and I see miracles every time I go.   Amazing to think, knowing Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere and still recovering from the earthquake and flood from the last 2 years.  This place is full of least and lost little ones and I love being able to go and extend Christ’s love to these people.
The most exciting parts of this trip for me are: interacting and loving on the the children that live at the orphanage there at Canaan, working in the medical clinic and offering the healing power of Jesus  and then working with the malnutrition program called medika mamba.  Medika Mamba means peanut butter medicine, and is the reason I got drawn to Haiti.  The mamba is a fortified peanut butter product and is a nutrition program that when given with antibiotics, proper education, and  given daily in specific amounts can bring a severely malnourished child to full health in 8 -12 weeks. That 12 week treatment and medications has almost a 98% recovery rate, giving an amazing glimmer of hope for each family that it impacts as they see their little ones become healthy again.
Haiti - Canaan Orphanage Malnutrition Initative from andrew hudson on Vimeo.

I will be gone  June 17-July 2 and I am asking for your prayers while I am there, for protection, wisdom and divine appointments with the people I encounter in the clinic and in the local villages.  I will try to do some blogging while I am there, at I will try to keep you posted about urgent prayer needs there. Internet access is pretty is to find, it’s more often finding time.  Also, I encourage you to watch the video about the Medika Mamba if you would like to know more, but know it is only part of what God is up to in this little place and an even smaller part of the great things God is doing in Haiti. Also, I have posted the link for Canaan Christian Community below.  I also posted the link for their paypal account if people would like to donate to the mamba program.   

Thank you so much,