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Friday, February 10, 2017

Haiti Day 4



I woke up early to see the sunrise. It was so beautiful. When I was doing my bible study, God spoke to me. I was wondering what classes I should take in school that way I can get an early start for college. He said he will reveal his plan in his timing. I also learned that I need to move towards God's plan and if he closes doors I will stop. If he opens doors, I will go. We went to church and it was pretty long. We saw our sponsor kids and they were doing well. The church this year  had fans and they were so awesome. I didn't sweat nearly as much as I did in the years before. After church, we went to the beach. We went to a different place that was nicer than the other place we went to last year. We went over to a small island and we got some good pictures. Scott got stung by a jellyfish but he feels totally fine. This is such a God thing because Scott was totally fine after he got stung.  the beach, I played basketball with some kids at the children's home. It was the Americans versus the Haitians. The Americans won. After that, we ate dinner and then had devotions. Devotions took forever and they were in a room and not on the roof. After devotions, my family talked with Emmanuel. Emmanuel is such an awesome guy. He met Belle for the first time in person and he was so excited. I love hanging out with him. After that I talked with some of the guys on the trip. They are so funny so I always have a good time with them. I go to mobile clinic tomorrow and it will be my first time in an "actual clinic" this trip. I am so excited to do something medical because God may speak to me when I am doing something related to medicine. I can't wait till tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

AHHHH CLINICS!

So this is the reason I come to Haiti!  Clinics- using my God given skills to help people. But especially mobile clinics.  We pack up a bin of meds and take off in the back of a truck for hours to see a bunch of patients who can't come to the main clinic.  I scored big time going to the two most beautiful places on mobile this week.  Vieux Cayes is up in the mountains on dirt roads with big rock drop offs.  We get to work in an open air school with a cool breeze blowing and the mountains in the background.  I could set up shop here permanently!  We saw a good 75 patients between Luke, a GI doc from Indy, and I and still had time to come back to the main clinic to see 15 patients to catch them up.  Not too many sick kids but fun to hand out toys and the teens got to come.  Belle and Luke were with me taking patients around and praying for them!  It is great to work together.  I love seeing them interacting with the Haitians and loving on them.  We had one girl who is seen every year that is an Albino.  She gets sunburned and then gets bad sores.  We put her on some antibiotics and prayed her up but the sores on her arms looked excruciating!  She just had the biggest smile and was so thankful for everything.
Then today I got to go to Lazille.  They haven't seen missionaries for 4 years and I was lucky enough to be on the team.  We started at 5am and  it took us 3 hours to get there, and at least half of that was off roading!!!!  We got to ford the river three times- I'm talking up to the top of the tires and totally sideways up the hill!  The roads were horribly awesome, dirt, ruts, rocks- my Jeep would have been sweet!  So we saw almost 200 patients between Alan an ER doc and I.  Mostly healthy people but a few really sick ones.  We totally ran out of meds and patient sheets and pill bags.  We were using gloves to hand out pills in and some unconventional meds for different ailments!  They all got prayed up and were so thankful.  I couldn't turn the kids away.  I think there were at least 10 kids I saw after we said no more! They are just so cute and just want someone to look at them.  It breaks my heart to think they have nobody within 3 hours to see them for any urgent needs.  These kids just die when something bad happens!  My last patient said he had something on his tongue.  When he stuck it out, I said he bit it didn't he?  He had bit all the way through the middle of his tongue and there was a flap hanging there.  It was healing fine already so we just gave him some Tylenol and vitamins.  The day started with the pastor making us some Haitian coffee and hot cocoa.  The cocoa was pretty spectacular as was the bread.  And the day ended with chicken and rice and plantains and cole slaw and beet salad.  This was probably all of their food for the week and they gave it to us for coming.  Talk about humbling.  Well I already started my cipro antibiotics because we had to eat it or it would have been rude!  Side note, it was dark this morning and a 100 pound pig ran out in front of our truck and we slammed it!  Bacon anyone?
Thanks to all of the patients who donated little toys and matchbox cars!  I gave most of them out on mobile clinics along with some amazon toys I got and suckers!  It's amazing how quickly a sucker will make a kid stop crying and start to like you!  I would never do that at home but this is Haiti!
There is a surgeon here, Dr. King,  doing hernia surgeries on people and changing their lives.  One of my patients moms is here.  Two of our good friends.  Two of Alyssa's good friends.  3 ER docs, 2 GI docs, a neonatal NP, a bunch of nurses and even more "non" medical people. We all work together as one team just like the body of Christ is supposed to!  3 of the team had to go home today due to sicknesses in their families and I just got word that one of my office staff just lost a baby. (Please pray for her) Satan is trying to discourage us and get in the way of our walk and our testimony.  But we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose.  Please pray for us and those above that we can continue being about HIS PURPOSE!!
Bon Nuit!!  Good Night
Kiddoc 

JUST WOW

           Wow!!!!!! I can't believe I'm in Haiti! This morning we built a house for the Burtts sponsor family. Who knew it could be that hard of work!!! We had to carry buckets of rock up a hill and then cement blocks as well. I loved how refreshing it was later to see our sponsor family and see how much God has done for and with them. It is so much easier to see the Lord here when my eyes are opened to this different lifestyle. 
          The next day, Another house!!!!!!! Today it was for the Tillmans sponsor family though. The only thing we did was sift in the sun, then get a drink, then sift some more, then maybe play with the kids!!!! The kids were so helpful and they all wanted to contribute to the house somehow. Later we went to the children's home. All of the girls and boys were sooo happy even though they didn't have much. The girls put on a dance and they sang for us all of our songs in English. You could easily see and feel how much they love the Lord. 
           I can't believe we are almost halfway through the week!!!!! Everything has gone by so fast. We went to church this morning and all the families were worshipping just like we would. The songs were pretty long though, I felt as if they just sang the chorus over and over again!!!!! Ha Ha! Our sponsor kids Federlin and Federlyn and their family sat with us. I love how much Federlin liked Alyssa and she fell asleep on her in service!!! The Lord has worked in amazing ways throughout the week and I can't wait to see how much more he will do.                    
                                  
                                                   ~Belle (the 1st timer)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

5 YEARS AND COUNTING

Still can't believe I'm actually here in Haiti (for my fifth year!!!) It's been an amazing start to the trip, and I can't wait to see how God continues to work this week!! The first day in Haiti(My birthday)could not have been better!! We got so much accomplished at house building for the Burtt's sponsor kids! Still can't feel my biceps hahaha! We could even see the ocean from the mountain the worksite was on!!
The best part of the day was seeing our sponsor kids!! After a womens' meeting, I had been walking back to the dorms when Federlyn and Federline came running to meet me! They jumped on me and I bent over hugging them for as long as I could. I couldn't help but shed a few tears. (The Lord must know how much I love hugs!!) I couldn't believe their excitement and how easily they recognized me!!
Later, the rest of the fam and Riley and I got to visit their home!! It was so special giving them all their gifts! We gave them medicine, toys, protein bars, and drew with chalk on the outside of their home. All of us wrote our names, and I wrote We Love You! I'm so thankful Riley got to come with us to see them! She fit right in and bonded with Francesca, one of our twins' older sisters! (Riley has been amazing and humbly serving and loving the Haitians in such a beautiful way. I love her.)
Each year the goodbyes become longer and sweeter even if we will see them later in the week.

On Saturday, my favorite moment was at the Children's home. The kids sang 10,000 Reasons (one of my favorites) and another worship song. Maddymoan and Riley and I let the tears flow. It was like God was in the room. Their stunning voices and enthusiasm were breathtaking, and I couldn't help but thank the Lord for the Haitians.

Sundays are always one of my favorite parts! Federlyn sat on my lap the entire 3 hours of church!! Half the time she fell asleep on my shoulder :) . I had to hold back tears. It was overwhelming holding my sweet sister and hearing the Haitians singing at the top of their lungs to our Savior.
The other half she kept flipping through the pages of my little blue bible. <3
Her sister, Natalie, was sitting next to me and had her Haitian Creole Bible in her lap. I asked her if I could see it and turned to my all time favorite passage, Ephesians 3:14-21. She read it and the chapters around and creased half the page so she could remember it. Heart full.





Thank you for all the prayers!! Please continue to pray that God will do far more abundantly than all that I could ask or think!! We have such a loving Father.                                             ~ALYSSA


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ambushed!!!


So I learned a lesson today- if you get to a job site and the workers aren't there but 100 Haitian children are, don't get out of the truck!  We showed up at the Tillman's house today that they are building for their sponsor child.  It was down by the river in town where I had never been which was cool.  The river right now consists of a huge gorge with trickling water down the center meandering about.  Enough to bathe and wash clothes in and drink from, but just barely.   When the hurricane came through it nearly crested the banks and would have wiped out the surrounding houses.  This has happened twice in the last 20 years where the rains were so bad that the water tumbling down the mountain actually washed out the bridge going over the road!  Anyway, the workers weren't at this site yet and there were no tools for us to work, so we were suddenly expected to entertain 100 children.   They were playing soccer with a flat ball using two stones as the goals that you had to hit.  Luckily I had brought some suckers and bubbles and Scott brought a beach ball that we played with for 20 minutes until the workers arrived.  The kids swarmed us and wanted to take everything from our bags and kept saying, "you give me one dollar".   These are the first words their parents teach them in English other than "you you" when they want you attention.  We finally got to work but quickly found out that they dumped the sand partly where the house was supposed to go!  Nothing like moving material twice!  We mostly sifted sand and shoveled sand out of the way all morning.  At one point a boy about 12 wanted to help and he was shoveling sand into my sifter which is a 2x4 rectangular box with a metal grate on the bottom.  As i was shaking the sand to sift out the larger rocks and then tossing them to the side, he would shovel another load into my sifter.  I started going faster and so did he until it became a contest to see who could last longer!  I tried this last year with one of the workers and he smoked me.  So I thought I can surely beat a 12 year old!  And you will be happy to know that I put him to shame.  Ask Alyssa, I think she was pretty impressed with her dad.  I am very sore, but it was a great two days of workouts!
We did a vocational fair today as well for seventh and eighth graders at the Lifeline school.  A bunch of us talked about what we do at our jobs and then the kids got to ask us questions.  Being the only doctor, I got most of the questions!  One girl asked me to convince her why she needed to study hard and what wisdom I had about studying hard.  After explaining to her that she needed to read a ton and ask questions of those wise adults around her and learn from them so she can get a good education and have the chance to go to college, she said she was 85 percent convinced! After some other questions and with time almost up, I took the microphone back and said "I have one more thing that will get
 you the extra 15 percent.  God tells us that whatever we do, we should do it as if working for the Lord, whether chores or jobs or even school.  She smiled and said ok now I am 100 percent!
Then we got to go to the orphanage here on campus to see the children living there and play with them.  They sang a couple songs and did 2 interpretive dances that were just amazing.  Riley and Maddy and Alyssa were all crying listening to them.  We did a water balloon toss which was awesome.  They had never done that before!  Brilliant thinking by one of our teammates. Then we just played and loved on them.  Again the kids were awesome relating to these teens and young ones.
I feel like a veteran for sure now.  When one of the three main leaders aren't around, people look to me for guidance.  I had to come up with a song and lead us at the children's home (Amazing Grace) and then lead the water balloon toss.  I felt like i was at camp!!  Then I took a team of about 20 out into the community to see the city and go down to the ocean.  We had a fun time taking pictures and interacting with the Haitian people of Grand Goave.
Have I mentioned I love coming here?  The team consists of 48 people. Maybe 15 newbies and a lot of old timers.  I don't see many of these people for a whole year, but when we get here we are like best friends and pick up right where we left off from last year.  Everyone works so well together and it is just a joy to serve alongside such wonderful people.  I am truly thankful for this opportunity and would invite any of you all to come along! Be careful though, because Charlotte and Denise brought Thomas and Scott and are hooked, have sponsor children, and are building them houses! 

One more thing... one of my favorite parts from yesterday. I told you we had water balloons for a water balloon toss with the kids at the children's home. They put me on charge which is never a good idea. But I have a loud voice (sorry Jaime) and I am kind of fun!  So I had each Haitian kid pick an American to be their partner. Then we tossed. It was hilarious. Pics to follow later. 
After the toss we had balloons left over. I brought them to the middle of the field and started talking. We had a translator there helping us and if you have ever had to translate something you know how long it takes and how you stop your sentences in the right place to make it dramatic! Well most of the team knows me well enough to see what was coming and I could see them retreating to the back. When I announced to the Haitian kids that now they needed to take the remaining water balloons and throw them at the Americans, the squeals and screams were hilarious!!  What a great memory!  You will have to ask your kids about it. Riley and her partner were one of the two winners of the toss!!  And then her partner chased her to throw the next balloon at her!!  That's gratitude and an instant bond!!
                                                                                                                                       


                                                                                                                                    ~Jeremy

Friday, February 6, 2015

Last Goodbyes



I am exhausted!  What a long week.  I know why I only work 4 days at home.  I am physically and mentally spent.  Today I only saw about 20 patients thankfully.  Throw one more circ in to make an even dozen this week!  And that was all by 10am. 
We got to dedicate the house we built for our other sponsor family.  It was a blessing to see how thankful the family is, although we can’t get the twins to smile for anything.  They come to us and let us pick them up and hug, but they won’t crack even a grin.  Maybe next year.  I told you earlier in the week that the mom is pregnant.  Well today she told us there are triplets!  We are not sure about the ultrasound techs at the hospital she went to, but if it is true then this will be a difficult one.  Triplets rarely survive in Haiti, so keep her in your prayers please!  The kids were wearing the new clothes we gave them, and I was able to show mom the water filter we brought from Jaime’s dad and Jane. They were pretty excited about that!
Then this afternoon we maneuvered to get Emmanuel to translate for us when our other sponsored kids came.  Mom only brought Fedna and the twins, so we walked them back home.  It is probably a mile to their house from Lifeline with the last quarter mile uphill.  They were so happy to see us.  Johnny and Natalie were there too, but Francesca was out playing.  They sang for us and the kids played for a while as I was talking with Claire.  She said they hadn’t eaten for the last 2 days.  She hasn’t been able to find any shoes to sell at the market, and her brother who helps them has not been able to find work either.  It broke my heart!  I gave her the money from the girls at the office, and she started to cry and just gave me a huge hug.  I told her that we will never leave her or stop supporting her family as long as she needs us.  We will need to get a table and chairs and 2 sets of bunk beds for them.  Extra food each month would help too.  I told her we would pay for her oldest kids to go to English class so they can be interpreters someday! (and talk to us)  It was such a blessing.  As we left, I gave them a can of peanuts and some gum, which is all I had left of the snacks we brought.  Like I really needed any of them for myself.  I was thinking she could sell any of the shoes or clothes that didn’t fit, but Emmanuel put me in my place.  He told Claire that she should give them to others who don’t have any clothes since they were given to her from us!  He has amazed me all trip with his wisdom and generosity toward his people.  I feel bad I don’t have more to leave with him to give out to his church body.
This is why I come here.  I learn lessons about faith and God each time I travel to other countries.  The people look at things differently than us.  They always tell us how much they appreciate us just coming down and showing God’s love to their people.  The say they have nothing to give back except prayer and love-I’ll take it!  Charlotte and Thomas, our friends from church have been here with us.  They have been fun!  All the translators love Thomas.  He cracks them up.  Charlotte has fit right in like a veteran.  She has pulled a tooth, taken out a lipoma including stitching up the hole, went into the bush to treat sick people that couldn’t come to clinic, built houses, visited her sponsored child’s home, and worked clinic even seeing some patients on her own!
It’s been a great trip.  Everyone keeps saying, “Where is your wife?  When will she be back?”  Reminds me of Cambodia!  I don’t know why she wasn’t feeling like God wanted her here this year, but I respect her prayerful consideration and listening to God.  Another veteran named Dr. Dana did not come this year either.  She felt like God wanted her to stay home with her sick mother.  We found out on Tuesday evening that she found her mother on the floor in the bathroom after having a stroke.  She was able to call 911 and get her to the hospital.  Yesterday we learned that her mother passed away.  If she had been in Haiti there would have been no way for her to get back home to see her mother before she died!  What a powerful lesson on listening to the Holy Spirit.  Keep her in your prayers please.
It’s always bitter sweet leaving, but I really miss my family.  I can’t wait until we can all come together as Belle and Blake get older!  There are tons of other stories to tell, but I won’t bore you anymore.  Ask me when I get back if you want to hear them!

For Him,

Jeremy

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mobile Clinic

Mobile 
We got to go on mobile clinic again today.  We went to Leogane which I have never been to before!  Pretty scenic 1 hour drive there.  It is a church with a school on the grounds that Lifeline supports.  It is a medium size city like Grand Goave where we have been staying.  We set up camp in the church which was about 1000 degrees.  They started the generator to run the fans which gave us some air circulation at least.  Halfway through clinic, it ran out of gas though!  My translator and now oldest son Emmanuel gave them money to fill it back up so they can have lights and sound for church on Sunday!  He is so thoughtful. 
Luke and Alyssa worked with me all day.  They would bring a patient to me, I would take care of them, and then they would pray with them and walk them out.  They each prayed for over 30 kids today which means I probably saw about 70 or so!  They did awesome!  It was mostly healthy kids with minor colds, worms, and stomach aches again.  I would have a stomach ache too if I drank dirty water and barely had one meal a day!  If I could only do more.
My last patient of the day was a mom who had 2 little kids already.  You could tell she was struggling taking care of them.  She said the dad of the older child is not around and the younger doesn’t help out at all.  She was feeling weak and dizzy, tired all the time.  I remember having 2 little kids and feeling that way too.  I thought let’s just get a pregnancy test to make sure and give her some vitamins, drink more fluids like usual, no big deal.  Well the pregnancy test came back positive.  In the US, that is almost always a joyous occasion even if unplanned.  In Haiti, it is just another mouth to feed and take care of.  She was devastated.  The first thing she said was that she wanted to have an abortion!  My heart broke as did Emmanuel’s.  He started in on her right away like he always does.  He is a very strong Christian.  His dad is a pastor, and after he finishes dental school, he will probably help out preaching in the church too!  We both prayed hard and long and held her hands explaining God’s plan is not always our plan.  I kept thinking, “I will take the baby”, as I do 10 times a day here with kids who are being raised by extended family due to extreme circumstances.  Please pray for her to make the right decision and have the baby.  Pray for the deadbeat dads who don’t help out the families they create!
My doctor partner today was Chris Hartman.  He is an ER doc at St. Francis with a heart for the underserved.  I’m not sure what he is like there, but in Haiti he is just like me.  I’ve never been one for exact rules.  I like to push the envelope.  Don’t tell me I can’t do something because I will have to prove you wrong.  So we make a good team!  Just like 2 years ago when he was here, we went rogue into the community to see some people who couldn’t make it to the church to be seen.  It means so much to these Haitians that we take the time to go to their houses to see them.  A woman with bad heart problems needing a valve replacement that can’t be done here except by foreign doctors who don’t come very often.  2 women who had strokes and couldn’t walk due to the weakness.  Another with high blood pressure and diabetes who can barely get out of bed.  A sick baby with heart problems lying on a mattress in the middle of the yard.  We couldn’t fix anything.  But God can, and I know he hears our prayers.  Our translators were so grateful that we took the time to meet people where they needed us.  I know God was smiling down on us! 
Then when we got back to clinic, the surgery line was still 5 deep.  So Chris and I tag teamed a couple lumps to excise.  We took out a marble sized cyst from a man’s ring finger.  I got to practice my suturing and cutting!  Hopefully tomorrow I will get to do more.  I know I have 6 circumcisions to do!  Feel like I’m back home 5 years ago.  They took out a lipoma from a guy’s neck today that was 9.6 ounces!  Fun times.
We got to play some basketball tonight as well.  4 of us played with one Haitian on our team against some other Haitian dudes.  Full court on slick concrete.  I realized how out of shape I am quickly!  Thought I might pass out or have a heart attack, but I managed a nice three pointer and a driving reverse layup with the foul.  We lost but it was fun playing with Luke!  Scrub shirts are not good for balling though.
I am exhausted, so Good Night!  The week is almost over, I can’t believe it.
Wasted for Jesus,

Jeremy