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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jeanty

So what a cool experience today.  We took a bin of meds and supplies to a church sponsored by Lifeline today.  We got there at 8am and there were 30 people sitting in the pews already.  Miriam was our Haitian nurse and was a blessing.  She got everyone lined up and in order for us.  We saw about 70 patients in 6 hours!  I saw all of the children and their moms/grandmas and a couple of our nurses took care of the other adults with my help as they needed me.  We were in the back room of their church which is open air in the front.  The room has no tables and about 10 chairs.  We used a desk and small stand to write on.  An old cardboard was placed on top of some chairs to make a pharmacy.  That is how everything works here-we just make due with whatever we have and improvise.  We treated a lot of skin infections and high blood pressure along with some urinary tract infections.  These women are amazing.  We sent her out to pee in a cup and she came back in, no joke, 2 minutes with a full cup.  She just went around the corner and peed in the open air!  I have seen 3 or 4 women who are taking care of another baby whose mother died!  They are raising someone elses child instead of sending them to an orphanage!  The love these people show is inspiring.  I danced with a 10 year old boy and sang bible songs.  We pray with each patient as they leave, but today an old man prayed for all of us instead! 
We got to go back to church at the same place tonight.  One of our group preached a great sermon on how deep and wide and long and high God's love is.  I saw the pastors child in clinic yesterday, so he remembered me.  They had 4 women and 4 men sing a song, you're all I need, in english.  It was neat to see them trying to relate to us.  Then we came back to the house for brownies and ice cream!  We are really roughing it! 
God is doing some amazing things here.  Wish you all could see it!

For Him,

Jeremy

Monday, February 27, 2012

prayer!

There is something to be said about praying with someone else for their needs.  It is hard when you can't see the end result, but challenging to make it real and encouraging with 40-50 patients a day.  We pray with each family after we treat them.  Many times I get to see a mom and 2-3 kids at one time.  I haven't seen anything jaw dropping yet, but I am amazed at the Haitian people.  We don't have a ton of meds, but we give away all that we do have.  All the things we have readily available at home are luxuries here and too expensive even if they did have them for most of the people here.  I have learned a few Creole phrases!  I had 2 kids who I couldn't get to smile today-probably the most frustrating event of the day.  The clinic was full at 6am of people wanting to be seen.  They waited there some until 5pm when we finished seeing them!  And no complaining at all.  The patience and gratitude the Haitian people show is inspiring.  Although I wouldn't ask any of my patients at home to wait 10 hours to see me, it really shows how important the time you do spend with them is.  I wish we could pray with each of our patients at home too!  We are all exhausted tonight!  A great day for the Lord.  I am continually impressed with the staff and veterans and how they give all the credit to God for everything we do.  I get to go mobile tomorrow.  We are taking a team to a school 30 minutes away and treating everybody who can't make it to our clinic.  Pray that I can remember all my adult medicine from med school!  Unfortunately that is all these people will get!  The best part of the day was praying with a woman who has fallen away from the church.  I spoke with her about how Jesus forgives us over and over for all the wrong things we do.  Every sin we commit is forgiven if we just ask Him.  I prayed for her children saying that God has blessed her with them and given her the responsibility to raise them and teach them about Jesus every chance she gets.  I pray that we will all remember that with our own families!

For Him,
Jeremy

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Church

Why is it that church in foreign countries always lasts 2.5 to 3 hours?  We always complain if our service goes longer than an hour and fifteen minutes!  We had church this morning at 9am, same as back home.  We are on the same time as Indiana.  The cutest group of kids came up to sing.  3 girls had solos and they really hammed it up!  How fun to see.  They had some teenagers playing instruments too-saxophones, trumpets, clarinet, drums, piano.  They played Lord I Lift Your Name on High.  They were fun to watch.  The most interesting part of service was the prayer time.  Everyone prays at the same time out loud, but they all pray their own prayer.  So 200 people are all praying at once-mass chaos.  The cool thing is that God hears every single prayer all at once with no problem!  How awesome is our god!  I bet that is what the people felt at Pentecost when they heard Peter in their own tongue.  Now I couldn't understand a lick of what they were saying, but you know what I mean.  5 women came up front at the altar call at the end of service to be saved.  Pray that it was sincere and heart felt.  Pastor Luke taught us today.  One of our interpreters from clinic interpreted while he spoke.  He talked about how humble Jesus was and how wise he was.  The communion had some kick to it!  I was impressed that the assistant pastor encouraged everyone to take the bread and cup carefully with right hearts and minds.  He explained that when we have unconfessed sins or habitual sins, they get in the way of our communion.  We can actually defile the whole act of communion if we come with the wrong heart.  We ate and drank together just like at home.  The offering is special too.  They pass a bag to give offering.  Remember that 80% of Haiti is unemployed, they make $1/day, but you still saw change going into the purse!  We just talked in church about how much more the poor person gives when they donate at church and have nothing.  The rich think that their money means more because they give more, but God wants us to give out of our poverty remembering that He gave it to us to begin with.  After service we spent time hugging and holding our Haitian friends.  A lot of the sponsored kids were there as well.  There is no sunday school-the kids sit in service and pay attention for the most part for the full 3 hours!  It is always good to worship with other believers.  Now to see 2 countries church services both unique but much the same, I am overwhelmed and lucky that God has so blessed me with these opportunities.  I can't wait to go to church in Nicaragua on spring break!  God bless you all and good night.

For Him,

Jeremy

Sponsors


Saturday the sponsored children came to meet their sponsors.  Many of these kids have been sponsored for many years by the group that comes down, so they know the whole family.  Even after they graduate out of the program, they still have a sweet relationship with their sponsors.  Sponsors bring gifts down including food, clothing, balls, dolls, and toys.  These are the only clothes some of these kids get all year.  Shipments are made quarterly from the states with care packages.  You can see the joy in the faces of these children as they run to meet their sponsor and jump into their arms!  They are getting a Christian education and have food every day as well as medical care.  Some of the sponsors have built houses for their sponsored children’s families.  $4500 can build an earthquake proof house for a family.   You can actually help build the house while you are here.  The steel rebar used is made on site at Lifeline.  The block is made here, and the roof is cut out.  Lifeline workers then help build a foundation with the family helping dig and haul sand and gravel for the concrete mixing.  At the end of the week, these houses will be dedicated  and prayed over so God can help to sustain the families.  That is what I call taking care of a family.  Some family friends of ours had the opportunity to build a house a few years ago.  They had some extra money from a few insurance claims and some other things came through, and they didn’t know what to do with it.  They prayed for a way that God could use it instead of them spending it on something.  The amount came out to just the right number to build a house with Lifeline, so they sent it down and changed the lives of a family forever!  That is inspiring!  God will bless them infinitely more for spending His money on His Kingdom.  What a selfless and kind act-not surprising though given the wonderful family in the first place.  I pray the Holy Spirit would lead some of you to bless a family by sponsorship or go together on a house-maybe even come down to help on it!

For Him,
Jeremy

Hope


We saw a girl from the Lifeline orphanage on Saturday with large dangling keloids on both earlobes.  They looked like ear rings literally!  Dr. Bill numbed them and removed them with only local anesthetic in the clinic.  She did great lying very still the whole time.  She also got glasses while she was there.  What a life changing day for a 12 year old abandoned Haitian girl!  She saw Jesus love in a different way than ever before.  She has always been beautiful in Gods eyes, but now she can be beautiful in her own mirror as well.  Praying for each child is as rewarding as fixing their problem.  They don’t really need us- they need a Savior!  Lifeline gives these kids and their families a wonderful opportunity to attend church and hear the Gospel as well.  There are at least 3 or 4 churches they sponsor in the area.  Many young people in their schools go on to become pastors and work in the churches.  Lifeline gives these kids and their families hope for a better tomorrow.  In the US, we all have that opportunity and hope.  We are in the top 1% of the entire world!  Our poor and homeless have it better than the middle class here.  Hope starts with each one of us-right now.  Please pray with me for that hope to be spread and ways to spread it!

For Him,
Jeremy

The Roof


If you haven’t read the book, “The Roof”, then you should.  It is the story of how Dr. Doug Harty and Dr. Bill Rutherford (Dr. Doug and Dr. Bill around here) came down to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.  On top of the main building where we sleep and eat is a flat roof where you can hear the sounds of Haiti and get a beautiful view of the stars and sky at night.  That is where we have devotions at night and then hang out to talk and share stories.  Dr. Harty posted his blog and e-mailed folks from around the world from the roof.  This has truly been the highlight of my trip so far!  Hearing Doug and Bill recount the stories of years past on the mission field, the good, bad, and ugly, has been inspiring.  Many of the people on this mission trip also came down shortly after the Quake.   I feel like I have wasted the last 15 years of my life by not being on the mission field. I have all the same excuses that you do.  I pray that God will break down those barriers that keep us from supporting the Great Commision- to take the Gospel to Jerusalem(Greenwood), Judea(Indiana), Samaria(US), AND TO THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH!  There are many ways to get involved- go, pray for a missionary, support one financially, help raise money for one, support a child monthly, tell others about opportunities.  I asked God for wisdom to help me know where and how I can get involved along with Jaime.  He has more than abundantly blessed me with relationships with those who are doing and have been doing missions for 20+ years.  I am constantly getting ideas and advice about how God can use me for His Glory.  Thanks for your prayers!  Lift up the Haitian people and pray for revival to continue.  The Gospel has spread even more in Haiti since the Earthquake.  I am amazed at how thankful people are that God spared their life even though their house and family members were destroyed and killed.  They don't complain about their circumstances.  Instead they are thankful for what God has provided.  We can all take a lesson from that!

For Him,

Jeremy

Lifeline


What a great name for a mission organization!  We toured the facilities Friday afternoon.  It has been in operation for 30 years.  Check it out at www.lifeline.org.  They do more than just medical mission work.  They plant churches, have schools, build homes, teach Bible Colleges, have vocational training, and sports missions as well.  At Grand Goave where we are, they employ about 200 Haitian people!  They are teaching welding and metal work, brickmaking, automotive mechanics, as well as teachers and administrators.  They are the warehouse for Kids Against Hunger food that goes out to over 60 other mission organizations.  They help supply 50,000 meals a week all over Haiti!  As I have said before, I think everyone should go on a mission trip at some point in their life.  There is something everyone can do!  The Bible tells us that the church is the body of Christ.  One person is the hand, another a foot, another an eye, an ear, toe, etc.  That is truly how a mission trip works.  Everyone has a job and we all have to work as a team to accomplish the goal of showing Jesus to people.  I am truly blesses to be a part of such an awesome team.

For Him,
Jeremy

Getting my Feet Wet


First day of clinic- I saw about 15 children and a few 30 year olds.  A lady who is pregnant, some ear infections, and one child who is moderately malnourished.  I am told the heavy stuff will come next week.  The clinic is able to provide food for families who are struggling.  We give vitamins to everybody who comes in.  They don’t have Tylenol for fevers or headaches, so we are able to help a great deal in the short term with pain and discomfort.  What a blessing to be able to help kids in simple ways that we take for granted.  In Haiti, as in most third world countries,  you can’t see a doctor unless you can pay for it!  Surgeries are out of the question for most of these people.  There is a doctor at the clinic who can take lesions off and do minor surgeries for these people who would otherwise have to just live with it.  Everything is free!  Every few years a general surgeon comes down who can do hernia surgeries as well as some more complex things.  There is an optometrist here fitting people for glasses, and helping them see for the first time in a long time for most of them.  Most importantly, as they leave with their new glasses, she prays for them that they can really SEE what God has done for us.  It was a great first morning in Haiti!

For Him,
Jeremy