Category Archives: Haiti – February 2016

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 8

Today we prepare to say goodbye. We are up early, sorting supplies and clothing. What to take back? What to leave? Though ready to return to the states to our families, it is bittersweet as always.

On the way we back, we stopped at another mission compound in Cap-Haitian. This compound is run by a dear friend of Caracol Christian Ministry, Wilbur Merzilus of Living Hope Missions (LHM). Wilbur was hosting a group of missionaries from a church in Ohio which helps support LHM. We had prepared and packed tuna salad and tortillas for our group of ten. Yet, Upon arriving at the compound in Cap-Haitian, we were greeted by at least twenty others from Hope. We combined their delicious soup with our tuna wraps and fed the entire group! (Hmmm, remind you of five loaves and two fish?)

After prayer for safe journeys for all, we are finally on our way to the airport and home. Until next year, we ask for God’s continued blessings on our families both here and abroad. Our trip began in Haiti with ‘Welcome Home’, and it ends back in the states, again, with ‘Welcome Home’.

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 7

Today is our final full day in Caracol and also our ‘Rest Day’. We prepare to head out on our field trip to the Citadel, praying the rain will hold off long enough to allow travel on the roads.

Our prayers are answered and we arrived to a throng of locals, vying to be chosen as the one to ride their horse. We slowly amble up the steep cliff, on horses that were deceptively capable of handling the wet and slippery cobblestones. All except for Doug, (those who know Doug are not surprised) who walked up the cliff, keeping pace with us.

We learned the fort was built by Henry Christophe in the early 1800’s to prevent the country from being invaded by the French. We also learned that during this time, Voodoo was the primary religion. It is said, that Christophe made a pact with the devil to defeat the French. While Catholicism is now the official religion of Haiti, Voodoo is still prevalent. It reminded us of that our presence (meaning All who are followers of Christ) and our prayers are so very needed in this region. And, why the Caracol Christian Ministry, Traders Point Christian Church and the CHE ministry concepts are so important.

Did I mention earlier, that today was a day of rest? After a wonderful lunch in town, we head back to the compound to finish up the electrical work. A quick shopping trip and a visit to the hardware store and we are on our way. Jim, Rick and Gerald have now automated our water supply. This came just in the knick of time as poor Gerald wore the soles off his boots monitoring our water supply. No longer does Gerald have to run up to the roof, check the water level in the tank, then run down and over to another building, turn on the power for the well pump, then remember to go back in twenty minutes or so, to ensure the tank on the roof didn’t overflow. Not only did Gerald perform his task each morning and evening, but also whenever the toilets ceased to flush. (However, this does not relieve Gerald of his morning coffee duties.)

Our evening ends once again with our nightly devotion accompanied by Rick on the guitar and Mary’s and Carol’s beautiful voices. We are all thankful for God allowing us to accomplish so much. The clinic in three days saw a total of 484 patients! Electricity, lights and ceiling fans have been installed on the second floor and walls have been painted on both the first and second floors. The mission house can now not only accommodate more guests, but is slowly transforming into the CHE Training Center we all envision.

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 6

Today, is our last day of the clinic. Once again patients are lined up waiting for us to open. After seeing patients from the village, the doctors then tended to the students who attend school on the mission compound. Class by class the students are lined up waiting to be seen.

Our contracting crew of Gerald, Jim and Rick are working feverishly to finish the second floor. Final wires were threaded through the previously dug trenches and attached to the meter which provides electricity for the entire compound. Nothing would stop this crew from their mission. Not even an army of red ants, though they did try! As Jim now stood barefoot on a cement block, having abandoned his ant coated sandals, he continued to attach wires ignoring the bites he had received on his heels.

And yet, this day, will not be over until Rick has his final meeting with the Caracol CHE members. Most of the attending members have now completed the training. They were then informed of the need to prepare business plans in order to qualify for micro loans. These loans obtained through CHE will provide further opportunities for the village and mission in Caracol to become self sustaining.

That night, dinner included not only rice from the field in Roche Plate, but beans from the field in Caracol. It is our prayer that children attending school at the missions in both Roche Plate and Caracol will have meals provided regularly through these fields even as they continue to be fed spiritually through the churches led by Pastors Payot, Kenth, and Ernest.

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 5

We are up early today heading to Roche Plate. Somehow we managed to all fit into the back of the truck along with bins of medical supplies. Arriving at Roche Plate, we find patients already lined up waiting to be seen by the doctors. After set up and prayer, the clinic is once again open for business.

We have our three doctors, Doug, Stan and Ji Claude, our ‘pharmacists’, Julie, Mary and Lawanda, our security team, Penny and Carol, our nurturer, Marti, and our interpreters. Once again, Penny and Carol were strict enforcers of law and order, ensuring patients entered and were seen in an orderly fashion.

After spending the day seeing patients,we walked with Faunet, to see the chickens and the bean fields. Faunet, the principal of the school in Roche Plate, also raises chickens to supplement needed funds. We walked to the beans fields which will soon be ready for harvest. Last year, these same fields yielded crops of rice, which helped feed the children in the school. This field was purchased with the help of Caracol Christian Ministry. Now instead of providing funds to feed the children, the fields will provide food for years to come. This is just one example of CHE concepts in practice.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Rick, Jim and Gerald managed to track down all of the previously ordered supplies. Upon our return, no longer were extension cords routed from the first floor to second for power. Lighting and cool air circulated from the ceiling fans. Conduit could be seen wrapped around the outer outer perimeter of the building.

Dinner that night included rice from the fields in Roche Plate. While eating our meal which we all recognized the particular blessing, knowing this meal was a direct result of the long term goals of not only Caracol Christian Ministry, but of Traders Point Christian Church as well. Slowly, these villages are learning the concepts self sustainability.

By the way, the chicks we saw had not yet matured into chickens ready to eat. However, Faunet did inform of us that Mark Gibson, another Haiti team member, did have the pleasure of dining on chicken raised on this chicken farm, during his last visit. Hopefully, the next team will also sample chicken from Roche Plate. Bon Appetit!

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 4

Haiti – Day 4 / Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Today we prepare for the big CHE conference with ministers. Seventy ministers and community leaders from Caracol, Trou de Nord, Cap-Haiten and Roche Plate were invited to learn the concepts of CHE (Christian Help Evangelism). These concepts are Christian based and encourage leadership within the community. Through CHE, pastors will be able to teach their parishes Christian business concepts that will eventually help the various communities become more self-sustaining.

Again several of us spent the morning registering the guests then serving lunch. Meanwhile, Rick continued his scavenger hunt and returned with several five gallon buckets of paint. We thought he was out searching for electrical equipment!

During the lunch break, Dr. Doug was asked to examine Jade. Jade is a young 19 yr old American missionary from Alabama who had only been in Haiti for two weeks. Having an upset stomach, initially it was thought that Jade was still adjusting to the spicy creole food. However, Dr. Doug and Dr Stan soon diagnosed Acute Appendicitis. With Nurse Mary praying with and for Jade, Jade soon calmed dow and shots were administered.

However, Jade’s host family, Pastor Vilmer was our main guest speaker and therefore unable to leave the conference. Thankfully, throughout Dr. Doug’s nearly thirty years of missionary work in Haiti, he had developed a close relationship with nearby Sacre Coeur Hospital. Dr. Doug and wife Julie, with Jade in tow, took off for the hospital in Milot. Julie made contact with Jade’s mom assuring her that Jade would receive the best care possible. Simultaneously, Julie was also consulting with her doctor- daughter in Texas. Upon arriving at the hospital, the trio were met by The ER Doctor and Dr Bernard, a great English speaking surgeon who brought comfort to all.

After the conference, the afore mentioned paint was out to good use. Marti, Stan, Penny, Lawanda, Mary, Carol, and Rick, along with Kainsone and Andy (local community participants), painted the dining area on the first floor. The lower portion of two walls in the dining area has rows of spindles. Painting the spindles was a tedious process, requiring much detail. By dinner time, we had finally finished two coats of paint on the walls and ceilings and ready to eat. Yet, Marti and Kainsone still painting spindles, refused to abandon their tasks. They continued sitting on the floor painting until the last spindle was coated in fresh white paint. Their determination is only one example of the dedication shown by all on this team.

Meanwhile Jim, Doug, and Gerald remained on the second floor, doing all types of electrical and other contractor type ‘stuff’. Whatever stuff they were doing required trenches to be dug outside for underground electrical cables. Wires dangled from various areas on the roof, ladders were moved around while lots of banging could be heard.

By the end of the night, we were dirty, exhausted yet joyful. We thanked God for the strength and determination he gave us to accomplish our tasks this day. We especially thanked him for Doug’s and Stan’s ability to diagnose Jade, as we asked his blessing for her health and well being.

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 3

Haiti – Day 3 / Monday 15 February 2016

Today got off to a busy start…day one of the clinic. Everyone had their assignments – Dr.’s Doug, Stan and Ju Claude (a local Haitian Doctor) saw patients. Julie, Mary and Lawanda were on pharmacy duty. Guindy, Luma, Watson, and Jeff were our interpreters while Penny and Carol managed security. That left Marti for the most important job of all – Prayer Warrior and nurturer.

As patients waited their turn in line, strictly enforced by Penny and Carol, Marti, when not passing out water to patients, could constantly be found with a baby on one arm and the other arm around a patient praying.

Penny and Carol established an assembly line of sorts. Patients were given numbers outside. Brought in, in groups of ten where they were seated on pews in the back of the church. One by one they were brought up front to the doctors. Dr.’s Doug, Stan and Ju Claude patiently listened to the symptoms assisted by our interpreters which often times included plenty of sign language.

After seeing the doctor, patients then gave their prescriptions to our make shift pharmacy in the front of the church. Julie and Mary had somehow arranged the rows upon rows of bottles, tubes and pills into some cryptic organization which allowed them to fill every order with efficiency. Finally, nary a patient left without prayer from Marti, Carol or Penny.

Walt Disney and Henry Ford would have been proud. Our assembly line process of keeping the client moving forward was a success. Also, our security team, based on Chicago’s finest ensured the entire process ran smoothly.

Now, what about the rest of the team? Rick, Jim and Gerald continued their efforts in upgrading the electrical system in the mission house. Their search of needed materials in Cap-Haitien could easily have qualified as a new version of ‘The Great Race’. Yet, with God’s grace, materials were located or at least ordered for pick up later in the week.

Haiti – Feb 2016 / Day 2

Songs for Sunday morning devotion were accompanied by Rick on the guitar. This particular Sunday, being Valentine’s Day found candy and cards under the pillows of all the women. Finally a sweet tooth has its advantages -those who didn’t eat their candy, returned to find ants willing to share!

After church, part of the group went to Roche Plate for CHE meetings. Those who remained behind found plenty to keep busy, lest you think everyone lounged and napped. Julie and Mary separated medicines, leaving Jim, Carol and Penny to install lights and ceiling fans on the second floor.

The surprising February breeze was amazingly refreshing as we all tended to our tasks. However, this amazing weather did come with lots of rain. Upon the return of the others from Roche Plate, we learned of their treacherous journey on the flooded and unpaved roads. On the way back, there was some question of being able to cross a particularly flooded pass. With prayers and an order from Rick: “Put ‘er in gear and don’t stop! “, they made it back. This gave a new understanding to the phrase “God willing and the creek don’t rise!”

Dinner included a delicious chocolate birthday cake celebrating Pastor Payot’s 60th birthday.

Happy Birthday Payot!