Saturday, June 19, 2010

Posted by Picasa

More CHE trainers

We finished a new training team this week. We now have 8 young men trained to help develop Community Health Evangelism. Friday was the first test for the new guysand they passed with flying colors. We went down to the Saline to the church there were we have done clinics the last two medical teams. We gave them a vision/awareness seminar. We talk about the difference between relief and development and the talked about health. Health has 4 parts physical, mental, social, spiritual. It also involves being in harmony with God, harmony with ones self, harmony with others and harmony with nature/the environment. We then read a story about a CHE project in Uganda and the success that they had in changing there lives and community. One of the Trainers named Max got up at the end and made a very clear point that the community in Uganda that did so well was successful because they did this work themselves and did not wait on the outsides to make life good for them. I then taught a lesson on world view/ beliefs and how they effect our lives and the success that we have in development. The best part was that the new trainers really did well. They understand the concepts and are able to teach the principles from their hearts. We are praising God for this answer to prayer. I have given them permission to hold these vision seminars while I back in the states. The goal is to give them the lead in all projects. When we do trainings they do most of the teaching. The goal altimate goal is that the trainers will do all of the training and I will give direction. I ask that you pray for these young men that God will give them courage and wisdom and a passion to reach the communities around us with this new method to deliver the Message the transformes lives.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Saline

Posted by Picasa

CHE class in Fontina

Posted by Picasa

Trip to Fontina

Posted by PicasaWe planned a trip to Fontina for continued teaching. It was cancelled two times... first a conflict of timing for our translator/trainer and then Lowell came down with the stomach "yuck" as we have started calling it. So we prayed lots and tried again. Saturday morning all was moving along as planned and we left almost on time to head to the mountains. After about a half hour of driving we heard tapping on the window which means someone needs help in the back of the truck, so we stopped to find out what was needed. The news wasn't good. We had a flat tire, it was the same tire that has gone flat multitudes of times and is rebellious to being fixed. So we just stayed there in the middle of the "road" (it was more like a rock pile with a drop off on one side) We all climbed out and 2 men started working on taking off the tire. The jack wouldn't go high enough and so they searched for rocks to help get the truck up higher. Finally success or so we thought. The tire was off and the other one brought from the back of the truck only to find out that the rim would not fit. Now there was 6 men trying to figure out how to make the tire fit!! By now, we had a line of people sitting along the side of the road watching and two motorcycles stopped. One of the bikes had a flat tire also, so there we were on the side of the mountain fixing trying to fix 2 flat tires. I watched as the men all helped each other and fell in love with this people a little more as I watched them give to each other. Since our truck could not be fixed at the time they all focused on the other tire. On the back of the bike was a piece of an inter tube that I thought was just a strap to hold the belongings of the passenger; I was wrong. It had a duel purpose. They cut a strip off the side of the tube, pinched the hole in the tube and tired it off with the strap of rubber. After putting it all back together our friend and translator Jean Bena along with the 2 adults and infant that were on the motorcycle before headed off down the mountain. The plan was that Jean Bena would ride with them into town, get a new spare and bring the other truck up to Fontina where we would go after pumping up the tire. Well things never go as planned.... the tire would not pump up, the air was going out almost as fast as they were putting it in. Over 2 hours later we learned that the "taxi bike" wasn't going into town and Jean Bena had to walk most of the way back. When he got there he found that the other spare had two holes that had to be fixed before he could start back up the mountain. And so we waited... Lowell pulled the truck off the road under a tree near two small huts. The family joined us as we waited, I am sure it was something new to do so why not. Most of our observers walked on their journey carrying water and bundles. We saw several donkeys go by and I started to think we should look into the possibility of this primitive type of travel. Several of us took naps, some read books, Maddie played with the children, we took 2 trips in the woods to find a isolated spot, Lowell took lots of walks down the road looking for cell to call and find out were the other truck was and time stood still... or so it seemed. But just as bodies where steaming and spirits where dropping, Jean Bena came around the corner and before we knew it we were on our way again.
Then we arrived! It was so incredible, the people are so excited about what this Community Health Education program can do for them. They had met all the requirements and invited 5 people from each of 4 surrounding villages to come hear what was being taught. The next couple of hours were spent teaching, questioning, discussing and planning. They have their next assignment of choosing a leadership committee to oversee the training and have decided that lack of good water and health issues are the first needs that should be addressed. Lowell plans on making one more trip there before we go to do the next step of teaching. God is so great!! He knows why the delays. He makes it so easy to trust him because he works everything out for the good of those who trust him and call on his name.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

La Saline, which means the salt, is a hot dusty place. The land is free to use, because part of the time it is under water. So the poorest of the poor build there. A couple of weeks ago we held a clinic for the school at the church in this town. About 100 children and a few adults were seen and treated. This church also does a feeding program for the children of the Saline, so we gave them vitamins to distribute as a supplement to their diet of beans and rice. We returned with a new team, and this weekend the land was dry, as it had not rained in 4-5 days. This was a blessing, because when it rains, mud and garbage wash into the flats, making it unpleasant to walk through. A medical team from South Florida and Martin Memorial Hospital came to help with a two-day clinic for the general public. As you looked out the window of the church, across the dry, hot, dusty salt flats, you could see the ocean only 200 yards away. This gave us a nice breeze to help keep us going in the extreme heat. Advertisement was word of mouth, so we started out slow but by mid-morning, we were quite busy. We had one doctor who was a Pediatrician and another who was Internal medicine; there was also a PA, who saw mostly adults. We split the patients into two groups—children and adults—and there were three stations set up for physicals and treatment, with a fourth station set as a pharmacy. My job was crowd control and the triage of patients. No one was life or death sick, but many people came with colds, headaches, back pain, ear aches and coughing. Malnutrition, worms, high blood pressure and asthma were also common problems. We saw and treated over 450 people in the two days that we were there. If we would be charging for our care, we would have gotten a big bonus from our employer; but we are not here for the money, rather to help those in need. The needs here are real, and many times, desperate. People need jobs. In the States, we complain that our unemployment rate is 8-9%; in Haiti, unemployment is 70%. We complain that our employer doesn’t offer eye and dental coverage; but on La Gonave, two-thirds of the Island does not even have a clinic or hospital close enough to reach if their life was at risk. Many do not have clean water, or soil suitable to grow food. We have started a project fund through Global Partners to help with these basic needs, and provide training so that they can solve these life-threatening problems themselves. We have called this project, La Gonave Community Health Evangelism. How can you help these people? You can come to give of your time and your skills. We need many different skills taught to help train the Haitians to help themselves. We also need financial help to be able to do this work in Haiti. We would like to introduce to you the new project number, WM06-1337. This is the project fund to help pay the expenses of our emerging community health and development mission. This is the venture that we have started in Fantina, and hope to develop across the Island. It is a training program that teaches community leaders to identify the local needs, and to identify local resources to solve those needs. It then teaches local Community Health Agents the needed skills to teach and help the community to put the identified solution to the local needs into practice.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A visting friend tells highlights from his Haiti experience

Well, as most of you know, missions trips have been part of my life for about 6 years now; but one thing that I haven’t done much of, is write day-by-day journals. Now that I’ve looked back and regretted not writing things down, it makes me want to record every special moment on every one of my trips.
Another awesome part about this trip is that Lexi, the second child in my family, is along with me to make a difference in the lives of the people here. We set off from home around noontime on June 1, 2010, to the Newark International Airport. Our flight was scheduled for 4:45pm on American Airlines, but it got cancelled because of the nasty storms that were brewing up. AA set us up on another flight on the same route on Continental Airlines; so we said our good-byes and got into the security line.
We figured since we had 12 hours of layover in Miami, we might as well get to know the airport a little bit and try to have some fun.About 5:30 we were able to get our luggage and headed off to check in at our gate. After a safe flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we stepped out into the blistering heat and boarded the shuttle bus to get to the immigration stations. . After finally getting our bags, we held hands to stay together, and headed out into the black wilderness. It was a different experience for Lexi, knowing that every person around you was eyeing you head-to-toe; but after a few minutes, we saw some familiar white faces and rushed over in glee to Robin and Cassie Adams…..

…..As we jumped into the “Contair” (big pick-up truck with caged-in bed), we found out that Robin and Cassie came with a Haitian driver, named Judain; and that they had been there since the day before getting groceries. Driving through Port-au-Prince, we saw a little bit of what the earthquake had done, and how much there is yet to pick up and rebuild. We saw a “tent city”, where thousands of people are living in simple tents because their homes were destroyed. Also on the way, we stopped at a plant to pick up some boxes of frozen chicken to take over to the island to eat. Some other sites along the 2 hour drive to the boat port were: massive grave sites where the whole family is buried in the same little grave house; little towns with very little infrastructure; wide-open fields with tents and animals scattered throughout the land; beautiful beaches along the coast; and high, majestic mountains all around us. The roads outside of the city got a lot better, but the driving didn’t…We were constantly yelling over horns beeping and trucks and school buses flying by. It was an amazing contrast between the hectic, crowded city, and the beautiful, tranquil countryside. There were Haitians everywhere, and as soon as they figured out that there were white people in back of the truck, all eyes were directed towards us. We arrived at the dock after a while, and for the first time, we got some relief from the heat by wading into the bath-water-temperature bay....

... After about 6 miles into the boat voyage, we had the awesome opportunity to watch a school of dolphins play around near the boat. Everyone else came up to the roof in the front to watch the show. They said that it was the biggest gathering that they had ever seen of dolphins on the way over, so it was pretty amazing. They jumped for us and even scooted along the top of the water on their tails like they do in the Sea World shows. :-) Also on our way over, we had the privilege to get acquainted with the famous flying fish…They are pretty cool to watch as they jump up and skim across the top of the water. As blue as it was, the ocean water was contaminated with garbage all along the current that traveled through the channel. We learned that the trash comes out of Port-au-Prince as the rain comes down at night and washes it around. Anyway, we arrived to the island dock around the middle of the day and were greeted by Lowell and Maddie Adams, along with some other Haitian guys. We loaded up the truck and jumped in to head up to their house on the missionary compound. We asked lots of questions and found out that the island is around 30 miles long and about 10 miles wide. It has 40 to 50 different communities living on it and the population drastically rose after the earthquake damaged so much of Port-au-Prince.