ProVision Foundation in cooperation with Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church has established a Haiti Relief Fund which will involve funding the organizations listed to the right and will balance immediate relief and ongoing development funding as more assessment and strategy is solidified. Additional trusted organizations may be included in the distribution of this fund if deemed appropriate and helpful to the overall effort. Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church is handling the gifts for this fund.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #20

Brian has been back on the ground in Haiti since last Friday. Sorry for the shortage of updates, but Brian's days are long and sometimes it's just too hard physically and emotionally to put these things in an e-mail. For those of you who have been to Haiti, you know that it takes a while to process what you're seeing and experiencing. Also, remember that what Brian is relaying through these updates is only a small, small percentage of what he is seeing and what the Haitian people are going through. While American media outlets have moved onto new things, there is still a need for help in Haiti. Don't forget the people of Haiti.

Here are Brian's words from last night...

The last couple of days in Haiti have been primarily medical in nature. We provided a clinic at the church in Fond Parisien, we helped receive and unload a big shipment of medical equipment from Remote Area Medical that is for our friends at the Bon Samaritan Hospital (

We are still waiting on our container that is stuck in customs. Praying it'll get released any day so we can begin getting all the tarps, tents, food, water, medicine, etc out of the container and into the arms of Haitians who need it.

Today, after leaving church, we were driving through a very poor area and there was a collapsed house and there stood around it at least 20 official looking people in hard hats and nice clothes, also some American military, some representatives from a couple large relief organizations, the entire area flagged off, while a big backhoe was putting debris into a shiny new dump truck. Of course all this made good free entertainment so dozens of Haitians were gathered around watching the event too. I asked who lived there and was informed an American lived there and had died in the collapse. I pulled over and watched them for a few minutes and it just got me thinking (which can be a dangerous thing, especially when I'm tired). All that fanfare and expense to get this American body out of the rubble; while thousands (yes thousands) of Haitian bodies still lie buried under tons of cement and rebar all through out the quake zone. There are no envoys of people going around to dig through rubble for those Haitian bodies. If they haven't had family come collect their corpse by now, then that probably means the entire family died, and where they lay under the buildings on Jan 12 will be their resting place; until a year or so from now when some UN bulldozer comes through and pushes the concrete (along with the decayed corpses) into the back of a dump truck. So as I'm watching this, the question that keeps coming to my mind is "where is the justice in this?" Don't get me wrong, if a family member of mine died in a foreign country I'd be doing whatever it took to get their body found and shipped home too. It's just I want to believe a Haitian life is as important as an American life and I think we would all agree to that. But when it comes to putting that into practice, it doesn't seem like the world agrees. Otherwise, would there be rotting corpses still under debris? Would there be kids with legs skinnier than my arms dying daily because they don't have anything to eat? Why is it acceptable for me to "get used to" the 9 year old little boy with no shoes and tattered rags for clothes coming out in traffic to wash my car window in hopes I'll give him a few pennies? 9 yrs old!? That is the same age as my son. Would I stand for it if a 9 yr old kid ran out in traffic in the states to beg for money? No way, none of us would. We'd pull over and ask him where his parents were and we'd take him to get help. But this happens multiple times daily while driving around Haiti and I realize sometimes I've grown cold to it. I don't know how to change this. Don't know what the solution is. I just know that justice seems to be very elusive in Haiti. Maybe it's hiding under some concrete debris somewhere...

Keep praying,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #19

A few words from Brian as he plans to come home for a little while. As we have said so many times before this will be a long journey to rebuild and to there will be many trips made by Brian, and hopefully at some point me, to Haiti. Please pray for perseverance for us as these times spent separated are really difficult for our family, especially 3 kids. Also for the people we are working with in Haiti and our Board of Directors, who will be charged with the task of making some really tough decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months. My prayer is that God will be the center of every discussion and that He will be made much of through the work we are all doing.

From Brian...

Planning on leaving tomorrow and this trip, like most, has flown by. I was supposed to leave today but the seat I had in a plane was given to someone else. Thankfully American Airlines is flying in and out of Port au Prince again (started yesterday) so I was able to get a flight out tomorrow (Monday). The flights/travel are still so undependable I'm telling anyone who is even considering coming to Haiti for a week to plan on being in country for a week, plus or minus a couple of weeks. Sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but really I'm not.

The last few days we've been primarily distributing rolls of plastic, heavy tarps, blankets, buckets, and hygiene items. Some of these items we purchased and some were given to us from Samaritan's Purse. From an accountability standpoint, it's been really nice being able to see the materials get directly into the hands that need it. The pastors of the churches have done a great job at coordinating this and keeping things running smoothly at distributions.

We've continued to go to the UN meetings to learn how we can get food aid for the communities we serve but so far those meetings have been fruitless.

I want spend a minute to tell you about a friend of mine who is so valuable to me. His name is Hippolite Fanfan (pronunced like eepoleet). Hippolite grew up in one of the orphanages we work with. He, his wife, and 4 month old little girl live in conditions that most would deem unlivable, yet he just constantly emits joy. He is a guy that has helped us for years when we bring mission teams down, but since the quake, he has been like my right arm. He is my GPS system (he knows how to get everywhere), he is my voice (because my creole is still just good enough to get me into trouble - he gets me out), and he is my muscle (he works like a mule). More importantly he is my teacher. He teaches me daily what real faith and generosity is (when I give him some food and I see him later privately giving it to some hungry children). He teaches me about worship (as he sings creole hymns all day long in the truck and as he dances at church). He teaches me what selfless prayer is (as I listen to him praying fervently not for himself, but for things like "blessings for my friends in America", "for the Haitian govt to love Jesus", and "for my brother Brian to have a good life"). Yes, that last one stings. Attached is a photo of Hippolite. I wish I could send you a sound clip of his laugh (which I'm lucky enough to get to hear many times each day) but for now a photo will have to do. Will you do me a favor and take just a few minutes right now and pray for my good friend Hippolite, his wife Nadine, and his little girl Ladine? Thanks for your prayers.

Keep praying,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #18

from Brian:

Wow, I just read my emails - and I am so excited for the village of Belloc and so excited about how sovereign God is. First, I read the information from Rachel about Crossings giving approx $2000 for the community project I'd just a couple hours before presented in an email; then minutes later another email comes through from our friends at World Wide Village committing to another $2000!

I have the pleasure of getting to drive up to Belloc tomorrow and give them the great news that the men of 30 families will be employed for 2 months! God is so awesome I just can't stand it! I'm going to purchase a bunch of sledge hammers and hacksaws (to cut the rebar) and wheelbarrows today so I can take it to them to help get things started off right (most of the hammers they had the other day had sticks for handles and their 1 wheel barrow was literally falling apart).

Bondye bon tout tan!!
(God is good all the time!!)
Keep praying,

By the way, we had only given out approximate numbers, but let me give the exact numbers in case anyone is still thinking this is coincidence, rather than God.

The exact price of the project as written on the crumbled yellow paper that the men presented to me is $29,568 Haitian dollars. At today's exchange rate that is $4,224 in US dollars. The amount of checks from the Crossings Church and World Wide Village...ready for this...was $4,253. That gives me an extra $29 to put towards hammers. God is so cool.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #17

The latest from Brian...

Monday I spent the majority of the morning at the UN Headquarters near the airport in Port au Prince. It was quite an experience. Lots of Europeans smoking cigarettes and talking with funny accents (this from the guy from Tennessee). I was amazed how big the operation is. Literally thousands of people in an army of mobile trailers and air conditioned tents. I guess it takes all that to coordinate all the efforts but I was definitely confused. We did get registered with them as a small NGO (non-governmental organization) which allows us to be considered to receive food and other support so we can in turn get it to the communities we serve. Lots of sitting in meetings, being sent from trailer to trailer, and paperwork, but hopefully it will pay off if we can help get the supplies people need. I have a follow up meeting Friday morning where we should learn more about the system they are putting in place to help get supplies to the small NGO's like us.

The rest of the day Monday was spent looking for, purchasing, and loading the trucks for the food distributions in Belloc, Coq Chante, and Camatin. God continues to reveal himself even through things as mundane as looking for beans (story too long to type now but short version is God provided a "bean miracle").

Tuesday we left at sunrise to head up to the mountains with a flatbed truck and 2 pickup trucks full of food. The pastors of the churches were so excited and appreciative. The amount we took seemed so big when you are loading a flatbed truck. But it seemed so small when you are looking at the sea of people coming to request a little bit of the food for their family. There is just never enough to help everyone we see.

I was really impressed at Belloc. There were several young men in the community starting the back-breaking work of demolishing the remnants of the collapsed church, school, and orphanage and busting the concrete into tiny pieces (with only small hand tools - no backhoes, no jack hammers, no electricity, no dump trucks) which they then moved to the road on a wheel barrow. They were turning a rocky muddy path into a decent gravel road. They came together and proposed me funding a community work program to continue doing this; to completely dismantle the rest of the school, church, and orphanage that collapsed, as well as, several other collapsed concrete buildings in the area - so they could make the road into Belloc a better road. Their proposal was to employee 30 men, working 5 days a week, for 2 months. The cost was $29,000 Haitian dollars (about $4,000 US dollars). I love that they were not asking for a handout. They just wanted an opportunity to work, help their community, better the road to their village, and support their own families. I'm praying the funds will come through so we could fund this program and employee these 30 men for 2 months. Many people over the years have heard about the 80% unemployment in Haiti and assume the Haitian people are lazy but this just isn't the case. They want to work. They want to provide for their children. But with no industry, no factories, no manufacturing, no tourism, there are just no jobs available. Hopefully, as Haiti rebuilds, that will change.

Keep praying

I received this update just a little while ago. As I read it I was amazed. Not at the tenacity of the Haitian people, I know how incredibly tough they are, I was amazed at God. Just a few hours ago I opened an envelope from a local church and found a stack of checks marked Belloc. Because of the obedience of these people, we are already halfway to reaching the $4000 to be able to funding the Belloc Community work program. How cool is God?? And a big THANK YOU to Crossings in Knoxville!!


Rachel, Brian's wife

Monday, February 15, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #16

Saturday and Sunday were busy days...

Saturday we went to Coq Chante, Camatin, and Belloc to meet with the pastors and to decide the best way to do food distributions for those 3 communities. Each place was having church services as part of their 3 days of national fasting & prayer. We were able to check on the Coq Chante orphans which are now temporarily the Camatin orphans. Their transition into their new facility is going well. We did, however, encounter a minor bump in the road. As some of our caretakers were removing a few of the remaining items at Coq Chante to take to Camatin a few of the people living in the Coq Chante community didn't understand what was happening and thought our caretakers were stealing from the orphanage. As with most situations in Haiti a calm day can turn into chaos in a hurry. The few people quickly convinced many others that the caretakers were stealing and tempers flared and soon there was an angry mob of people hitting the 4runner with sticks and throwing rocks. Long story short... after sitting and talking (well, sometimes there was yelling) in a Haitian police station with the chief of police, the caretakers, and the angry mob, everyone realized it was just a misunderstanding and the angry mob was happy to learn that we were temporarily moving the orphanage to a safer place where the children can be well cared for. The angry mob then climbed into the back of my pickup truck and I gave them a ride home. Only in Haiti.

Sunday was Great. We went to an early church service at City of God and then a later service at Savane Pistache. The worship was energetic and it was awesome to see their faith. Having church (at both places) in a courtyard with rubble all around us was kind of surreal. The people at these churches have a faith I aspire to have one day.

Gotta run we have a busy day ahead of us with meetings at the UN Headquarters, several thing to buy at hardware store, and some more food to purchase for the food distributions we'll be doing tomorrow.

Keep praying,

Welcome to Moe's!!!

Team up with Moe’s Southwest Grill to celebrate:

Hearts for Haiti Spirit Days!

Come into Moe’s Southwest Grill

9450 S Northshore Dr or 1800 Cumberland Avenue

on February 15th (TODAY!!!) and 16th !

Moe’s will then donate 10% of the net sales to our efforts with Haiti Serve!

Spread the Word!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

update: Harvest Field Ministries #15

Today (Friday) I was really encouraged by what I saw in the Haitian people...

I started the day with the committee of pastors who help oversee the network of 22 churches we work within. Although they lost their president, spiritual leader, and my good friend, pastor Ronnigue Gueillere, they were still upbeat and hopeful. We talked for a couple hours and they shared with me their hope of rebuilding (structures) but they also shared their desire for the church (the people) to become bigger, better, and stronger. Some of these men are displaced, they all have families with young children and food is scarce in the city, yet they had amazing attitudes and remained joyful. If I were in their shoes and someone asked what I could pray for them about I'd answer "food, shelter, clothes, etc". I want to share with you their responses, first, so you begin to grasp the spirits of these men, and second, so you can all lift them up in prayer.

Pastor Colbert: To be the best servant of God that he can be; for his children to grow up focusing, not on material things, but instead on the Kingdom of God

Pastor Serge: That he would have just a bit of Solomon's wisdom and Jesus' love so he could remain in Gods will for the rest his life.

Pastor Vicere: That the churches would be strong and that the churches could minister to the hurting people in this horrible time for Haiti.

Wow....I was so humbled as they shared these things with me. So much poverty, desperation, and need, yet not one material need was mentioned.

Another exciting thing to watch were all the churches in the city. Several key church leaders around the city called for 3 days of fasting and prayer. Every Christian church in Port au Prince we drove by was filled up and overflowing out the doors with people - praying and worshiping, and lots of it. It was awesome to see their faith in action.

The rest of the day was spent at our churches in Fond Parisien and Ti Marche. These two places need a few structural repairs but they are still standing and usable. Pastor Jouness at Fond Parisien was so pleased to see us visit. He shared with one of our team about the desire to build a shower and toilet at his church, and the cost for it all would be $500. He has been saving some of his own money for this for months but only saved enough to purchase the toilet and still needed the pipe, a small cistern to hold the water and for installation. The team member offered to pay for it and it was like Pastor Jouness had won the lottery. Lots of hugging, smiling, praying, and thanking Jesus. There is a gratefulness among the Haitian people that is hard to explain, and sweet to watch. (By the way Jouness didn't want the toilet for himself; he wanted it so Americans would have a private place to use the bathroom if they come to do clinics or visit his church and school.)

Pastor Timitus at Ti Marche was equally pleased with our visit. They have a well that a generous family in Knoxville, TN paid to install several years ago and it serves thousands of people but has been broken for nearly 4 months now. The cost to repair is $4,120 Haitian dollars (less than $600 American). Some of the people are walking miles to get unsanitary water filled with bacteria and parasites since they can't use this well. We are going to arrange to have the hand pump replaced before we leave so it can be back in service and helping the community.

Tomorrow we are heading up the mountain to visit Belloc, Camatin, and Coq Chante. Really looking forward to seeing our girls.

Keep praying,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #14

Anyone who has been to Haiti understands that things very rarely go as planned. Some days are worse than others. Makes it really hard to accomplish what God has set before you. Some thoughts from Brian at the end of his first day back in Haiti...

First day back in Haiti...
Was informed that the return flight home next week has already been postponed due to no landing slots at the airport.
Found out that the key to our flatbed truck is locked in a house that no one has a key to.
The food we planned to give away to lots of really hungry people may not be available.
The power steering in the 4Runner went out.
Pretty much a normal first day back in Haiti.

Just Pray...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #13

The last week and a half have been busy with coordinating efforts, generating support, and meeting with lots of churches & individuals who might be interested in helping our work in Haiti.

It was a joy to be able to bring Pastor Menes Valme to the US a few days ago. Pastor Menes is a special man and a trusted counselor and evangelist for our 22 churches. He hasn't been a full-time pastor for a couple years due to serious health issues. He is in the states to see a doctor for his kidneys (he has severe diabetes). Pastor Menes lost his 19 year old daughter in a school collapse. Beremy was to graduate from high school this year and wanted to go college to become a doctor. As my wife, Rachel, sat with him the other night looking at pictures of her, Menes just began to weep and shared "Beremy told me she wanted to get married some day and have a daughter so I could have a grandchild that would dance for me". Pastor Menes, like many Haitians, has a lot of grieving and recovery ahead of him.

I'm leaving this morning to return to Haiti. It's been less than 2 weeks since I was in Haiti, but it feels like much longer. I think often of our pastors, orphan caretakers, school teachers, etc., many who are sleeping in one of the refugee camps and doing anything they can just to get a little food. It's been tough to reconcile that as I lay my head down each night on a nice soft pillow in warm house protected from the weather.

A couple of the guys going with me will be focusing on making some structural and electrical modifications to the Camatin facility. We hope by this time next week that the facility will be 100% ready for all the orphans from the Coq Chante orphanage that collapsed (only about 20 minutes away from Camatin). A few of the orphans have already moved there with a portion of the caretakers. Some of the families of the orphans are still reluctant to see the children move in to another concrete structure, because of fear of another earthquake. But as time goes by, people are slowly starting to sleep indoors again and feel more comfortable inside buildings. I think this will be a slow process of overcoming this fear for many Haitians.

Part of our team will also spend time at our collapsed facilities in Port-au-Prince, in the City of God and Savane Pistache areas. We've purchased tons (literally) of food with money given from so many generous Americans and will be distributing it in the locations in the city, as well as several of the communities we work in outside the city in more rural areas.

We appreciate everyone's continued prayers and support.

Keep praying,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reflections on Baby Isaac's Life

The following is from Lance Robinson:

Many of you know that I have been in Haiti and the Dominican Republic over the last two and half weeks working with our partners involved with the Haitian earthquake relief efforts. What you may or may not know is that part of the way through this time my participation in relief efforts went from playing a small role in the food distribution and medical relief of thousands to an unexpected focused effort to save one.

While delivering food to an orphanage, we came across baby Isaac. Six-week-old Isaac was very sick and he grabbed my heart. A nurse who was a part of our team made the decision that he needed immediate medical attention. With the blessing of the orphanage director, Isaac was swiftly transported to a medical clinic and I became his custodian in helping him receive medical care. At that point, my journey became exclusively, albeit briefly intertwined with his.

Isaac passed away yesterday, February 6, 2010, after giving it a good fight and despite the best efforts of many caring people. I have been working in children-at-risk issues in many countries for years now and have had many children and their stories affect me. However, the intensity of attempting to save Isaac’s short life, within the larger framework of the untold sufferings of Haiti, has had a profound impact on me, my family; and as I am continuing to discover, many others as well.

I feel I was almost thrown into Isaac’s saga, so the lessons that follow are not about what I was able to do but what was confirmed in me as I moved through this time with Isaac. At the very least, Isaac’s s

tory is a reminder that the claims of justice and love mean very little unless they affect someone tangibly. It also reminds us that often times the best efforts at love and justice are small and focused. His life has been a beautiful illustration that whether we are fighting for the justice of thousands or fighting for the life of one, it’s worth it.

I thought I would pass on a reflection I wrote about halfway through my time with Isaac. At minimum, I hope the story of his life will move you to consider that his story, one of an orphan suffering in the third world from lack of adequate health care and basic needs, is multiplied into the millions. May Isaac move you to consider what you can do on behalf of the millions of orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide.

I would also like to ask, that if Isaac’s story moves you to act or give that you drop me a note to let me, my family and our organization know how his life has had impact.

Wednesday Morning Reflections, January 27, 2010:

As I just rubbed Isaac's back he jolted and I reflexively said, "It's okay bud, someone's here with you."

I've been trying to figure out my role with him. Dad? Maybe. Lots of unknowns still with this. Custodian through this medical crisis? Yes. I am here to make sure that he's properly cared for.

But what if the worst happens and he never pulls out of this? Then why all this? Why drive him wildly across the dusty countryside of Haiti to a disaster response medical clinic? Why have him cared for by experienced doctors who have converged here from all over the world? Why hop on a military chopper with him and rush him to the best hospital we could find in Santo Domingo? Why do blood work, hook him up to monitors, pump powerful antibiotics into him, etc?

The thought came after I touched Isaac and said that someone's here for him that in a profound sense every single human being has value; and everyone of us, just like Isaac, needs someone "there" for us whether we realize it or not.

Perhaps to give this to someone even when you are not sure what good it is or role you are playing is precisely the way God wants us to love. Perhaps I will only be here for Isaac for a short part of the journey or if his journey is short. Perhaps it’s for the long haul. Perhaps I'm supposed to be this for Isaac and perhaps he's teaching me something about love.

The frustrating part of this is the finitude of the human perspective. We don't always know our role in the story. I certainly don't understand the massive amounts if suffering and "aloneness" that has been going on all over Haiti and it angers me. It makes me question God or wonder if he's the being we think he is or even wonder if he's there at all.

At the same time I find myself praying. Praying that somehow in some way those who were trapped or continuing to suffer will at least be given a touch from God to somehow experience that they are not alone. This is my prayer but my realistic side recognizes that this may not be the case. People suffer and die alone all the time. Then I find hope calling me to believe this for them in eternity. And love calls me (and all who say they follow Jesus) to incarnate this love to those that come into my journey. Love also calls me/us to stand for justice for the vulnerable and oppressed.

I truly wish that I could resolve the mysterious tension of not understanding the sufferings of this world and the anger and cynicism that it brings with the simultaneous life-giving and joyful narratives of love, justice, hope and compassion, beauty, truth and grace. The latter spurs me to want to challenge this present order of things through trying to live out these life-giving stories with presence, hope, grace, justice and love.

I want Isaac to sense someone is there for him and at this stage of life that is perhaps all that it is for him—a "sensing". But for the value of his life, and for as long as our paths cross, I can be that for him.

I think that's what we all need. From God and from others to know or believe someone is there for us however long our lives are and whatever twist and turns they take.

This is to me the message of the incarnation: To show us a God who is loving and present amidst the often times dismal, inexplicable chaos around us. To give us a hope that someday this will all be made right. To love, value and be present with us for who we are no matter who we are—especially little Haitian orphans. Today I choose to believe someone is here for you Isaac and for me as well. Despite the "why's" I choose love.

Lance Robinson


Equitas Group

Haiti Serve General Presentation

The general information for Haiti Serve, Inc. is now available to view online.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reflections from a Team Member.

Here is an email that we received that describes Mindy Meyer's experience last week in Haiti/DR:

How do I describe my last week of life in Haiti and Dominican Republic...very humbling and very amazing! God revealed again and again that He is in control and in charge. The people are joyful even in trials and very challenging to my spoiled American mentality. They are grateful for little if any and offered love and even their food to this overly fed American.

I will try to briefly describe the daily events. This is really short, but I want you to know where I was and what our team did there. We partnered with ProVision Foundation, Cedar Springs, and many other haitian and knoxville churches. ProVision had a presence in Haiti & DR (Dominican Republic) prior to the quake. They are partnered with many churches and orphanages. For the most part, the acute phase of needed medical care was closing when we got there (12 days after the quake), but MUCH more will be needed in the future and is still needed.

Jan.23: Saturday at 6pm get a call from Molly Marks (friend and Pediatric NP) that she wants me to go to leave on a plane at 6am Sunday to help with Medical relief in Haiti

Sunday January 24th: Arrive at Knoxville airport at 6am, meet Terrye Guthe (Surgical Tech from Cedar Springs Church)flight leaves for ATL, arrives late, but by grace of God we make our connection for a flight from ATL to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Entire plane is almost all Medical and Relief teams, meet Dr. Will McAlexander, surgeon from Arkansas who will be working with us. Arrive in Santo Domingo around 4pm, drive two minivans to the Jimani Project (about 20-30 minutes from the Haiti/DR border, but is in the DR) at 10:45pm. At Jimani, Dr.Clint Doiron shows us the patients they have seen. In the last few days they had done hundreds of amputations. Patients are out on cots in the tent city in front of the orphanage due to fear of another quake or aftershock. Patient laying on cots outside externally fixated for orthopedic injuries. Unbelievable. Saw 3month old pulled from rubble 3 days ago who was being monitored for seizures. The number of amputations is overwhelming, and there is no physical therapy centers and at that time no walkers, crutches, etc. (they did come later). There are not such thing as prosthetics for these people (if you want to try to get PT and prosthetics contact ProVision through the blog). Go to house in Jimani to sleep. Meet Marie and Angeline, a little girl about 6 years old who had a skin graft to fix an old severe burn injury. THe skin graft enabled her to use her arm which had been fused from when she caught on fire. A group had found her at an orphanage where her grandmother had taken her due to her injuries since she could not care for her, a plastic surgery team had come to Jimani, so they took Angeline and repaired her arm. Once healed, she will be able to return to her family. She was on antibiotics and only ibuprofen for pain. (THESE PEOPLE ARE AMAZINGLY TOUGH!)

Monday, Jan 25th: Leave Jimani, head into Haiti by minivan. Stop at a number of orphanages who are helping with victims of the quake. Stop and get on Tap tap (a covered truck where people ride in the back. This is mass transit in Port au Prince (PAP)) so we can make it up to an orphanage in the mountains that ProVision works with. Word had come back that some kids were sick and needed checked out. Most of the orphans were orphans prior, but two had just arrived who were orphaned by the quake. Pull into the orphanage....the kids are pure joy! Immediately hug you and want you to hold them. Molly and I go in to check out some kidos. Molly checks Isaac, the 6 week old who we had heard was sick. He is VERY sick. Another girl, Marta, most likely has pneumonia and is obviously malnourished. Molly and Renee Moldrup leave immediately to get these two kids to Jimani for treatment. I check out Ashley, has upper resp. infection. Treated with Amoxicillin. Treated lots of kids for dehydration. Haitian kids LOVE pedialyte! It is not that these orphans are neglected. It is that the care givers are doing the best they can with what they had. Molly would return to this orphanage later in the week and check every child. Everyone healthy and Ashley is doing better on the amoxicillin. You see God's hand in this...He brought all the sick kids to our attention within minutes. Praise HIM!
Leave orphanage, head into PAP. About 20 people sleep in house in PAP, medical teams meet up for first time. Tomorrow will head into city to set up a medical clinic at Pastor Jude and his wife, Yannick's church. Take a very brief cold shower and head to bed (hot showers did not exist in PAP). Just so you know, many children are brought to orphanages because their parents cannot care for them. They bring them hoping for better for their kids. They chose this over selling them into child slavery which is a major problem in Haiti. Please understand the adoption process even in a crisis like this needs to be discerning and somewhat slow to protect these kids from being scooped up for child trafficking. Child trafficking can include slavery for work, slavery for sex, or even for organ harvesting. It is disturbing, but VERY real. Understand our American mentality of we want it fast and we want it now, is not the best or safest answer.

Tuesday, Jan 26th: Set up clinic at church, see about 200 patients at clinic. I ran the pharmacy. (Lots of drugs donated from all over. Thank the Lord for David Forsberg's google so we could find out what medicines were what since some were definitely not in English). Treated LOTS of kids and adults for worms, due to dirty water. Will McAlexander amputated a woman's toe on a church pew in the clinic. Go back to house. Eat. Head to bed for clinic tomorrow.

Wed, Jan 27th: Clinic again. Had lots of help with pharmacy from Mae & Kassey (a 16 & 18 year old, from the church who would write instructions in french so the patients would understand). Lady comes in septic from what we believed to be pneumonia (start IV and gave rocephin), decided to transport her to Jimani. Did so on a flatbed truck. She would end up airlifted out of Jimani to the Comfort where we would find out she had an empyema (pus pocket in her lung...make you VERY sick and she would have died w/o medical treatment). Over the two days at the clinic saw between 400-500 patients. Head back to house. Plans for tomorrow to do a small clinic in a baute (unbelievable rural village - mud huts with thatch roofs) and distribute food/

Thursday Jan 28th - Do medical care for baute. 3 providers (myself included) see patients around a flatbed truck. Man in my line complained of spot on his head that wouldn't heal. Have him remove his hat and Philip (my translator and Jude and Yannick's son) says whoa. Come around and a lipoma (benign tumor) the size of a tennis ball is on the back right side of his head. I call for Will who removes it for the man. We find out later. He had wanted to have it removed two years ago, but couldn't afford the 40 US dollar price. He had it removed with no local anesthetic, only morphine and antibiotics. We all saw probably a total of 200 patients in the baute. Head back to PAP house. Find out we are going home Saturday and another medical team is coming in Tuesday.

Friday, Jan 29th - Leave PAP and Drive to Santo Domingo and have first hot shower. Will leave on flight for ATL tomorrow

Saturday, Jan 30 - Drive to visit Isaac(the 6 week old from the orphanage) in the hospital in Santo Domingo (he was airlifted from Jimani). He is doing okay, but not well. High suspicion he has AIDS, electrolytes will not balance. Orphanage did know mother died of AIDS. Head to the airport. Arrive home greeted by my incredibly loving and amazing husband, our two Godchildren (the BEST!), and my very supportive and loving sister.

Words will never do this trip justice. I am beyond thankful for God calling me there and providing me the means to do it. To Him be all glory. I am EXTREMELY grateful to all of you who have been praying, encouraging, and supporting me while I was gone. I can't thank people enough for shifting plans so I could go, to my new employer agreeing I should absolutely go, and to my incredible husband who said it was a must and reminded me of my previous words about wanting to help with medical missions. So there it is, a very brief synopsis. I defintely feel a piece of me is still there. I long to care for these beautiful people and know I will return to Haiti again. I am thankful that God reminded me after Molly's first phone call of when He called the disciples He said follow me and they IMMEDIATELY left their nets and followed him. This is what He asked of me and I will tell you that obedience to Christ is better than anything. I wavered, and I hate I did, but I am thankful that a struggle became obedience. I am thankful my husband pointed me to Christ, and putting my money where my mouth is. I am blessed by God for it. For me now, to live in the ignorance of self-absorption is not an option, but will definitely be a temptation. I know from this God has refined me to be more like Him, and being more like Him means being a more compassionate and loving person, no matter where that is. Love to you all. If you are ever given the opportunity to go to Haiti, do NOT pass it down. There is no way you can go there and not be changed!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Update from Restavek Foundation

UPDATE: Restavek Foundation's Response

A Message from Joan Conn, Executive Director of the RestavekFoundation

February 2, 2010

It seems that people are trying to return to some normalcy since the earthquake. Haitians are very resilient people, but this is testing even their resolve. They have endured more than any people should have to endure: hurricanes, famine, corruption and now one of the most destructive earthquakes in our history.

Schools are shut down across the entire country, even in areas not physically impacted by the earthquake. People are migrating all across Haiti and this is placing heavy loads on small countryside communities. It seems that every department in Haiti has experienced some disruption in their communities.

English students acting as interpreters L-r Alex Nadine,Marcel, emmanuela, Kedar, Whisler.JPG

English students acting as interpreters in Haiti L-R Alex Nadine,Marcel, Emmanuela, Kedar, Whisler

Approximately one million people have been displaced from their homes. For those whose homes still stand, their fear keeps them from returning. Just last night we were in one of the worst hit communities and my husband, Ray, was asked to inspect a woman’s home. He went inside and all around the house to look for anything that would be a sign of instability, but he did not find even a crack. He did show her a hole in the floor and they both laughed when she reported that it had been there for years. He informed her that the hole was probably more dangerous than the house falling on her. She felt reassured to move back inside her home.

The container we received on Monday before the earthquake was nothing short of a miracle. This food was packaged by Crossroads Church with Kids Against Hunger last May, and we have been working to get the container to Haiti ever since. The container arrived December 7, but due to all the red tape on the Haitian side, we were unable to get the container released until January 11—in the meantime paying $30 U.S. dollars per day to keep it on the dock. As I look back, it was a true miracle that we were delayed. We had food and blankets (provided by Kara Beardsells group), shoes and clothing (provided by Silly Bean and Kate Finger’s Plato’s Closet), hygiene products and basic medical supplies collected by Mimi Clark and her small group. The food was supposed to feed the kids in our program this year; the blankets were to be distributed to our children so they would no longer sleep on the dirt and concrete floors. Little did we know that the food and blankets would sustain us during the first few days after the earthquake and provide relief to thousands of others.

We have passed out tons of food (literally), feeding over 5,000 people—including the children from our program. Daniel Rouzier with Food for the Poor (FFP) provided us with our first supply of food, but there was just not enough food being distributed to FFP to keep us supplied. Clint, my son, went to the Dominican Republic to find a good food source and returned with a truckload of beans and rice. We now have a good resource from which to purchase what we need.

One reporter asked me why we stayed in Haiti. The question took me by surprise—we never thought leaving was an option. We have friends who died as well as some of our children. We are finding more and more children every day but also realize that many may have headed to the countryside with the people they lived with prior to the quake. We have much to do.

All of our staff survived, for which we are very thankful. Roslyn Phillips, our child sponsorship coordinator, has emerged as a true leader in our efforts to find our children, even though she experienced the loss of her father during the quake. Ray and Roslyn are working with our school directors to see if we can open school again because children have nothing to do and families need to feel that life is happening. We also want to make sure the children are fed at least once a day.

This week, we are meeting with all of our school directors to see how we begin the process of restarting school. The national schools will not open for some time as many are destroyed and others will need to employ teachers to replace those that have died.

We rented a very large house that we will need to furnish to use as transitional housing for 30 children. Staff are being hired to help manage this for us. Some are coming from the U.S. and others are friends we know from Haiti. Jean Robert is helping coordinate this effort because he knows best what these children need. Our English program in Port Salut, supported by the H.E.A.R. Foundation, has provided several translators for medical doctors on the ground in Port au Prince. They all volunteered their time and felt honored to be able to contribute something to the relief effort.

Every day Jean Robert goes out to see how children in restavek are being treated. He comes upon some very sad and disturbing situations. We cannot rescue all of these children, but we report what we see to UNICEF and other organizations working on this issue. Many people are collaborating on the issue of restavek and hopefully something good will come from this terrible tragedy.

We will never be able to express our gratitude to all of you who have donated to our efforts. Your support and concern has kept us going.

Joan Conn, Executive Director of the Restavek Foundation

The Next Team has Landed!!!

Here's the crew for this week's medical team:

Charlie Barnett, M.D. Summit Medical, Knoxville, TN
Charlie Bozeman, M.D. Summit Medical, Knoxville, TN
Jeff Robinson, M.D. Summit Medical, Knoxville, TN
John Law, M.D. Summit Medical, Knoxville, TN
Evonne Davison, Chadasha Foundation, Nashville, TN
Becky Warren, Chadasha Foundation, Huntsville, AL
Teresa Overholt, Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, TN
Connie Juranek, Summit Medical, Knoxville, TN

Here's the rest of the team headed back to the states:
David Forsberg
Michelle Roberts
Julia Keylon

Monday, February 1, 2010

Children Singing at Children Hope and Hospice Orphanage

Here the children are singing their orphanage song...

Vaccination Information

Many people have asked about vaccination requirements for traveling to Haiti. There are no requirements, but here are some recommendations:

Hepatitis A -First shot gives immunity, but second is required at six months. $20/shot

Hepatitis B-First shot gives some immunity, 2nd shot at one month, third shot at six months $40/shot

Tetanus and Pertussis-- $35


Polio (if you have not had an adult booster) $25

MMR (if you have not had an adult booster) $50

H1N1-No charge

There is not a malaria vaccine that is 100% effective. You can take an anti-malarial prescription.

For persons travelling to Haiti, no appointments are necessary, but you must go to the main Health Department Building at 140 Dameron Avenue, 37919. Telephone number- 215-5070

Please Note: All shots take two weeks to take effect!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Team Transition

The team mentioned in the previous post made it back in time to see the snow in Knoxville. The next team (leaving Tuesday) has now been briefed and is preparing to go down.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Updates are HERE!!!

Please take some time to read through some of the updates for this past week. It has been a super busy week and most of the team that helped to establish the clinic in Port au Prince is heading back to home today.

Please pray for traveling mercies for:

Norris Hill
Melissa HIll
Steve Moldrup
Renee Moldrup
Terry Douglass
Mindy Meyer
Terry Guthe

as they brave the weather and make their way back to Knoxville today.

Our next team of doctors/nurses is gearing up and preparing to head down this upcoming Tuesday, February 2nd, to continue to provide care at the newly establish clinic for Pastor Jude's Church.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #12

Update from Brian Lloyd of Harvest Field Ministries

The last several days since I returned from Haiti have been very busy. We have been working diligently to get more help for our friends in Haiti. Here is an update on where we are on several fronts.

Our medical team is back safely – they worked extremely hard in difficult situations, spending the majority of time in Leogane, which was extremely devastated by the earthquake. They helped hundreds of people and we are so thankful for their willingness to give. We are pleased that our flatbed truck was able to be utilized as an ambulance for several days to help transport those who could not make it to the hospital. The medical team we worked with, a group of great guys from Iowa and Minnesota, (associated with are incredible and we hope to be able to team up with them again soon.

Our structural engineering team arrived back safely after spending several days reviewing the damage at our Camatin Facility, as well as working on rainwater collection at Coq Chante. We are excited that the damage to Camatin is primarily cosmetic, however there is one area in the back of the building where the partially collapsed cistern structure is still leaning against the building and there needs to be some remediation and shoring installed so we can start the process of removing the cistern. Once that is complete we can begin utilizing the Camatin facility to house the girls from Coq Chante, for storage and distribution of supplies, and for bringing medical and work teams in to serve in the hard hit areas. We hope this can be accomplished in the next 2 weeks so we can start putting the building to good use.

The 6 adopted children are home and adjusting well to their new homes and families. Life has been chaotic for them the last few days with the major transition and lots of press coverage, interviews, and meetings; but things are now beginning to settle down (a little) for them. I’ve seen most of them several times in the past few days and they are doing great. Their parents have done a great job getting them together and letting them talk on the phone to each other. They love the snow flurries they’ve seen for the first time, but are not a big fan of the freezing temperatures in Knoxville right now.

Future Teams are something we are looking at and we are so appreciative of the many people who have contacted us in recent days about going to serve. Our teams going down in the near future will be very specific task/gift oriented teams. Due to the safety issues, logistical challenges, and extremely chaotic working conditions, we have to be fairly selective about who will be going down on teams to serve. If you are one of the many people who have offered to serve, we say thank you for your willingness, and ask that you keep that passion for the long-term because we will need many teams going down for months & years to come. But for the immediate future we will not be able to take lots of teams down like we have in previous years. Pre-Quake Haiti and Post-Quake Haiti are two entirely different worlds. Thanks for your understanding of this, and look for more info in the future once we get to a place that we can take lots of teams down and serve effectively.

We are working diligently on the fronts of 1) fund-raising and 2) networking with the large relief organizations (Red Cross, UN World Food Program, World Vision, etc.) We have had lots of meetings, phone calls, emails, etc. and there are lots of ‘irons in the fire’ but haven’t had any significant commitments yet. Of our 7 facilities that completely collapsed, 2 of them were in the city, but the rest are in very rural areas where the relief efforts are not reaching yet. We believe partnering with larger organizations will allow us to help the people in these rural communities, but we need your prayers for God to open doors and lead us to the right people who can help us to minister to these hurting communities.

Many have been emailing us inquiring about adoptions and the humanitarian parole process to bring Haitian children to the United States. We are staying in touch with US Immigration officials, the State Department, and adoption advocates in Washington DC, and there is still much unknown, but what we do know at this point, is that it will not be an easy process. There are still hundreds of children that were in the final stages of adoptions that have not been able to come to the states yet. The state dept has said that once they complete all the adoptions that were already in the pipeline, they will then begin reviewing the humanitarian parole applications. The process has slowed down significantly in recent days due to the concern that lack of investigation could allow some children to be placed in unsuitable homes or even worse, trafficked and sold into sweat shops, child porn, organ harvesting, etc. Our prayers are that the Haitian government, US government, and the international community will find common ground to work together to expedite this paperwork so orphans and abandoned children can come to the states to strong families that will love and care for them. We will keep you posted if we find out new information on the adoption/humanitarian parole process.

For those of you who have given financially, with prayers, or offers to help we sincerely thank you.

Keep praying,


For more information about what we do you can You can also follow Harvest Field Ministries on Facebook and Twitter.

Bondye bon tout tan!

(God is good all the time!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Update: Chadasha Foundation #11

second update from Kris Meyer (his wife Mindy is serving with the team in Port au Prince)

Just got off the phone with Mindy again this evening. Many of the cell phone providers are allowing free calls to/from Haiti until the end of the month so comminiction has gotten easier. Today they traveled to remote villages away from the clinic. They saw mostly minor medical issues many related to dehydration. She did mention one man inparticular had a tennisball sized tumor on his head that they removed. She said the hardest thing is that numming medicines are is short supply and many people are having to suffer through thier surgery. Mindy also mentioned that the environment seems to becoming more violent as people are realizing they have lost everything.

She asked that we continue to pray for safety as they travel back to orphanges tomorrow and then head to Santa Domingo to prepare for the trip home.
I can't wait to see my wife again!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Update: Equitas Group #2 (pictures)

Here is a photo update from Lance's time in Port au Prince as he was helping to serve Restavek Foundation.

Assessing needs of a program that works with 125 children who even before the earthquake were too poor to send kids to school or feed them well. We left food for 400 meals. They had no
food before then. There also 25 other kids whose parents are unknown that r living in streets and will show up in Sat for a meal.

Staff that are working this NGO are living in the tents as well.

Ray Conn and Jean R. Cadet are delivering food to immaculate conception.

Lance, Ray and Jean R. Cadet are at the immaculate conception compound.. This is Ray explaining the effects of the earthquake on the structure. So far everything looks pretty good and solid

Delivering food to Sister Martha, an 86 year old, Belgium nun who as been serving vulnerable Haitian children for over 30 years!

After strategizing for dispursement into the community for relief efforts. Jean R. Cadet spends time encouraging the staff toward continual dedication & sacrifice during this time of crisis, which the staff has already proven themselves to be doing. This staff is simultaneously trying to be who they need to be for their families, sleeping outside, and bringing relief to their communities as child advocates.

The program which we just left (tent city), this little girl is a part of that program. There is no food we just enough for 400 meals. There are 125 kids in program whose parents cannot afford to feed or send them to school.

25 other kids that are living on the streets now that know to show up on Sat for a meal.

They had no food until we got there.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update: Chadasha Foundation #10

this is from Kris Meyer (his wife Mindy is on the team in Port au Prince this week)

Hey everyone,
I got the first phone call from Mindy tonight and she said everything is going well. I will try my best to summarize our conversation but I'm sure I won't do it justice.

The team of 25 or so are staying in a small home just outside the city and they do have one (cold) shower to share! They have some of the local haitian women that cook them breakfast and dinner each day. Typically they just snack on what they brought from home for lunch. She said the days are hot and the bugs are bad, however you don't really notice it because they stay so busy.

The first day was spent setting up the clinic and going to orphanages. Mindy said there are so many kids in need of attention both medically and nutritionally. She mention two girls had to be brought down to the clinic from treatment and how after only 2 days what a difference a little medicine and food can make! Today Mindy stayed the clinic and help with the medication distribution. She said some of the drugs are in English and others in Spanish so it was not an easy task getting everything right! Tomorrow they are planning on heading back out to different orphanages surrounding the city. She made a comment about how scared the kids still are with everything going on.

As of now Mindy is planning on coming home on Sunday. She asked that everyone continue to pray for these people who have lost everything! Pray for the medical team's strength and knowledge as they really don't know what they will see each day. She wanted to thank everyone for their prays and support so far and can't wait to share all of her amazing stories.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Update: Chadasha Foundation #9

update from Phil Guthe (his wife Terrye is on the first medical team establishing our clinic in Port au Prince)

Terrye borrowed a cell phone (probably from the blue network) and called home this evening (Tuesday 1/26/2010). This was day one in Port au Prince (PAP). They set the clinic up yesterday afternoon and worked with patients today. They are being housed in an actual home; about 20 people altogether. The few women shared beds and rooms while the men slept on mattresses on the living room floor or out on the deck. It is a car caravan commute in unison to the church where the clinic is set up. I asked Terrye if she feared for her safety and she said no. Needless to point out, she commented on the structural devastation she’s witnessed although the church and the house remained in tact from the damaging earthquake and aftershocks. Even more touching to her, obviously, were the people milling about looking helpless and homeless. I don’t know if they advertised the clinic’s opening but I asked her about specifics of what she did today. I could tell she was exhausted with her day’s work (a spouse knows these things by voice) and she was guarded in her speech. “Well, we had to amputate a toe and another came in with a really serious wound that needed attention.” I thought maybe it was a slow day since they just opened their doors so I asked how many people she thought came through the doors. She said, “Oh, probably 200.” Oh my gosh! So I asked her other than the two specific cases she mentioned, what did she do? “I just loved on these people, hugged a lot and told them I loved them. The boy now missing a toe smiled the entire time I was with him.” I asked her if she had food & water, “Yes, I have the bags of beef jerky I brought.” I pressed her on this and learned she’s had meals and a feast was being prepared for supper as we spoke. She was so tired she couldn’t really understand my question regarding her sustenance. The jerky is still unopened as it has not been needed.
I couldn’t gather if she has showered but she claimed to be dirty. Terrye’s idea of roughing it is staying in a Holiday Inn instead of a Marriott so this is a real challenge for her. I asked if she used the mosquito netting. She built a tent over the bed where she and her bed buddy slept. She claimed her arms are now covered in bites but she never saw what got her. I call them no see ums. She was told upon her return to the USA to de-lice and take a round of antibiotics to ward off whatever she may have picked up while there. She has told those she’s with that she’s good to stay for as long as she’s needed, beyond a month if necessary. I asked her if she thought she was being a help or just in the way. Her answer came with a hint of emotion, “Oh yes, I’m needed. I’m doing whatever I’m asked to do. Jimani is a full bore MASH unit. While I was there en route to PAP, two huge helicopters picked up loads of patients and transported them to what I guess would be a hospital ship. I was a bit overwhelmed at the extent of surgical procedures being performed in Jimani and feel I’m in a place in PAP much better suited for me. We almost lost one little boy today but I think he’s going to be fine now.” Her comments to me are a bit understated, don’t you think?
Phil Guthe

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Update: Equitas Group

From Lance (currently in Port au Prince)

I've been with Ray Conn and Jean Robert since last night. We are distributing food today, Ray is assessing building structures at schools they work with to see if usable (immaculate conception is). 85 yrs old nun, sister Martha, is going strong and won't leave even though others are trying to get her to. When we came she was encouraging her monitors who go into the homes where restaveks live and try to change their situation for te better. 35 of them are homeless, not sure about meals, lost lots of friends and family but are going out to these homes and distributing food. When we pulled in with beans and rice they had just run out the day before.

Most devastating news was an orphanage that collapsed killing the girls in it. Jean Robert and I climbed the rubble and unexpectedly came upon workers removing two of the girls. They had removed five already. Horrible. Many of these girls had escaped a life of domestic servitude as a restavek.

Good news, you remember the restavek girl on the CNN piece they followed around with Jean Robert? The producer couldn't get her off her mind and is adopting her. She is staying at the house we are at along with two other girls in process of adoption.

Gotta go, maybe can tell more later.

Lance Robinson


Equitas Group

Saturday, January 23, 2010

They've Landed

Hey, just wanted to let you know that Brian, Kevin, and the kids have landed in Ft. Lauderdale and are going through immigration. They are saying they will land at TacAir at 4:45 this afternoon. I think it will be later, but that's what we're hearing.

Update: Chadasha Foundation #8

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all, I deeply appreciate all the love, prayers and support
you are sending my way. I feel very honored to receive such grace.

So today from chaos, some order. We got up with roosters making noise
just before sun-up. Mike Cobb and I were in the OR by 7:30 AM and
worked together until about 6PM. We made up for yesterday’s
frustration thanks to my new hero, Dr. Ben an ortho/hand surgeon from
Boston (last names hard to come by here). Looks like Harry Connick,
Jr. so Ben Hollywood could do. He arrived yesterday, and was stymied
by the lack of an OR for him to use. Within hours he happily accepted
his new calling in life to run the OR schedule for 5 operating rooms,
11 orthpaedists, 2 plastic surgeons and an unknown number of pending
patients. Without picking up a scalpel he did more than enough to
credit him with the gold star of the day. We sent our #1 OR ortho
nurse, Danya from Omaha/Creighton , to the orphanage/hospital to line
up surgeries since she understood our capabilities. Patients have to
be moved by ambulance the 200 yards from orphanage to hospital. Lots
of bumps, dust and heat. Lots of lifting up and down, carrying
stretchers. No one complains. Ben said we did 58 surgeries (still
without Xray) with only one cranky surgeon from CA giving him a hard
time. So do we feel well accomplished? I just don’t know how to even
measure progress here.

As we worked along thru the day we heard various reports. Some are
checking in with CNN, some have family sending odd news reports asking
if we can confirm. Luke, I saw your note about US support. I hope
your “tree shaking” reaches the right person. So from “rumor” the
USS Comfort is either full or not doing anything. The U of Miami has
a field trauma unit at the airport in PAP, and may take some critical
patients from us, but the critical probably can’t handle the car/truck
ride. Clint/Dave Vanderpool/Luke are all pushing for help to get
patients moved out of here, we all wonder which agency is going to
step up to the plate.

We still saw patients today who had no significant care since their
injuries. I honestly don’t know how they are getting here. One was a
70 year old lady for whom Mike did external fixation for a femur
fracture, completely by feel, since no Xray. We are all amazed by the
strength they show. They have tolerated so much pain, and frankly we
sometimes just look at each other in the OR wondering HOW DID THIS
PERSON SURVIVE THE LAST 10 DAYS? The Haitians look after each other
quietly and with dignity in the most bare of surroundings. We had one
woman today whose right arm was cut off to get her out of the rubble.
Mike revised the amputation and has her lined up with plastic surgeons
from Gainesville for skin grafts on Sunday. She never stopped
smiling, never complained, yet I am sure she is in pain. And there
are far more just like her.

I have so many stories, I may not be able to keep them straight. Some
are just too terrible to put to writing. This is a small part of one,
with a lot omitted that goes into the too terrible category. Our
OB-GYN professor from Lincoln Memorial Medical School in TN saved a
young woman’s life early today. Dr. John Williamson has been coming
to Jimani with Clint for years. A nurse came looking for him late
last night. The patient was about 20 weeks pregnant when she was
crushed in the quake. The baby died and she appeared here out of
nowhere with high fever. I really don’t want to go into the medical
issues, but when John told her husband emergency surgery was needed
at 2AM, he agreed without question. When John said, “Do you
understand how serious this is?”, he replied “Because you are doing it
now at 2AM I know it is very serious and you are doing the right thing
because no one in my country would ever have an operation at this
time”. Clint was there for the whole surgery, and I know he will have
much more to say about it.

There was a very minor tremor here about dark, none of us felt it but
the patients and their families lying on mattresses on concrete floors
did and ran out of the orphanage into the parking lot area. I did not
see this, but 2 patients with IV’s jumped from the second floor. 3
docs went to check them out. Danya was just getting things in order
again, putting people back to bed, when we felt another, bigger jolt.
This is the first thing I have noticed so I am now in our bus typing
away for awhile. I’ll go check on my post-op patients in a little

When we occasionally stop and look beyond the Jimani Project at the
surrounding views, this is a beautiful spot. There is a large lake
with vistas to green cliffs in the distance. Hawaii is the only place
I can compare this to. But, it is much hotter than Hawaii! Must
have been 100 degrees in the sun at midday and 90 in the OR. I
consumed well over a gallon of fluid today. I can’t imagine how this
adds to the stress on our patients, we keep pushing fluids and using
antibiotics far more easily than I ever would at Twin Rivers. Thank
God we have all of that we need.

The CRNA’s (nurse anesthetists) working with me have kept my patients
magnificently pain free with little of our usual 21st century devices.
We can’t even monitor oxygen levels appropriately. Bill Ragon who
came with us from Jackson, TN “trained in” 2 new arrivals from
Knoxville today during surgeries Mike and I were doing. There we are
in a OR with screens covering open windows, doing surgery, while Bill
quietly gave his replacements (I do believe it will take 2 to replace
him) his advice given our resources. By the way, I have not heard a
patient crying in pain in the recovery area immediately post-op. The
anesthesiologists and nurses running the recovery/post-op areas are
just incredible. We keep pushing them to discharge patients so we can
bring in more. They have 6-8 patients on cots in small, hot rooms
plus patients in the hallways, the laundry room, and every alcove
available. They have never said a sour word doing the toughest of

Speaking of jobs, I really love what I do. My Dad said he enjoyed 20%
of what he did in dentistry, and that made up for the other 80%. I
have always felt fortunate to enjoy 80% of what I do, more than making
up for the other less enjoyable 20%. And come to think of it, at this
moment, I don’t know what the 20% I thought I didn’t enjoy is anymore!

The volunteers here are just amazing. Not just the docs and nurses,
but everyone. I just met Caleb Pal from Huntsville. Luke, he is the
man (I swear he looks 13 and has never shaved) Troy Moore got to come
down to hook up the satellite link. I decided his IQ is too high for
me to count to. He put a blow up bubble on the roof with the dish
inside and is working on a second. He brought a black box smaller
than a carry on suitcase that will be a cell tower giving a mile
radius for our phones to connect to it. We can then call US through
any cell provider one would have just as if in US. He says we are a
“cell service provider”. He’s working on how to call in to Jimani
right now, next to me here in my dorm room. I am sure he hasn’t had
any time to think about why he got into this. I think 99% of
volunteers are here because they felt called by God. This is one of
our usual discussion topics over power bars and bottled water. I met
a young surgeon yesterday on his arrival. He was so arrogant the
nurses told me they wouldn’t work with him. But today he was crying
along with the rest of us, his eyes the “Jimani red”. And he started
asking for advice in the OR, which I guarantee never happened before.
And he does great work! He did a “free flap” of skin from the abdomen
to a calf wound for one of my 11 year old patients to cover a huge,
painful open wound in record time. And within minutes had figured out
how to use orthopaedic hardware to fix a 7 year old’s jaw, that was
broken in 2 places. So I guess he just didn’t know where the phone
call that got him here originated from until today. We are all being
changed by our time here, but it was incredible to see this man become
so different so fast.

Several of us rode our bus into the town of Jimani tonight. The local
hospital looks more like a bus depot to me. 40 people milling around
outside, tiny windows, little light. Would not pass for anything
medical in the US except a warehouse. We just gawked, speechless. I
have truly led a sheltered and charmed life, and assure you all of my
pals here feel exactly the same.

So we now have enough orthpaedic surgeons here that I feel comfortable
leaving. I had always planned to return 1/23, but with the
reservation that I couldn’t if I was needed. Mike Cobb came planning
to stay for 2 weeks. We both feel comfortable about going since we
have more than enough colleagues to hand off to. The humanitarian
crisis may be more apparent on CNN, but so far we all agreed the many
(over 100, 58 the last 2 days I think) patients we put external
fixators on have to stay here. Where can we send them with pins and
bars on their legs? They can’t walk on these and many have both legs
injured and can’t even use crutches, which we actually do have. And
some need further surgery.

So far we’ve had by one count 500 patients here at one time. We just
have no next place to send them, so many will stay and limit the input
of more. Clint won’t turn anyone away, he has faith that his
pleadings will hit the right ears soon.

Everyone is heading back into the buildings now, but our bus driver,
Francisco, is keeping me under protective custody on the bus for a
while longer. I don’t think I can get off!

If you look at a map of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Jimani can
be found due east of PAP, just inside the DR. I am told evacuees
can’t go south to Jacmel on the coast because the roads are impassable
and the same to the west. Most will head east? We all wonder,
another topic of usual discussion.

This is disjointed due to several interruptions to check patients in
recovery, plan a last minute surgery for someone else to do in AM, try
to convince Clint to go to bed (took 3 of us on that one), and calm a
young journalist shaken by the jolt we got. Francisco finally allowed
me off the bus and we’ll let her sleep there. I actually have a bed
tonight for the first time! With a nurse anesthetist waiting to take
over in the morning when I leave.

So tomorrow I get back on Chuck Strickland’s jet for our trip back to
Knoxville. I have hugely mixed feelings about leaving but I know this
was only Phase 1, I can’t imagine not coming back some day, especially
since Clint has learned I know how to get here.

Again, thanks for your thoughts and prayers,