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.

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!!!