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.

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!


1 comment:

  1. What an incredible post. I am so overcome with emotion for the people of Haiti, all I can say is, "Thank God for people like you!"

    Nancy Combow, Franklin, Kentucy