Sunday, January 31, 2010


I have not been able to update my blog in several days due to how busy we have gotten. As the UN and Army saw the resources in medical personnel and supplies we had, they began funneling an increasing number of casualties our way. This has resulted in us caring for so many people each day we can't keep count. Literally in the thousands. I have extended my stay until Wednesday. My prayer is that my daughter Katie doesn't go into labor before then. I would really like to be present for the birth of my 1st Grandchild, but feel so guilty for leaving these people in such desperate need.

My current plan is to return to Atlanta on Wednesday, stay for a couple of weeks following Lyla's birth, then return to Haiti for a longer period of time. While in Atlanta I will be raising financial support to provide for my family in my absence. The needs in Haiti are both, immense and immediate.

I appreciate your prayers for our group, but even more so for the people of Haiti. I will post photos and stories when I am back in Atlanta.

Peace and grace from Haiti.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Order amidst chaos

After two full days of work I am beginning to develop a slight sense, but very slight, of the culture here. A lot of it is baffling, some unfortunate - still the same expectations of hand outs you seem to encounter in too many 3rd world cultures. The culture is unlike any I've experienced before. Many people are instantly friends for life; others seem to really resent the very sight of us. It is somewhat understandable in a country of unimaginable poverty where 90 percent of the wealth is controlled by the 5 percent of the controlling mullato class, I can understand how a white face might bring up century's old resentments. I am revising this a day or 2 later. I have come to realize that Hatians, as a group, are some of the warmest, open, and loving people that I have ever been blessed enough to meet. Even in the midst of devastation, they remain very concerned with how they are perceived by outsiders.

As we entered the gym yesterday to begin setting up what wiu be our hospital/ER/wound care center/counseling center and whatever else happens to come through the door, to our eyes it appeared to be uncontrolled chaos. Part of our group went to the hospital - 1 block away - after their attempts to help were sweetly rebuffed by the 5 or 6 different locals that appeared to be either equally in charge, or each trying to take charge. It was fascinating to watch as a definite sense of order began to emerge, and patients/victims fell into an order that seemed familiar to them. This occured in spite of the fact that they had never been in this facility in their life. It just fit their sense of order, or their custom.

Was it the structure that either myself, or one of the 4 or 5 other visitors would have been more than happy to jump in and set up in our own fashion? Of course not. Did it work? Absolutely - And to tell the truth, far better than anything any of us would have instilled as it was based on, and adapted to the culture.

I'm intentionally not writing about the countless tragedies that constantly come through needing a broken limb splinted, a wound treated, or for many a hug and a simple God go with you - Allez ach Bonjid.

Personally my hope for the trip is to encounter my own personal Haiti this week. I am trying to be open to God's teaching and guidance for me as I serve Him this week. My lesson, if you know me well, you know what a hard one this is. Be patient. Relinquish control. Be calm. God will bring a sense of order out of life's chaos if I can learn and internalize these things.

We are waiting for around 800 new patients to arrive sometime "soon". In Haiti that means most likely tomorrow night! We had a visit today from UN and US Army to assess our capabilities and needs. I guess we passed. They told us to prepare for incoming. They have redirected to us based on the assessment.

Please keep praying for Haiti. For a country already filled with orphans, we see way too many that have been newly orphaned by this disaster. Pray for the people who have come to assist with the rescue efforts. Even though there are thousands, there is still not enough help. So many lost. Only God can bring order from this chaos.

As I say and watched the proceedings, it was fascinating to see order arise from the chaos.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Morning

After a long day of travel, a few frayed nerves, Twilla's determination, and God's favor, we arrived in Cap-Haitien around 8:00 last night. The poverty here is unimaginable. The despair in the people's eyes is gripping. The openness and welcoming - heartwarming.
Being so used to the "maƱana" culture and way of life in Mexico, it has been fairly easy for me to slip into the pace and way of life here. If you like to plan and have a structured day, this would be a difficult setting to adjust to.
This morning after breakfast some Hatian men/boys will go " scout" the hospital and a nearby gym to help find the best place for us to work. A gym near the hospital has been converted into another hospital, and currently has over 1,000 injured people housed there. I suspect that is where we will end up working today.
There are seven of us on the trip that will stay in Cap-Hatien providing medical care - not sure if that is symbolic, but so far we seem to be growing close.
Keep us in your prayers. The danger is palpable, even more though is the presence and protection of God. We were able to arrange a charter yesterday from Provo on Turks and Caicos despite the assurance from the locals that it would not be possible. God is leading us, I guess a better prayer would be for the people and country of Haiti. This earthquake seems to not only have injured, maimed, and killed so many; but even worse, it seems to have severely damaged the already very fragile fabric that was holding this country together.
They are going to need help for a long time to come.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting Ready

What a day! I woke up with the expectation of saying "no", but was so touched by God that I had no choice but to "yes" instead. Peaceful. Fearful. Awestruck. Excited. All words that can describe the range of emotions I am going through.

As dissatisfaction with my life's direction was nearing its peak, God literally stepped in. After being invited to visit Haiti and help provide medical care in the aftermath of the tragic earthquake I was told by my manager that my territory needed me much worse than Haiti did. Word for word. If I were truly a salesman, I probably would have bought it and would be looking forward to another day on the treadmill tomorrow. Instead, my very being and reason for being a caregiver, a Registered Nurse, screamed no to the manager, and yes to God.

So many freak things have happened in the past two days to show me the way I should go, I honestly think I may have been struck by lightning if I had failed to listen to His call. Out of the blue two different people have told me that when you open the door to God, be ready. He will take your life and do some amazing things.

In seeing Him work in my life the last two days, I have come to know what it means to "fear the Lord". After getting off of the phone this morning when my no had become a yes, I was literally trembling. I have never in my 51 years felt the unbelievable power of God at work in my life as I have in this time.

I leave for Haiti in the morning. In reality I know I am leaving for something much bigger. My own personal Haiti. My own earth shattering, volcano erupting, hurricane strength journey with God genuinely in control. Right now - I am just along for the ride. Learning faith by saying yes.