Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Yes" Is Still The Answer

From working as a nurse over the years, most any of my patients and their families will tell you that I am a pretty good nurse. Working in Haiti for three weeks took that to another level in that I learned to perform even the most difficult of my nursing skills with my eyes glazed over with tears. Whether it was from listening to a 6 year old little boy telling me about being buried in the rubble for 5 days. How his Mommy "went to sleep" on the second day, and then children dressed in white played with him, told him not to be afraid, and kept him company until he was rescued. He is the little guy on my left in this photo. The girl on my right, Darlene, was buried for 4 days. She was orphaned in the quake and also lost her twin Sister. She tells of how she fell to her knees pleading "Save me Jesus" when the quake hit. It was so cool to sit and listen as they shared their stories with each other, each telling the other how brave they were.

Or, to share the pain of a father of 3 who was seeking help to bring his children to be with he and his wife. Their closest friends were killed in the earthquake, leaving 3 new orphans that this couple was naturally going to become the parents for as well. Stories of tragedies that really can't be imagined seemed to accompany almost every patient that I cared for. From emails with Haitian friends that I made while there, the situation is not improving. In fact, as populations shift, infections set in, food shortages worsen, and the new widows, single parents, orphans, and disrupted families are identified - The needs are growing daily.

It is fairly common knowledge that there are more non-government organizations (NGO's) in Haiti than any other country on earth. Many of these were overwhelmed before the earthquake, most are still performing admirably in the aftermath. Nonetheless, the needs far outweigh the capacity of these group's current resources. There is clearly a need for not only additional help, but help with a new vision. A vision that doesn't see the need for an NGO to perpetually remain unchanged. Instead, groups that are focused much more on helping to equip Haitians to care for Haitians. A focus on teaching people how to fish instead of continually giving them fish.

I just sent out some letters requesting financial support to return for three more months to begin the following work:
1. Set up neighborhood health clinics in Port Au Prince to be transitioned to, and staffed by, trained Haitian health care providers.
2. Continue working with the Hospital St. Francois de Sales in recruiting, scheduling, and handling logisitics for visiting surgical teams.
3. Begin working with Haitian groups in expanding the above hospital and including new educational facilities for medicine, nursing, and business schools.
4. Continue the development of a micro-loan program that I started during my last visit.

As God has shown the need for these things, I now have to have the faith that he will provide the money, additional relationships, and open doors for them to be accomplished. I am begging you to pray for Haiti, the success of whatever work will best serve Haiti, and for the strength and courage for those helping to be able to withstand the hardships and to hear God's voice.

I have physically felt the prayers that have been uttered on my behalf. As I fly out March 4th, and return March 30th, I desperately need you to continue to hold me up in prayer. If it is at all possible, I would also welcome any financial support that you might be able to provide. At this point my 401K is emptied, I have given up my job, I am absolutely walking in faith. If you could see the tragedy in the victim's faces and hear their stories, you would be right along side of me in this sacrifice.

I have updated my website at to include a charitable donation Paypal link. In my last blog post I also told where you can mail your tax deductible contributions. The support received over the next three months will help determine how long and how much I will be able to continue working in Haiti. I will be updating this blog on a more regular basis this trip to allow you to share in the work online.

Thank you for your support - Much more important, thank you for your prayers. God listens to His children's cries and provides what they need.

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