Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Going Past The Fences In Life

Go Past The Fences

It will come as no surprise to my family that I have turned out to be a great Haitian driver. Being able to drive on the wrong side of the road, create my own lanes, and drive a breakneck speed on a 1 lane goat path is how I have always driven - Here it is the accepted way to drive. In fact, my interpreters were stunned at how "great a Haitian driver" I am. All is well. The coolest thing is that I drive a Land Rover that has been converted into an ambulance; complete with lights and siren. I will leave it at that, but those who know me know that I am in heaven driving this thing!

It has been a very busy couple of days. Carwyn and Reninka, a wonderful young British couple that run a hospital near Milot, were kind enough to send us a medical team that had many more skills than they currently need at their clinic, a beautiful spinal cord rehab center. I picked the team up yesterday afternoon and toured them through our facilities. They are coming today to work here through Saturday. We already have 57 potential surgical patients for them to care for. We also have a medical team coming next week as well. God is so good.

Sunday afternoon, Father Geordani and I went out looking at properties for the hospital and university. Initially everything we looked at was too small, too expensive, or too out of the way. Finally for some reason I told Frer that we needed to go past the fences to look. Within minutes of getting past the fences - further out of town - we came upon an uncompleted hotel sitting on 15 to 20 acres. An absolutely stunning piece of land. The building currently has 30 rooms on each of its 2 wings, along with huge open areas in the front that will be perfect for administration, OR, ER, and other ancillary services. Construction on the building was stopped before the planned 3rd floor was built. By Haitian standards, it is a very well built structure. Dedicated utility tunnels, deep solid foundations, and strong concrete walls and ceilings. Going past the fences proved to be the answer in our search.

Later on Sunday a group of us traveled to Milot so they could see the work being done there. I also wanted to visit a patient that I had cared for on the last trip to Haiti. She had a wound that had grown and tormented her for 23 years. The hospital here miraculously prevented it from ever becoming infected. Unfortunately, that very same treatment also prevented it from ever healing. In the 3 weeks that I cared for her, I was able to help the wound form a base of granulation tissue to the point that she was a candidate for a skin graft. Just before leaving, I gave her the travel funds and arranged for her to travel to Milot for the surgery. She was scared to death about the whole thing. Thankfully she was willing to go past the fences in her life and take the "risk". I wish you could have seen the tears of joy we shared Sunday as she showed me her healing leg. She literally looked like a different person. She has a new hope. God is so good.

Many of you have heard me talk of "my little Princess", an orphaned 15 year old Haitian girl much like my own little Maddie Grace. As we left a cell phone store yesterday, Jean Brunel my interpreter exclaimed, look Randy; your little princess! There she was. I pray that I never stop being surprised and amazed by the "coincidences" that constantly happen when working in Haiti. In talking with one of the surgeons that I was touring yesterday he shared with me his Haiti miracle story. Of how on one of his first trips here someone had requested that he come prepared to do skin grafts. He said okay, but had no idea how he would find a "shaver" - A tool used to harvest a layer of skin to be used as the graft. In fact he had almost forgotten it until he arrived at his home in Nebraska a few days before he was to leave for Haiti to find a box on his back porch containing a skin shaver. To this day he has no idea where the box came from. He does still have the tool, and has kindly offered to give it to our hospital here. 38 trips later, Stew is still devoting his life to the Haitian people in part because this grafting tool helped him go past the fences in life.

As I called our church office yesterday my heart was in my throat with worry over what I was going to hear about the contributions received over the past week for financial support for my work here. When I heard the total of $580 my heart sank, and I walked around in a funk for the first part of the day. When I was able to reconnect with my little Princess, when the surgical team agreed to come work for the week, and when I looked at the photos I had taken of the future hospital property, my heart swelled with wonder at God's power. I need to be constantly reminded that if I go past the fences - or if I just listen to and trust God, every little thing will be okay. I pray that you allow God to take you past your fences today.

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