Monday, March 29, 2010

Haiti in The Rearview Mirror

Most of the time it is hard to believe that I have already been here for a month on this trip. On a few  occasions, it has felt like years. The trip has been very good in that we have gotten the kinks out of the operating room's daily operation and functioning. It stands ready to welcome the next surgical team on April 12 with many new features that will allow us to serve more patients safer and more efficiently than ever before.

We also now have a monthly distribution program firmly established that allows us to systematically distribute all of the donations we have received to the most appropriate recipients. We also have a system in place that will insure that we maintain the appropriate par levels of supplies so that our own clinic and hospital can operate smoothly. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here, but we see between 300 to 500 patients a day in our outpatient clinic. These include several births a week in our Maternity center as well.

So much has been accomplished this month. Many new relationships have been formed. Perhaps most important, L'Hopital St. Francois de Sales is being seen more and more by the community as a vessel of God's love and care for them.

I am traveling home to visit my family and to rest this Tuesday for 2 weeks. At this point the fund raising piece of this mission is not well. I am still praying for the funds to be able to return in time for the next surgical team. Dana Davis, one of my spiritual mentors in this mission, tells me that when God says don't worry, He means it - Don't worry. I am trying so hard to apply this to my life. At the same time Dana counsels that sometimes God says no through finances. This is a bitter pill and one that I'm not quite ready to swallow. When I said "yes" to God in January and came to Haiti, I had absolutely no idea what He had in store for me. He has shown me plans and work that will do so much for this country, I don't think that He would choose to pull the plug this soon. A university and hospital system await. More clinics await. Perhaps most important of all: Equipping Haitians to do all this on their own is currently in process.  The biggest thing waiting for me is the 25, eight to 15 year old boys in Bois Caiman expecting me to bring soccer equipment back to them so they can practice and field a team.

What am I going to do? Pray. Rob Browne recently told me about an incredible man of faith named George Mueller. Mr. Mueller accomplished some amazing things in his life simply through one of the strongest faiths that I have ever read about. He cared for thousands of orphans, funded millions in missions, and helped so many meet God - just through faith and prayer.

A while back I began moving away from the "Saying Yes To God" theme of this blog, and in some ways, the heart of this mission, to the name "A Healthier Haiti". This was done in large part to pave the way for more secular grant requests as a new hospital and university get closer to reality. I think this was a mistake. When I said yes to God and came to Haiti in January, I saw Him do so many amazing things through me that I literally trembled at times. In moving toward the secular, a lot of that trembling has disappeared. I am renewing my pledge to make this work solely about bringing glory to God by daily saying yes to Him. Yes, to allowing Him to use me. Yes, to listening to His will. Yes, to letting people see His grace, love, and glory through me.

If God then chooses to keep me home - I know that it is His will, not that I have moved away from him. Please pray for me as I say yes, as I wait for God, and that I have the strength and wisdom to listen to His voice.

Allen Nichols and DSI Printing are graciously providing me with free printing of postcards. I am hoping to use these to begin self supporting some of my mission work in Haiti. The postcards are called "Postcards From Haiti". I will primarily be selling these in the "American" hotels in Haiti. They will also be available for purchase at within the next week or so.

As I mentioned, I will be in the States from March 31st through April 12th. I would love the opportunity to give a presentation of the work being done in Haiti to any interested churches or other organizations.

I realize that our economy in the US isn't great by our standards. It only takes a day in a country where approximately 10% of the population has a full time job to see what a tough economy really is. As I told some guys that I turn to for spiritual support the other day: One of the biggest frustrations is knowing how much can be done in Haiti for so little. Because of their truly bad economy; it takes very little by our standards to accomplish a great deal here.

I sincerely appreciate your prayers, your support, and your emails of encouragement. I see God working so often when I receive your emails - They always seem to arrive just when I need them the most.

Grace and peace,

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