Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pure and undefiled religion

A Sunday morning in Haiti...
I woke up this morning (for the 53rd time) to the sounds of Kreyol chatter on the street below my window, Tap-Tap horns blaring as they race down the rutted roads. The sounds of dog, roosters, and goats. Along with the ever present sound of the drums beating, echoing from the nearby hills. If the drums, and all they represent, are so powerful: Why is this country in the shape it is in? Can an entire nation really deserve this much bad luck from the bad spirits?

Two of the interpreters that I worked with on my last trip came to visit late yesterday afternoon. Really good guys. One I had planned on using this trip. The other, at times I need a translator to communicate with him - but he tries. I commented to ones of the women at the parish yesterday that knowing Haiti is as difficult as knowing a woman. She said I should write a book with that title as so many people are seeking information on Haiti right now. I laughed as I commented that I don't know women any better than I know Haiti. The translators told me of one of my patients from the last trip that I had sent for plastic surgery in Milot. She has had her surgery. Her wound of 23 years is finally closed and she asks them when I am coming back daily. I'm going to see here today. Her wound is a perfect example of Haitian healthcare at the current time. She has(d) a very large, almost circumferential wound on her lower leg. She was seen by Haitian medical people for 23 years for treatment of this wound. The fact that the leg was never infected and amputated is nothing short of miraculous. At the same time the very treatment that kept it uninfected also kept it from healing. When I first saw her the wound bed was stark white. After caring for it for the 3 weeks I was here it was a nice beefy red with great blood flow and granulation tissue throughout. I sent her to Milot in hopes they would do a skin graft and close it - I think they have. I can't wait to see it.Father Geordani and I stayed up late talking about hospitals and colleges. There are neither of any quality in all of Northern Haiti. After Milot today, we are going to look at two pieces of land that will hopefully be good locations. This is very scary. I am having a hard time raising the funds to even stay here - much less undertake something of this magnitude. When I share this with the Father, he bolsters my faith, telling me to believe and watch God at work. What can I do but say "yes".

I also received an email late last night that a team of surgeons are arriving on Monday and the place expecting them has no patients for them. I will also be working on this today. Of course the surgeons are going to come here, now I need to find an anesthesiologist - Another item for Milot.
The trip is going well so far. I'm a little backwards in plans/function as I had hoped to begin with neighborhood clinics in Port Au Prince. It seems to all be working as it should though. I need to listen to Frer Geordani and just let my Father work through me. This is my prayer. That I am just a conduit for God's grace, love, peace, and will.

Post script: We just finished Church. It was a new and incredible experience to see the Haitian children choir sing praises to God that brought tears to the eyes of the adults in the service. I was unexpectedly invited up to say a few words. At first I thought I could wing it, until an interpreter joined me on the podium. It went well. I told them God loves them. I love them. And that I appreciate their love for me. It was nice. I have permission to take photos of a service. That will be very special.

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