Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Two Week Mark

It is very easy to lose track of the days in Haiti. With the constant projects, commitments, sick people relying on you, clinic days in various communities, and everything else going on, it is so easy to lose track of when you came and when you are going. I can always sense when I'm reaching the two week mark though based on fatigue and how I start plotting strategies to use a rifle to take out the air horns on the large trucks passing by during the night. For some reason, the drivers of these trucks feel it is essential to keep Haiti awake by blowing the air horns constantly as they fly down the potholed filled highway under my window. Enough whining. Sleep may be way overrated when all is said and done anyway.

Given the poverty of the areas we have done clinics in this week, to even worry about my own comfort seems incredibly selfish. Yesterday we worked in a community named Shada. Even walking the half mile or so back to the building the clinic is located in, you realize you are amongst a people that are barely existing. The pathways between the hovels so narrow we were often forced to turn sideways to pass through. Ignoring the dark, odorous "water" we had to walk through the entire way. TB is rampant, even amongst the very young. As I held a little 3 or 4 year old girl on my lap at one point during the day and felt the familiar rattling cough in her lungs, I was so so saddened by her prospects even should she recover. I've never seen Slumdog Millionaire, the OB/GYN that was with me said he felt as if we were in the movie.

As I read Proverbs 16 last night and read the verse: "Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud". I was really struck bu the significance of the work being done by so many here in Haiti. I work closely with a very good Haitian physician that has dedicated his life to serving the poor. He spends each day of the week traveling to a different clinic caring for these poorest of the poor. As I accompany him at some of these clinics, I am moved to tears at his dedication and commitment to sacrifice his own possible gains simply to help serve his fellow countrymen. People like Eugene inspire me and others who work with him to continue on.

Burton Wood is here spending a couple of weeks working as an intern. He is a Pre-med student from Lipscomb University that felt a call to come visit Haiti. It is really special being able to watch God change Burton's life each day by the tragedies and people he is encountering as he works with us in our clinics. I am convinced that he will be a different and better doctor someday because of what he has experienced here in
Haiti. Dr. Padillo, the OB/GYN visiting from California, came to me earlier this morning sharing how easily "Haiti has gotten under his skin". In a good way. He talked of how you read about things like this, but until you experience it you have no idea what it is really like. Much like the people who visit then return home. A common thing I hear from them is that they have a really difficult time explaining to friends and family what Haiti is like. I think it is because those who have never been here have no frame of reference for comprehending the utter desperation that is so prevalent here. Soon after her arrival, Laurie Kelley shared that even though she had spent almost twenty years working in developing third world countries, nothing could have prepared her for Haiti. It really is what you read, hear about, and more.

Please continue praying for everyone working here. I urge you to please find a group doing work here that you feels deserves support and begin supporting them financially. Everyone I talk with working here speaks of how difficult it is to raise funds. Many are leaving because of this. At our very poorest, we are so incredibly blessed in comparison to the people here.


  1. Blessings from Nashville! Great to see a picture of Burton in this post! Tell him his padre says "hello"

    Bob Wood

  2. He is a blessing! It is like having another Son here.