Monday, July 10, 2017

The week in review

Final Reflections from Erika:

I can't tell if this past week in Haiti feels more like a month or a day. Haiti is unlike anything I've ever experienced, so it is difficult to accurately put into words. From one perspective, I should have hated it. It was hot. There was trash everywhere. We smelled bad basically all the time. 15 people shared 1 bathroom. A good nights sleep meant only waking up a couple times from either someone yelling nearby or the rooster that for some reason thought 3 am was an appropriate time to start the day. We saw people in the clinic that broke our hearts- dependent people that would have been functioning at such higher levels if the care and education they needed had been provided when it should have.

But I didn't hate it. Haiti is also overwhelmingly beautiful. Not just because of the blue Caribbean water and towering palms, but because of the relationships I saw. I saw people from the community filled with joy to see the same faces return. We followed up with past patients and showed them that we care how they are doing-. We know their names and truly care what happens to them. This trip was so significant because it is clear that it isn't about going someplace for a week, getting some pictures, patting yourself on the back, and going home. This is not a short term mission. This is a long term relationship that facilitates physical and spiritual healing. While some amazing physical accomplishments were made this past week, what was most impactful was the peace God provided to not only the people we worked with, but also within the team. We were very much "encouraged in heart and united in love" (Colossians 2:2). Christ was present through the pain and discomfort. Christ can take something so challenging and turn it into something wonderful that furthers His light. We found out that Christ will break your heart if you let Him, and that's a good thing.

Lasting Images of the Beautiful People and Places of Haiti



































Friday, July 7, 2017

Haiti July 6, 2017


Today, it was awesome to see everyone hitting their groove and serving in a selfless way. The morning began with seeing follow-up patients at the clinic as well as teaching some back pain patients ways to manage their pain and exercises to help with strengthening . Some of us spent all morning and some of the afternoon helping to fit a young boy in a wheelchair and braces, which was awesome because before his mom was carrying him everywhere. In the afternoon, a group returned to a local orphanage/home for the people of Carrefour with disabilities. It was definitely hard to see the various impairments and living environment they face each day, but they live with so much joy and care for each other deeply. A few others did a home visit for a women living near the clinic. Overall, it was a powerful day to see and experience God's powerful love and strength throughout the day. Often it seems easy to approach a short terms trip with a mindset of coming to pour out everything knowing you get to return to a comfortable home. However, it's a beautiful thing to invest with a long term mindset and seek to love and relate to the Haitian people as new found friends.

Haiti July 5, 2017


Day 3 in the clinic was another success! We treated many new patients and followed up with others we met earlier this week. It has been incredible to see what improvements can be made even after one or 2 visits. One of our acute back injury patients could hardly move yesterday, and today she was touching her toes! 


So far some highlights from our trip so far include making friends with the kids living at Gabriel's Promise and in the community, learning a little bit of Creole, singing patriotic songs at the top of lungs to celebrate the 4th of July, visiting a local church for a prayer and worship service, meeting a beautiful woman who was 115(!), riding in "tap taps", sleeping on the roof under the stars every night and drinking a nice cold (yes cold) Haitian soda after a long day of working in the clinic. 


We have seen God moving so much here, and it has been so sweet getting to be a small part of his beautiful plan to bring healing and redemption to his people.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Morning Coffee in the Hut




Haiti July 3, 2017

Monday 7/3


We saw a variety of patients on our first day! Club foot, stroke, ankle sprain, and dislocated shoulder are a few examples. Several patients we invited to come back throughout the week to maximize their recovery. After the clinic day we took a walk through the streets of the community. It felt good to break out of our bubble and see where our patients are coming from. There were goats butting heads, lots of venders, "bonswas!" and of course some mischievous children that thought we were pretty fun! One of our translators helped spread the word of the clinic and we met a man who will get a home visit from us tomorrow. Good reinforcement of what can happen when you follow Jesus' example and make connections with people!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Haiti: July 3

Monday 7/3


We saw a variety of patients on our first day! Club foot, stroke, ankle sprain, and dislocated shoulder are a few examples. Several patients we invited to come back throughout the week to maximize their recovery. After the clinic day we took a walk through the streets of the community. It felt good to break out of our bubble and see where our patients are coming from. There were goats butting heads, lots of venders, "bonswas!" and of course some mischievous children that thought we were pretty fun! One of our translators helped spread the word of the clinic and we met a man who will get a home visit from us tomorrow. Good reinforcement of what can happen when you follow Jesus' example and make connections with people!

Bonjour

Bonjour! The team is safely settled at Gabriel's Promise in Carrefour, Haiti! Gabriel's Promise is a boy's home and safe place for children in the community. After a full day traveling (and only with a few bags delayed) we enjoyed meeting some community members, a dinner of spaghetti with mayonnaise and hot sauce (we liked it!), and a spontaneous rain shower on the roof. Agreed it is the preferred method of getting clean and cooling off! 

We are about to begin our first day at the clinic, which is conveniently located directly across the street. We can't wait to see what God will do this week! Thank you for your continued prayers.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Summer Haiti Team Packing Par-tay!

The July 2017 SBU DPT team is assembled and raring to go.  Our largest team (15 members) since our first in 2014, we had a rousing packing party this week.  We start the journey this weekend, for a week of PT and evangelical service of love in Carrefour, Haiti. Please keep us in prayer as we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to serve this community well.  We will try to post most evenings about the day's adventures.  However as always, electricity and wifi are a gift in Haiti. We will cherish them if and when we get them. Bon Voyage for now!


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Orevwa for now, Haiti

We wrapped up our trip with some extra rest in our trusty cots for several team members, some delightful down time at the beach, and an outdoor concert featuring several Haitian Gospel artists and Kirk Franklin (he was also on our flight out of Haiti - Jordan got a selfie with him).

After a short run illness for some team members, we are all on the mend. Most of us flew out of the fabulous tropical weather today back to the deep freeze in the US, with the last two departing tomorrow. 

We will be processing and reflecting on this trip for awhile. To summarize briefly at this point- God definitely showed us that He is active and working in Carrefour. Big and small prayers were answered. Some relationships were ignited, some strengthened, and some mended. We caught a glimpse of the next chapter in sustainability of our work. His Spirit was very real and present in that place. And we wait anxiously for God's direction for us to get to join Him in what He is about to do next. It's gonna be big!