Sunday, November 14, 2010

Goodbye to Haiti

Hello all my family and friends,

It's time to come home. I am so excited to see Tim and the kids!

We are having a hard time posting our pictures of the kids getting the toys that the Hermantown middle school donated. As soon as we get home we will post them. We received so many smiles and hugs after giving the children the stuffed animals, cars, soccer balls, football and basketballs, dolls/hand knit dolls (thank you Y.H.).... We can't thank you enough for the money that you guys raised and the money people donated for Haiti! With the money raised we were able to bring medications/supplies to help fight the Cholera outbreak! YOU DID SAVE LIVES!

Not much has changed since the last time we were here (6 MONTHS AGO). MOST buildings are still crumbled, tent cities are all over the place and the government seems non existent. People continue to starve and they do not have clean water to drink. The childhood slavery is prevalent. The hurricane turned out to be torrential downpours day and night/day after day. I wish I would of brought my rain boots. We were walking around in 6 inches of muck, plus our tents had pools of water, which Julie fell in at 330a one morning. Unfortunately the flooding worsened the spread of Cholera. It was great that we just happened to be there to help out.

Julie and I jumped on a 6 seat plane with 3 other medical staff and was brought to the heart of the Cholera outbreak, St Louis De Lord, and Port Au Paix We worked 12-14 hour a day for 7 days. We saw about 576 patients. Very sick ones brought in by wheel barrel, donkey, or motor bike. Some walked 6-8 miles just to get medical attention. Most had to be carried in by staff. Some did not make it to the clinic in time. We had 18 people die in 7 days, I have to look at all the people we were able to save. We had a great team of physicians, nurses, and non medical people working around the clock. Since we returned to Port Au Prince, for our journey home, we heard that the amount of pt's that were coming to the clinic increased dramatically. Part of me wanted to fly back and help out. I kept thinking of the people of Haiti. They are desperate for help.

Our team all played different roles; Funeral director, message, occupational and physical therapy, pastor, nurse, doctor, teacher, custodian, comedian, media experts, counselor,guided imaginery expert
worship leader, social worker and last but not least CHOLERA EXPERTS!!

On our time away from the "clinic" we learned to look forward to the small things; peanut butter/bread, talks on the roof, and learning about the other folks that came to to help. We also laughed...a lot! We feel with the hurricane and cholera, it was the perfect time for us to help out in Haiti.

I probably will not be blogging for a few days. I need to process everything. We both experienced good and bad! Honestly I can say it was one of the best experiences of my life! On the other hand I felt like I was in a horror movie. Cholera takes every part of human dignity away. Anyway, I need time to wrap my brain around all of what we were a part of. I felt all of your prayers every step of the way.

For every single person that supported us, we thank you! We could not have done this work without all of you.

This is what I learned from all the Haitian people..
1. THE IMPORTANCE OF strength, faith and peace in time of incredible tragedy
2. How to never take your loved ones for granted
3. That you can be happy with having absolutely nothing
4. I realize you can not take for granted the good health of your family and friends
5. I learned how materialism, greed/jealousy can destroy you! "Things" mean nothing
6. How important family/friends are during tough times (thank you Julie Louise & all my family/friends who prayed for us)
7. The importance for standing up for what you believe
8. I learned the power of prayer and touch
9. I learned how rewarding our lives can be if we sacrifice ourselves
for others, even when you don't feel like it
10. For me it is important to seek God's purpose for your life, then everything else will fall into place

Love you all!


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