Update from Haiti

Many have been asking how my trip to Haiti was. I appreciate all you thoughts and prayers.

This trip ran the range of emotions for sure. It was happy and sad, scary and joyous, gutwrenching and aweinspiring all at the same time. We got there 10 days after the earthquake so the majority of bad injuries were already taken care of initially or the people died. We worked outside of PAP in Chambrun which is on the NE side and the epicenter was on the other side of PAP. Our clinic was extremely busy though. Everyone was effected by the earthquake even if it wasnt a physical injury. No food, water, shelter, anxiety, lack of sleep, aftershocks continued the first week I was there which made the Haitian people even more fearful. Most even if their homes were still standing would not go into them and slept in their yards under sheet tents.
Those that lost their homes are called Internally Displaced People or IDP. Many IDP camps are growing and growing. People making tents from sticks, trash, sheets or anything they can find. They find open flat areas and start building. Other join and pretty soon it is a large tent camp. Unfortunately the areas are not meant for living. No wells, or latrines available.
In the 2 weeks I was gone the camps grew and grew. We took our bus as a mobil clinic to some of the camps and administered meds there. It was an experience to see them first hand. One we got to walk through. The people are desperate and scared which made the clinics more dangerous and not as secure. Late into the day the people knew we could not see everyone and they would begin to push, shove and cut line which caused fights. Thankfully we had no major incidents at the IDP camps or in Chambrun which had the same thing going on every day.
We saw some injuries from the quake but not many. Luckly we had access to a helicopter service that could fly our most critical patients to a hospital. We flew around 7 or so patients out. Several very malnourished babies that had not had food for as long as 8 days. A broken arm that needed surgery and woman that had a miscarriage during the quake that had been bleeding for a long time. Otherwise we saw the same respiratory, GI, skin infections, colds and fevers. Many hungry people and dehydrated needed help. We started a handful of IV's and gave out tons of antibiotics, tylenol, antiacids and vitamins. All together we saw in 2 weeks 5,300 patients between Chambrun and the IDP camps.
Most of our translators have no place to live either and are sleeping in their yards or on the street. The university was completely collapsed with hundreds dead. In 45 seconds their lively hood, homes, some family members and all belongings were completely gone. Thier spirit remains intact somehow. The Haitian people are so strong! Their faith that God has a purpose for them and the will to continue on is amazing. We saw life continuing on as usual in many areas. People selling, buying, walking, smiling and living.
The gratitude is unbelievable that they share with us. They are truly thankful for anything even as small as a hug or a baggie of tylenol. It gives them the hope they need to continue going on.
We found out last week that 50,000 IDP's are going to be relocated across the street basically from our compound! God has definately placed us where He wants us to be able to minister to them. NVM has been financially blessed since this has happend and I am so happy to announce that we are going to begin construction very soon on our hospital. God has been very faithful to provide what we need. GAIN (Global Aid Network) has been partnering with NVM to help get aid and supplies as well. It has been a great blessing.
We are praying that through this tragedy that God will shine into the darkness of Haiti and real, permanent change will begin to be seen!
I was blessed beyond anything I can imagine to be able to serve with the people I did and witness the Haitian people surviving!
Thank you to all who prayed and supported me to do this. Tom and the boys did great while I was away. What a blessing!

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