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Ministering in Haiti

The James’s are field personnel jointly appointed by CBF and American Baptist IM.  They share the following stories of the ministry in which they are involved.   

Dear friends,           

We send love and greetings to you and thought we would share some of the stories of people we meet in the clinics and in our local community, which may give you a glimpse of the joys and struggles here in Haiti            

A young man lay on the exam table with his family nearby.  His large brown eyes in stark contrast to his gaunt face and hallow cheeks.  Steve palpated his distended abdomen.  Just a slight touch brought him excruciating pain.  He had been sick for many weeks, having gone to doctors and clinics over the past month for continuing abdominal pain.  Now he came for help at this clinic.  After an exam and tests it was determined that, he had peritonitis most likely due to a ruptured appendix.  His low blood pressure and weak, rapid pulse meant he was close to death.  His only hope was preoperative fluid resuscitation and emergency surgery.  

Steve urged them to take him to the government hospital in Cap Haitian.  We gave pain medicines, and told the young man and his family his diagnosis and prognosis and asked if they would like us to pray together for him.  They said they would and we bowed our heads and committed him to the Lord.  Most people travel these days on the back of motor cycle taxis, which take them to local buses or trucks.  My heart fell as I saw them put this very weak man between the driver, his sister and his brother behind him – four people on a motor bike on a bumpy dirt road, where every bump was surely torture for him.  We prayed it was not too late to save their brother.  I breathed a prayer for protection as they careened out of sight.  Please continue to pray for access to emergency surgery for the poor in Haiti.

That same day at the clinic, the teenage girl who was so desperately sick last year, whom we have written about, came to greet me with a big smile.  She had just returned from a young peoples gathering at Acul du Nord.  It was a church retreat that was an alternative for Mardi Gras and she had come to thank me for encouraging her to go.  

This young woman had been in a catatonic psychotic state after delivering a healthy baby girl, for four months last year, taking no food or drink or speaking.  After an out-pouring of prayer by many different groups in the community, plus tube-feedings, and medication, one day she miraculously spoke and asked for something to eat and wanting to bathe herself.  Over the next few weeks, she completely regained her strength and was normal.  She continues to be an amazing inspiration to many of us who were there with her through those dark times.  She and the whole community give Jesus the credit for healing her.

Last week, while Steve was consulting patients at another Clinic, a man, very disfigured with a skin disease came for help.  Nodules and thickened skin covered his whole body.  He was losing his fingers and had foul-smelling leg and foot ulcers.  He had been living in the Dominican Republic, trying to find work and had been suffering with this progressive disease for over four years.  

He said he had been to doctors and clinics in the Dominican Republic but no one had told him what his disease was and what to do about it.  Giving up hope, he came back to his hometown in Haiti.  He thought he would check in at the local clinic, probably not with much hope of a diagnosis and treatment coming from such a small clinic – but God had other plans.  A smear of the pus from one of his leg ulcers showed the diagnosis – leprosy.  The clinic staff was able to tell him his diagnosis, counsel him, treat him for secondary infections, provide daily wound care, refer him to the leprosy center in Port-au-Prince, and pray for him.       

 Thank you for being a part of God’s work here in Haiti, for your thoughts, love, prayers and support.

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