Dear Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation,
THANK YOU!!! Your generous financial and prayer support has made a great impact in Haiti. Over four clinic days from April 27-30 our team of 4 doctors, 7 nurses, and 3 support staff were able to provide basic medical care for nearly 450 Haitian men, women, and children in two villages.
Our first two clinic days were an hour up into the mountains on a very dusty and rocky road in the back of a "cantor" or flat bed truck with some benches, leading us to the village of Turpin. Our clinic was up and running by 10:00 AM and continued until 2:30PM with rotating breaks for lunch.
These days were particularly taxing due to the length of travel and heat radiating down from the metal roof in the afternoon, but so rewarding.
Mission of Hope Haiti (MOH) partners with the churches in the villages they serve with guidance from a pastor appointed "village champion". This individual serves as the liaison between MOH and the community. The "village champion" assists with allocation of resources and community development, invests in the lives of the people, and guides long term vision in conjunction with the church. Turpin was unique because many of the people were already Christians and have an outstanding pastor and "village champion" who shepherd the people. It is unclear how many people were "saved" but many were encouraged with prayer after having received their medical treatment. Sara and I longed to speak Creole, but were grateful for the interpreters who are employed by MOH.
Our second two days were spent under a large tree in the village of Williamson. We were able to start earlier in the day as this was only a 30 minute drive down a major highway. We were encouraged to hear that during these days 20 people became new Christians. A highlight of my day was caring for a 6 year old girl named Chrisline. My wife Sara was playing with her when the little girl whispered to Sara that she had a rock in her ear. Fortunately my father (a pediatrician) had packed a couple of plastic curettes with his otoscope. After some flushing with water and carefully removing wax we were able to remove a small stone and large wax to restore the hearing of this small girl. Her mother told us the rock had been there for a few years. Tears streamed down her face after we had told her that it was out. We both believe it was God’s provision that allowed her to be seen and cared for as she was initially there because of a family member receiving care. All week we passed out vitamins, analgesics, and antibiotics hoping to provide temporary relief to the suffering, knowing that the water, food, and environment was unlikely to change in the short term, likely resulting in continued ailments. It was such a gift to be able to make an instant physical change in this girl’s life, and is something I admire of those in the surgical field.
Mission of Hope has an exciting horizon in their future. The organization has an entirely Haitian run clinic that operates all weekdays, and includes basic diagnostic modalities such as a lab and ultrasound. The Haitian government has given the clinic the highest praise of "the best care in the region" and views it as a "hospital" though it is still in the early developmental stages to truly function as one. It is remarkable to see what has happened in only 1.5 years. The medical director, a pharmacist from Texas, shared with me the plans in the near future of completing the construction of their operating rooms, dental clinic, eye clinic, and being able to mobilize teams of surgeons waiting in the US to perform large volume surgeries. Ultimately they hope to grow the medical branch of the organization to include education of Haitian doctors, nurses, and technicians. They recently employed a grant writer who will, by God’s grace, make these big dreams a possibility. The region of Haiti in which Mission of Hope sits is called Titanyen which we were told means "less than nothing". It is incredible to see the work that God is doing, and how the theme of the bible continues in the story of Mission of Hope. That which the world has thrown away and considers "nothing" is exactly where God has chosen to write His story. It was such a privilege to partner with MOH and to help with their vision of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with every man, woman, and child in Haiti.