Kathryn- the nursing presentations were awesome! We gave three- STDs, puberty, and drugs/drinking/smoking. During the STD and puberty presentations there were some great Biblical questions asked. What’s so interesting to me is that we grow up with faith; we know that Mary was a virgin and that Adam and Eve were formed as mature beings. The Haitians can’t grasp those concepts because their thinking is so concrete. They were wondering how Adam and Eve could be fully formed when we come out as babies. This led us to share scriptures from Genesis with them. And if sex before marriage is bad, did Mary marry Joseph before she became pregnant? How could Mary become pregnant without sex?
There were some challenging questions asked and even a couple of sassy retorts to our answers, but they finally understood. We give the presentations again tomorrow, so we are hoping to have a lot more people. This morning we woke up to a beautifully clear sky after last night’s rain. Jacob gave our devotional, and after we finished breakfast two groups left for Savane Mole while one stayed behind to do construction in Mole St. Nicholas and us four nursing students went to the clinic.
When we got to the clinic, Jody put two of us in the pharmacy to dispense meds and fill prescriptions, one person taking vital signs, and one person shadowed her. I started out in the pharmacy, where we dispensed liquid children’s Tylenol, liquid iron, and liquid anti-worm medication into containers because they are the most common drugs given out. Diana, our interpreter (who also wants to be a nurse), mixed equal parts hydrocortisone, Neosporin, and antifungal cream into each container to be handed out (thank you FBCC Preschool!).
Jody was very grateful for us being there to help her today; we caught a lot of high blood pressures that confirmed the patient’s complaints (like headaches). We got to see about fifty patients today from around the Mole, and Jody said Thursday should be interesting because there were cards for free care handed out in Karnage, a fishing village about 30 minutes away. We finished with patients around 12:15 and after lunch we headed to the church to wait for kids to show up for the teen conference.
Not very many did, so we took it to the streets again and had the conference in the town square. Afterwards, we divided and played with the kids. Every night we all fall into bed completely exhausted, and I expect tonight to be no different. I have a chronic stench and I’m pretty sure my toes are now permanently dirty, but I’ve never felt happier. Every time I think I can’t love any deeper, I go to the orphanage and I am pummeled with clinging hands, beaming white smiles, and I’m proven wrong once again. I am reminded of John 14:18 where Jesus promises, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” The orphans run at us, arms stretched out wide, the way that we should run to Jesus. The same faith that the orphans have in trusting that we will come play with them is the same childlike faith that we are challenged to have in the return of our Savior.
The people of Haiti are beautiful. They are beyond grateful for our help and especially our prayers, something so trivial and most often taken for granted in the States. One of the hardest things to remember, though, is that we don’t truly heal people. We can only care for them- Jesus is the one who cures.
Sometimes I wish prayer could be written as a prescription, because the power of prayer is real and just as potent as the strongest medicine. I am so looking forward to the rest of this week and all the more challenges that the Haitians can bring. I am being pushed out of my comfort zone (if there is such a thing in Haiti) and being shown the true, ultimate definition of love and joy.
I am in love with the country and the people, and I might have to “accidentally lose my passport” and stay here forever (JK mom). Please continue praying for us, we need the strength! Pray that the hearts and the minds of the people are open and receptive to the Good News as the teams go hut to hut, and that the nursing students can actually make a difference in the health of the people’s lives.
Hey Friends and Family,
When I decided to come to Haiti, my idea was that God would use me to help teach Haitians about him. Boy was I wrong! I have learned so much about Jesus from the Haitians while attempting to teach them. In a place that at times seems so void of Jesus Christ and Christianity, I have never felt closer to Him. He has been with this group from the moment we each committed to going and He continues to be with us here in Haiti. Tonight I just wanted to share a few experiences about what God has taught me through this trip thus far.
- Always Find Joy. Today before the Youth Conference the group hung out at the soccer fields in The Mole where many children and teenagers hang out after school. As I am sure you can tell by the pictures the clothes that the majority of the people wear are hardly clothes at all. While sitting with Shannon and Avery, two little boys approached us and were acting pretty shy. Neither of the boys had pants at all, and the younger boy’s shirt had more holes than I could count and was a couple sizes too big. Shannon immediately embraced them and began talking with them. My heart broke! I had to stay back as she walked away with them because I was trying my hardest to choke back tears. According to Al and Averie, I am a feeler! When I finally pulled myself together I went and sat with Shannon and the two boys. Although I have no idea what they were saying they were smiling and laughing. Even though they were hardly clothed, were covered in what looked like bug bites, and had calluses on their tiny feet, they found joy. John 15:11 says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” If we are truly Christians and have Jesus in our lives we should always be able to find Joy, no matter the circumstance!
- Love speaks all languages. The first day in Haiti, Morgan an intern here, was giving us a tour and showed us the orphanage. They all immediately came to us and started climbing all over us because they were so happy to see us there. They were all trying so hard to communicate with us. I was so discouraged and wanted to know what they were saying so bad. I started questioning how in the world I was going to tell these people about Jesus if I can’t speak their language. Right after this thought I had an overwhelming feeling of God saying, “Kaitlyn, love speaks all languages, show love and I will do the rest.” The rest of the week I have made it my goal to show and speak love and know that God is doing the rest.
- Moses moments still exist. I am part of the nursing team and as Lindsay explained earlier the presentation got a little difficult. I had tried to think about every question that could possibly be asked about these topics. Funny thing is not a single question I thought would be asked was actually asked. God has a good sense of humor.
One question that was particularly difficult was “So if God says we are made in his image then why were Adam and Eve formed as adults and we have to start as babies?” Lindsay and I literally just looked at each other like uhhh…. I quickly prayed that God would give me the words to say and WOW! I started talking about trees and how God made a tree that gives off seeds so that new trees grow and compared it to how a human has a seed from God that is used to help make new humans because when he created all this he said “It is good” and he wants us to keep reproducing so he intricately made us so that we could make more of his favorite creations. The funny thing is, I had no idea what was coming out of my mouth as I said it. It was literally like I opened my mouth and God spoke through me just as Christ spoke through Moses. At the moment I began to feel inadequate to teach these people about these topics, God showed me how adequate he was to teach through me.
Needless to say there are some pretty amazing things going on here in Haiti. I cannot wait to see how God continues to use this team in Haiti. Keep the prayers coming because they are appreciated more than y’all will ever know. Count your blessings while you are at it because we are ALL so fortunate! Love y’all so much.
Hey Fam, Allison here.
So today my team went to the town Savan Mole for VBS. We gathered up the kids from the town and headed to the school for games. We had anywhere from 20 to 40 kids at one point (I’m really bad at estimating numbers, so I could be way off here) playing Duck-Duck-Goose, Little Sally Walker, and Red Light/Green Light. Shannon led a great lesson about Jesus and redemption that the kids really seemed to understand. They all made beaded bracelets to represent different parts of the gospel, and that’s something they can keep with them to remember our lesson and remember us.
For the entirety last game of the last game, I stood off to the side holding a little baby girl in my arms so her sister could play. At first she wanted nothing to do with me and just wanted to go back to Sissy, but after several verses of the Barney song and every lullaby I know, she fell asleep in my arms. I don’t really think of myself as a big “baby person,” but y’all. I was ready to take this baby girl home. (Don’t worry parents/roommates – I gave her back). Leaving that town and watching some of the kids chase after us on the tap-tap has definitely been the hardest part of all my time in Haiti.
Back at the mission, we got ready for our Youth Conference at 2:00. For the second day in a row, Jesus decided to throw us a curve ball and send us out into the town instead of having the conference in the mission church. We gathered a bit of a crowd out in the square. People were playing soccer, Frisbee, football, and dancing. Averie taught everyone the “Listen to Your Heart” dance. We had a real party going! Khalil, Brooke, and Holly spoke to the crowd. They gave a great message about following God when it doesn’t make sense, and I know it really resonated with me. They spoke very well and I think everyone in the crowd related to their words.
We just finished up small groups and I am currently sitting on the ground in the corner of the cafeteria listening to people hang out. #fomo. Speaking of small groups, mine is the best one. Shannon is a boss, and we are h i l a r I o u s . Also, Brady is a punk. Dear Brady’s family: your kid is a punk. He makes us laugh.
Thank you to everyone who has been commenting on the blog! We read the comments aloud every evening at dinner, and it really lifts our spirits. Shout out to Aunt Sherry: your comment made me smile! Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
Basic summary of this trip so far and life in general: Jesus is really freaking cool. I know we will be leaving the mole sooner than we would like, so I hope to live it up and not waste a single moment.
See y’all soon! Mwen remen ou.
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