This is written by Marge Zondervan of the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella, IA. This is her first trip to Haiti serving with MH4H.

Bonswa ( good evening)  from the Minnesota House in Pignon!

We have finished our time of sharing for the evening and singing our praise and worship songs.   We cannot thank Cindy ( Dave’s better half)  enough for arranging these songs which lift us up at the end of our busy days and this day was no exception.  Tonight we may be arranging a secret midnight meeting to do surgical intervention on a certain creature that roams the property and has days and nights mixed up so that the men on the upper level can sleep especially Keith.:-)

Right now I am trying to write this blog while Marty, with his cast,(Phyllis and Collin) are doing rehearsal for David and Goliath which will be presented  tomorrow morning to the 4 classes at the Pella Christian School of Pignon.   So if some of this blog does not make sense it is hard to focus with Marty roaring.

The showers in Pignon for most Haitians.

My day started out arising early to shower as I was scheduled to go to the hospital to work with the nurses.  Much to my surprise the shower was not producing water.   Hmm what was I going to do?   My first thought was to call Woodsen and Fransly,( 2 special young men (middle school age) who have captured the hearts of us all, to walk me down to the river so I could take a bath there.  In one split second I thought that was not a good idea. They get up at 4:30 am to get a bath before school.  School here for the younger children/middle school age starts at 7 am.  I then remembered I forgot to take my rag shirt to go painting the day before and it soon became wash cloths so Phyllis and I could start the day feeling refreshed.  We found a rag shirt, two sinks and a waste basket worked well in place of a shower.  Then I began to think of the book by Ann Voskamp –“One Thousand Gifts”  and how each day is filled with gifts from God and how we need to write down our gratitude’s.  Every day we have seen how the people of Haiti use the simple things of life to meet their needs and what a struggle that can be.

Women carrying water and items to sell for miles on their head.

Many of the women walk miles to get water to wash their children and clothes.    We watched a young woman iron her children’s school clothes with a coal iron. I began to think of the many who have a one room dwelling with dirt floors of which many of the members of the house hold sleep on. Or the lady at the market who was selling mud cookies which they eat when there is nothing else to eat.  I began listing the gratitude’s wehave had as a team and each day all our needs have been provided for and what a privilege it has been to bring hope to the people of Haiti through smiles, hugs, bringing gifts to the sponsored children at Pella Christian School of Pignon, painting the school at Bouqueronne, singing and praying with the people in the hospital, building school desks and worshiping together this past Sunday. Going without a shower this morning seems so insignificant.

Front of the Promise for Haiti hospital in Pignon.

This morning 13 of the team continued working on the school desks and finished 8 of  them to deliver to Bouqueronne school.   After lunch  the team headed to the school to finish painting and stenciling.  Bev,  Denny, and myself arrived at the hospital to attend the weekly medical staff meeting. After the staff meeting I was assigned to work with the anesthesiologist and the head nurse. I was given a tour of the hospital and clinic which treats 145,000 patients a year. I felt like I was back in the 50’s and 60’s when I entered the nurse’s station. I ended up assisting one of the male nurses who spoke English. How to describe the activity….

Patient at the Promise for Haiti hospital.

7 patients in one room, patients in the hallway,  numerous family members who provide food and bathing(outside) for the patients, one thermometer and one blood pressure cuff used for many patients, mothers with new babies being cared for in the same area as the medical patients. So after I started providing care the anesthesiologist came back to the floor and announced we were going to do surgery on an HIV positive young woman. I was able to observe and assist with this surgery and also provide post anesthesia recovery care. The rest of the day I helped the floor nurse admit new patients, start IV’s, and administer medications. As I left to return to our home base I again realized how blessed we are in America with the health care that we have.

And yet it was a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus in providing care for these beautiful people and how grateful they are.

Little BoyAs Kay Warren writes in her book “Dangerous Surrender”  “As I long to pour myself out on the behalf of those who are hurting–although not just for them.  I do it as a way of loving Jesus.  Jesus loves them, and so I will love them. He is my first love.”  So we too have learned to love the people of Haiti as Jesus loves them.

The thought that came to my mind were these words as I end this blog…..Bondye si Bon (God is so good)!

Thank you for your prayers. They have been greatly appreciated.

Marge Zondervan

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