Our last morning hiking group, Thursday Morning

Written by Shelly and Morgan

Today found us pouring a concrete floor at a home nearby our dorm.  It was fun to see the girls that Cali and Leslie had played with the day before show off their fingernails during the construction.

Burns interviewing family for potential concrete floor

Care of Elinise has continued with the local Physical Therapist coming to her home.  This morning I (Shelly) was able to observe his entire treatment and see some amazing progress in her range of motion.  As we discussed her physical progress, we were able to make a plan to pursue an appropriate stroller to allow her mom some more freedom in the community.  We were able to build a treatment table (complete with mattress) for the Physical Therapist to be able to work with her more easily and effectively!

TonTon doing PT with Elinise

Elinise during a PT session with TonTon

Some of us finished the day with a short hike up to the Pignon sign on the side of the mountain.  We were surrounded (and I was physically assisted) by many locals on the climb.   I think they thought I was too slow as at one point –  I had one pulling me up as another pushed me up a steep part!  We had a great view of the community and the countryside.

Muddy on the mountain

Last hike up the mountain

 While some of group served by pouring a cement floor for a family, Regan and I (Morgan) visited the hospital in Pignon. Once we had given them our credentials, we were ushered to the nurses’ station. The Haitians originally believed that we were both practicing nurses in the States, and so they asked us to do many of the tasks. Overcoming the language barrier, we finally convinced them that we are just students studying medicine. After observing the nurses take vitals and observing the dynamics of the hospital staff, Regan and I came to the conclusion that besides some of the methods and technology, the hospital was similar to American ones. The nurses brought us up to the operating room, and we had the privilege of watching a very skilled doctor perform two surgeries on two different women. The first woman had a miscarriage, and the doctor helped with the process of removing the fetus. The second woman had had a c-section about a week ago at another hospital; the incision had become very infected. Regan and I thoroughly enjoyed observing the procedures, and it was affirming that we are definitely called to the medical field. As we watched, our hearts broke, for the patients were cared for very little as people. The doctor did not clean the patients after the procedures, and the patients were actually asked to stand and walk from the OR. It made Regan and I just reflect on our excitement for the future, where we get to bring God’s love and healing to people. We know that we are called to be compassionate, bringing His love to all.

O.R. where Morgan and Regan spent Wednesday morning

Regan and Morgan in O.R.

 After a productive and thought-provoking morning, our afternoon was spent with the huge smiles and sweet giggles of deaf children. They loved to just be loved. And it was amazing to fulfill our calling of being His hands and feet, showing those kids His incredible love. We played with the parachute, jump ropes and hula hoops. Naturally, a game of soccer started up, occupying a majority of the boys. Their small noises of excitement when they scored or their signing of pure joy, brought my heart so much happiness. They deserve to know that they are incredible children of the Lord. They deserve people investing in them and playing with them and helping them feel oh-so-loved. I praise God for the opportunity to be here, to see His children in need and personally make a difference. God is good always. Even when these children do not have any sense of hearing, even when the medical care is far from American standards, even when extreme poverty seems to overwhelm all we experience and see, God is good.

Soccer at the deaf school

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Darryl signing at the deaf school

Samantha at the deaf school

 Today Jill Anderson had the chance to meet the little 5 year old girl her family sponsors through MH4H.  Woody knew the family well as they were a part of the Thrive for Five program in Savanette.  The joy on the face of little Lannacie was worth a thousand words and was a true blessing and a highlight of the trip for Jill. We were able to bless her family with food and a few gifts for Lannacie to enjoy and play with over the summer break from school.

Jill and her sponsored child, Lanacie

 As we reflect on our trip and spend our last night in country together, we continue to be blown away by God’s continual love. We are actively seeking out how to approach life back in affluent America. It is a challenge that never gets easier, no matter how many times we experience Haiti, with all its beauty and joy. It never gets easy, but that is good. We will just continue to pray for the breaking of our hearts for the same things that break our Lord’s heart. Though none of us want to leave, we will leave knowing that we were blessed by being a blessing.