Our medical team returned just over a week ago from our trip to Haiti. There is so much to process and it will take several more weeks, possibly months and years to process all that we experienced. But one of the coolest things for me to watch was how the Body of Christ, all parts, came together to work towards one goal and that was to serve each other all in the name of the Lord.
It truly takes all parts to accomplish His work. We could not have done it without those who stayed behind to pray. We could not have done it without the members of the church in Haiti who gave selflessly of their time and energy and we could not have done it without the financial support of dozens and dozens of people. Despite language and cultural barriers, we were able to function as One Body, working in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our team had the privilege of serving alongside our Haitian physician, Dr. Lejette. A follower of Christ, Dr. Lejette performed her duties above and beyond anyone’s expectations. Over the three days that we operated the clinic, she managed to see 430 patients!
Another hero in the group that stands out for me is church member Pierre Richard. He lives in a small home a short walk from the church building. He coordinated the efforts to build a temporary shelter to register, weigh and measure our patients. He was there when our team arrived each morning until the end of each day, greeting patients, coordinating tasks and lending a hand wherever he was needed. To this day, he stores all of our Medika Mamba supplies in his home. I will be forever grateful for his serving heart.
On our second clinic day, God sent us a Haitian nurse, Yasmine. She came alongside our fearless pharmacy team members Jill and Mark. She was a lifesaver, helping our team read and fill the doctor’s orders with much more ease.
God also sent us the most amazing translators. Gregory came with prior experience in registering patients at medical clinics, so he sat right down alongside our team member Mandy and filled that role well.
When we had a patient who needed to be transported to the hospital another translator, Ricardo, volunteered to take the child and his mother on his motorcycle (our other form of transportation was already en route to a hospital with another very sick child).
There were several church members who showed up each day of the clinic and gave of their time and talents. Magalie was there each day for crowd control and managing the order the patients were seen. Firmin was present each day as well, greeted the patients and delivered our boxes of Kids Against Hunger food that was given to us for free to hand out to each family. Our team members had the privilege of praying over each patient as they received their food.
Our main focus for the clinic was on malnutrition in children. We enrolled 40 children in a life saving treatment program called Medika Mamba (MM). Liz and Mickey continue to operate a MM clinic out of the church several days each week. They now have 55 children enrolled in the program who are anywhere from moderately malnourished to severely malnourished. Because we want to ensure we have the time and resources to care for the children already enrolled, we are delaying further enrollment until after Mickey and Liz return to Haiti in December (they leave at the end of November).
In an effort to serve more in this community, we enlisted the help of our nurse Yasmine and our translator Pierre. They have now been trained in administering the MM product and will serve our patients while Mickey and Liz return to the US.
We see the MM program as a key on-going effort to combat malnutrition in children in this church community. When Mickey and Liz return in December, we plan to grow the program so that we can serve more children. Expanding the program means more Medika Mamba product and enlisting the help of more people to do the work.
We have already seen the success and impact of the MM program on many of our patients. We don’t know of any other product that can treat malnutrition better than MM. Unfortunately, we were too late for the young child who was rushed off to the hospital on the motorcycle. He went home to live with Jesus the next day. His little body was too weak to recover from his severe malnutrition. We have another patient, a 4 year old boy who came to our clinic weighing 18 pounds, currently fighting for his life in the hospital.
Remember Pierre Richard, the young man I mentioned earlier in the post, the one who gave of his time selflessly during our medical clinic? We enrolled both of his children in the MM program. What an honor to give back to him by serving a basic need for his family. We are able to serve him because of your prayers and financial support.
The work continues and the opportunities to serve families like Pierre’s are countless. Part of our bigger vision for Bread to the Nations is to bring a school to Pastor Firmin’s church community. At this point, however, we need to get these kids healthy.
As the part of the Body of Christ, please consider coming alongside BttN to help serve our brothers and sisters in Haiti. We do not want to show up too late for another child. Even more, a parent should never face the difficult decision to give up a child because they cannot provide for their basic needs.
Our MM program is in effect preventing orphans.
Today is Orphan Sunday, a day set aside for us to reflect on how we can advocate for orphans.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress . . . “.James 1:27
God doesn’t call just certain people to care for orphans. He commands all of us to look after orphans! Furthermore, orphan care is NOT just adoption! It starts with orphan prevention, and includes adoption and foster care.
It will take all parts of the Body of Christ to continue the good work God has begun in this church community.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
Will you join us?