We are both looking forward to seeing our friends and family in just a few days. The time to visit our home and family has finally arrived. We are so busy here at Love A Child the time has come so quickly. I find myself thinking I may need a few more days to prepare the staff before I leave. Tuesday is the opening and dedication of the beautiful new market place built by LAC and Pastor Jentezen Franklin Ministry. The market place, located just about one quarter mile from the LAC campus will be a great opportunity for the area people to sell their wares and for others, a close market to purchase food and other items. Even though the market place was built by LAC it has been turned over to local businessmen, giving another sustainability program to increase job opportunities, and stimulate the economy in this community.
The cooler rainy season is coming to a close and this has increased the cold viruses and pneumonia here at the clinic. With little cover from the damp cool weather in their grass and stick huts many of our patients are presenting with lung congestion, this combined with malnutrition and anemia which most children have is a dangerous combinations. We struggle to keep Tylenol and antibiotics on our shelves.
As we end our first full year as full time field missionaries we look back in reflection of all we have learned. We recognize God’s faithfulness in a big way, and we are so thankful to our sponsors, and prayer warriors who have helped to sustain us as we serve in Haiti. We feel God is using us in ways we never dreamed about. We know through Scriptures and in our own lives that God has a bigger plan, better plan than anything we could imagine. We are both excited about what the next year will bring, and pray that in all we do the glory of God will be seen.
Merry and blessed Christmas,
Ken and Barbara
Feed My Sheep
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, LORD; you know that I love you.” He said to him, Feed my lambs.” John 21:15
I had the privilege of serving with a medical team from the states. My job description does not include mobile medical clinics, but the directors wanted me to experience their mobile clinic so I was invited, and accepted with much excitement. It felt good to be back in the field again.
I have done many mobile medical clinics in Haiti each very different. Probably the hardest was post-earthquake in 2011, where the serious injuries far outweighed the medical problems.
Everyone kept telling me I was in for a treat to be part of a Love A Child medical clinic, and I was not disappointed; highly organized right down to a team of people going out to preregister patients, it was as efficient as anything I have ever seen.
As the hundreds of people waited for hours to be seen the ministry team kept them calm with singing, recorded Christian music, and Bible story skits. They were triaged, seen by a provider (doctor or nurse), escorted to the mobile pharmacy, or wound care station if needed. We were able to recognize several emergency situations and take them by our LAC ambulances to hospitals in Port Au Prince.
“He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, LORD; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” John 21:16
While we were in the villages we hired local women to cook rice and beans for the patients and their families. This was such a huge blessing for many of the families; getting a nutritious noon meal is important for it may not only be the first meal of the day, but the only meal of the day. I know personally I wrote the word, “Anemia” on almost every chart because of the paleness under their lower eyelids, in their mouth, and their nail beds.
The cooks were delighted to share their delicious recipes with the village, plus they felt useful in taking part of this wonderful occasion of getting free medical help. It was the first time they had ever had a clinic in their village, and were quite honored to be hosting such an event.
“He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and said to him, LORD, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17
Their next stop was the evangelism tent. Over the week we treated 1,000 plus people, and had over 100 give their lives to Christ. This is an amazing figure in an area which is highly recognized as Voodoo. The local pastors were on site to be able to help these new Christians continue in their walk with Christ.
Everyone was right, I was treated to a wonderful clinic, and a true blessing to the people of the villages we served, not only bringing actions of love through healing, and feeding, but bringing the GOOD NEWS of salvation in Christ Jesus. In a world of hopelessness God’s people find hope and strength in His precious word, and the knowledge of a living, present God.
In His love,
The hope for cooler weather this month was dashed as we experienced some of the hottest days this fall. I was invited to be part of a mobile medical clinic in to villages nearby. It was the hope of Bobby and Sherry to take the medical team high into the mountains, but the rainy season had started and the roads were too dangerous.
The villages we did visit though were so excited to have us come. As we scoped out one village for their first medical clinic, and deemed it doable – the people screamed in joy as Sherry announced that we would indeed have a clinic in their village.
The team was phenomenal. There were 2 Haitian doctors, 1 American doctor, and 3 nurses. With the help of the LAC staff we saw over 1,000 people in 4 days. We treated wounds, gave out eye glasses, evangelized, and gave medication and hope to all who came seeking help.
We were so surprised to learn a week after the clinic that 10 Voodoo Witch doctors had come through our clinic seeking medical help – unheard of- because that is how they make their money – calling on spirits of their patron gods for healing.
Further into the month one of the expert mechanics, John, for our specialized German made, and Canadian donated, ambulances – Pinzgauer’s, arrived to do biannual maintenance. The organization had also donated many solar panels which they hope will supplement LAC’s need for energy. Ken was happy to step forward and announce he had some experience with solar energy from our early days in Haiti. John was ecstatic to hear this as no one else on the campus had any experience nor showed interest in these potential money saving energy producing tools. John took Ken under his wing to begin the process of initializing their use. Ken was excited to use some of his knowledge for this special endeavor.
What a joy to use your talents in gifts in service to God, and to serve the servants of the LORD. We thank you all daily for your support of us in prayer and financially.
Blessings to you all,
Ken and Barbara
This was an exciting month for Ken and me as we were introduced to some of the great partners which Love A Child has in their corner. The first ones we met in early September was Feed My Starving Children. FMSC is an organization which helps you and your church or organization assist in packaging and sending nutritious food to developing nations. They supply the food and the packaging, even the transportation, you provide the man power to package up literally tons of food in one day or weekend.
Feed My Starving Children Board of Directors
We had the board members of the organization visiting us this week. They went up into the mountains on food distributions, helped in our malnutrition clinic by weighing and measuring some of our smallest and cutest patients. They were a joy to have as guest on our campus because of their gracious attitudes and love for Haiti.
September was also a time of first in other things. My first assist with emergency childbirth was so exciting and just set the pace for the day. I felt like I was on cloud 9 for sure. What a blessing to be part of one of God’s miracles – the birth of a baby.
Helping with a Birth
I wondered what the mother would name the baby, but had a sobering moment when the nurse told me that babies are usually not named for 3 month in case they do not survive. It was my snap back to the realities of Haiti, and why the hope of Jesus is such an important part of our serving here.
September was also Ken’s introduction to the magnitude of his seemingly simple (as LAC put it) daily procedure of vehicle fuel maintenance. Ken would like to think of himself as a glorified service station attendant, but he is also in charge of fuel purchasing, distribution and inventory. Lac has over 2 dozen cars, trucks, heavy equipment, team trucks, ambulances, and pickup trucks. Ken also oversees their maintenance, and readiness for work the next day.
Ken with water supply equipment
We are so happy to be in service here with some of the friendliest and hardworking missionaries from all over the states, and the world.
In grateful service to an awesome God,
Ken and Barbara
Ken and I have completed our first month here at Love A Child. We are feeling so blessed the LORD has called us to this ministry.
Our days start early with a 5am alarm clock ring, cup of coffee, walk the dog, and we are out the door at 6:30. Ken is on his way to the fuel depot to get the machines (car, truck, lawn equipment), and then on to whatever the day has in store for him. I am off to the clinic. I am amazed how early people start lining up to see the doctors. Women standing in line holding their babies for about an hour or more. It makes me feel guilty about all the times I SAT in the air conditioned doctor’s office reading a People Magazine as I waited for my appointment, and if it was 15-30 min. later I would become frustrated. The people at the clinic sometimes wait for 6 hours depending on how busy the clinic is that day. Children with high fevers, adults suffering with one ailment or another just waiting.
The patients don’t just come and sit down and wait though, once all are in they begin the time with a memorized hymn, the nurse reads Scripture, and then they pray. They pray with earnest to a faithful God who promises deliverance, who promises a life better than this one, who teaches joy in all circumstances. The looks on their faces tell me they are really trying hard to believe this in their hardships.
This past Sunday Ken and I were invited to go to church in a small village which was devastated by the earthquake. They live by the lake, and the tectonic shift caused the lake to rise and swallow most of the houses. The lake is quiet now, but you can see the skeleton of brightly colored houses now dull with the effects of weather, and flood waters about 50 yards out in the lake. Most of the people have been moved to other higher ground, but the poorest of the poor live in mud huts on the shore. They have no place else to go, and they dare not spend money and time building cement houses in case the lake rises again.
It was beautiful worshipping with them as they raised their voices in praise and worship. They sang songs of giving their troubles up to the LORD. They sang songs of faithfulness reliving the power of God in Moses as he delivered them from the bondages of the earth. My attention was given to an elderly women who I could see hobbling toward the side door of the church. She had lost one of her feet, and walked with the help of a stick. When she got to a bench she put down her stick, stood and raised her hands to the sky in song and praise. She sang with abandon, and love for her hope was in the LORD.
Ken and I thank God every day for allowing us to serve Him in this way. We are grateful for your support, and hope you all feel the same gratitude to the LORD for your ability to help the ministry in Haiti with all the many ways you do. We are grateful for the church for broadcasting Pastor Tim’s message so we can share in our church family’s corporate worship, we are grateful for the fund raisers, how you lift us in prayer, your emails of encouragement, and the so many ways you help in making our time here fruitful.
May the God we serve together bless you and keep you,
Ken, Barbara and Missy on our early evening walks. We all look forward to this quiet time to begin our evening. The grounds are beautiful, and we take advantage of the ability to walk a distance each day.
Every morning at least 100 people wait for hours outside the walls of the clinic to be seen by the doctors. They are given numbers in the order of their arrival at the gate.
This is the waiting room outside the clinic doors. The people arrive, have devotions, sing hymns, and then begin their wait - sometimes all day just waiting to see the doctor.
This mom suffers from a common ailment among the older moms of Haiti. Many women are anemic, and the stress of the pregnancy, breast feeding and recovery causes an illness the doctors call, “post partum cardiac failure”. This mom is trying to make arrangement for her mother in law to care for her newborn as she is transferred to the local hospital.
Dr. Mardy does a procedure on this young man. The man is 27 years old, and the doctor believes he has TB or HIV. The test for TB will be done first as it is the least expensive. The doctor tells us the young man has no money to pay for the analysis of the fluid being drawn of his chest cavity. They can only guess and treat.