A visit to my favorite Mission of Hope Intern

A couple weeks ago, Zach and I were able to fly to Haiti and visit Jake. We were also blessed to have a travel companion, Grayden. Grayden’s family lived at Mission of Hope (MOH) for three years and this was his first trip back since they left in the summer of 2011.

While Grayden spent most of his time with his close missionary friends on campus, Zach and I spent our time with Jake. This was our chance to visit Jake and see him in his role of being a team leader. It was also our chance to be just a team member. It was a different side of the mission I did not experience much while being on staff there.

A usual team comes into the mission to do several things that all come together to help the people of Haiti. There are always several projects to do, paint homes, prepare for upcoming events Vacation Bible School (VBS), evangelize, construction, organization of supplies, etc. We did a little of everything.

Jake had a small team of 8, including us, for the week. We normally went out with Jake, and interpreter and another Haitian who helped organize things in the villages we helped in. Anyone who has been to the mission knows John Marc.

John Marc

John Marc

<John Marc was with us all week helping interpret and lead discussions. It was awesome to spend time with him again. He told me he had never seen the non-serious side of me. He only remembered the medical professional side. We had a lot of fun.

The other people on our team were a family from Miami, originally from the Philippines. The father was a pastor in Miami. They were an awesome family to spend time with and great Christians that helped spread the word while there. Not only did they challenge the Christian thoughts of our Haitian friends they also challenged mine!

During the week we spent a lot of time in Cabaret. That is a larger village not far from the MOH main campus. We spent a lot of time just walking through the village talking to people that were open to talking with us. I believe the villagers asked us more questions than we asked them! Some of it was light hearted fun and questions about their culture. Others became very deep and personal about their faith with Christ. We never approached it as being pushy about our own walk with Christ, just kept the door open for honest open discussions. It was amazing the responses we got from them. The usual open door question into faith came with questions about why we came to Haiti to do this. The reception was always warm and inviting. A few even brought us into their homes to show us, with a lot of pride, how they lived with Christ in their hearts. As you can imagine the people don’t live in houses as we Americans know. Most the homes we saw were in a “city type” setting, which typically meant no spaces between the homes. Some the only access was a 2 foot wide path to walk down. Everyone is very community oriented. They watch out for each other. Something I see Americans getting away from. While they seek their neighbors for support and companionship, we seek privacy with fences and not wanting to “hang out” with our neighbors. For a country living as the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere, they are a very proud people with joy in their hearts.

helping in caberet

We also spent an afternoon painting a couple of rooms for a family who could not afford such a luxury. During the time doing this we spent time to talk to them about their home and the things in it. They, again, were proud to show us their belongings. Most items collected over many years by their family, some very precious things. We also spent an afternoon playing soccer with a group of local kids. We just went to a local church area that had an open playground and started messing around. The kids just started showing up and we played for several hours. Just loving on them and having a good time.


There were also some other work projects we did as well. We assisted in organizing some medical items and took wooden benches out to the Bersy campus for the upcoming VBS. The first day of VBS happened while we were there also. I’m not sure how many children were there but it had to have been around 200-300. They come from all the surrounding villages. MOH provides buses/transportation to and from the mission for them. They do the usual various activities and get some food to eat.

Now another fun event happened right after we got there, a surprise July 4th celebration for all the interns! Liz had an idea of doing a cookout for them and from there we set it all up. I took down frozen hotdogs, hotdog buns, and chips. With a borrowed grill, music, and some extra goodies, the interns had a great little get-a-way party for a couple of hours.


If that feels like a lot of things happening in a one week span, you’re right. This is the main reason why Jake has not blogged or even emailed people like he wanted to. His day starts around 530am and ends around 10pm. He doesn’t get many days off either. So please understand if he has not been able to connect with all of you like he had hoped to.

Yes, I also spent some time at the clinic and assisted on a few medical calls. My main time there was with Jake though. Now, let me be a proud father for a few lines. Jake has always been mature for his age. He was always very independent and a hard worker, when he wanted to be . What I saw down there is a boy who is now a man. He has grown so much in his leadership, manhood and faith. Everyone I talked to had nothing but positive things to say about his work ethic, his maturity, his willingness to just do what needed to be done without being asked, plus his leadership abilities with his peers and the visiting teams. During his childhood, I told him many times of how much I loved him and how proud I was of him. This was the first time I told him those same things Man to Man. I’m not ashamed to say we both hugged and cried. Jake, you’re an awesome man! Your faith in our Lord and Savior is amazing and I love how you share that with others. God has many works for you in the future. As Jake and I sat with some friends one night there one said, (paraphrasing) “You are very strong with God and he has made you a strong leader for Him. You will do great things”

Thanks and blessings to all of you who helped send Jake there this summer and all of you who continually pray for him and his works there.


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Intro to the Internship

Hello everybody!  It’s been almost three weeks since my arrival in Haiti.  I’m so happy to be able to return to the country that I love so much!  The past three weeks have been so hectic and busy that I’ve barely had time to contact family back home, but I managed to get some time off so I could send out this blog for all of the people supporting me.

For those of you who don’t know, my job here at Mission of Hope is to be a leader of the short term missionary groups that come here.  These groups, or teams, come for a week and do various things, such as painting and ministry.  They come from all over the U.S. and from many parts of Canada.  As an intern, I am to make sure that their stay goes as smoothly as possible.  It’s a very fun and very stressful job that starts at 6:45 in the morning and goes until the last team member feels comfortable.

I’m not the only person in this position; I’m blessed with 23 other interns to help me through my 10 weeks here.  We are lead by a great set of staff that helps us through the hardest of times.  Without them, this job would be next to impossible.

One of the best parts of my jobs is getting to know people.  This includes team members and Haitians alike.  I’ve met amazing people from North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and many other parts of the States.  I’ve also met amazing Haitians who are working hard to change their nation for the better.  They are all awesome Christ-centered people.  God has blessed me greatly with each and every one of them.

I plan to post on this blog at least twice a month in my time here.  I hope to share some amazing stories that can inspire you all to grow in your love and faith.  I’d like to thank you all for your unending prayer and support, I wouldn’t be here without it.  I love and miss you all.


God bless,


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Our Monkey, Putt-Putt, Beach Day (by Zach)

Last Friday was my last day of school so we went on a beach field trip. It was Diana, Noah, Caleb, Jake, Mom, and me. None of us had been to the place or knew where it was so we had to take some time to find it. After we parked we got out and a man driving a golf cart picked us up to take us to the beach! He dropped us off at the front desk area and we figured out not to go on weekends. It was $40 on weekends and only $15 on weekdays. After we paid, we went to the beach area. It was a little rocky, but it was nice. Noah, Caleb, and I went straight in the water and looked for shells (there weren’t many). Some Haitian workers set up a table for us and gave us lunch menus so we could order whenever we wanted. Mom and Diana sat out in the sun while we were snorkeling. After a while we came back in and told Mom and Diana what we had seen which was a live conch in its shell, an eel, a blue and yellow fish, and a sea anemone. At about 11 we decided to order. I got a cheeseburger(which was delicious), but we had to wait 2 hours for our food! I figured out why they gave us menus early. We ate, then decided to go see the monkeys. Their names were Domingo and Benji. Benji was a little baby monkey that played alot and Domingo paced around the cage and look like he would hurt you if you let him out. After that Jake found a big chessboard. The pieces were about 1-2 feet tall. Jake and I played a game(he won). Then we went off to play Putt-Putt. The course was awesome, it had ramps that you had to hit the ball off of and land it on the green. I’m suprised that every one was still alive by the end. Afterwards we went to the pool. Then we did various things-chess, putt-putt, ping-pong, hide and go seek tag at the playground-it averaged out to be an amazing day. We were picked up by the golf cart and went back to mission of hope.

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Blessings are a Responsibility (by Liz)

We certainly have not blogged nearly as much as we planned to during our journey. For me, the main reason is that I don’t think what I have to say will help anyone understand the country of Haiti and the poverty of a 3rd world country. I also can’t tell the stories of the people we meet as I feel that they will be devoured like a tabloid tale and not a person’s life. These are real people and real issues. Today, as I was thinking about the normal daily life of a Haitian: going miles for water, no electricity, no home, no food, no job or hopes for one, and so on, I came to a realization. People do not have a choice in the location of their birth. For those born into this country (Haiti), their life is inherently difficult. Every day, every activity is hard. Living is hard. Shelter, food, water, education, work – these are DAILY issues.

For those of us born in a 1st world country with the blessings of shelter, water, food, jobs, education, healthcare and CHOICES, we have a responsibility. In our blessed life, we don’t think about IF we will eat, but WHAT we will eat. We spend time and money on more things and better stuff. We complain about the cost of healthcare and neglect the blessing that we have healthcare. In the past few weeks, I have seen a baby die from tetanus that she got during birth because there was nothing clean to cut the cord with. I have prayed that an accident victim with a broken leg would not die from lack of care. I have seen a stroke victim with no choices for rehab, there is none – she died. I cared for a 6 year old boy with an opening to his skull the size of a half dollar (from an accident) – and after we worked to find a place to do surgery, I am still praying that he will not die of infection as the wound was there for 5 days before he came to us. There are no CHOICES in Haiti. The unemployment rate is 90%. There are no jobs.

The blessings we have carry a large responsibility. We have the responsibility to help other people on this earth with basic material needs and with an even more valuable resource – time. Does this mean you have to go to a foreign land or spend lots of money? No. It means give a dollar to the Salvation Army bell ringer. It means donate a couple cans of food to the Food Banks (this can many times be done at the grocery store). It means driving a little out of your way to drop your cans in a Habitat-for-Humanity donation hut. It means donate one package of diapers or a can of formula a month to a women’s shelter. If you feel you have no money to spare, how about some time? Be a Big Brother/Big Sister. Volunteer at the library or soup kitchen. Build a house. Help a neighbor. Share your time and love with people – even some extra hellos or smiles to stangers. This is what we are called to do. And, we are given the challenge to make the world better place because we are truly blessed. The faith, community, and love I have seen in the Haitian people is amazing. Wouldn’t it be a better world if the ‘1st world’ had these attributes?

Please pray for us as we finish our physical time in Haiti.

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A Day in the Life of a Paramedic in Haiti (A harsh reality check)

I am a US trained Critical Care Paramedic. I have worked both as a street paramedic and a field training officer in a metropolitan area of 410,000 people and covering 1,368 sq mi. Some have said ‘you must have seen it all’, that’s not true. Every day brings the same and something a little different. You pull from past experiences to care for the current situation. The first time I was in Haiti was in July 2010, 6 months after the earthquake that devastated the country. It was for a week long mission surgical trip. It was then I learned I have definitely not seen it all. In February 2011, I moved to Haiti for a yearlong commitment.

I’ve been in Haiti for 8 months now and still am shocked and surprised by things. A few weeks ago, I was at the clinic around 8am when I was informed that there was a person just down the road who couldn’t walk and needed help. That was all the information we had. Luckily, our mission has been blessed with two ambulances so I took one of our Haitian nurses plus a visiting nurse and drove to out to see what we could do to help. Just like back home, you take your dispatched complaint and use it as a guide but don’t use it as the actual chief complaint. As we drove down the road scanning for the person in need we noted a small crowd of people on the right side less than a mile from the mission. There was no urgent waving or signs of distress from the people. As we got closer one of them looked up and saw us, then they waved us over. I stopped and blocked the scene with the ambulance, as I’ve always been taught but extra important in Haiti as there are minimal driving rules here. As I got out I noted about 6 people standing around someone laying on the edge of the road. The person laying there was someone we recognized from our mission church, a young male around 20 years old. So my “dispatched” complaint of a man down who could walk was right but with a twist. He had been walking at some point in the night when he was struck by a vehicle. It’s now 815am, it had been daylight for about 3 hours. The most obvious trauma was a left femur fracture; it was extremely swollen and deformed. There were also multiple lacerations and abrasions, some of the lacerations very deep. He was alert and talking to us. In the States we call this a “load and go” situation. We are about 5 minutes into our scene time when I noted the 6 people standing around had turned into a crowd of 40 as buses and cars stopped to see what was going on. This is another common thing that happens in Haiti. They are very curious and community oriented, they wanted to see if they knew the person and just what was going on. They are also not shy; this crowd was all within 1 foot of us trying to work. As I had someone go for the equipment we needed from the ambulance I tried to get our working space opened up some. This goes back to our scene safety training; I have a responsibility to myself, my partners and our patient to keep us safe. There is no 911here so we were getting no more help, no police for crowd control, no fire rescue for assistance in patient care. We finally got the patient loaded and I leave for the mission to grab an extra driver and have our doctors do a quick assessment before heading into Port-au-Prince for definitive care, surgery. In the back of the ambulance our nurses continue the assessment and start an IV. The patient is still alert and at his norm which is slightly confused. As I said, we were aware of who he was and that he had some mental type issues and was always confused as to time and place. What we saw was his normal. We contacted the closest facility that has a general and orthopedic surgeon and they stated that we could transport there after he was stabilized. With what we had, he was stable. Enroute again we did a more detailed exam. The only new injury found was 2-3 fractured ribs. It was determined that there was no respiratory compromise and his abdomen was soft and flat leading us to believe there was minimal to no internal bleeding in that area. On arrival at the facility, a doctor opened the doors of the ambulance and asked for an update. As I gave my report he stopped me and stated that the patient had a head injury and they could not take him. As I sat at the head of the patient and the doctor at the foot looking in, I advised him that we did not believe there was a head injury and what made him think there was. He pointed to the 1” laceration over the eyebrow and said there was an injury and the patient was not oriented. I advised that we knew this patient and that this was his normal mental status. I also noted that there were no other signs of head trauma. The doctor continued to argue that this was a head injury and he would not take the patient. Knowing that this is Haiti and he does not have to accept any patient, I knew arguing was keeping the patient away from possible care. We left for another facility. Enroute I was able to call the facility and was told they had no beds or room to put the patient. I pleaded for them to help us care for him and that he needed surgery to survive, they apologized but still could not take the patient. We made the decision to go to the main hospital in Port-au-Prince, General Hospital. This is the biggest hospital and one of the furthest for us to get to. They are also nothing like what we are used to in the States. There is no sense of urgency with the staff. They see the dead and dying daily here. During the trip down some of the worst roads you’ve ever seen in a city of 900,000 people, our patient started talking and actually making sense. This worried us, why the change in status? He looked up and started saying “Papa?” and looking very distant. I’ve seen this before and for those of us who work to saves lives we know it’s getting to be out of our hands when this happens. He starts to drift into unconsciousness. We arrive at General around 11am and I’m having a hard time getting the patient to wake. At General you don’t call ahead of time or give a radio report to anyone. You don’t bust through big doors into a pristine well lit area with doctors and nurses waiting to work just as hard as or harder than you were to save a life. You pull into this alley looking area, crowded with other people sick and hurt. You’re supposed to go get a dossier (medical chart) first, it’s like registering. That even applies to our case so I sent our Haitian nurse out first to get things started for us. As we got our patient ready to leave the ambulance I noticed his respiratory status changed for the worse, agonal. We were able to get him right into their triage area, an 11’x11’ room with a desk, a security guard, a nurse and a tech. Did they jump right up to begin resuscitative efforts? No, they casually looked at us waiting for an explanation. We explained in great effort the patient’s grave condition. The nurse got up and walked over to the patient and took a set of vitals, turned and said “He’s going to die.” We all looked at each other with this look of frustration and then watched in horror as they let him take his lasts breaths. They then stated that they had someone coming over to get him to the morgue. We never left the room, we had no sheet to cover the body and they offered no sheet to cover him. When the person arrived to take him to the morgue we again were shocked. We had to follow him to the morgue, as we rolled the patient on our gurney outside and down 3 blocks to the morgue building. When we arrived at the morgue, I found it non-refrigerated and numerous bodies in different stages of autopsy and or just lying on the floor. This is where they also placed our patient.

Things like this happen daily in Haiti. Medical missionaries, like me, and other healthcare professionals come to Haiti to bring our talents and to make small differences. It took a long time for Haiti to get this way and there is no easy fix. Haiti needs to see that there can be a different way, it can get better. For those of you hearing the call to serve, take a chance, for those of you that hear the call but for some reason can’t serve in the field, support those who can. It takes a wide variety of people and support to make change. This is only one story that tells you about why change is needed. If we all make some small changes they can add up to be something wonderful.

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Shopping (by Jake)

Here in Haiti, many things are different in many ways. Because a majority of the country lives in village environments, there are less stores and shops. Most household items can be found in roadside stands, or purchased during market day. You can find many, many things during market days, and it is fascinating just to drive by and look at all the different things.
Market days usually occur twice a week. The days they happen on depend on the village. Market days often appear chaotic; hundreds of people are walking in a very small area, while tap taps (a type of public transportation) attempt to weave their way through the crowd. The items in the market range from fresh fruits and vegetables, to phone chargers, to clothing, to pots and pans. Sometimes, you can even buy prescription drugs out of a large basket. You could find anything in a market, if you knew where to look.
Even on days without a market, some people keep stand open on the side of the road. These often have food. A majority of Haitian food is served with rice and beans, and fried plantains. Plantains are like small bananas, and when fried, taste like French fries. Bread and chicken are very important food staples. People also eat beef and goat. Personally, I don’t eat from stands on the side of the road. People may not wash their hands while preparing the food, which can spread disease. Haitians may not get sick when they eat it, but it is enough to make most Americans ill.
There are a few grocery stores in Peitionville, the upper class area of Port-au-Prince. It can be about a two hour drive from where we live in Titanyen, depending on the traffic. We buy our food from these stores, but we only go about once a month. The stock there is not consistent, and can sometimes cost more than double the American price. It is always interesting to see what food they have.
Haiti, being a third world country, operates very differently from the familiar business world of the States. Everything is run by individuals. Shops and stalls are how people make their living, and it is not uncommon to sit along the side of the road all day. It is a fascinating experience for anybody.
As with all blogs, I’d like to end with some prayer requests. First, please pray for the unhappiness the people have with the United Nations. Rioting is not uncommon here, and people are beginning to protest the U.N. and its presence. Also, please pray for all of us who are sick, myself included, so that we can be healed and able to work to the best of our ability. Finally, as always, please pray about finically assisting us in our journey here. As I said in this blog, groceries are very expensive, and the cost of living is high. Any help would be hugely appreciated. Thank you. Bondye beni ou, God bless you.

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Cuban Mission Crisis (by Jake)

I find that, as a student, the majority of my time here is spent doing school online. I would much rather spend my time outside, away from this computer, helping those who need it. I recently voiced this concern with my parents. Unfortunately, there are very few teams from the U.S. or Canada coming down, so chances to get off-site and into the villages are scarce. My parents were both looking for some way for me to get out of the house, when suddenly, a chance presented itself.
Yesterday started out like any other day to me. I had immediately launched myself into my studies. Suddenly, I recieved a phone call. Dad was taking a patient into a nearby city and wanted to know if I wanted to tag along. I quickly agreed and made my way to the clinic. From there, I hopped into the front seat of the ambulance while dad climbed in the back with the patient. We then left the mission and headed west.
We arrived at the hospital after a quick ambulance ride. Jocelyn, our driver, hopped out and went into the hospital to ensure that they were prepared for our arrival. He returned and told us that we could move the patient inside. We pulled the cot out of the ambulance and made our way to the hospital. We didn’t get very far. The guard at the gate denied us entrance. When Jocelyn tried to get an explaination, he was told we couldn’t enter because we were white. This is unheard of, and we were all shocked. Jocelyn drafted some men off the street to help carry the cot. Dad and I reluctantly returned to the ambulance.
As we sat in the ambulance, we couldn’t help but notice that a majority of the nurses and doctors were not Haitian. They were far from it, most of them appeared to be of a Hispanic descent. I found this distinctly unfair, if we couldn’t go in because we were white, why could they go in? I was darker skinned than some of them. It didn’t make any sense.
A van pulled up and several more Hispanic-looking people got out. They immediately strolled through the gate and passed the guard without hesitation. The guard made no move to stop them, and greeted some of them personally. I noticed that many of them wore shirts and hats that boasted Cuban flags or had the word “Cuba” scrawled across them. The truck also had a Cuban flag on it.
The guard noticed our observance, and waved us over. He then apologized fervently, saying he had nothing against us. His boss had told him not to admit any Americans. He apologized even more, saying that he appreciated all that we and other Americans had done for his country, but he had to do his job and keep us out. We couldn’t argue with that, he was just doing his job.
After we once again returned to the ambulance, it clicked in my head. I mentioned my theory to dad, and he was of the same opinion. The hospital was Cuban run, and the administrators refused to allow any Americans inside. I had never expected to be prejudiced against, especially in Haiti. We asked several Haitians, and they all confirmed that the hospital was Cuban run. Every single Haitian we told was outraged, exclaiming that the Cuban weren’t even in their own country and they didn’t have the right to keep us out. Several of my kind Haitian friends got upset like I’d never seen them before.
Jocelyn returned to the ambulance then. He was staying with the patient, because the doctors refused to give the ambulance cot back. They did this so we couldn’t leave, in case they decided that they actually didn’t want the patient. We were forced to wait while they ran blood tests and decided whether or not to keep the patient. Jocelyn told us that the doctors were angry that we Americans had come to them for help, and were angry that we were still there. Jocelyn was also mad, at the injustice of our treatment. This shouldn’t be about our races, but about the dying patient, right?
Eventually, the doctors decided to keep the patient, and we were sent on our way. Neither dad nor I ever even got the chance to look a doctor or nurse in the eye, let alone speak to one of them about the patient. Jocelyn just came back with the cot and told us it as time to leave. We left without a second look back.
Every Haitian that has heard of this incident has been shocked and infuriated. That this kind of prejudice exists amoung missionaries is ridiculous. You would think that people could forget their differences and unite to help those in need. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
I longed for some excitement away from the tediousness of school, and that is what I got. It is good that I know some good people of Cuban descent, or else my entire view of the country and it’s people may have been distorted. In fact, Mr. Joe Garcia, one of my favorite teachers, has a Cuban backround. He is one of the coolest guys I know, and I am glad that his kindness and awesomeness as a teacher allows my view of the world to remain untarnished in that regard.
And so, another adventure has come and passed. Every second of my time here has given me so much experience in the real world. I am greatful for this opportunity, for it has certainly changed my life for the better and allowed me to learn more about myself and others. I end this blog in the same way as I always do: with a request. Please pray for us, and please, please pray about finacially assisting us. We cannot do this without your generosity. Even the smallest amounts of help would help us help the world. Thank you.

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Changes (by Rick)

It is easy to get into the daily activity of work and not see the progression of our goals. As with anything, you fall into a routine. Wake at 630am, feed our foster dog Trigger, make some coffee (yes, even though it’s already in the upper 80’s I still make my morning coffee), get a small bite to eat and get dressed for work. I head down the hill, at 730, to the clinic. Once at the clinic, it’s check for the urgent/emergent patients and either start working on those in need or checking on the employees that work here at the Mission of Hope Clinic. People here are very much relationship oriented. You say hello to everyone you meet or it’s considered rude, something to consider in our busy, North American lives. As North Americans, we pass by so many, not saying a simple hello. The rest of the work day can be a blur of activity. I see most of the urgent/emergent care patients. I discuss the medical and spiritual care of the patients with the doctors and nurses. Intertwined with the care is teaching and learning. As much as I teach about emergency care, I think I learn more about medicine and my faith in God.

Once again, the medical clinic is entering a transition phase. After months of training, the urgent care area is almost completely running on its own. It has been a couple of weeks now that I started transitioning myself out of the direct care of the patients. The Haitian doctors and nurses are running most everything without me and that is a great compliment to Mission of Hope. I am only directly involved in the most bizarre or critical cases and spend a lot of my time writing medical protocols for the urgent care area.

This past week brought two patients in extreme asthma attacks. First, the triage nurse recognized the critical nature of how the patients presented and brought them back to the urgent care area immediately. I was in the room when the nurses started assessing the patients and stayed back a little to evaluate how they worked to treat them. They did look to my guidance, but only for confirmation about dosage on the medicine. Once they finished the assessment and started the initial treatment, they then got the doctor for a full evaluation of the patient. What a wonderful site it was! They handled the situation with professionalism along with care and compassion. Although I never doubted their ability to care for emergency patients, it’s a great moment in time to see it come to fruition. As always in these critical situations, we discussed the clinical presentation and the physiological changes happening to the patient along with what medicines will benefit them and why. Both patients had great outcomes and were sent home later in the day. The patients were given education on how to help control these attacks and the medications to do so.

The care given to these patients is part of the new protocols being written for the clinic. At this time, the protocols are focusing strictly on the urgent/emergent care patients. In the near future, they will expand to include other types of diagnosis including but not limited to: Typhoid Fever, Malaria, Acid Reflux, High Fever and Diabetics. The goals set forth so many months ago are becoming a reality. By the grace of God the Mission of Hope Clinic is changing and saving lives every day.

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Focus (by Liz)

Living in Haiti is like life anywhere – it is easy to get caught up in everyday tasks and forget the ultimate long-term goals. We are trying to live our life with two main goals – one professional and one personal/family oriented. The professional reason God has brought us to Haiti is to help with the indigenous mobilization of the MOH medical clinic. The clinic is open M-F and sees 50-70 patients/day. There are 2 Haitian physicians – Dr. Jennifer and Dr. Alix and 4 Haitian nurses. There are also lab, pharmacy, cashier, and housekeeping staff. The clinic is almost entirely Haitian run – the two exceptions are wound care and urgent care (emergency). Hence, our involvement. It is our goal to have the clinic entirely integrated and Haitian run by the end of our year here. Short-term medical mission teams will still be needed, just in a different capacity. Teams will be used to advance the mobile medical program with a goal of having two weeks of mobile medical clinics a month. Teams will also be used for surgical missions (once the hospital is completed). Surgical missions will run for two weeks once a month.

Since arriving here in February, we have been working towards the goal. The day-by-day routines have led to an increased knowledge of the culture, and language of the Haitians. We have built relationships with our Haitian co-workers and are constantly amazed by their strength, compassion, and faith. We have much to learn from them.

I am having to re-learn everything I’ve known about wound care. With the tropical environment, malnutrition, chronic, often uncontrolled, disease processes (such as hypertension, diabetes, and anemia) and culture of miles of walking daily – the multitude of chronic leg wounds cannot be treated the same as treatment in the US would be. Rick is having to rethink emergency medicine – making decisions with limited tests/information, treating with limited resources, thinking through the long-term effects of potential treatments (the ‘and then what’…).

Rick has been working daily with the nurses and physicians on case-by-case basis. Urgent care is not taught in Haitian medical programs. This past week, Rick was able to spend four days training all of the nurses at once. We had a Mercy Ships medical team for the week who worked the clinic so that Rick and the nurses (and of course Stanley, Rick’s translator) could do training outside of the clinic. It was great. They spent 2 days on trauma and 2 on medical (mainly uninterrupted). At the same time, we had a pharmacist working with our Haitian staff on making the flow in the pharmacy smoother and sustainable. Overall, an exciting move forward.

There are many weeks where a visual move forward cannot be seen – but it is always happening. Slowly moving forward to complete God’s work for us here. We cannot do this without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the prayers of so many others, and the financial support of our partners.


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Trigger (by Zach)

Trigger-who is Trigger-what is Trigger-when is Trigger-where is Trigger-why is Trigger.Trigger is a dog who currently is staying with us. Now you are thinking where did Trigger come from? Well, Trigger came from a north-american family named the VanDerMarks. Now you think why is Trigger with us? The VanDerMarks moved away for good ,but they have lived here for 3,count-them, 3, YEARS. The thing is Trigger cant get back because of the same reason Paige can’t come here, because of the weather. So we took Trigger in and we will get him back to his family in November, but in the mean time we have an awesome dog to have fun with.

Trigger isnt just any ordinary awesome dog he is trained in everything-playing fetch, sitting patiently for his food, jumping over chairs, put a treat on his nose and make him wait until you say ok, opening and closing the door, he can bring you almost anything. Today he caught a fly (out of midair) in his mouth and then ate it. I know most of the blogs are long but I hope you have a short fun time reading this.

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