Monday, November 29, 2010

Sierd & Anneke: Two Volunteers from Afar, A lot of Help Given

Baptist Haiti Mission recently had the pleasure of having two people, a husband and wife, volunteer with us. Sierd and Anneke came all the way from the Netherlands to work at BHM for one month. Sierd had been to BHM in 2008 on a trip with World Servants Netherlands. When he and Anneke sold their business in 2009, they decided that they really wanted to come back and volunteer together. While in Haiti they did many things: tiling, repairing equipment, installing lights, painting, and helping to fill boxes for school children. They even went out with an American team and helped to build a house for a Haitian family that had lost their home during the quake.
    One of the most important things that Sierd and Anneke did for this country was to help make some new concrete water filters. This job was ranked especially high in light of the recent cholera outbreak. It is very apparent that the small island nation of Haiti is in need of access to clean drinking water. Sierd and Anneke worked long hours and many days washing stones and sand for these new filters.  We really want to thank Sierd and Anneke for giving of their time and traveling so far to serve with us at BHM. Thank you for showing the Haitians and BHM staff so much love through your efforts and positive attitudes!
Anneke washing stones for the water filters
Sierd and Anneke
Sierd helping to move a water filter into the conference center kitchen.
Sifting Sand to help rebuild a home.
Sifting sand with a joyful attitude.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baptist Haiti Mission Receives First Confirmed Cholera Patient….

    Last night Baptist Haiti Mission received their first confirmed case of cholera. He is a male that came to us from the region of Kenscoff. The nurses informed us that he had a “pretty rough” night, but is doing somewhat better today. He is requiring hospitalization in the quarantined area. We praise God that he is doing better!
    One of the mission’s volunteers, a nurse, went to visit the cholera patient today in the isolated area. There were many protocols to be followed, both when entering and exiting the unit. Before walking down the steps to the isolated area, one must wash their hands and have their feet sprayed with diluted bleach. After reaching the actual hospitalization unit, the volunteer had to once again wash hands and have feet sprayed with diluted bleach. After seeing the patient, she had to walk across a mat saturated with bleach and then once again repeat the washing of hands and feet with diluted bleach on the way out. This is the same for all nurses and the one visitor each patient will be allowed. ALIMA is taking very strict protocols and precautions to protect the mission campus, the nearby school, and the community of Fermathe. We are very blessed to have such a cautious and caring organization aiding us at this time. We give all praise to Jesus!
Hand washing station with diluted bleach.

ALIMA volunteer using bleach to spray a mat that every visitor must cross over.

BHM nurse volunteer having her feet sprayed with bleach after exiting the unit.

Monday, November 22, 2010

BHM and Hospital De Fermathe Uniting with Organizations to Prepare for Cholera…

As cholera is spreading through out Haiti, BHM and Hospital De Fermathe have partnered with the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) to set up an isolation unit for cholera treatment.

The unit is nearly finished and when the patients come they will receive free care. The group, ALIMA, has a lot of experience with cholera in other countries. Their set-up consists of three stages. The first point is where nurses are always on duty to provide education to the community. People who come with symptoms of cholera can receive oral rehydration.
If they feel a person needs more treatment they will go to the “stabilization unit.” This is where they will continue to orally rehydrate the patient give them an IV if needed.
If the patient does not get better or gets worse they will be moved to the third phase of the isolation unit, which is hospitalization.

We are so grateful for the partnership with ALIMA and are  thankful that through their knowledge of cholera treatment and prevention they are doing everything possible to protect the patients and the community of Fermathe.

Recently, Dr. Pradip K. Bardhan, who has 25 years of treating cholera in Bangladesh, gave a lecture on cholera.  Many people attended his lecture including almost all the hospital staff and  even some members of the community. It was a very clear and comprehensive overview of cholera, how to treat it, and how to prevent, which was appreciated by all.

As of yet, there have been no confirmed cases of cholera in Fermathe.  Now, with the help of the WHO and ALIMA, the hospital and mission are more prepared for the epidemic that appears to be coming this way at a steady pace. We praise God for this ability to prepare. While we hope that the disease does not reach Fermathe, the hope is that if we do receive cholera patients, it will be an opportunity to witness to them and share the love of Jesus Christ.

The entry point into the cholera area: education and primary assessment.
The tent for the stabilization unit, almost finished.
Getting ready in the quarantined hospitalization unit.
Dr. Bardhan from Bangladesh, sharing his expert information on cholera.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Medelus Family Receives a Much Needed Home….

Many who have come through on medical teams will know this family right away, if not by their name, then by their faces. This is the family of Madame Albert Medelus; she was in Hospital de Fermathe for four months following the earthquake. Madame Albert had suffered a left broken femur when her house fell and required traction on her leg for most of her hospital stay. During this time, the medical staff got to know her and her sweet family very well; especially her daughter Claudia. Claudia, though grown and with a family of her own, remained very dedicated and by her mother’s side daily. She also shared her talent of playing the guitar when patients and medical staff gathered to sing praises and pray during the evenings.
    Mr. and Mrs. Albert Medelus live in Sarthe. The family attends the Legliz International Mission Outreach, a Christian church in Sarthe. They have 6 children which range from the ages of 15 to 30 years old; they also have two grandchildren. Albert, at 59-years old, is a farmer, an artist, and a mason. Even though Madame Albert’s injured leg blatantly pains her, at the age of 55 she remains a seamstress. The family is very blessed with that talent of music, both of their eldest children, Claudia and Abner can play the guitar and love to sing worship songs. In fact, recently a team from Pennsylvania came to help in the building of their new house and joined in the singing and praising to God as they worked, as Abner played the guitar.
    Madame Albert says that she “thanks the Lord and is happy because her house fell and she could not pay for it.” She wants to thank Baptist Haiti Mission, Hospital de Fermathe, and the team from Pennsylvania. Madame Albert hopes that God blesses the team and Haitians that helped to re-build her families’ home. Abner, the oldest son, says, “I cannot express my gratitude.” We at Baptist Haiti mission pray that this family will take this Christian love that has been expressed to them and pay it forward. We pray that the love of Christ will spread and shine in the community of Sarthe.

Cameron: he helped with the building, but also showed the Haitian children the love of Christ...and had some fun! :)

Jessi, carrying water to help mix the concrete.

Apryl, helping Madame Albert put on a new knee brace.
Christi, helping to sift sand with a Haitian worker.

All the guys working hard to get the outside of the house finished.

Abner and Claudia, the eldest children, playing and singing worship songs in English for the team and community.
Mr. and Mrs. Medelus, inside their new home, right before it was finished.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Missionary Flights International Partners with BHM to Help Five Families in Need…

Recently, Missionary Flights International (MFI) visited Baptist Haiti Mission with two teams.  All together they assisted with the re-building of five homes destroyed by the earthquake. Their team leader was Roger Sands, who spent some his childhood years in Haiti. While here, the teams did so much more than just re-build houses.
    One great example of how the MFI teams radiated the love of Christ was for building for 75-year old Darius Dagène, a very sweet, kind older gentleman who farms when he can. Darius is special to BHM as he worked at the mission for about 6 years, as he states, “with the flowers.” He is now elderly with 7 grown children. During the earthquake he tells that his “house fell flat,” but praises God that nobody got hurt. Since the quake, they have been staying in a temporary shelter, a very small tin shack. He plans to live in his new house with his wife and two grandchildren. Darius said that he would like to “thank the mission because he wouldn’t have been able to build it on his own.” He says this is because he is too old and he could not get money easily; he knew that God would have to bring someone to help him. He tells that his children help when they can, but this is not often or much. Darius states that, “After the quake I continually say thank you to God for all the things he has done for me.”
After the houses were finished Roger gave a message to each of the families and the team and community members dedicated the structures. For the finished Dagène house, everyone sang “How Great Thou Art.” It was also made known to the Dagène family that a youth group in the USA saw the need and raised the funds to build the house. Roger gave a message that it was very important that everyone in the surrounding community needed to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to further His kingdom; and that by loving people you are showing the love of God. His prayer was that the house would serve as a testimony to Jesus Christ. We give praise to God for the MFI teams and the wonderful Christian witness they gave to the communities they served. We also give thanks for our Haitian workers that continue to re-build homes even when there are no foreign teams here. By re-building five homes, the MFI teams assisted more people than they could ever imagine because often times extended family members seek shelter in these homes too. By helping even one family, you are helping many people. BHM prays that people would see this great work in progress and prayerfully consider donating towards our house re-building fund. Thank you and God bless!
Roger, the team leader for the MFI teams. Fluent in Creole.
Working as a team, side by side with Haitians.
Sifting sand.
Working on the outside of one of the houses.
Mixing concrete
The temporary tin shack the Dagène family was living in after the quake.
Mr.and Mrs.Darius Dagène with one of their grandchildren, outside their home....almost finished.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More cholera relief is distributed

This week has been a very eventful week. 
We were blessed with some donations to continue providing cholera relief.   The leadership of the association of BHM affiliated churches put together a plan and was able to purchase many supplies in Port-au-Prince and they delivered these supplies on Thursday to 4 districts that have been affected by cholera.  This was perfect timing.
Friday most of Haiti was affected by Hurricane Tomas by rains and wind.  We have seen a slight increase in cholera since the earthquake, and these churches are so thankful to have some clean drinking water and some supplies to purify water.  They also have cleaning supplies to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Thank you for your prayers for the people of Haiti.  These past weeks have not been easy and as I write this the rains are continuing to fall.  Pray that God continues to protect these people.

Pastor Edrice (left) oversees the supplies as they are delivered

Unloading some supplies at 1 of the 4 districts

Visitors from Pennsylvania were able to go along and help deliver the supplies.