Monday, December 6, 2010

Antoine’s Journey….

  Antoine was an elderly man admitted to Hospital De Fermathe immediately following the earthquake with two broken legs. No family or friends arrived with him. Nobody knew where he came from. After about 4 months, a few surgeries, and many casts placed on his legs, Antoine began to walk with a walker. Over the past 10 months he remained in the hospital because we could not contact any family or friends. He knew that his house fell during the quake and he told the hospital staff that his wife had died at that time. He had no children, only step-children from his marriage. But he had none of their information and as far as they knew,  he had passed away also. Nobody knew Antoine. But the hospital staff, both Haitian and foreign, came to love him like a family member.
    Even with two broken legs, Antoine remained cheerful and smiley every time a visitor came to see him in the hospital. He frequented the halls with his walker. Over time, he began to reveal more details about the area of Port-Au-Prince that he had lived in. After 10 months of living in the hospital and being the last quake patient to remain, the mission and hospital made a collective decision to take Antoine and set out to his community to at least “attempt” to find someone that knew him. A BHM nurse volunteer, driver, and translator set out with Antoine one recent morning on a journey with an outcome that was completely unknown at the time of departure. Antoine was always smiling, but the morning he left Hospital De Fermathe, he admitted he was scared. He was leaving his familiar surroundings and heading off to a place he was uncertain he could remember, with even more uncertainty if the group reached his old home.
    All praise be given to God, when Antoine got down to his zone in Port-Au-Prince he was able to take the driver directly to his community! Women on the street recognized him right away. This turned out to be a bittersweet encounter. Antoine was home, but soon realized two things: his wife did not die during the quake, but just two days before he arrived back and his house was completely gone. His wife’s body had been taken away for the funeral in her hometown of Jacmel, along with all of Antoine’s step children. This was a rougher part of the city, but thankfully one of his Christian neighbors began setting up a tent for Antoine while the women surrounded him and promised to take care of him. They were very thankful that he was alive and had returned. Although he had no bed for one night and had to sleep on the ground, the next day BHM was able to provide him with a cot and some blankets. The second day when Antoine received a visit from the same volunteer that dropped him off, he was all smiles. We praise Jesus for the miracle of Antoine returning to his community and for his Christian neighbors that were willing to readily care for him.
Please continue to pray for Antoine during this huge transition that is taking place in his life.

Antoine, very shortly after the quake, with SP nurses, Jill and Julia.

Antoine, all smiles, going into a surgery.

Neighbor, Lesly, instantly setting up a tent where Antoine’s house used to sit.

Ensuring Antoine had a cot to sleep on. We praise God for this blessing!


1 comment:

  1. That story sure blessed me and so glad Antoinne is home again.