Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Day at the Clinic

Today, just four of us went back to the clinic. Jaime from Indiana, Nicole from South Dakota, Ben and I. Jaime and I teamed up to work on wound care again. This little girl wore her Sunday best to come see the doctor. Her forehead was very scraped, but no infection yet. Through the interpreters we would try to make conversation and express love. One question was always "what happened to cause this injury", and the answer was always the same: "the house fell on him". I learned a new word in Creole, I heard it so much: "blok", meaning cinderblocks.

Behind the Quisqueya Chapel, where the medical clinic is being held by a collaboration of several Christian aid groups, there is an orphanage camping out. HIS Home is an orphanage that was destroyed. There are 120 kids sleeping in the field behind Quisqueya Chapel. All but a few kids are in process for US adoption, so their directors, like all other orphanage directors now, are trying to get the state department to ram through the final paperwork to get the kids to their homes. They have rows and rows of cribs outside. They have several nannies and the director said they have enough food and water, but....
They're just laying around outside. Pray, pray for the hundreds of orphanages in this country, many of which are destroyed.

One reason we went to see the HIS House kids is that Jaime has two friend from Indiana who are in final stages of adopting two different kids there. We went to visit them and make sure they were ok. This precious one cautious, but then full of smiles- and those dimples!
These are the two little ones coming home to Indiana, hopefully this week even. If there is one silver lining to any of this tragedy, its the hundreds of children whose adoptions have lingered for up to four years, who may now be rushed through the final red tape and come home to families.

Some of the older orphanage kids just hanging around...

Warning the next pic is of a serious burn injury. Please skim by if you need to.
Some of the hardest moments of today were helping on three very serious injuries. Ben helped carry this lady from the car of a Haitian pastor who brought her here - six days with third degree burns, no medical care. They had to scrape off the serious burned skin, or else infection will set in, so it was necessary... but oh my word, the screaming. They gave her what little painkillers we had, and she quieted a bit. Have you ever thought about how what we yell when we're in pain is culturally conditioned? In the US, what do we yell in pain? "Ow, ow, ow!" Well, here, they say something in Creole that sounds like "why, why, why, why!". Why, indeed. The only times I've cried in the last 6 days are listening to the patients pain.
One of the other two big injuries today was this boy's knee, which you can't see. He had a huge wound to his knee, which had been crudely treated some days ago with cotton packed inside the wound. So, today, it was.... well, you can imagine. They had to re-open the wound, then me and Jaime irrigated and cleaned it, then I helped the doctor while he did sutures.
So very, very many.

Tonight is a rough night. We're staying at a teacher's home a little bit north of the school, toward the mountains. Hopefully, a shower tonight. We're just emotionally beat. We just don't know. We don't know when the school will open, whether we'll be needed to teach if there are just a few dozen students, or any number of other dozens of questions... it's a quarterlife crisis in the middle of a massive disaster. Of course, worrying about our future career plans is really a lesser priority when there are people dying right and left.

Prayers, prayers, for Haiti.

Through many dangers, trials and tears
We have already come
Twas grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will bring me home

And thanks for your love:)
Katie

14 comments:

  1. i am out of things to say, but i want you to know that i am thinking and praying for you, ben, and the everyone in haiti. we had a really wonderful time of prayer for y'all on sunday and these are just a few of the scriptures that were read...

    "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." {Psalm 61:1-4}

    "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." {Psalm 46: 1-2}

    "Surely he will save you from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday." {Psalm 91: 3-6}

    may GOD'S words be the encouragement you need to sustain you in the coming moments, days, weeks.

    love you!!

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  2. Ben and Katie--
    I posted a comment a few days ago and wanted to let you know that I'm following your blog daily, like so many others here. I'm a friend of Amber M's--we teach together at Creekview. I cannot believe your resilience, strength, and hope in the face of such tragedy. So many others would have crumbled days ago. I know you're hearing this a lot, but we are praying for you, the earthquake victims, and Haiti. Finally, I can only imagine the dilemma you are in about the future. I am not generally super-religious, but I can't help but believe that for people like you who are giving of yourselves so selflessly and unconditionally in the service of mankind, God will nourish and provide. All the best.

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  3. I don't know you, but I know that God is good and compassionate, and placed you there for a reason. Be a testimony to Him and you will find strength.

    I'll keep praying for both of you!

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  4. Thanks for the updates. It makes it soo very real. I am praying for you and Ben. Stay strong in the Lord. Keep your focus on Him.
    In His Love
    Karen
    Lake Jackson, Tx

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  5. Katie & Ben

    Know that you and your friends are in the prayers of a stranger who lives in Tennessee.

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  6. Rich and Staci CassJanuary 19, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    I think you both have some idea that there are people here who love you and are supporting you in prayer but I'm pretty sure you have no idea the scale of how many people are praying for you and the Haitians each day. I know that the local news here has broadcast your story and it has allowed who knows how many strangers to follow the situation from your perspective. Add to that all of us, your friends and family, who have shared with so many each day about you, how to follow along with you through yoru blog and in prayer, and the rise of awareness that we are praying will also result in increased giving via your blog. We love you and are with you in spirit each day. In Christ - Rich and Staci

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  7. Katie and Ben, I'm reading your blog each day and praying as you ask, Many prayers are coming your way! Pam

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  8. Katie,
    I have been following your posts and am amazed by you and your husband Ben. Beautiful honesty and filled with hope. You two are a shining light in a world threatened by darkness. All the love pouring into you from everywhere, and you pouring it back out again. I'm sending my light too with my prayers and visualizations of you, Ben and all of Haiti bathed in the stunning light.
    I know your family, your friends, people like me that you barely know, and complete strangers are doing the same.
    That's pretty darn neat.
    My Best,
    Patty Walnick

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  9. Katie, I just wanted to let you know that I am not the person to be called to work at a clinic. I am that person that had to skim by most all these pictures. I have to hold my hand to my face at TV shows and movies most of the time. Amazing that you can do this. Go you and your team.

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  10. Ben and Katie, I've been following your blog daily and really appreciate your updates on the specific ways you and other QCS staff are involved in ministering to the hurting right now. Know that we're praying for you!

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  11. This post touched my heart - I hope those orphans do get to their homes very soon. That is so amazing that something so wonderful is happening during such a trying time. Ben & Katie - you're in my prayers!!!

    Leah Spencer

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  12. Katie and Ben- We are continuing to pray for your health and safety and are thanking the Lord that you can be helpful where help is needed the most.

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  13. Thanks for the updates and pictures. I have been trying to spread the news about your blog on facebook and in my circle of friends. Your stories need to be heard by those of us in the states. Many prayers are being prayed on your behalf. Wish we could get truck loads of Chik fil a to you all!!!
    Love in Christ,
    Marie

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  14. Saw on the news about another quake.... PRAYING you are o.k. / Imagine internet is out again... continuing to pray for you both all day... & all the people there.

    -Suzanne S. Longview, TX

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