Saturday, January 23, 2010

Waste me on you

"The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. 

If you will spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land." -Isaiah 58

  "Use me, break me, waste me on You, Lord
Ruin me, take me, waste me on You
For to die is to live...

(Strange new graffiti in Port-au-Prince)
To starve is to feast
Less of me is more of Jesus
Lord, I want it all
Lord, I want it all

(Formerly five-story University of Port-au-Prince)
If I lose my life
I gain everything
At the cross
Away with all death's sting
Lord, I want it all
Lord, I want it all

Help me find my gain in loss."

Shane and Shane, "I Want it All"

Yesterday morning one of our staff friends Sean had me come along while he drove a team of doctors to CDTI, a hospital here in Port-au-Prince. CDTI has serious cracks in the walls, and the majority of their Haitian patients won't go inside. This is the Post-Op tent outside. Can you imagine, spending your hours after surgery here? Medical supplies and teams are moving more and more, but very basic equipment is still completely missing - we desperately need battery-operated bone saws, anesthesiology machines, dialysis machines, cast cutters, Medevac helicopters... It is so tough on the doctors. Yesterday one doctor staying here shared emotionally about how incredibly difficult it was to have to tell a teenage girl that her leg was about to have to be amputated.

This beautiful church crumbled away in the quake.

Can you imagine having been inside that building? One of the looming catastrophes of this thing is that under every one of these buildings (and there are millions) are dozens of bodies. No one will recover them. There is no government demo crew coming to clear the rubble, no electric company coming to secure the downed power lines, no health department coming for the bodies. They will sit, and they will rot. What will happen the first time it rains (its dry season right now)? Every water source in this nation will be contaminated with material from the decomposing bodies. The first wave is the broken bones, the crush injuries, the wounds. The second wave coming, which may produce even more deaths, is the public health disaster.

Our Quisqueya crisis response center is up and running. I'm now the communications/ PR person for Quisqueya, so I'll be writing about school updates also at

These giant whiteboard charts help organize each team of doctors, in which classroom they're sleeping, which hospital they're at, which car and driver are transporting them, their specialties, what supplies they brought, and airport arrivals/departures.

This missionary community is now tighter than ever- and it was already a close-knit bunch. Lots of ladies are mothering us and taking good care of us. Several families who live up-mountain have offered to let us stay with them overnight any time we'd like. One new Haiti mama, Jodie Ackerman, brought us little baby bananas called ti malice. The perspective is a little off in this shot, but this entire banana is about 4 inches long. They're from the Dominican. First fruit/produce I've had since coming to Haiti!

  This is Ben getting geared up to go on his Humedica airport scavenger hunt. This is the German group of doctors here, and they sent him to get a truck of med supplies.... Read his post (immediately preceding this one) for the full adventure:)

  I liked this shot because it shows three major parts of our current operation here at Quisqueya- the US Army humvees in the background (parked on our playground, no less!), the doctors camping in tents, and the boxes of medical aid we're distributing through our medical teams to area hospitals. I've been impressed with the Army guys so far. They're asking all of our staff for local intel such as what offends Haitians, and they're all learning how to say "hello", "how are you", and "I'm sorry for your losses" in Creole. They've also requested little items to give neighborhood Haitian kids for goodwill purposes like candy or maybe Crayons.

Each night now we're having a meeting including the leaders of each medical team and our campus leaders. We pray, discuss logistical issues (Our hospital needs OB! Our hospital needs morphine! Our hospital has empty operating rooms and needs more surgeons!), and share news (makeshift shower being built with some pipe!). The man sitting in the chair in the blue shirt, third from right, shared an incredible story last night. At his hospital they had no OB facilities or doctors whatsoever. A woman was brought in a truckbed, already far into labor, and left at the hospital. She badly needed a C-section, but no one could perform one or had the right supplies. She delivered, and the baby was not breathing and had no heartbeat. They had a bag, but no oxygen. They bagged the baby and began pumping air, and after a little while the baby gasped for breath and had a heartbeat. Praise God.

Another story: Miquette, our school nurse, developed a relationship with a patient at the hospital in bad shape after severe complications from childbirth (different birth). Miquette shared Christ with her, and the woman came to know the Lord. A few hours later the woman died as a result of her complications.

 Our little United Nations: Here are the leaders of the teams from the Dominican Republic, Korea, Germany, and the US at our leaders' meeting last night (along with our director Steve Hersey).

Sebastian, Kinberline, Fabiola, and Franceska are four of the Haitian children living on our campus for now. Their families are now homeless, but someone in each of their families is a staff member of Quisqueya. Today we made name badges for each person on campus to wear so the gate guards know who to admit. These precious little ones play all day. One of them has found a kitten, so they're dragging it around, too:) Steve Hersey, our director, mentioned to Ben and I yesterday that he would like to begin teaching these Haitian kids some English vocabulary, basic math, and maybe some reading/Bible stories. We'll start working on that soon. Speaking of our Haitian kids on campus, the little boy with the broken femur who I've written about so much is named Quincy, we finally discovered. He still has both legs in traction and a catheter. Today I saw him playing with the kitten... that can't be sanitary! Let's all pray for his continued recovery. His little eyes are no longer black, but the whites of his eyes have areas that are bloody... still not out of the woods.

  This poor, precious one is in for a tough time. I'm not sure how, but somehow he got to our campus today. His family was all killed in the earthquake, and he was at a hospital being treated for an injured foot (can't see the type of injury under his large wrap). Some aid worker women here were caring for him today at Quisqueya. Who will be his family now?

  We're starting chaplaincy here as well, beginning with this prayer request board (haha, can you tell we're working out of an elementary school?). Two Haitian pastors are here, so they're ministering to the Haitians, and at least one Canadian pastor is here just full-time providing chaplaincy to the mission teams, doctors, and Quisqueya staff. The plan is to have our first all-campus worship service tonight, for Haitians, staff, and aid workers alike. Not sure how we'll handle the language issue, and I don't think we even have a guitar, much less a projector with lyrics, but we'll manage.

I can't wait:)


  1. Katie, thanks for this. It's so hard to read but I'm glad to know. Thanks for the picture of Steve. :-)

    Please send me the needs from the meetings and I will repost them --

  2. your last three words made me cry! I'm just so thrilled that you are living for these moments God has for you, and not retreating from your call! I know that worship service will be (was) amazing even with the language differences and lack of instruments... a glimpse of our forever with our Creator! Would LOVE to be there for that!!!

    Thank you for all the pictures that keep us feeling for the Haitian people, so precious to God. We pray for you and all the teams among you, thankful for the chaplains serving those who are serving, too. We pray for Sebastian, Kinberline, Fabiola, Franceska, Quincy, this sweet child orphaned by the quake and all the others in need.

    We're so proud to know you, and so proud of all you are doing there - even the menial tasks are of Kingdom worth!!! Don't forget that!
    Kim :)

  3. i'm a friend of anne hennighausen and her friends from Berkner; i teach youth at the Heights in Richardson. i was just thinking today this thought: i would love to go to haiti and worship with the haitians. this, of course, after just wanting to go to haiti to hold and love the children. i know this is NOT at all what you had in mind for your experience in Haiti. but you are being matured and grown - crash course - so that God can use you in even more of His meaningful endeavors. i am thinking that even in the past 2 weeks, you have been transformed. continue to serve these people and children in whatever way God puts before you. THAT is why you are there - even though you could never have imagined this! many are praying for you, jan margrave

  4. Hey Kate, Dad and I are reading your blog tonight (as we do every day) and just so thankful for your faithfulness to the task at hand. We love and miss you guys. Mom and Dad (and Libby and Sam)

  5. Thanks so much for posting the pictures; I know it takes a long time to do. But they really help to illustrate a *little* bit of what's going on. I know you have to be there to fully understand the magnitude of things though.

    Hey "Mom and Dad" - You have an amazing daughter and son-in-law! :-)

  6. Katie, I am a friend of a friend (Lauren Newman), who directed me to your blog. Words cannot express how you are blessing me. I can't wait until you update, so I can see what happened today. I can only imagine how your life has been changed forever. I pray for you and for Ben as our Heavenly Father transforms you to look more like His Son, Jesus. It is so obvious that this was your purpose in selling everything you own and moving to Haiti when you did. Thank you for staying true to your calling.
    Karla Davis =)

  7. Your bravery in the face of this disaster is inspiring. You can do all things through Christ living within you. Stay strong, take care of yourselves too, acknowledge that at some point you need a break. When you help the least of these, you are helping Me.

  8. I think and Pray for the Haitians all the time. My very best friend is Haitian and I always have her in my heart, as I do the Haitian people. They will prevail!!

  9. I start every morning reading the blog and praying for you both...the pics help to understand. the little ones are so precious in HIS sight...oh that they will come to know this through this disaster. Praying for those in your compound as well. love you guys, Ness and RR

  10. So sorry to heard that, but i hope all of you can get the good chance to be better in life. Be patient, friend, god bless for you.



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