Saturday, January 16, 2010

Praise God, Aid is Arriving!

Praise God - this is the little boy with the big head wound and broken (but as yet un-set) femur- he was feeling so well that this morning he was coloring! Somehow, we found some crayons (well perhaps that wasn't so hard, this is a K-12 school, after all!). He was doing much better.
Below, several medical personnel have arrived and each have tended to the boy. Here is Miquette, our school nurse, changing his bandages for his deep head wounds. We had no sutures, which he needed, so instead we've just kept it clean best we could. His leg is splinted, but not set. He was gone when Ben and I returned to the school at dinnertime, I pray he was transferred to a more advanced medical team.

Yesterday I led several students in working to clean up the elementary library, which was a complete wreck- all 10,000 books on the floor. We threw books on shelves and put the shelves against the wall so people can sleep on the floor- rescue and aid teams have begun arriving in droves. Many students and parents come up to the school often to check things out and see if they can help- lots are working as translators for aid teams.

Here are our sweet little refugees- the 30 children from Three Angels orphanage. They've been sleeping on this porch for four nights. Most Haitians are still refusing to sleep indoors. Apparently Haitian radio keeps telling them more earthquakes are coming. Haitian radio also told them that putting toothpaste on their upper lips will protect them from germs from decomposing bodies, so many were sporting that look today. Abbey, the Three Angels intern, hopefully received some support today- after 4 days on her own, some of her supporters/board members were to arrive today to help find a more permanent home for the kiddos.

To give the Three Angels kids some much-needed stress relief, the "young teachers" from Quisqueya took the kids off the porch to run around on the "big kid"/older elementary playground. This sweet one was my sidekick. They are wild. They've learned two new words in English- "helicopter" and "ladybug". They aren't sleeping well- most still wet the bed at 4, 5, and 6.
Today we left Quisqueya all day to go work at Quisqueya Chapel (related name, not related organization- although many Quisqueya Christian School teachers attend worship there). Quisqueya Chapel was hosting several relief groups setting up a medical clinic. We were advised to wear masks- the bodies still not picked up by officials are getting to a dangerous point of decomposition. Remember, its 95 degrees here.

Most of the injuries today were broken bones and wounds that have received no care. I was assigned to work on minor wounds. We would be sent a patient from the triage tent, then unpack whatever dressing was already on it and a nurse would assess if it was minor enough for me to treat myself. Some Haitian herbal remedies have been used to disastrous effect- putting pieces of wood in wound, etc. Almost every wound was infected and smelled terrible. I would take gauze and iodine and rub it well (at which point they began screaming, usually), then put on antibiotic cream and a new bandage. Everybody left with ibuprofin, a multivitamin, and clean bandages to use in the coming days.

Let me tell you, I saw things today I have never seen in my life. Scabies. The inside of a wrist. Bones sticking out. I helped pour saline on a woman's fingers throughout a procedure where a nurse practitioner from Texas (we were fast friends after seeing he wore a Cowboys shirt with his scrubs!) cut the tips off of two fingers that were gangrenous. Topical numbing only. Oh she wailed.... we did this in a courtyard. Cows and chickens were not 100 feet away. But, she's not going to die of gangrene or even lose her entire fingers now.
This little one came at the end of the day. This baby is 20 days old and weighed under 4 lbs, I'd guess. She won't nurse and the family can't afford bottles. Severe dehydration and malnourishment. They got an IV line in somehow and rushed in fluids and formula.

Somebody found a sucker, which quieted this little one while they set her arm in a cast. It's been broken for four days- no medical care. They had to really hurt her in order to get it set in a cast correctly, but now she will heal.
While I was helping with wound care, Ben was carrying stretchers. Many people's broken bones (legs, ankles, feet) are so bad now they cannot walk. Ben would carry them from triage to the medical stations on a backboard. The UN showed up -some Pakistani troops - when they saw a crowd. They saw things were under control so they went on. It makes me feel safe to know they're in the neighborhood- looting will be much less likely I assume if their presence is seen around.

After putting in the IV and testing her blood sugar, guess who got to pet and love the teeny baby? :) I sang to her in Swahili :)
Hakuna Mungu kama wewe!
There was also a feeding program. People got to come in the gates of the church a bunch at a time, come get "Manna Packs", and all were prayed for. Manna Packs are rice with freeze-dried vegetables inside and a high protein count. They're ready to boil and eat- 12 servings a bag.
Such a satisfying day. So great to be useful and helping. We'll stay here as long as we're safe and useful - comfort be damned.

Els Verloet, who coordinates our alumni relations at Quisqueya, has been the point person on school communication. She's been accounting for all 300 students and 40 staff without cell phones. Her latest Facebook message to Quisqueya alumni and staff tells you what was up at the campus today while we were at the clinic:

"At one gate a DR medical team came asking to put them to work, at the same time at the other gate a truck arrived from Dan O'Neil with medical supplies and more, while at the front gate a truckload of wounded Haitians showed up begging for medical help. It's easy to do the job when God is in charge."

This is my husband's Facebook status, (and right now mine also) After I read it, I sat down and wept.

God, You are awesome!!! Today was a day that more and more things started to fall in place. I have so many medical teams that I can put to work, but lacking the medical supplies. Lord, perform miracles and bring us those very much needed supplies.

The German medical team was working the whole day at Hospital Espoir. I had (former) QCS students and some staff members interpreting for them. CRI (Crisis Response International) team was out in Leogane. More medical teams from Dominican World Vision and another medical group through Paola Diaz showed up. A truck with food, water and medical supplies collected by Carolle O'Neil showed up. At the same time, a truckload of wounded Haitian came and one of the Dominican teams was put to work within 10 minutes after their arrival with very minimum equipment.

Some former QCS students came with laptops, satellite phone and internet system to be put into place tonight at QCS. That way I can work directly from school and can save fuel by not having to drive up and down from my house (Thank you, Lord)

I have more people coming in tomorrow, and 2 plane loads of medical supplies ready to be brought in (Lord, get these supplies here a.s.a.p)

I have 4 requests in front on me for interpreters (our Junior and Senior class and some staff members will be going out tomorrow).

Love you all!


  1. Katie and Ben,

    Ohh my goodness. Who would've known at your farewell party that you were soon to leave for a country that would suffer greater than a level 7 earthquake?! I'm praying for you guys. Thanks so much for the inspires me to study harder! Love you two very much, and I will be following your blog during my study breaks! Let us know if you need anything more!

    Laura (the Asian one from R-town)

  2. I am glued to this blog! My spirit has been moved everytime I read it and your work and words are more than inspiring - they're life changing. I have sent this blog link to many people and what you are doing in Christ's name is reaching so far! What a testimony to God's nature and mankind in this time of need. We love you both so much!

    Praying for you,
    Amber and Collin

  3. AMAZING!!! I continue to pray for y'all. I am so glad that you are there. What a blessing for each and every person you are serving to see your sweet smiles and have your prayers. The pic of Ben with the UN guys, is so Ben. Love the thumbs up! The pic of Katie singing to the sweet newborn is stunning, overwhelming, and incredible. Thanks for being faithful with your updates. I (so selfish, I know) need them!!

    Love, Hugs, and Prayers!! :)

  4. You don't know me, but I found your blog after seeing an article about y'all in the Dallas Morning News. Since reading the article late last night and then finding your blog, you two have been on my hearts and on my lips as I pray throughout the day. When I heard about what was going on in Haiti, I wept with a broken heart. I felt compelled to do something. I truly feel that the Lord led me to the two of you and after praying all day, I have felt led to begin to support you. I am just a single woman doing college ministry on a university campus, so I don't make much, but I will faithfully give each month. I look forward to more blog posts to see how the Lord will use you. I wish I could get on a plane and go over there right now, but I feel that in same way, by supporting you financially and prayerfully, I am doing my part.

  5. More prayers for you, Katie and Ben, and many more prayers for the whole nation of Haiti! HAKUNA MUNGU KAMA WEWE! Mimi napenda wewe pia! Mungu Akubariki :)

  6. I blog-hopped my way here the other day, randomly (or not...I believe God is provident)...I am blown away by what you all have experienced, what you are witnessing, what is going on there, and the response. It is amazing that you arrived there so recently. You were sent for a purpose. May the Lord bless and keep you and all that you work with. Those children! The faces...may they continue to heal, and to love the Lord that you are showing them. You are His hands and feet.
    I am in Dallas, and am praying for you specifically, as well as for the entire situation.

  7. Very impressive! You guys rock! and yes, God You are Awesome! Keep it up Ben and Katie! So proud to know you! We, of course, still hold you and all the people in our prayers!

  8. Katie - I found you through Kim (above) - my college roommate. More people are praying for you than you know. I've posted your information on my FB and now I'm seeing some of my friends repost as well. Thank you for your service for the Kingdom.

  9. Ben and Katie-

    I happened upon your blog today and had to send my 2 year old out of the room so that I could truly digest it. The way that God is working through y'all in Haiti is amazing. Please keep updating so that we may pray for more specific needs of the people that you encounter.

    If you see any needs in the school, please let us know. I would love to arrange sending supplies (though they would take forever to get there) to you, your students, or the families you serve. Please let us know what we can do to also be of service.

    God bless you and keep you.

  10. Katie and Ben,
    I just learned from Robbie Sutton today that you are serving there in Haiti . . AMAZING! I still think of both of you as being 10th graders in Sunday School. Ben, I remember taking you and Sander to some concert near 6 Flags. It is so great to know that God has worked in your lives to an extent that is mind-blowing - what a testimony! Know that I will be praying for you every time I think of you - which will be often.

  11. Thank you thank you thank you for the updates. Katie, I know that this sounds crazy to say, but I'm so happy for you, that you're getting to experience all this. Remember when you were crying out to God for Him to send you somewhere where you could really be his hands and feet?? And here you are, exactly where you knew so long ago you needed to be. I'm so proud of you :) Bwana Asifiwe!!

  12. I was worried about the little boy and so glad he is feeling better. He is doing awesome work in the coloring book! I hope he is up skateboarding like that dinosaur in no time.

  13. What can I add to what you and others have said. My heart breaks for what has happened, yet I am amazed to "watch" at a distance, how God is using you not only to minister to the Haitians, but to us back home. I have never (thank God) been "this close" to something so tragic... the difference between you and us is that after we pray, donate, watch, and weep, we can close our computers and turn off the news and return to life as usual - (at least for a few hours to "regroup", before we find ourselves compelled to check your site again for any more updates.) You do not have that luxury right now. But you have something perhaps even more profitable than a comfortable bed, food and water, etc...

    You have the Creator of all, moving in ways most don't ever get to see or experience... You are not just in the front row, you are on center stage with Jesus! He is deeply engraving His love and heart into yours, and, you will never be the same. Nor will these sweet people as you let Jesus minister through you. Nor will we at home.

    We hope you can feel the arms of the Lord wrapped tightly around you as you hold each child, as you comfort every mother and father. We are praying that He keep you safe and encouraged, and that the supplies will come in abundance... water, food, medicine, whatever the needs are. We are also praying He will show you exactly what you need to do - in regard to staying or leaving. His timing is always perfect.

    Bless you again, and know there is a host of people back home who love and appreciate you, and are holding up you up in prayer.

  14. Ben and Katie,
    We don't know each other, but I have heard about your mission through our mutual friends, Macy and JT. Macy and I are in a small Bible study group with a few other seminary wives, and after she gave us an update on your situation tonight, I felt compelled to read your blog from start to finish. I have been reading for about two hours straight now, and currently have tears running down my face as I see what you are in the midst of. Praise God for you two and for His perfect plan and timing to have you in place to minister to these people. It breaks my heart to see that even after all these children have been through, they still have beautiful smiles on their faces - a testament to the love they are receiving from you all, I'm sure. I am praying hard for you and the great task you have ahead of you and I look forward to keeping up with all the wonderful ways God is using you as you minister to the people of Haiti.

    Love in Christ,
    Claire Cook



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