Thursday we had quite an unexpected shock!
I'm in Room 36, teaching high school English as usual. I'm reading out loud to the students, when in walks Mr. Hersey. He says he'll take over reading to the students, and that I need to step out in the hallway. Very nervous, I exit the classroom....
... only to see four of my friends from Buckner! Buckner International is a global ministry to vulnerable kids & families where I worked back in Dallas before coming to Haiti. I worked in fundraising, and absolutely loved my coworkers, including Randy, Sergio, Matt and Tricia. They visited Haiti for the first time last December, staying at the now-destroyed Hotel Montana. This time, they were in the DR working to get programs there established, and decided at the last minute to come to Haiti. Buckner (through its adoption wing Dillon) has been working with Hope Hospital and Hope Village orphanage (locally known as Hopital Espoir and Village Espoir) for several years, sending humanitarian aid to both the hospital and orphanage as well as doing some international adoptions through Village Espoir.
My friends took B and I to dinner on Thursday (at a very nice restaurant I've heard Steve refer to as the "anniversary restaurant") and then we made plans to meet on Friday to visit Hopital Espoir and Village Espoir.
the first day Ben and I spent serving at Hopital Espoir in February. On February 12, when we saw Brice last, he was having a revised femur fracture surgery. His little leg was covered in an external fixator, metal rods sticking straight into the bone. I changed his bandage with a nurse from the German medical aid group Humedica. Humedica is still there, 12 weeks post-quake, God bless them, and so is Brice.
Shelter Box tent in the former parking lot, sharing an uncovered mattress in 95 degree temperatures with his mother, who stays with him, and another boy about his age.
It felt wrong to be taking this picture. It felt profane, exploitative, indecent. But I did it anyway, because I was thinking of you. You will never meet Fednel, or Brice, or their faithful mothers. I had this internal debate on each mission trip I've been on, and I always ultimately come back to the same decision: I am here in Haiti, not just as myself, but as a representative of my community- our community. I report back to you guys, so that your eyes can see what mine do, you can learn what I learn, so that God can refine you and steer your heart toward God's priorities, just as we experience it.
my friend Beth, who used to work at CDTI until it closed due to lack of funds last week. She told me about this lady in the middle in the camo shirt here, and called her a miracle. This woman suffered a hemorrhaging miscarriage not one month ago. Her husband is the man in the orange shirt. The woman came to CDTI at death's door. The hospital had no equipment to do what was necessary, so they tried to arrange a transfer to another facility. Beth accompanied this woman for the transfer. Beth described sitting in the back of a taxi with the hemorrhaging woman's head in her lap, holding an IV bag high in the air through the bumpy unpaved roads, thinking the woman would die any minute. Now, a few weeks later, the woman was caring for her husband at Espoir, walking, healthy.
Coming tomorrow, the journey to the orphanage...
Buckner Day: Part Two, Village Espoir