We have had some success!

September 17, 2017

Sometimes we have successes

Many of you are aware that I have a group of ladies that make rag rugs to sell. When we arrived in Haiti Madam Alexie ( who makes the rugs with a different pattern) brought me three rugs she made over the summer. Her rugs are of the best quality so I sell them for thirty-five dollars. After church on Sunday she stopped Bob and I asking for help with her house. It seems that the high winds we received from Hurricane Irma blew in one wall of her house. She wanted help from us for the repair.

This is difficult; we have two other families who have asked us to build them a new house, because their houses are in such bad repair. Our funds are donated for specific purposes, and the funds that are not specified are used to fill in shortfalls. We don’t have the funds to build houses no matter how real the need is.

That afternoon we had some American visitors, Gail who has been living and working in Haiti for the last year and a half. Asked if I had any rugs? She is returning to the US for a wedding, and needed a present for the young couple. I showed her the three I had and she decided to buy two of them. Madam Alexie needed 15 bags of cement to fix her house, the cost here would be 105.00US for the cement, we fronted her money for the third rug and she had the 105.00Us she needed to fix her house without help from us. I did offer to take her to town to buy the cement and transport it in our truck to save her the delivery charge.

This was seeing real progress in helping the people here to rely on their own abilities to help themselves. I am proud for Madam that through her own skills she was able to repair her home. Yes I do sell the rugs but to me this is giving a hand up not a hand out.

Our young friend Maxo (young man we helped to get to hospital in the south of Haiti) had surgery to cover his bedsores this week. I got a report that he did well in surgery, and will be able to move to the rehab facility in a few days. I praise God for this blessing in his life.

We have spent a lot of time this week at the hospital; this is confusing and tiring work. One of the patients’ we brought back from Port with us last week had abdominal surgery. She needed to go on Monday to the local hospital to have the stitches removed. The doctor here has wanted to see her every other day to be sure she doesn’t get an infection. A man in our village came to us with a tooth infection that was visible on the outside on his face, and another gentleman has a hernia in his groin I wanted o be verified before setting up surgery in Port for him. Although Bob and I hadn’t planned on medical (other than supporting the clinics) being a part of our ministry here it’s hard to ignore the need.

Although we have been once again spared from a direct hit from Hurricane Marie we have had a lot of rain, the roads are so muddy! But everything is very green. I pray for all those that have been hit by ll this year’s hurricanes.

Thank you for your prayers and interest,

Denise sds

safe and sound

September 12, 2017

Safe and sound

After many preparations and concern we and our many friends here were spared from Irma’s path. We have several bananas plants down and papaya trees but no other damage. We got a lot of rain and wind. We have heard that the bridge connecting Haiti with the Dominican Republic is down and there has been flooding in certain areas, but nothing devastating. Considering what happened last year with Hurricane Matthew we feel very blessed. In church on Sunday they thanked God they were all spared.

We have very little internet here we can message on Facebook or Whatsapp but not really google something, so we had to rely on family and friends for information on the path of the hurricane. It is like being blind in this age of technology. We are very spoiled in the US to have all this information available at all times. Not everyone working here in Haiti has this problem. Those here full time or those who work in a city can get better internet but it is expensive and we don’t have the funds for it. Sr. Jackie and Sr. Pat are very kind to let us come and use their internet whenever we want.

For the last week we have had a steady stream of parents coming to ask for money to send their children to secondary school. We chose six; three we have been sponsoring and three new kids. They have to bring us their report cards to prove they are attending and passing their classes. We feel they are truly the hope for sustainability in the area. The workshop a couple of weeks ago was proof of what can be accomplished with education.

Robert has been a great help to us in many ways. He had an experience in Africa several years ago working with a mission there. He has been encouraging us that our work here is very important and he feels we are doing a good job. He has drawn up plans for the new school at Kalabat , now we can get estimates for the construction. The sisters are anxious to get started and have all ready gotten some of the materials. Until we can find funding children will have classes in the church and we bought several tarps to make temporary class rooms. Robert will fly home God willing on Friday. We will take him into Port on Thursday. We will bring a patient that had abdominal surgery home with us.

My friend Anita now lives in the South of Haiti close to where the hospital Maxo is in. She had to go to the hospital for another patient and she broke her toe. So she checked in on Maxo, she reported he is doing well. His sister is with him and they are planning on doing surgery this week to cover the wounds where the bed sores are. I am so happy to hear this report and look forward to seeing his progress in the rehab program once he is well enough to start.

Last Sunday I took several people to Gonaives to pick up a man who had TB and was in Mother Theresa’s hospital there. The hospital is very beautiful and everything is very clean. The sisters of Charity are always such a delight. They always seem so happy and so are their patients. Our friend looked very good and seemed to be recovered well. The trip takes over an hour but is really only 20 miles away. The road has been slightly improved but you can still only travel about 20 kilometers an hour. The family invited us to come and visit. We don’t usually visit our neighbors they come to our house so this will be interesting.

We got news a good friend and supporter died yesterday. We are very sad we have been praying for him and his family. This makes it hard to be way the times we miss with family and friends. Although we try to make up for it when we return it is not the same as being there at the time of the event.

Last night Geri and Gail the two volunteers at the Sisters house invited us for dinner. It was wonderful food and fellowship. We were happy for a little diversion things have been pretty intense these last few weeks.

Thank you for your prayers and your interest,

Denise sds

September 12, 2017

Safe and sound

After many preparations and concern we and our many friends here were spared from Irma’s path. We have several bananas plants down and papaya trees but no other damage. We got a lot of rain and wind. We have heard that the bridge connecting Haiti with the Dominican Republic is down and there has been flooding in certain areas, but nothing devastating. Considering what happened last year with Hurricane Matthew we feel very blessed. In church on Sunday they thanked God they were all spared.

We have very little internet here we can message on Facebook or Whatsapp but not really google something, so we had to rely on family and friends for information on the path of the hurricane. It is like being blind in this age of technology. We are very spoiled in the US to have all this information available at all times. Not everyone working here in Haiti has this problem. Those here full time or those who work in a city can get better internet but it is expensive and we don’t have the funds for it. Sr. Jackie and Sr. Pat are very kind to let us come and use their internet whenever we want.

For the last week we have had a steady stream of parents coming to ask for money to send their children to secondary school. We chose six; three we have been sponsoring and three new kids. They have to bring us their report cards to prove they are attending and passing their classes. We feel they are truly the hope for sustainability in the area. The workshop a couple of weeks ago was proof of what can be accomplished with education.

Robert has been a great help to us in many ways. He had an experience in Africa several years ago working with a mission there. He has been encouraging us that our work here is very important and he feels we are doing a good job. He has drawn up plans for the new school at Kalabat , now we can get estimates for the construction. The sisters are anxious to get started and have all ready gotten some of the materials. Until we can find funding children will have classes in the church and we bought several tarps to make temporary class rooms. Robert will fly home God willing on Friday. We will take him into Port on Thursday. We will bring a patient that had abdominal surgery home with us.

My friend Anita now lives in the South of Haiti close to where the hospital Maxo is in. She had to go to the hospital for another patient and she broke her toe. So she checked in on Maxo, she reported he is doing well. His sister is with him and they are planning on doing surgery this week to cover the wounds where the bed sores are. I am so happy to hear this report and look forward to seeing his progress in the rehab program once he is well enough to start.

Last Sunday I took several people to Gonaives to pick up a man who had TB and was in Mother Theresa’s hospital there. The hospital is very beautiful and everything is very clean. The sisters of Charity are always such a delight. They always seem so happy and so are their patients. Our friend looked very good and seemed to be recovered well. The trip takes over an hour but is really only 20 miles away. The road has been slightly improved but you can still only travel about 20 kilometers an hour. The family invited us to come and visit. We don’t usually visit our neighbors they come to our house so this will be interesting.

We got news a good friend and supporter died yesterday. We are very sad we have been praying for him and his family. This makes it hard to be way the times we miss with family and friends. Although we try to make up for it when we return it is not the same as being there at the time of the event.

Last night Geri and Gail the two volunteers at the Sisters house invited us for dinner. It was wonderful food and fellowship. We were happy for a little diversion things have been pretty intense these last few weeks.

Thank you for your prayers and your interest,

Denise sds

September 12, 2017

Safe and sound

After many preparations and concern we and our many friends here were spared from Irma’s path. We have several bananas plants down and papaya trees but no other damage. We got a lot of rain and wind. We have heard that the bridge connecting Haiti with the Dominican Republic is down and there has been flooding in certain areas, but nothing devastating. Considering what happened last year with Hurricane Matthew we feel very blessed. In church on Sunday they thanked God they were all spared.

We have very little internet here we can message on Facebook or Whatsapp but not really google something, so we had to rely on family and friends for information on the path of the hurricane. It is like being blind in this age of technology. We are very spoiled in the US to have all this information available at all times. Not everyone working here in Haiti has this problem. Those here full time or those who work in a city can get better internet but it is expensive and we don’t have the funds for it. Sr. Jackie and Sr. Pat are very kind to let us come and use their internet whenever we want.

For the last week we have had a steady stream of parents coming to ask for money to send their children to secondary school. We chose six; three we have been sponsoring and three new kids. They have to bring us their report cards to prove they are attending and passing their classes. We feel they are truly the hope for sustainability in the area. The workshop a couple of weeks ago was proof of what can be accomplished with education.

Robert has been a great help to us in many ways. He had an experience in Africa several years ago working with a mission there. He has been encouraging us that our work here is very important and he feels we are doing a good job. He has drawn up plans for the new school at Kalabat , now we can get estimates for the construction. The sisters are anxious to get started and have all ready gotten some of the materials. Until we can find funding children will have classes in the church and we bought several tarps to make temporary class rooms. Robert will fly home God willing on Friday. We will take him into Port on Thursday. We will bring a patient that had abdominal surgery home with us.

My friend Anita now lives in the South of Haiti close to where the hospital Maxo is in. She had to go to the hospital for another patient and she broke her toe. So she checked in on Maxo, she reported he is doing well. His sister is with him and they are planning on doing surgery this week to cover the wounds where the bed sores are. I am so happy to hear this report and look forward to seeing his progress in the rehab program once he is well enough to start.

Last Sunday I took several people to Gonaives to pick up a man who had TB and was in Mother Theresa’s hospital there. The hospital is very beautiful and everything is very clean. The sisters of Charity are always such a delight. They always seem so happy and so are their patients. Our friend looked very good and seemed to be recovered well. The trip takes over an hour but is really only 20 miles away. The road has been slightly improved but you can still only travel about 20 kilometers an hour. The family invited us to come and visit. We don’t usually visit our neighbors they come to our house so this will be interesting.

We got news a good friend and supporter died yesterday. We are very sad we have been praying for him and his family. This makes it hard to be way the times we miss with family and friends. Although we try to make up for it when we return it is not the same as being there at the time of the event.

Last night Geri and Gail the two volunteers at the Sisters house invited us for dinner. It was wonderful food and fellowship. We were happy for a little diversion things have been pretty intense these last few weeks.

Thank you for your prayers and your interest,

Denise sds

Miracles do happen

September 6th 2017

Miracles happen

This has been a very busy week. We were involved in a agricultural conference. The conference was given by the Haitian agronomist we work with, we were happy to see how well he put it together with very little help or support. The conference was well attended and the participants were very engaged.

I did not attend the conference each day because I was trying to find help for my young friend Maxo. I spent a whole morning emailing different administrators to a rehab hospital in the South of Haiti. St. Boniface is a wonderful facility with a medical hospital and then a rehab facility. On Thursday I was trying to reach one of the people in admitting with no luck. I sat down and prayed for the mercy of God to help Maxo. Just as I finished the prayer my phone rang, on the other end was a wonderful woman named Lisa. Her husband is a doctor at the hospital and she was going to help Maxo. Lisa worked very hard making all the necessary arrangements.

On Friday we went to Gonaives (where Maxo lives) to check on him on our way to Port au Prince. We needed to pick up our friend Robert an architect coming to help with plans to rebuild our main school. Just as we arrived in Gonaives Lisa called to tell us a helicopter would come to get Maxo. We needed to take him to the hospital there and admit him so the helicopter could pick him up. The hospital felt like this would be the best way to transport him. St. Boniface is funded through USAID and all his care is free. Maxo’s terrible bedsores will be treated along with rehab, counseling and vocational training. This is really a miracle, probably saving his life and giving him a chance to have meaning in his life.

Monday we traveled to Kalabot so Robert could measure and see the site for the school. We met with the sisters discussing the school and budgets for the coming school year. The sisters served us a wonderful lunch. After lunch we met with committee from the area and discussed restarting the water project. We felt good about the committee and agreed to begin the next phase of the water project.

Now we are preparing for the hurricane Irma. Right now it looks like it will not hit us directly. We are making preparations just in case. We have tarps, blankets, bleach (to purify water) and extra food. We will be safe but our neighbors hut could not. We want to be prepared to help if we’re needed.

Thank you for your interest and your prayers,

Denise sds

Irma

We are preparing for Irma. Yesterday we bought tarps and today we are buying rice and beans in case we have to shelter people in the school. Tommorow morning I plan on taking down our solar panels. It appears we are south of the eye, but we will still be effected. Due Thursday around 8:00 pm. We are having trouble getting a cell signal so please don’t worry if you don’t hear from us. We will weather the storm in our secure apartment. It is all concrete construction. We will update as we can. Please pray for all of who do not have safe shelter. Bob

life is and then gets harder

August 29, 2017

And then Life gets harder

Many things going on , Bob wrote about Sr. Jackie getting hit by a moto last week while crossing the street to her car. She was Medavaced to Florida, She has had surgery to repair her right arm, and right femur last Monday. Today she will have her left shoulder replaced, and Friday more surgery to repair multiple fractures in her right leg. We’re all praying for her complete recovery.

This has brought awareness of needing good evacuation insurance. The cost for her flight to Port Au Prince alone was 10,000.00 US. The Medavac to the US we have no idea of the cost. We purchased insurance through American Airlines for travel but have found out the company will not really pay when there is an emergency. We are currently researching other plans.

Monday Bob and I meet our good friends Anita and Elwood in Gonaives. Bob and Elwood returned to our area and took several of the Haitians who work with us to register for the agricultural conference being held this week.

Anita and I went to check on my friend Maxo in Gonaives. Maxo is a 25 year old man who has been a friend for several years. You may recall me speaking of him last spring. He fell from a mango tree while picking mangoes a year ago last July. He injured his head and back and has been left a paraplegic. Bob and I brought him a wheel chair, and gave his family money to help care for him. I found a hospital in the South of Haiti that has a rehab facility for such injuries. I contacted them and have been trying to get Maxo into their program for months. Even while in the US I tried calling to see the progress of his application. The program is a USAID program so there is no charge.

I had contacted the hospital again upon my arrival back in Haiti and found there is a new director for the program. A friend in the village brought pictures of bedsores that Maxo has developed. I spoke to the director about the new development. I also spoke to Anita about the problem, she has moved to the South of Haiti and lives close to this hospital. So on Friday she went in person to speak to the director and try to solicit help.

When we entered the very small two room house we notice a foul smell nothing could have prepared us for the severe bedsores we found. We had both seen bedsores in the past maybe the size of a silver dollar. Maxo has lost the upper layer of skin on both testicles, his back has a bedsore that measures 3x 5 inches with the perimeter skin for at least an inch or maybe two not attached. There is a place that the sore is ¾ of an inch deep. Anita brought supplies left over from her Father-in-laws illness and spread a silver sulphide cream over the lesions and had a bandage specifically for bedsores that she placed over his back. She also applied the cream to his genitals and placed a gauze bandage as best she could over them to keep the flies away.

Maxo was running a fever so we left Ibuprofen and an antibiotic. I had a few adult vitamins that we also gave to him. Maxo is lying on a concrete floor with a grass mat under him. The mother is trying the best she can and is keeping him very clean. She told us she has no one to help her Maxo’s father is dead and she can only beg to get money. She has tried to get help but none of the medicines people sell her are helping. We saw a bottle of iron on the table; although he probably needs the iron it is not going to help this problem. I could not sleep all night last night worrying about Maxo. Please pray for this young man that he can get some help.

This has also made me feel guilty for my attitude about people begging. It is so easy to judge and turn away without knowing the story behind the hand asking for help. These are images that I don’t think will ever leave me. I pray I can report a happy ending to this story.

I am sorry this entry is so long but I couldn’t think of a faster way to tell the story. Elwood and Anita are spending the week with us. Elwood and Bob are attending the Agricultural conference and Anita is checking on past patients. Anita and I are desperately looking for long term help for Maxo at the hospital we contacted or somewhere else.

Our friend Robert is coming in on Friday. He is a new member to our team. He is an architect coming to draw plans for the school in Kalabot that was damaged during the earth quake. The plan was to take the second story down and put a roof on the first story. But when they started to take the second story off the first story crumbled. The professional drawings will help us to raise funding for this project.

Thank you for your interest and prayers,

Denise s.d.s.

Sr Jackie

Last Friday Sr. Jackie was struck by a speeding hit and run moto in front of Fonkoze, our local peasant bank.

She was severely injured and was life flighted back to the US where she had surgery on her right arm and leg. She will require further surgery to replace her left shoulder later this week.

It does not appear that her injuries are life threatening.

Please pray for her and those who are ministering to her.

Please put her on your prayer list.

Mèci anpil

Newley arrived

Monday August 21st

We arrived in Haiti Thursday evening. Other than being hassled by a American Airlines boarding agent the trip was uneventful. We were greeted by our good friend Lamont at Mathew 25. We had been up since 3 in the morning. After visiting and eating supper we went up to our room watched part of a movie and went to sleep. The next morning we found out that the battery in the truck needed to be replaced. We went and bought another battery, and ran a few errands. Then we headed up to Gros Morne.

After a long drive home we were welcomed by several of our friends. Unpacked relaxed a short time and fell asleep. I know all this sounds boring and mundane put everything here is always hard and exhausting. The heat and humidity takes adjusting to. It is rare that you can go to one place and find what you’re looking for.

All weekend we have had many visitors. Just when I was feeling a bit down missing my family Jon Gary came with his father. He is the baby four years ago that came to me with pneumonia; Dr. Crystal was here and prescribed antibiotics. He was also very malnourished, for the next year the Haiti Project supplied him with milk. He also had some development problems; he did not sit up, ect and was a year old. So I talked with a visiting physical therapist and had the father bring him every day for therapy with me. I also encouraged the father to work with him. He now runs like a normal child his age and will start pre- school this year. After seeing how well this little boy is doing, I was affirmed that this is where I should be.

Thanks to the Lay Salvatorians we have new batteries and our solar electric is doing very well. We have meetings the next two days, and then we will need to prepare for our next few weeks of a conference and visitors.

Thank you for your prayers and your interest,

Denise s.d.s