I was touched this week by the tiniest little person. Mianna was brought to our clinic earlier in the week by her neighbor. Her mother died about a month ago and she was being cared for by a pastor’s wife. By the time she got to our clinic she was in very poor condition. A tiny baby, weighing only 3 pounds, but with the appearance of a 90 year old.
I have had many conversations with Leah about the dangers of babies failing to thrive and suffering from malnutrition. I know that there are a couple of nutrition programs that Leah refers people to, but I don’t know how to contact them. It so happens, fellow missionaries, Carrie and Ashleigh were in the clinic with another little girl at the same time. I brought them to Mianna and asked if they knew of any programs for malnourished babies. They didn’t, but Carrie told me that they would take the woman and baby to go buy formula and help out any way they could. In the meantime, I called Leah in Florida and sent her a picture of Mianna. Leah told me the baby should go to the hospital in Petit Goave immediately. I called Carrie and they brought Mianna to the hospital. The doctor was pretty nonchalant about the whole situation and told Carrie Mianna would be in the hospital for a week before she would have her strength back. We were all saddened when Mianna died on the second night.
In situations like this, I usually have lots of “what ifs” going through my mind. “What if they’d brought her to us when her mother first died?” “What if Leah were here?” “What if we’d reacted more quickly?” But of course it’s too late for what ifs. I’m so grateful for Carrie and Ashleigh having been there to care for Mianna, for bringing her to the hospital and for making burial arrangements for her. I believe they did it for the least of these and so Jesus considers that they did it for Him. (reference: Matthew 25:45)
Baby Mianna at almost 2 months of age, Carrie and Ashleigh
special people at clinic
Sean Collins, who spent 3 weeks with us last month, came by to visit for a couple of days with his brother. The many friends he’d made among the student population were so happy to see him. They also enjoyed doing some more work with him on the laptops.
Sean Collins returns with his brother
It’s a fun time of year for our preschoolers. Okay, so most times are fun for them, but now it’s Christmas time!
We have been housing many married couples and Leah in our transitional houses, constructed of plywood. We recently began rebuilding them using concrete and adding a second floor. This building will need to be operational in January, as we will be hosting as many as 60 people at a time. Our crew of experienced masons, steel workers and carpenters, along with lots of laborers have been working almost round the clock so that we will be ready for our soon coming guests.
We are particularly excited about a great group of ministers coming in for our Christian Leadership Academy. Added to the list of amazing folks this week? Stuart & Maike Rankin! Stuart and Maike were leading the American/German team that was with us when the earthquake hit almost 5 years ago. They were (finally – in my opinion) married over a year ago and have been living in Germany. Maike was very instrumental in obtaining a grant from Ein Herz fur Kinder towards building the school in Thozin and Stuart returned a few weeks after getting home to serve an extended time with us after the quake. We are all so excited for their return.
Stuart and Maike Rankin
Also returning this week, architect Paul Fallon stopped in for a couple of days. It was great to be able to show him around the school, and for him to see the students using it. He also came at a great time, when we needed a bit of architectural advice on the water tower and some of the rooms at the missionary compound.
Paul Fallon returns to visit the school he designed and supervised construction of
Last night we came home from the airport with our daughter, Alexis. What an emotionally charged reuniting we had. She has been living in Tulsa, OK and attending Victory Christian School for her senior year of high school. It seems that every time I saw her today she was being hugged by someone else. Realizing that Alexis has spent most of her life in Haiti and grown up in front of our church and mission community (since she was three!), it’s no wonder that she has been missed by so many.
Carline and Alexis
It was such a joy to hear Alexis’ voice once again in our church services today! This morning Pastor Laramie Brown shared a very informative message and tonight Scott Long joined us with Pastor Scott Larson and a young man who has quite a remarkable testimony of the power of forgiveness.
Pastor Laramie with Cledson translating his message
This week will be a time of showing appreciation to our staff and fellow missionaries, as we celebrate Christmas with them. Angelise will be getting married on Saturday. Woo Hoo! In the midst of all the celebrating, we are already busy preparing for our Christian Leadership Academy, January 8-11, 2015! Thank you for joining us in prayer that many hearts will be touched during all of these special events.
Thank you so much for reading and for supporting this ministry. Many hands make light work! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!