Back On The Homefront
This week has been a return to semi-normalcy.
We took a respite from traveling south; but plan to return this coming week. Teams from MOHI have been going every week since October 13th, so the break was necessary for everyone’s mental, emotional, and physical health. As one who has been on every trip south, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the break was needed, especially if we want to continue our work there. Not only can we not help people if our tank is on empty, but God doesn’t WANT us to be on empty. Sometimes, God calls us to be still, and rest in Him, so that we can be even more ready to spread His Word and love wherever He sends us.
We have been ‘still’ this week, inasmuch as not traveling south and doing disaster relief. Beyond that, we have been working here on the home front in Grand Goâve.
The MOHI clinic, which had been closed when all of the medical staff was in the south, was reopened on Monday, where we treated over thirty patients, and at least twenty on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Dr. Emmanuel, Angie, and the medical staff treated 53 patients in Saint Etienne. Thursday, we saw an additional 85 patients in Petit Goâve.
The MOHI Education Cooperative has been running smoothly as well. The kids and I are having a wonderful time, and learning so much from each other. Last week we ‘welcomed’ November, and started talking about the season of Thanksgiving, and what it is all about. Some of my students are American, some are not, but we will be holding a Thanksgiving meal here at Mirliton on November 24, so I thought it best to explain why we will be doing that. We learned the story of Thanksgiving, and now we will be putting it into a play of our own! When all the missionaries and their families come here for Thanksgiving dinner, the kids will put on their very own play to reenact the Thanksgiving story. We even have a special guest coming in to play King George! So, we are preparing for that. This past week we also talked about what the kids want to be when they grow up. We talked about how each one of them is special and important in God’s plan, and because they have Him, the possibilities are endless for their lives. Nathan wants to be a construction worker, Ben wants to be a doctor, Faith wants to be an artist, Caleb wants to be a chef, Glory wants to be a pilot, and Steph wants to be a worker like his dad. When I look at these kids, I see a very bright future ahead.
We welcomed in our friends from Akron, Ohio from Mission USA and Strength of Heart ministries. Fred, Shanda, her husband Tim, and Randy came down on Tuesday and have been working closely with the disabled community in and around Grand Goâve. They held a luncheon on Friday, and they have been out in the community doing outreach and preaching the gospel to those with physical disabilities and their families. Shanda even came into our homeschool class to talk to the kids about how God can use all of us, no matter what our differences may be. We are blessed and thankful to have them here!
Today, our friend Charlie DeTellis preached at our Grand Goâve campus, while Pastor Lex preached at the Saint Etienne campus. We love that we are able to bring the word of God to multiple different locations every Sunday.
I would like to end the blog by talking about something that is very close to my heart, and has been for a few weeks now.
A few days after the hurricane, when Angie, Jephte, and I were out in the Galet and Tiparadi doing outreach and distribution, we came upon a family up the road from Mirliton. None of us knew this family, but one of their children immediately caught my attention. She was a tiny girl, little more than a baby, and she was sitting in a thatched chair with a wooden dowel across the front to form a makeshift highchair. It was one of those moments where everything kind of dissipated in the background; the noise, the people, everything vanished and my eyes just locked onto this small girl. Her malnourished body was tilted in the chair to one side, she seemed to not be able to lift her head, and her eyes were unfocused even when I got down to her level. I stayed put like that, my knees in the dirt crouched over her, and just looked at her. I put my hand under her head, hoping to make her more comfortable. She didn’t meet my eyes, she couldn’t meet my eyes, but she reached out a tiny, gnarled hand. I took it, and didn’t let go until I had to leave.
I’ll admit, this five minute encounter hit me like a bat to the stomach. I had to walk away before going on to the next house, because my heart was hurting and my mind was numb. Upon returning home to Mirliton, I sat down immediately with Renee and asked what we could do for this child.
I have been back to visit this family, and this babe several times. The baby’s name is Jenika, and she is about a year and half years old. She was not born with a physical disability; around three months, she experienced a traumatic injury which, we believe, impacted her spinal cord and brain. She is unable to eat solid food, only mashed up rice and bean sauce, and that’s only when the family is able to get food like that. She cannot hold up her head, she cannot walk, she cannot talk.
Shanda and her team coming is divine timing, as only God can orchestrate. Shanda’s ministry assists some of the disabled population in and around Grand Goâve, and that includes a list of the most “in need” of that population. I sat with Shanda on the first night of her arrival, explained the situation, and asked her if she and her team would accompany me to the village to meet Jenika and her family. They did, and they have since informed me that they will be adding Jenika and her family to their list so that they can receive regular food assistance. She is an answer to prayer.
As we launch into the new week, we are asking you once again to join us in spreading the word about the dire circumstances hundreds of thousands are facing today. Please ask others to support MOHI's outreach into the towns of Port Salut, Rocha-a-Bateau, and Port-a-Piment. We received word today that someone died this weekend from hunger in the western area of the country. Please help us to buy food and supplies for those who are hungry right now. The situation is urgent. We stand ready to go. We trust the Lord will enable us and we know He will use people. Thank you so much for spreading the word. God bless you!