Bless Back with Angie
Angie Shepherd, PA, shares tonight about the team from Bless Back International...
This week we were blessed to host another medical team from Bless Back Worldwide in Charlotte, NC. It’s always a special week for me when they come. Somehow, I manage to be totally exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time. Seeing the familiar faces of old friends is so encouraging for all of us missionaries in Haiti. The plan for the week included running the medical clinic, a men’s health conference, a woodworking project for the men, and a dental team.
On Sunday, between the morning and evening church services, the team ventured out into the Galet and Ti Paradi, the neighborhoods surrounding the guest house at Militon. They handed out hand soap, prayed with families, and invited patients in need of medical care to come to the MOHI clinic later in the week. This is always one of the favorite activities for the Bless Back teams because they get to connect with people in their homes, get to know the families a little bit, and pray with them.
Monday through Friday, the team had two doctors (Dr. Mike and Dr. Carmen) and a physician assistant (Jaime) working alongside Dr. Emmanuel in the clinic. All three providers have been to MOHI before and bring their expertise, their love, and their faith each time that they return. The team also had Nurse Jim to assist in the lab area and pharmacy, as well as several non-medical folks who pitched in with triage and check-in. On Tuesday, we invited nearly 100 men from the community to participate in a men’s health clinic which included worship time, a goodie bag, and multiple health education classes. There was also a “Make It, Take It” workshop, where the men built a wooden chair and got to take their project home with them when they were done.
We had several other groups at work while the medical clinic was going on. Dr. Carmen’s mother, affectionately known as “Grammy”, did crafts with the primary school children and held a drama camp in the afternoons. She was assisted by three teenagers who came along as well, one of which was her granddaughter, Trilla! So we had three generations from one family serving at MOHI together!
The most popular spot this week was definitely the dental clinic. Dr. Mike and Dr. Lisa have both been here before and we love it every time they come back. We tried to get dental cleanings for most of the MOHI staff, and we also had patients for cleanings, fillings, and tooth extractions, if needed. At least one patient came from as far away as Port au Prince to see our dental team.
We also were joined by Linda Robinson, a physical therapist from Ohio. She and I have been working together to set up a clinical rotation for physical therapy and occupational therapy students from the FSRL School in Leogane. Five of their students joined us this week and embarked on their very first clinical experience of their education. Linda was wonderful with the students and they thoroughly enjoyed their time at the clinic. They were all so eager to learn!
On Wednesday, the entire operation loaded up onto the MOHI bus and a pickup truck, and made the drive to Paillant, the mountain area where Dr. Emmanuel grew up. We set up the dental clinic, medical clinic, and physical therapy area in a church that serves double duty as a school. We saw several of Dr. Emmanuel’s family members, including his father, an uncle, and an aunt. That was very special, to see where he is from and to serve his family members.
At the end of the week, we had to have some maintenance done on the bus, so the Bless Back team took the opportunity to walk back and forth to the Thozin campus. Kendy and Assan, two of the boys we have known for many years, were their guides through the city of Grand Goave, down through the river bed, and back to Militon. They were very thankful for the cooler, mild weather we’ve been having this week. The team departed yesterday morning, and made it safely back to Charlotte. We are looking forward to the next time they come!