Haiti Lockdown Begins
Greetings from Haiti!
I imagine most of us could very animatedly agree with this statement:
The week started out with family time, beach time...
...a trip to Jacmel and an INTENSE hike (for me, that is) to Bassin Bleu - a beautiful mountain valley flowing with cool water falls and submerged with lovely blue pools of fresh water. I thought I might collapse before arriving (the picture below, all the way to the right), but I made it. We had several guides accompany us and you may see some in the picture helping me jump from stone to stone to cross a stream. Such brave souls!
Pastor Lex is missing from the pictures, because he stayed behind to continue working on the yard in preparation for the soon coming Celebration.
It seems the medical clinic has been getting busier and busier of late. Nicole Engman (AJay's future mother-in-law!) asked me if she could pray with some people and I suggested she pray with our patients as they waited to see the doctor. Many were blessed during this time of prayer and Nicole, herself, was particularly blessed as one dear woman asked to pray a blessing over Nicole, as well.
The dentists have been keeping busy between students, neighbors, and...ME! Yep, I broke a tooth and Dr. Mabou did a great job fixing it! She was very, very gentle.
Our medical staff were busy all week educating our students about COVID-19.
Dr. Evens took to the airwaves on our radio station to educate many in the country along with the local community.
We also implemented a hand washing station (complete with soap) for patients to use before entering the clinic area.
Due to the women's conference schedule, we planned a short week of school, Monday - Thursday. Below are fourth grader Etzer and Kindergartener Michel. They both enjoy being at school.
Although in the end we had to cancel our 20 Years in Haiti Celebration, the journey to that day was truly amazing. We had many productive meetings with leaders who were taking responsibility for different areas: sound & lighting, hospitality, cooking, security, publicity, games, races, program, grounds, vendors...
Each leader took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and was making things happen. Menus were created, games were chosen, a banner was printed, commercials were airing on the radio, posters were hung throughout the city, community leaders, politicians, pastors, priests, and others received letters of invitation. Equipment rental agreements were created. Even the platform was constructed on the soccer field.
I can't even begin to describe to you the sense of satisfaction, joy, contentment that I felt for our leaders. Their sense of responsibility and desire to be a blessing to our community was just beyond any expectation I had.
Even some people who worked with us in years gone by insisted on helping to prepare for the celebration. I had the pleasure of working with Marie Yve and Edna to make coconut-key lime cheesecakes with mango topping. Although I didn't get to taste them, everyone who did gave them rave reviews. Good job ladies!!!
Thursday everything changed. The first two positive test results for COVID-19 were released. About 6pm, while the women's conference was beginning at our Thozin campus, the US Embassy put out a notice to all Americans traveling internationally instructing them to immediately return to the US or be prepared for a long stay in the country they are in. About 7pm the president of Haiti announced the two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti. He advised people of ways to avoid contamination, declared a curfew from 8pm to 5am daily, forbade any gatherings of more than 10 people, and declared the airport would be closed to all commercial passenger flights as of midnight the same day. Obviously, no international visitors would be able to depart before that deadline.
All our leaders had made plans to meet at the Thozin campus bright and early Friday morning to set up for the celebration. We did meet, but it was to talk about COVID-19 arriving in Haiti and what it meant for MOHI and our communities. The decision was made to cancel the rest of the women's conference, as well as the 20 Years in Haiti Celebration. It was so disappointing to each one of us, and yet we all knew it was the right decision to make.
I recently read an article (or maybe it was in a book?) about the difference between an expectation and expectancy. An expectation being a set plan in a box that you look forward to, but an expectancy is more like just knowing God has something good in store - not needing to have it defined. I was disappointed because of the expectation I had, but quickly recognized that I can't box God's goodness. So, today, I am full of expectancy - eager to see what God is up to and experience HIS goodness!
Currently all activities at MOHI are cancelled, with the exception of the clinic and the radio station - both critical pieces in the plan to help educate and protect all those in our community.
Pastor Lex and I talked quite a bit this morning on a Facebook Live video about the current situation here in Haiti. I encourage you to check it out if you'd like more details. Click on the link above or the picture below.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support!