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Life in Haiti After the Earthquake: Carrying On

life in Haiti Received from Scott Todd, our Senior Ministry Advisor, who is leading our medical team in Port-au-Prince.

I’m in my tent. Too tired to go up to the place where I can connect to Internet on the sloping desk and wobbly chair in the parking lot – so I know this won’t go out tonight.

Today (Jan. 29) we returned to the area we visited on day two. Leogone. Almost a two-hour drive. It is an absolute war zone of destruction. Nearly the whole town is rubble. I felt a deeper sadness than the other places – a community completely broken. Yet, they were clearing away the debris from the streets and already beginning to rebuild.

We arrived at the church, a partner in our program, to find a group of people under a tarp canopy. We assumed they were patients waiting for our arrival as had been the case on previous days. They weren’t.

They were the people of the church who had gathered for fasting and prayer. They sang, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our hopes and griefs to bear.”

We set up the clinic with greater proficiency today – larger tarps, larger ropes, higher anchors so the heat radiating under the plastic didn’t bake the people (and us).

Another day of broken bones and infected wounds. A few unexpected cases – a man with polio who had fallen and needed surgery, a young boy whose foreskin was nearly sealed, preventing urination, creating back pressure and infection risk.

Half the team has suffered intestinal problems, but they carry on despite their misery. It didn’t help that there were no latrines available today. We “stood guard” for one another.

The person I will be specifically praying for tonight is Chantal. Mother of five. We saw her two days earlier and I believe it is by God’s guidance that we came to this site today.

A large cinder block had fallen on her head during the quake and had sliced an L-shape wound (about 3×4 inch per side) all the way to her skull.

We cleaned it on Tuesday, but today we saw that the infection was still progressing. It is likely that debris has tracked far under the skin of her scalp and will require hospitalization to adequately treat. We arranged a referral via to a clinic located in the middle of one of the “tent cities.”

I held her IV bag as we rode on the benches in the back of the Land Cruiser. We picked up her brother. He told us that even with her injury, no doubt such a massive head injury would have gushed a lot of blood, she was able to dig out her husband and son from the collapsed house.

Her husband completely split his jaw. We saw him two days ago and today he is supposed to have it stapled back together.

Even with her skull exposed and a massive infected wound, Chantal smiled for a picture. Tiffany cleaned some blood from Chantal’s dress, and Chantal gently said thank you in English.

I don’t understand how she can be hurting so bad and still be kind. Join me in praying for her complete recovery. Pray that she will one day laugh with her grandchildren.