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Life in Haiti After the Earthquake: Reclaiming Beauty From Despair

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

Today (Jan. 27) was … not sure what word could cover it. The team went to a rural site (HA748) and set up our clinic under a large mango tree.

I had to stay back in the morning because we had medical supplies that had missed the original plane and it was important to receive them. They were tagged to me, and we didn’t think U.S. forces would allow anyone else through.

So, with a tail number on an aircraft we went through the two checkpoints and were suddenly amidst the chaos of the tarmac. Massive cargo planes from the U.S. military being unloaded, vast field of materials, also some non-U.S. big planes – a 777 from Israel…. Helicopters of all types buzzing around.

We took a guess at a small plane and drove out to a field where they were parking smaller charters and we found our guy grabbed our meds and got out to HA748.

The team saw much heavier needs today. I held an 80 year old (approximately) lady for 30 minutes while she writhed in pain as our orthopedic surgeon amputated her toe. It had been crushed and was rotting infection up into the bone so it needed to be completely cleared out.

That old lady was made of leather and wire but wailed away. We probably saved her life – certainly her foot as the infection would have progressed.

I’m getting bit by mosquitoes and realize I forgot to put on bug spray – I am taking malaria meds.

Another pair of sisters today – sponsored kids. House fell, killed dad, one sister’s hand got crushed into their fire for two hours. Her hand was serious and we arranged for her evac via a contact we found here – U.S. group with lots of military support.

We thought they might fly in with a helicopter but they came in a boring old truck. We also referred and transported two others.

The other sister had her toe amputated during the crush so we cleaned it up and called it good. Split jaws, exposed skulls… a lot more today.

We came home…oops… back to the office, a two hour drive, and we sang songs lead by our Haitian brothers and sisters – all variety of hymns. From Amazing Grace to Oh God you are my God. There was a lot of smiling, passing nuts and dried fruits around. We sang pretty full throttle and didn’t sound too bad.

We saw two dead bodies being burned on the dump on our way home. The air was filed with stench and smoke and dust and we did sing This is the Air I Breathe with no irony but sincere faith.

I was humbled to be with Haitians who had lost loved ones singing “God is so good. He’s so good to me.”

We do have a mysterious, wonderful, unifying and good Lord who is in the business of re-building broken things, healing hurts and reclaiming beauty from despair. And that God is at work in Haiti even now.