Thank you for your prayers for the Medical Mercy team traveling to Haiti! The snowstorm blanketing much of the U.S. created some unexpected obstacles for the team, but they have safely arrived and completed their first clinic in Haiti.
From Dr. Beyda:
It snowed. And it snowed some more. So much so that what should have been an 8-hour trip from Phoenix to the Dominican Republic took 40 hours. The team of 27 got scattered in several different directions – Atlanta, Dulles, JFK and Miami. And when everyone finally arrived, it was off for a 3 hour drive to the border to cross into Haiti. Not so easy though – two hours to negotiate the two countries’ protocols and paperwork.
We made it through and off to our first project and clinic. The team fell together, each member knowing where to go and what to do and we saw a bunch of children in the 2 hours we had left in the day before night settled on us. We got our feet wet for the rest of the week. Well done team!
So you ask, what story do I have to tell? What struck me on this first day? What expectations were met and which ones were not? Well, the story is a familiar one. An 8 year old girl who is the size off a 5 year old. Stunted. I was struck by the persistence of a country still torn from decades of unrest, an epidemic cholera still on the edge of reappearing, and a literally broken structure from an earthquake just a few years ago.
I look for no rewards in what I do. No pats on the back. Making a child healthier, getting a smile and knowing that their chance for living a life with potential for doing great things is enough.
From Anne, a perennial volunteer nurse with Medical Mercy:
This is my fifth trip to Haiti, the fourth with OCM, and this little border town of Ouanminthe has captured my heart and prayers since the beginning. Since I was a late arrival to this trip due to the weather and flight delays, I was not up on our itinerary and thus had no idea which projects we would serve.
Today it turned out to be my old friend Adreese’s church. I had been here before but somehow the venue has changed. It was here that I learned how to tell the children to chew their vitamins: “Crazee.” It is a term that often comes to my mind no matter what country or language in which I am teaching children.
Our first patient of the day is a 7 year old named Wendall. He was born just a few days after my own precious 7 year old back home. I tell him this but he is unimpressed, in fact, all my attempts to put his fearful face at ease, fail. I feel confident that he is confident I will be giving him a shot. When I try to have Bens reassure him that I will not be hurting him, Bens does not quite understand my intent and answers me that Wendall has no pain. Some things get lost in translation, so I let my actions speak louder than my words fail. I do my exam trying intentionally to touch him softly and with unexpected kindness.
It occurs to me that I, myself, may be a picture of how God approached me when I was frightened and disconnected: guiding me with His trademark, unexpected kindness. It was and always is, the kindness that I don’t expect that is my salvation. I remember that unexpected kindness is the definition of the Grace of God…
Please continue praying for the Medical Mercy team as they recover from their disrupted travel while serving hundreds of children in Haiti. May they continue to reach out with unexpected kindness, moving each child toward health and hope.