To God be the Glory, Great things He has done

Dear friends,

We praise and thank the Lord for sweet fruit from camp this summer. You invested and God has blessed. One of the Child Evangelism workers sent the following good news and photos of the two camp groups, first the teens and then the younger campers.

We want to thank you again for all your support in favor of the kids and Teens of the Bible club in Torbeck. We have GOOD NEWS that Pierrson Tinelus invited Jesus into his life in the Teenager camp. He told Vionel that he is already three years with you (in the club), but during camp he felt God is speaking to him very clearly through the bible messages from Jacky Gilles on the life of Peter.

In addition, was Jean Ricardo who prayed with Jean during the younger kids camp. These two from the Torbeck club were able to go to camp because of their effort in the contest, and the “scholarship” money available.

Thanks for all your Prayers. God did mighty things for us this year – also it was very attacked, but yes, this is always a good sign.

We rejoice and pray God will continue to water the seed of His truth in their lives!

Pray with us for the special needs for club kids for this fall. I need to be in Ohio to help my parents with their move, and will be traveling that way August 29. Don’t know yet how long my presence is needed.
A youth worker told me yesterday he is willing to do a Bible study with the teens during club time.

Have a blessed Sunday,


Praise for two new chaplains – May the light of Jesus shine in their lives

Dear praying friends,

The photo below shows our two new clinic chaplains, left to right, Pastor Lucio and Pastor Zidor.


They were commissioned last Monday as the new chaplains for our clinic/hospital, the Health Center of Light.

Yesterday they were smiling  as they told me about the blessings of praying with 12 people to receive Jesus as their savior during the past week.

God knows each heart and we pray the seeds of the gospel will be watered well in local churches.

Pray with us that Pastors Lucio and Zidor will be filled with God’s spirit and love as they serve with us and share Jesus with many needy ones.

I arrived back in Les Cayes, safe and sound with my luggage on Friday evening. Thank you, my friends, for serving with me as you pray.

I will return to Ohio August 29, to help my parents with packing and moving.

Praise God for the provision of a lovely new home with two “in-law” suites, one for Jim and Nan and family, and one for  me. It will be available to us October 1.

Photos to follow.

We pray He will lift our hearts and give His strength as we seek to do His will in the challenges of this move.


In Jesus,


The Haitian Donkey Stumbles Home Again With Questions


Hi All:

Once again, Duane Verkaik and his Haitian Donkey friend have made the trip back home safely, though mostly by separate routes. We both found considerably more to do than we had planned, at least I certainly didn’t get done all that I had hoped to do, though that is neither a surprise nor out of the ordinary, but we are thankful that the Lord helped us with what we could accomplish. So, we are back with our families and the jobs the Lord has for us here on this side of the pond, with thankfulness for His travelling mercies and your prayers for our tasks to have been done in Haiti to the best of our abilities.

After a good running start to the week, as mentioned, we have continued to keep a healthy pace for even a stumbling Haitian Donkey. Duane has repaired several other things at the hospital, including the Xray machine (a great thank you for that) and has put more work into trying to figure out what is wrong with the black smoke belching John Deere generator we so desperately need to keep going with the lack of government power and little hope for more for at least the rest of the year. Who knows what will happen with the new administration and their direction next year, of course. With his American consultants (Dan, Jeff and Kevin (Harlett)), the decision seems that there are leaks that cause the oil to slide over into places it should not be, but at least the expert’s opinion is that we can run the generator without hurting it for the time being, though repair possibilities are being considered. In his usual organized fashion, he has made a list of things that should be done, should be considered and a number of thoughts to debate. I continually thank the Lord for my friends who help make the ministry possible.

After doing a number of major cases the first 3 days, Dr. William, Jean Eddy and I headed up north at 3 am on Thursday morning for our meeting with the heads of the residency program in Cap Haitian. Dr. Zephyr was very cordial and informative, giving us what I feel was a straight scoop on the changing political climate in the Haitian medical care system, which, obviously may change again in a few months with new leadership in the general government bringing in new leaders in the Health Department and thus possible new decisions for where they want to go. He did give us a specific person to contact who should be able to make the decision, though how open he may be is anyone’s guess at this point. So, I will ask him for an interview/appointment when I return during the week of the 22nd of August. At least that will be in Port au Prince and only take up one day of my time there, hopefully. We would covet your prayers that Dr. Georges DuBuche would be willing to meet with me and at least consider my request to allow Drs. William and Adulte to enter into the residency program up in Cap Haitian in the fall of 2015. If I get the appointment, that I would have God’s wisdom and direction in what to say and how to say it. I will also take a letter with me, again in flowery French, such as I cannot produce, to present our request formally. I also am praying that Pastor Chavannes Jeune, the former vice president of the mission who is involved in politics now but is supportive of our causes, will be able to accompany me and be the intermediary for that meeting as well as a continuing connection in Port for our cause. Needless to say, I am way out of my comfort zone, but I know that if God would have this to happen, He can and will help me do my best for His glory and the furtherance of our work at Centre de Sante Lumiere.

The gunshot wound finally stabilized, though we had to insert a chest tube to drain out a significant volume of blood from his chest. The appendixes were doing well, though the 8 yr old with several quarts of pus in her belly continued to spike fevers to 104 degrees and had accompanying febrile seizures, surely a frightening thing to her Aunt who has taken charge of her care in the abandonment of her father. I never did figure out where the mother fit into the picture, if she still is alive and what side of the parents the caring Aunt is on. We managed to control the seizures and get the temperature down and am praying that she recovers fully. So far, everyone else is doing well, including the mastectomy for far advanced disease (trying to at least control the necrotic tissue development, no hope for cure, unfortunately) and the diabetic with foot gangrene who came in to ask me to cut it off, always a painful decision for us all. However, a missionary pastor I met on a flight about a year ago, working with some orphanages and schools with the local churches in Port had contacted me about a large cancer growing on the scalp of an elderly Haitian pastor that had gone unchecked for 2 years and was sapping his strength and life to the point that he no longer could walk, eat and was wasting away. He asked, via email with a troubling picture that showed that almost all of his scalp was involved in this fungating tumor, if I could do anything to help him.  He came soon after my arrival, his Hematocrit was only 11 (normal is 35 to 45) so terribly anemic and just skin and bones. We were able to give him 3 units of blood over 3 days to perk him up some and he was eager to try the surgery, understandably. It was difficult but seemed to go well, though only gave him tiny doses of anesthesia to accomplish it, a good and prudent thing to do, but in retrospect, probably an indicator of the debilitated state he was in. We prayed before surgery together, as we always do, and he seemed very happy that we would try this and was praising the Lord during my prayer. When we finished the operation, we  took him back to the ward and went back to the OR to do another case, leaving him in the care of our nursing staff for whom CPR is still something I need to teach, though the logistics of this are daunting, to say the least, during which he suddenly arrested and passed away, a definite discouragement for us all. At times, the neglect, use of voodoo instead of more traditional medical care, and other extremely limiting factors involved in our attempts to provide quality care for our patients bring a lot of sadness to us all. As I traveled back to Port from Cap Haitian on Friday, we were in a much more hopeful mood due to our meeting with Hopital Justinian leaders of the residency program, but we made a couple wrong turns in the town of Gonaives (there is NO identifying marker anywhere on the entire Route National 1 (there are 3 or 4 main roads traversing the country, just for reference), so one has to stop and ask lots of friendly people for directions, given free and sometimes well intentioned but worth what we pay for it). Since I am notorious for getting lost in my own back yard, I was of little help in that category, but we had enough delay that we were not able to get to Port soon enough to try once again to get Duane’s luggage.  Thus Duane and I met each other in the airport the next morning and, when the counter lady asked him if he had any luggage to take back to the US, in his usual boisterous fashion, he had to inform her that he had not yet received the luggage he brought down there! We are hopeful that Jean Eddy was able to get his luggage and some for Olga’s friends, all of which have been delayed in arrival.

I know of some people who love to sing in the shower, including our son, James.  However, in all my years overseas, where we have always had showers in the wards and have encouraged our patients to use the facilities, I never remember anyone singing in the shower, maybe because this is a more public situation. However, the other morning I was making rounds and someone was going on for the entire time I made rounds (well over 1/2 hour) at a rather significant decibel level, to the point that it was hard to listen to bowel sounds, etc. However, I really didn’t know how to resolve the situation properly so we just enjoyed the free concert as we visited and treated our patients. On that pleasant note, we will sign off and again remind you of our appreciation for your prayers and support of our service for Him in Haiti.


In Him,

Bill and Duane (and crew)

A mid summer’s Update

Dear family and friends;

Early July started out with a girls volleyball camp and a large camp of 220 young people. Both camps went very well.

We had a team cancel for mid July, so we quickly booked flights and took a quick vacation back in British Columbia to see family and friends.

It was great to see so many family members. (Deb with 3 of her brothers in the picture). We were so thankful to spend time with our parents also.

We had a great time and are thankful to the Lord for His protection during all our travels. Immediately, upon arrival back in Haiti we had a huge turn out at Sunday school (this past Sunday).

Today we completed a goat project for a few of our young friends here in the village. The boys were pretty excited to receive their own goat and since the fishing has been so poor this year, the goats will be a huge help to the local families.

Please pray for us, as we have three big camps coming up in early August, and although we are feeling rested, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

thanks, bye for now,

Love Rod, Deb and Katie

Some Surprises for the Haitian Donkey and the Team

Hi All:

As usual, I write a bit faster than I probably should, but things seem to go in a bit high gear out here. Duane and I left (separately, as he could not mirror my flights without an exorbitant cost) and met in the Miami airport at 5 am, he a bit weary from trying to catch a few winks on the airport floor. He got in at 1:30 am as the flight from Charlotte was delayed, a chronic song of different verses each time with American Airlines, it seems, but what choices realistically do we have? We had a decent flight in with an overfull plane but Duane’s luggage did not accompany us. There was a huge line at the lost luggage counter, but we finally were attended to, though he is still separated from his goods. They told him he could have a second bag in Grand Rapids, so he tossed his carry on in as a second baggage, so that is lost in the fray also. Hindsight is always more clear than before the event, it seems.

The week so far has been hectic for him as he has a host of repairs to do. He has fixed the leak in the laundry water system, as plumbing seems to break faster than we can repair things. Of course, the department has a ton of washing to do each day. We have 2 new washing machines coming in the next container from Bluffton to help in keeping things clean around here, but there always seem to be breakdowns as fast as we repair things. He also repaired the xray machine and a number of other items, but the generator is causing him and us fits. EDH, the government power system, has allocated us maybe 1-2 hr of electricity daily and Duane is trying to figure out where all the electricity is going as he has up to 26 KWH draw and the smaller generator cannot handle the load. The battery backup system that USAID installed for the lab and clinic (i.e. not the hospital and OR, as they are not into curative medicine, rather preventative?) takes a huge load to charge the system, fine if on government power, not so hot on our generator. So, they have been running the larger generator a lot while I was in the US and it is belching black smoke and Duane (with help from Dan and Jeff via calls) is trying to repair and sort things out. They have sent a fuel filter via Agape flights, to arrive tomorrow, Lord willing, and he will install that in hopes that this will be a temporary fix at least.

With all the political instability, an improvement in government power is not likely until things settle down, but who knows when that will be as the Senatorial elections are slated for August, (I’m glad I will NOT be in country then as travel may be a bit complicated) and then the Presidential one later this year if all goes as planned, but the timing of that can be a bit of a debatable issue here. We are considering the alternatives, including replacing the generator if need be, possibly replacing the smaller one with a larger one so they can at least divide the workload, but the costs are increasing no matter what we try to do. So, appreciate prayer for Duane as he labors in the sweltering heat of summer in Haiti on projects he does his level best to accomplish under somewhat less than ideal circumstances. The language barrier is only one of the struggles he faces daily in trying to repair things here, besides lack of equipment and Haitian lack of comprehension of the whole idea of maintenance, to name just a couple other obstacles to progress. He and I have done quite well in keeping ourselves reasonably nourished. We have found coffee for him, the number one item on his shopping list for Jean Eddy and William, we have eggs, Haitian bread and some cans of tinned ham and we are living high on the hog out here.

The hospital has been super busy, we have done 9 hysterectomies in 2 days, have another 4 on the schedule for today, plus a lot of hernias as people want to get surgeries done before school starts for both students and parents, so they can be ready for classes, it seems. We also had 2 ruptured appendixes on Monday. Normally I do 2 or 3 a year so a bit of a surprise, but so far, both are doing well. We did 13 cases on Monday and were winding down about 9 pm when a gunshot to the chest came in. We managed to stabilize him and so far, he seems to be doing Ok. We finished surgery with the last ruptured appendix at 11 pm and I was sound asleep by 11:30, only to have the gunshot bleed again at 1:30 and we had to make adjustments to the treatment, limited as it is out here. So, just another speed bump on the road of work here. We did another 15 cases yesterday, so
things are moving well.

Monday night, I did contact the authorities up in Cap Haitian regarding the possible residency training for Drs. William and Adulte and the changes they seem to have made in a negative direction last month. I asked if maybe we could discuss things and they gave me an appointment for Friday morning up there, so William, Jean Eddy and I will make the long trek up there Thursday morning and return Friday night in hopes for some bright light at the end of the tunnel. We are praying hard for God’s clear direction and help in this regard, as the options seem limited for the future of the hospital without some legal certification from the government for our surgeons in training, something that seems slow in forthcoming now for years on end. PLEASE join us in prayer that God may guide us in the right path for the good of the hospital and His glory.

Will go back to the OR now, but wanted to whip something off between cases to let you know that we are well, busy and appreciative of serving Him here in Haiti with your encouragement.

In His Service,

Bill and Duane (and the rest of the team)