We survived the week of chemotherapy, the usual fever, chills and nausea, didn’t have any retching there at least, and we again decided to hit the road right after the last session, leaving at 3 and getting home a bit after 10 on Friday. I started running out of gas about the time I hit the Michigan line, but managed to keep going until we arrived home, as driving a car goes much faster than stumbling along on the shaky donkey legs. We brought in only the cold boxes and went to bed. I woke up about 1:00 am and had worse fever, chills and diffuse aches and weakness. Ended up sleeping in a chair as easier to get to the bathroom quickly from a semi upright position. This progressed to retching and I was unable to attend the planned suitcase packing Saturday afternoon. Sunday started out slow, unable to walk without holding the walls, but I managed to get more fluids in (TPN and rehydration fluids gives me more than 4 quarts daily already but with fever and chills, the insensible loss goes up considerably). It is now Sunday afternoon and I feel my strength slowly coming back, no appetite, but at least no more retching and the fever and chills are subsiding. I did sleep for hours on end, interspersed with potty breaks each 90 minutes if not more often. Pray that this will go away without complications, especially as I had the sepsis starting Wednesday after the last chemotherapy, which does knock your resistance down and leaves you more vulnerable to infections.
Dan, Duane and Butch (and the rest of the team from Butch’s church, about 20 total, not counting D and D, who were there a week earlier) returned after slaving in Haiti. They got the roads cleared around the camp, worked there for several days, then returned to the hospital and secured it by cutting up the trees that had fallen on the hospital fence, fixed the hospital gate that had been torn off by the winds and then helped clear up trees in the village of Simon (the suburb of Cayes where the hospital is technically located, maybe 3 miles from the center of Cayes) as well as setting up some of our experienced day laborers who work with our work teams each year to put roofs on their own houses first and then starting on those of our employees. They did cover 50 houses with tarps, but that will only last a while with the heat, winds and rains that hammer their little houses.
In that vein, Lord Willing, we will head to Haiti early Saturday morning with our team. Originally Dr. Luke, Karen, our nurse practitioner friend Tabitha, who was with us in Africa for years and went with me to Haiti 8 months ago and wants to go any chance she can get out of work for, Micah Baxter, the maintenance man at PVI washing and myself were going to go, as elections were scheduled in October, but I was worried about Luke going in the midst of the political unrest, so he would have to go the last week of October to avoid them and I was scheduled in early November, thus we decided to go together as my endurance is not yet what I would like it to be. It also would let me try to catch up on administrative duties that I got behind on while undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. With the hurricane, we added 8 more people to the team, 6 to clear more trees and help put on roofs and 2 ladies to help with cooking and other jobs with a larger crew. Dr. Jo Marturano, a psychiatrist friend who normally comes twice yearly for 2 weeks will join us in Lauderdale for the rest of the journey, so it will be a busy week. However, we pray that we can get a lot done for Him and the people of Haiti who have suffered so much over the years.
Please pray that we will have good flights and can connect up in Lauderdale, as we have 6 different flight plans to get there and one bus that leaves Port au Prince, so the last flight needs all 13 of us on board. I also hope that I can briefly meet Dr. William in Port to encourage him and also give him a study manual I purchased for him to help him study and prepare better for the residency demands. Communications have been sketchy but I know it was hard for him to be stuck in Port when the storm was headed straight for his family home and he could not leave to be with them. This is a difficult time for him but I greatly appreciate his dedication to the Lord’s work at CSL and getting the extra training to be able to replace me there. Pray that customs will let us through with our 22 bags of supplies as it appears our sheets all developed legs during the last while, having the fence knocked down needless to say didn’t help. We also are bringing most of our food, as not much is available in the markets where we usually could get much of what we need (though we heard it is getting better, but I have never gone shopping, not on my skill set for Haiti). We also have a bunch of supplies to do our work of relief, including things to help those who were less fortunate before the hurricane already. Pray that we will be safe, effective and God honoring in our efforts to serve Him next week.
As always, we appreciate your prayer, encouragement and support of our ministry there in Haiti (especially the Haiti Relief Fund and the Rice and Goats Fund, as they will be especially needful this year).
In His Service,
Bill, Karen, Anna, Jo, John, Kathy, Kevin, Kurt, Luke, Micah, Ron, Tabitha, Tom and Travis