Haiti News – January 2024

Today is Sunday, January 14 and I write this starting my 3rd week at CSL. It has been a long time since work teams have been able to go to Haiti, but we’ve been planning several projects that will further improve our services at the hospital. Our plan was to bring three teams in for a week each starting December 30th, but travel has become a huge issue. The first team had no issues coming or going; however, the adventure started with the second team. Two members had to back out when their flight from Grand Rapids to Miami was cancelled and they wouldn’t be able to catch their flight from Miami to Port au Prince in time.  The rest of the team’s flight from Miami to Port was delayed 1.5 hours, setting off a chain reaction of travel issues. Due to the delays, they just missed their Sunrise flight from Port to Les Cayes. Booking another ticket was impossible since tickets are sold out almost two weeks in advance (there is a huge backlog for Sunrise flights since the gangs are preventing any cross country vehicle travel). The only hope of getting to the hospital was flying standby, which still involved paying for another ticket. Thankfully they were able to get a hotel for the night, and over the course of 3 flights and 9 hours sitting on suitcases the next day, God opened up exactly 6 seats for all 6 team members. 

We also had a travel wrench thrown in when we discovered Sunrise cancels your return flight if you miss your first flight. The Lord provided once again and we were able to hire a charter to fly the team back to Port on Monday, 2 days past their original departure date. Their American flights to the US had to be changed but thankfully there was availability on another airline. 

Today, the third team planned to leave Grand Rapids, but the winter storm destroyed those plans. They boarded the plane, only to have the flight canceled because it was too cold for the de-icing solution to work. Duane was still able to make it as he was already in Florida so this week’s team will just be the two of us. 

Travel adventures aside, we have had two incredible work weeks so far. 

Our projects have included setting up our operating room #3 for doing endoscopy procedures and we performed several tests and training cases. Thank you Laura for your huge help in this department – hope you can come back again! We also moved our main gate to provide better security, installed water and electric supply to our new guest house, reorganized/removed walls in our birthing and delivery areas to provide space for a recovery room, and worked on a bathroom and break room for the emergency nurses. Much work was accomplished on the guest house (cabinets, plumbing, tiling, patching, painting) along with trying to finish our employee home repair projects that have been waiting on material and teams to complete.

Thank you to all who donated to our rice and goat fund, our largest year yet. What a blessing! I saw a lot of smiling faces. I reminded members of our staff many times that these gifts are not from me but from you, we just get the pleasure of distributing the gifts. Life continues to be very hard for the people of Haiti and these gifts are much needed and appreciated. We continue to try and increase our staff’s salaries to attempt to keep up with cost, but as we decided again this week, we just can’t raise our prices right now for fear of keeping people from coming to the hospital. This is an ongoing struggle we have to deal with and we pray for guiding wisdom to make the right decisions. 

We are thankful for your support and prayers. We couldn’t begin to do this ministry without you. We pray that God will continue to use CSL as a place for physical and spiritual healing.