I was recently reminded of Dr. Bill and his leadership and vision for this ministry when I saw the very common sight of a donkey on market day. As many of you know, Dr. Bill was nicknamed the Haitian Donkey – how we miss him!
Our August trip to Centre De Sante Lumiere (CSL) was focused on needed repairs to our solar system. Evert Bek, Micah Baxter and I left on August 16. Because of the lack of flights, we had to drive to Chicago to catch a plan to Miami and then on to Port Au Prince. Many thanks to Nader who ensures our safe delivery to the general aviation airport, a short distance from the international airport in Port. Always thankful for an uneventful trip.
As people are learning they can rely on our consistent services provided because of our solar system and its reliable electricity, the emergency room, orthopedic, physical therapy, and maternity departments at the hospital continue to get busier and busier each month. Due to this growth, our increased electricity usage exposed a problem with the system we didn’t realize we had, resulting in a system shutdown. Thanks to many hours of sometimes frustrating work Micah discovered the problem, and I can once again sit in my office in the US and watch the whole system work wonderfully. Unfortunately, when the system shut downs, we have to fall back on our existing generators. The electricity they generate is not very stable and caused problems with other pieces of equipment, so we had several machines that we also repaired when there and others we brought home with us to repair.
As a tribute to Dr. Bill, the nurses at his practice wanted to do something for the hospital and bought a backup sterilizer for use in the surgical department. Installation had been put on hold while we got the solar system up and running. However, Duane & Tom were able to get it mounted in place on the last trip. Of course, the door on our main sterilizer broke and parts need to be ordered. So on the last afternoon we were there, Evert and Micah hooked up the electric and we ran the first cycle in the early evening the night we were leaving. The solar system repair also gave us the capacity to run this sterilizer, something we didn’t think we’d have off the generators. God’s timing is always providential!
Public education is non-existent in Haiti. All schools are private, and parents must pay for their children to attend. It costs about $350 USD per student each year, and for parents making $100-$150 a month this is a hardship that causes a lot of worry, concern, and stress. We have been able to support some of our staff and I soon hope to have a formal program that supports the education of our staff’s children who cannot afford it on their own.
This young lady (her mother works in our housekeeping department) came for a visit while I was there to show me how well she did in her first year of medical school. She is preparing to start her second year and we want to encourage her to continue her hard work. God knows, maybe she will one day be a CSL doctor!
Back home, we are prepping to send another container. Duane and his crew have been very busy. Much work goes into preparing a container as we need to think through projects and supply needs, sometimes up to a year. There is no hardware store to run to if something is forgotten. Thank you Duane for the many, many hours and miles it takes to organize!
I don’t think I can say this enough, but without your support our work at the hospital wouldn’t be possible. We are so blessed with literally over a hundred people who support this ministry in various ways. The Haitian people are helped in so many ways. Please continue to keep the staff in your prayers as they live in very difficult times, as well as praying for all the patients who come through the door. We want everyone to hear the good news of the gospel!
Thank you for your continued support,