Haiti News – January 2024 (Part 2)

Well, the travel dramas are over. Duane and I made it home Sunday night. We are so thankful for all the prayers and support we received the last three weeks. Throughout all the problems, complications, delays, and uncertainties, God’s timing is always shown to be perfect. We had many projects planned – most of which we were able to accomplish and others we hope to finish soon by getting our 3rd week group down (this time successfully). We were also asked to do several projects we hadn’t originally planned on and finished some home repair projects left over from the earthquake that we were waiting on material for. Thank you to all who volunteered to go to the hospital this past month (some who made it and others who tried) and to all of you who support us in multiple ways here at home.

This past year has been a year of growth and maturing at Centre de Sante Lumiere, and the past weeks of team projects are the result of many months of meetings and planning to determine how best to prepare for the future and improve the services that we provide.

We have seen growth this past year in almost every department. I typically don’t like to talk about numbers as it’s easy to get sidetracked with them and lose sight of the ministry, but we also need to be able to respond to the needs before us.

CSL’s 2023 statistics

Surgical Procedures – 1,784

Outpatient consultations – 80,763

Hospitalizations – 9,901

Lab Tests – 88,697

Deliveries – 613

Poor Fund Recipients – 4,422

Salvations – 960

All of the above areas have increased at least 25% this year. Labs have more than doubled, 650 more surgeries were done, and 150 more babies were born. Preparing to handle these increases, we have welcomed an OBGYN doctor as well as new staff in the surgical department.  Our building projects have included adding a recovery room, adding a break room for the ER nurses, preparing a guest house so that we can move out of the administration building to give them more room, creating two more private patient rooms, and moving our main gate to provide better security.

We are thankful for the progress that has been made; however, there continue to be many problems in Haiti that our staff are faced with, making like difficult. Haiti is controlled by a group of gangs who are trying to gain control of the country. The road to Port Au Prince is now totally blocked and very little supplies reach the Ley Cayes area. If you could even find gasoline last week it cost over $10 USD a gallon. When you consider the salary for almost half of our staff is less than $150 USD a month, you can see the issues this causes.  Everything is expensive right now. We have given staff raises but we can’t keep up with inflation and we don’t believe increasing our prices is possible either. This would result in more patients being unable to pay their hospital bills, which puts a greater demand on the Poor Fund. From our perspective, we don’t envision any improvements in the near future. We have had amazing support for our Poor Fund in the past, and demand for it keeps growing. We are working hard to find ways to cover these costs.

As we enter into this new year, we ask for prayers as we continue this ministry of service to the Haitian people and look to God for His guidance.

Thank you again for all your support.

Dan and Duane

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. 


A Ministry Provided For – November 2023

Dr. Luke and I spent the first week of November at the Centre de Sante Lumiere hospital. The container that we shipped back in October arrived a few days before we did. The arrival of a container is like Christmas at the hospital – it’s filled with needed supplies, special requested items and material for planned projects. Without a facility or equipment to unload, we assemble a large team to help, and these containers are stuffed. When shipping costs are $14,000, we not only have to prioritize what we send but also pack as much as can get into it, equating to roughly $.35 per pound. We started unloading at 3pm Saturday afternoon and didn’t finish until 9pm.

Included in this container were a few special items for the surgical department: heart monitors, 3 operating tables, 2 anesthesia machines, and a c-arm x-ray machine. We try to include some long-term planning in our management meetings, and last year we were discussing (mostly just dreaming) about how a c-arm x-ray machine would improve a lot of the surgeries we do. Not being a medical person, I had no idea what a c-arm x-ray machine was, but it basically allows a surgeon to do x-rays during surgery. One example would be to help better place screws during orthopedic procedures. When I heard the cost, $100,000 or more, I said we would keep our eyes and ears open but didn’t believe there was a possibility of finding one in the near future.

Six months later I received a call. “Hey Dan, would you know anyone who could use a c-arm? I have a friend who would like to donate his to a worthy cause.” It is amazing how God works, providing things we need in ways beyond our imagination. It is truly awesome! The machine was crated in Delaware, driven to Michigan, loaded on the container, trucked to Chicago, put on a ship in Miami, driven across Haiti on a truck, and safely unloaded at the hospital. It’s worth noting that within an hour of us testing the machine it was already being used in surgery!

A special thank you to Dr. Pramod Yadhati from Wilmington, Delaware for this wonderful gift! Many thanks as well to those who helped get this safely delivered thousands of miles away, and to the NRC Disaster Relief Committee for providing the funds for shipping the container. Thank you to everyone who supports us with your gifts of money, time and prayer. We couldn’t do this ministry without all of your support.

Lives are being changed physically and spiritual healing is happening, for which we praise God! Please continue to pray for the staff, not only for strength in the daily struggles they face, but also for serious health issues amongst some family members. Prayer would also be appreciated for 3 teams we plan on sending in January to work on projects we shipped materials for.

We continue collecting money for our Rice and Goat gifts to the staff at Christmas. Please note on your donation if you wish it to be used for this.

Many thanks,

Dan Boerman

Haiti News – October 2023

It seems like this year has just begun and yet the end of October is already here with Thanksgiving just around the corner.

Dr. Luke and I are planning to be in Haiti at the hospital on November 1. Preparing for this trip, I have been reflecting on what has transpired throughout the past year and the plans we have for this coming year. We are so thankful for all the support you have given and for all the efforts of our staff to serve the Haitian people. I was reminded today that most of us have no concept of what living in Haiti is like. Our life is full of electric and water coming on at our whim with the flip of a switch or the turn of a valve while many Haitians do not even have indoor kitchens or bathrooms; cooking with charcoal and using an outhouse are all part of the norm. And yet through all their personal hardships I am still inspired to see our staff’s desire to give of themselves and serve.

Dr. Bill had a big desire to minister to the Haitians and to help better the lives of his staff. Many years ago, at Christmas time, he started gifting each staff member a sack of rice and a goat. The rice was meant for their immediate needs and the goats were providing for future needs. The hope was that they could be raised for breeding but could still be used for milk or meat during hard times. It quickly became known as the ‘Rice and Goat Fund’.

It’s that time of year again! And we wish to continue the tradition Dr. Bill started and which the staff looks so forward to. Funding this cause is a great way to not only honor Dr. Bill’s many years of work, but to also celebrate God’s continual blessing on this ministry.

If you wish to donate to this fund, please send all checks to:

Centre de Sante Lumiere

2632 28thSt. SW

Wyoming, MI49519

c/o Rice and Goats

Please keep Dr. Luke and I in your prayers as we once again travel to CSL. Please pray for a blessed and productive trip.

Blessings, Dan

August 2023 News

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,