Hot and Humid Haiti Keeps Humans Soaked While They Work (With Sweat)

Hi All:

We are a third way through December already and still have a bit to go on this year’s projects.  It doesn’t help that we got a late start with covid-19 restrictions, no one seems to know what actually is the rule in Haiti at present.  However, we have had 2 teams come in and go without difficulties since September and have a large number in there at present.  I think most, if not all, are coming home this weekend and a large team will go out in early January who will raise and reinforce the roof to be able to bear the weight of the solar panels, etc.  This one has been there for 15 years and has done well, we once had 4 panels come loose with Hurricane Matthew but repairable.  This will be a large project, but when finished, we will be able to assess what we need to do to complete the jobs before us, purchase batteries and solar panels as we are able to raise the additional funds, etc,   We can start using the system in its limited capacity in the meantime and save the ever questionable fuel supply.  I just confirmed with Tom Failing that everyone came home safely, thank the Lord.  They have finished the USAID building and have moved them into the new quarters, which will free up some rooms in the clinic for Drs. Lamy (orthopedics) and William (General Surgery).  Physical Therapy continues to function superbly, many thanks to Mme. Schaller, who returned from 3 months furlough in Germany, as did Johannes and Luise.

 

From a health standpoint, the Haitian Donkey continues to struggle.  At present he has 4 tubes sticking out of his body, a foley catheter, which likely will stay in my body the rest of my life as there seems to be a lot of residual tumor in my pelvis and removing the foley will just lead to bladder infections.  The one draining the leak in my left lower quadrant is slowing down but will stay til it comes out of it’s own or the output goes to zero (not likely).  The jejunostomy tube is lifelong, of course, as I have no connection to the outside and I have a wound vac now snuggled next to the ostomy, difficult to not have the two get in each other’s way.  Margie is superb at replacing it, she will teach Rachel and Jenn as I plan to spend a couple weeks with James and Jenn for Christmas so can see the little one without too much contamination risk for him.  The parents are super careful with germ exposure as he is only 2 months old yet so far.

 

Thank you for the nice Christmas cards.  I hope to make some with my family when we get together at Christmas and send them out after the holidays, so the Donkey apologizes in advance.  We are waiting another week to see what we get in the Rice and Goats fund and then will distribute the funds and critters accordingly, so also thankful in advance for that encouragement.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year.  As always, thank you so much for your continual support financially, prayerfully and in so many other ways for our efforts at Centre de Sante Lumiere in Les Cayes for God’s Glory!

 

In His Service,

 

Bill and the team

Merry Christmas

Dear family and friends;

May you have a very blessed Christmas this year!    Thank you for your faithful prayers, encouragement and support.   We  have appreciated it more than ever this year, and most of all, we are thankful for God’s faithfulness unto us.

We’ve been very blessed to have a few visitors this Fall, including Duane and Ruth from Michigan who shared Thanksgiving with us.
This week we have Steve and Jeff and Steve with us for the week and they are repairing vehicles, and doing numerous projects around the camp which we really appreciate.

Katie does a great job of leading the Sunday school kids in singing every Sunday morning, and she also looks after the technical / computer duties, which is a great help to us.

We spend time in the evenings packaging rice into heat sealed bags.    This process not only keeps the bugs out of the rice, but makes it simpler to distribute the smaller packages of rice (rather than large sacks).

Rod continues to use the sawmill.   Here he is cutting a mango tree into 2 X10 boards which will be used to make bed frames.

Katie is doing great with her pottery.   She is getting ready to glaze these creations.

Volleyball continues at Camp Mahanaim and we have about 20 teams made up of children and youth from our village that play every week.   The kids love it when we have granola bars to distribute.

We would appreciate your prayers as we are planning a Christmas camp for these young volleyball players.   We have invited Joseph, Stanley and Berlin from the Sunday school to come and be the speakers / evangelists, and we are asking you to pray that God will use us all to really reach these young people with the Gospel.   (The camp will be next Monday , Tuesday and Wednesday, Lord willing and there are about 70 young boys in this volleyball group)

Thank you again and Merry Christmas,

bye for now,

Love Rod, Debbie and Katie

The Haitian Donkey Struggles To Reduce The Holes In His Belly

Hi All:

We are praying that you all had a great Thanksgiving, likely with smaller gatherings due to Covid-19, but blessed times with your families anyway.  We had only 10 of us but still remembering all the blessings we have here in the USA was good for us.  Karen was always the organizer, so missed, as expected.  I am able to eat small portions of select foods and that was great, some turkey, potatoes, gravy and stuffing made for a delectable meal.  When I think of the thousands we have worked with, especially in Bangladesh and Haiti who often don’t even have one meal a day, I am very grateful for God’s provision for us all.

 

Margie has taken a serious view of the holes in my belly and caring for them.  The wound has a 3 cm gaping hole that goes a ways down and which she packs daily with Iodine soaked gauze and redresses.  It is not eager to heal and is slowly getting larger.  I will see the Wound Clinic on the 3rd of December (finally, administrative errors, they had things all lined up in Erie, PA, not a great option and the lady did wonder why I would go there if I lived in MI) and I hope that there will be enough space between the edge of the ostomy and the wound to apply a wound vac to help close the wound.  That would be a great answer to prayer.  The ostomy itself is doing well as Margie is very meticulous in filling all the nooks and crannies on my bumpy belly to help the ostomy wafer stick better and not leak.  I am hoping that the CT scan I do on Tuesday, the 1st of December, will show good healing of the hole in the bladder and I can maybe get rid of the indwelling Foley I have had for the last 6 weeks.

 

Duane and Ruth are in Haiti, making progress on the USAID building and were joined yesterday by Dave Weener, Dave Grifhorst, Keith Cook and Tom Failing .  Next week, Dan Boerman, Mark Snyder and MIcah Baxter will join them and continue the progress on the Solar Project, the Pediatrics Ward and wiring up the hospital with low wattage lights, etc to accommodate the changes in the electrical system with the solar charging system.  We are very thankful for those folks who have repeatedly willingly given of their time and energy to help the hospital progress to more sustainable power in the years to come.  We also greatly appreciate those who have and are contributing to our Solar project and the Rice and Goats project again this year  As we have our own uncertainties in our country, we are especially grateful to those who help us give relief to our brothers and sisters who have continual struggles to feed their families on a daily basis.

 

Again, if you desire to give to the projects, you can give to either:

c/o Dan Boerman

2632 – 28th St., S.W.

Wyoming, MI  49519

or:

Byron Center Bible Church

8855 Byron Center Ave

Byron Center, MI  49315

 

And designate for the appropriate Haiti Fund

 

Thanks so much for your continued encouragement and support of our work in Haiti at Centre de Sante Lumiere.

 

In HIs Service,

 

Bill for the crew

Update on Dr. Bill

Since I have been unable to go back to Haiti, at least at this point, I will update you on my health situation and allow Dan Boerman to share his update of the work projects in Haiti.

 

Since the last health update, I did go home with the catheter in to keep the bladder decompressed and protect the repair on it. Unfortunately, the debris from the repair, etc, has repeatedly blocked the outflow and the repair appears to have fallen apart.  After 12 days of constantly soaking everything, despite wearing the large Depends, I returned to Pittsburgh to have another pigtail catheter put in the largest urine collection in my belly (but outside the bladder).  Not fun, but have drastically reduced the urine from my incision and I am dry, except for some on the incision, tolerable.  Around the clock bladder irrigations have also helped prevent leakage, though have to be done gently to not push the hole more.

 

In light of the fluid collections getting infected, I am on IV antibiotics, they take about 1 ½ hr to run in each 6 hour, so sleep has been disrupted as my brain wants to sleep while the IVs run, but I need to watch the infusion, then doesn’t understand why I want to go to sleep afterwards, sending it mixed signals.  I am back home, dry and happy to be able to be there, so will keep trying til the antibiotics are infused and pray that the infections stay away, the wound will heal and the bladder hole will fill in by itself, without need for further surgery, which would be difficult at best.

 

I now have 2 pipes sticking out of my upper abdomen to drain the small remnants of intestine.  The bile and pancreatic drainage are tough on the skin and it is often red, raw and tender.  We are still working on a variety of techniques to figure out how to make the bag stick to the skin and prevent leaks.  As my skin is more of a war zone than a plastic repair, the irregularities of the surface make adherence of the stoma wafer difficult at best and often needing to be replaced, only aggravating the irritation to the skin.  Plus, I think that I will feel much better once the antibiotics are done, they aggravate the nausea and “benauwd” sensation, for those who understand that untranslatable word from my native Dutch, a feeling of being off kilter all the time, etc.

 

The view from my recliner at my sister Margie’s handicap accessible basement apartment is most appreciated as fall progresses and the critters run from the hunters across the fields, etc.  I am very thankful for all my family’s help in caring for me, especially Gord and Margie plus brother Will, a nurse who has gone with me both times and helps wash me in the short times he is allowed to be in the hospital.  It seems like the well intentioned nurses never have time to help and I am not allowed to do it myself. As he spent most of his life in the service and our family overseas on the mission field, we really rarely saw each other and have found this a good time to share our lives and goals and desires to see ourselves and our families live for God in the time we each have left to live.  It has been a blessed time and a break from the long hours alone in the hospital (especially as they had me in isolation and thus staff came in only if absolutely needed, as they had to gown up, etc each time).

October Trip

Well, this month’s travel was uneventful. Duane, Evert and I left Friday the 23rd for Haiti. We arrived at the hospital midafternoon on Saturday and were able to start planning for our week’s projects. Sunday Duane and I went to Renault with the Wrays and Evert visited a local church with one of our Haitian construction team members and our CSL administrator Welser. We spent the afternoon at the Wrays for a very delicious lunch and a round of Golf. Yes, I said Golf…. The Wrays have a putter course laid out on their yard. We are not golfers, however it is a lot of fun. I think Katie was the winner!

We had a very busy week planned. We had two to three hours a day planned for meetings with various people, a few maintenance issues to be dealt with, and several construction projects to prepare for, as we have teams coming in November, December and January.

Last month on Monday morning we had a sewer pipe plug. After several attempts we got it somewhat opened but felt there was something stuck in the pipe near the septic tank. This same issue happened about a year and a half ago, so we decided we should install a clean out near the septic tank. The problem is this tank is underneath a storage building. A hole needed to be made in the floor and the pipe found. We left this for our construction and maintenance guys to do during our absence. They found a pipe 7 feet down (all rock and gravel) and tunneled 11 feet before figuring out it was the wrong pipe. It took a day and a half to find the right pipe and get it opened up to a point where we could install the clean out and un-plug the pipe. Seems it is never easy.

The money situation continues to be a struggle there. The exchange rate has been 120 Gourdes to a US dollar. In the last two months the rate is now 62.5 to 1, causing everything we do to double in cost. The Haitian government also raised their minimum wage, which is causing us to try and figure out how to comply .

We have five construction projects started: a new Dental Clinic, a new Pediatric Ward, remodeling the old Dental Clinic for USAID, door and frame replacement for almost 100 doors, and roof upgrade and equipment room for the Solar system. We have several teams coming to help and our construction team is already hard at work. We moved the dental staff into their new building last week and the others are being worked on. There is a lot to do and we couldn’t even begin without the support we receive, be it monetary, giving up your time (and money) to come to CSL, or your prayers. We are so thankful for the support we receive.

We are thankful that Dr. Bill has returned home from his latest surgery. Please keep him in your prayers while he recovers. He continues to guide us as we work to improve the tools the staff have to work with and the training the staff is receiving to improve the service we supply. We are so happy to see the progress that is being made, with Dr. William completing his Surgical program, adding Dr. Lamy doing Orthopedic Surgery, and the new staff in the Physical Therapy area. There is a huge increase in the number of people being treated at CSL. This creates more opportunities for them to hear the Gospel as well.

Again, this year we would like to promote our Rice and Goat Fund. Dr. Bill started doing this at Christmas time as a way for our staff to have a Christmas gift. Also, we are raising money for our Solar system, and are happy to currently have someone willing to match up to 25,000 dollars. Please consider supporting this project as well. You can send gifts to us at the following address:

CSL

C/O Dan Boerman

2632 28th St. SW

Wyoming, MI 49519

 

In His Service,    Dan, Duane and Evert