The Haitian Donkey Prays For Rest

Dear Family and Friends


It is with a great deal of sadness, but also gratitude for the time that we’ve had, that we write this email to all of you. Our dad has officially gone on hospice as of today, and based on his years of experience he believes his time left here on earth to be quite short since he is dealing with liver failure. Because many of you on this list have faithfully prayed for and supported him for years now, he wanted to let you know the current situation, and his need for prayers for this time of transition.


At the moment he is with us, his children, and his grandchildren, and we will be spending Christmas with him as best as we can given his health. Depending on his status, he may or may not be answering emails or phone calls, but we will be sure to let him know if you send him messages. We grieve with you, but also are comforted by the knowledge that his body will soon be completely healed of this cancer; and that he will be enjoying heaven with Karen, his Savior, and so many other loved ones.


Merry Christmas to you all,

Rachel and James for the whole family

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

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


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).

News from Bill

Hi All:


The Haitian Donkey now had his 8 hr surgery, emptying out what was left in my belly cavity one week ago (not hot chemo this time, risk benefit ratio not encouraging) and we are making progress.  We are very thankful to the Lord for His help and encouragement during this time.  I just got done making a loop around the floor, feel good and strong enough, though a bit wobbly.  My brother, Will, has been superb in being my personal nurse, caretaker and only visitor allowed.  He can only come once daily, from 9-12 am, and they are so RIGID that you cannot enter 1 minute earlier (I fear sometimes we empower people and it may go to their head?   Though final decisions have yet not been made, it appears that I will probably go home on Saturday with home care nurses helping with dressing changes twice daily, etc.


As you may have heard, I did the surgery as only vomited everything for the last 4 weeks before and felt ultra miserable.  Plus, had the hole between the colon and the bladder, so chronic UTIs made life difficult and complicated, with frequent hospitalizations.  Dr. Bartlett scoped my stomach remnant and discovered that where the loop bringing the pancreatic and bile juices back to the intestine, to recreate flow, a large cancer had grown around it and totally blocked the bowel passage.  The rest of the abdomen was a mess of tumor and troubled bowel mixed.  He ended up taking out the piece of bladder attached to the cancer nodule in the colon and had rotted through, allowing mixture of the two systems, with attendant complications.  This was repaired and I have a pipe in my bladder for a while to let the hole heal well before stressing the balloon by blowing it up.  Then he took out all the rest of my cancer and bowel mix, I only have now 2 x 1 foot sections, one from the end of my esophagus to the skin (my ONLY area of absorption, normal people have 26 feet of absorption in their small bowel, plus another 6 feet of large bowel).  The other section goes from my bile duct and pancreas and brings them out to the skin in the second one foot length of bowel.   The rest of my belly is empty except for my kidneys, liver (removed some cancers stuck to it) and bladder, so a bit more scrawny looking, I fear.


Dan, Duane and Evert are back in Haiti and will be home next weekend.  I am eager to hear what progress they have made, especially in the compensation area, and hope that my improved health will allow me to be more active in helping on these projects.  Pray for wisdom and safety for them as they undertake the projects.  We have heard that a generous donor to CSL has offered to match up to $25,000 USD for the solar project and thus am trying to contact people to make them aware of this possible solution to help towards this goal.  And, amazingly, we are coming towards Christmas and it is time to ask for donations to the “Rice and Goats” Fund again.   It is always appreciated by the employees but again will be especially so this year with the runaway inflation making life unaffordable for so many people in our area.  If you are able to contribute to the Matching Gift for the Solar Project, please send it to:


c/o Dan Boerman

2632 – 28th St

Wyoming, MI  48519



And the “Rice and Goats Fund” can go to either the above or to:

Byron Center Bible Church

8855 Byron Center Ave,

Byron Center, MI  49315



In either case, make a note on it as to how to properly channel the funds into the appropriate project.

As always, thank you so much for your support, encouragement and prayers for the ministry at CSL.  Every penny we receive goes directly into supporting the Haitians, we all “work for free, something we know God can do and we pray He will.


In His Service,




Dan, Duane, Evert, James, Jenn, Rachel and Bill