May Trip and Other News

May 2021 Trip (19-27)

We were packed and ready to leave by 2 pm on the19th, our required Covid-19 tests completed, only to arrive at the airport and find that our tests were not American Air approved. So off we went to the parking lot testing site for a 2nd test to the tune of $300. The remainder of the trip went great and we arrived at the hospital in Les Cayes by 4 pm on the 20th. Much work was accomplished this trip, including the preparation of the new operating room. Duane built cabinets and Evert began installing air conditioning and wiring. Dr. Jose is excited to begin a new area of testing/surgery that the hospital has not done before. The ladies cleaned, sorted, and prepared lunches for the 10 Haitian workers every work day, along with visits to encourage the local missionaries. Duane led meetings with the doctors and the administrator each day, talking through and dealing with many administrative issues. We are excited and encouraged to see the work continue. Dr. Bill is missed, but the work he began is continuing for God’s glory.

Thank you for all your prayers for Dr. William and his schooling. He is very close to finishing his required thesis, which must be completed before he is officially able to get his surgical license. He is currently working at the hospital.

The two chaplains at the hospital continue to share the only true hope of Jesus Christ to each and every patient. They have a positive attitude and are always eager to pray with each member of the team.

On Sunday our group of 4 spent the day with Rod, Debbie, and Katie Wray at Camp Mahanaim (God’s Camp) and attended the Sunday School and feeding program. It is always a huge blessing to visit this ministry. Every child attending the weekly Sunday School hears the gospel and receives a manna pack.

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” – Philippians 2:3

God Bless, Duane and Ruth Verkaik & Evert and Kitty Bek

In other news…

We have completed our work on the design and engineering of the solar system and have given Smucker’s Energy permission to being purchasing the needed components. Our hope is to get all the components there by December for a mid-January installation. This has turned into a huge project; the new roof on the in-patient building, construction of an equipment room, design and engineering, solar components, shipping, and installation bring the cost to $440,000. We need to raise an additional $75,000 to cover this cost. If we aren’t able to raise the total cost, we will install the system with fewer batteries, which can be added at a later date as the money is available. Pease consider donating to this project. We are looking forward to being able to offer excellent 24-hour care to our patients without the obstacles of unreliable electricity and limited generator power, coupled with fuel shortages during times of civil unrest. We are so thankful for those who work to make this mission possible. We would not be able to do what we do without the support of so many. Tabitha Sheen, our recent board member addition, has worked very hard to reconnect with the IDA foundation in the Netherlands, which supplies low cost medical supplies for mission organizations. We have placed an order for supplies and they should be on their way in a couple of weeks. Jim Heist, a retired machinist, has also been hand-making much needed external fixators for our expanding orthopedic department. There are many more who work behind the scenes, using their God-given talents to aid this ministry.

We are sad to have to share that our head of nursing, Miss Corrine, passed into glory at the hospital on June 7 from complications with type 1 diabetes. She was a huge part of our ministry and had served with dedication for many years. She will be greatly missed. Please pray for her family and our staff as they mourn her loss and seek to find someone to fill her role.

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” – James 4:14

Thank you for your partnership in sharing Christ as CSL! Dan

March and April Trip News

March Trip

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

After 3 flight changes by American Airlines, rescheduling our MAF flights, and being tested for COVID, we were in the air. We were blessed with an uneventful trip to the hospital.

It is amazing to see the growth and improvements at the hospital, beginning with the PT department – 400 new patients and 4,500 sessions.  Seeing the new orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lamy at work and the organization of the PT clinic and staff is exciting.

The newly organized Haitian leadership board is really taking ownership of their responsibility, moving forward with wise decisions. The flow of patients in the clinic is also encouraging. The clinic is benefiting from the additional room gained after moving USAID.

Duane took a team of 6 young men from Jamestown (the youngest being 68) to work on various projects. They eagerly checked off a list of maintenance jobs. They reorganized the storage facilities and containers – a much needed clean out after two large work teams this past fall and winter.  They also assembled 30 benches at the church. These men had cut to size the wood for the benches here in the states; it was a joy for them and for the churches to see the benches in place, ready for worship on Sunday.  We want to give a big thank you to Zeeland Lumber for their donation of treated wood used to build the benches and many other projects.

Church recently started by Dr. Williams that received some benches

The men had the joy of working alongside the 12 local Haitian men referred to as “the work team”. Two offices were remodeled and are ready for the doctors to move in and begin seeing patients.  A few inverter problems were fixed as well as a new stairway built to the inverter room making it easily accessible. 

Thank you to these men for their work on the trip and their willingness to gather, weigh, pack, and load the containers sent to the hospital on a yearly basis.  We could not do this without many willing hands. Thank you!

In Christ, Dale, Dave, Duane, Jim, Ross, and Sam

April Trip

We arrived on Saturday afternoon after an uneventful trip from home (far from normal).

This trip brought team members from all over the country – Dr. Luke Channer from Hamilton, MT, Beth Newton from Columbus, OH, Dr. Jo Marturano from Lexington, SC, and myself from Grand Rapids, MI. A huge benefit from these trips is being able to spend time with friends we don’t get a chance to see very often.

When we arrived at the hospital, there was a sense of urgency within the surgical staff concerning a patient who needed emergency surgery. He was a Haitian American who had recently moved back to Haiti to build a home and retire.  The extent of the procedure was unknown going into surgery. With Dr. Luke’s help as soon as we arrived, they were able to remove the obstruction in his bowel before serious damage would have resulted.  God’s timing is always perfect, as the surgical staff would not have been able to perform that extensive of a surgery without Dr. Luke’s help.  The man was recovering nicely when we left early Saturday morning.

We had many good management meetings throughout the week, including a meeting with the leadership of MEBSH (Mission Evangelical Baptist of Southern Haiti), concluding with an agreement for us to operate the hospital for the next 10 years. MEBSH is the organization that owns the hospital and property and who we work under.

Dr. Jo is a psychiatrist, and always has more patients who want to see her than she can possibly see when she visits.  She meets with patients and works out their medications and the staff doctors (mostly Dr. Adult) then meet with the patients throughout the year. We greatly appreciate her dedication to the Haitian people.

We were happy to have Beth come for a couple of weeks. She served in Haiti for many years and has taken the last 5 years to spend time with and take care of her parents in Ohio.  She has a lot to offer with her knowledge and experience; we hope she will be able to be visit the hospital more often and give us all guidance.

Beth Newton and Dr. Jo

It was really good to see Dr. Luke spend time with the staff of all the departments. I think he learned a lot from them and they realize that he cares for them and that their jobs are important.

I found the below picture in the office last week. I’m reminded not only of how thankful we are for everyone who helps make this ministry possible, but also of Dr. Bill and Tom Failing, who we greatly miss.

In Christ, Dan Boerman

Haiti Update – January 2021

Friends of CSL,

As a board of CSL we are deeply saddened with Dr. Bill’s passing. However, he had a very difficult few months leading up to his home going and we are happy his suffering is over.
Dr. Bill has given us a very good foundation to work from and we hope and pray that we, with God’s help, can continue the work that was begun in Haiti.

Over the past few years we have been blessed to have Welser Romelus as administrator and Dr. Moise and Dr. William as doctors. They have proven to be very capable of serving the patients and the people at the hospital. The day to day operations at the hospital are in very capable hands, each one trusting Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The past few months have been both a challenge and a blessing and we are very excited to see God working through the projects that have been tackled. We are amazed that even with all the issues we have faced this year we have been able to get several teams safely to and from Haiti. We have been blessed with a very large number of people who have supported this work in so many ways. This couldn’t happen without your support and we are so grateful. These projects and improvements will allow the staff at CSL to expand and improve the service to the Haitian people. Our goal is that everyone who visits CSL will see and hear about the Love of Christ. The Chaplains reported that there were 82 salvations in December and 122 in January. Praise the Lord. This is why we do what we do.

There has been growth and additions in several departments at the hospital – physical therapy, a physical therapist, an orthopedic doctor, and the return of Dr. William – bringing the need for additional exam rooms. This has made the hospital very busy and in need of reorganizing and adding space to operate.

The first step in November was to move the Dental Clinic into a new space that was created for them. We converted a storage space by adding plumbing, electrical, and tile, making a small but effective place for them to operate.

Then in December, their old building was completely transformed; the inside was completely stripped and 9 office spaces were built. When the walls were up, doors installed, electric in, and plumbing and painting completed, we moved the USAID program into the newly remodeled building. This freed up badly needed space in the clinic. We also had a team come to start preparing the electric system of the whole facility for a solar system installation.

January 2021 was extremely busy. A team arrived to install new steel doors throughout the whole facility, 85 of them. Seems like we are constantly spraying for termites. However, almost every door had been damaged by them. These new steel doors are beautiful and will never be affected by termites. We also had two teams come to replace the roof over the in-patient area. This roof needed to be redone to be able to have solar panels mounted to it. An unbelievable amount of work has been done. It completely changed the look, and it looks great. The out-patient clinic and pharmacy have been remodeled with moved walls, new doors, and electric.

We have completed the prep work for a Solar system. We will now be getting final quotes on a system. A system is expensive, but with the uncertainty of electricity from the government, it is sometimes difficult getting diesel, and the cost of replacing and maintaining generators gives us good reasons to install a solar system. We also desire to increase the level of service we provide; using generators and inverters we can only provide very limited electricity during the night. Our emergency room continues to get busier and busier as the community realizes we provide good service. Having a good system will allow us to have 24 hr. good electric service.

This process started in September. We again can’t begin to thank all those involved in helping. We can’t help but think about 1 Peter 4: 10-11: “Each should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Thanks for giving your talents and gifts.

I have attached a picture of the hospital and a picture of Welser Romelus the Administrator.

Welser has worked for CSL since 1993. He and his wife Bertilde have two children – a boy and a girl. He is a life-long resident of the area. He has a very difficult job, but he has a big heart to serve the Haitian people; we look forward to working with our brother for a long time.

Duane, Dan and a whole team of people

December 2020

A lot has happened in December. A lot of projects are in process at CSL. However, we must acknowledge all the planning and preparation that happened during the previous three months. I want to call out Duane; he has put countless hours planning, preparing, collecting, recruiting, building, and being away from home at CSL for a month leading these projects. Thank You, Duane. We are also blessed with many others. Each of you serve an important part of this Mission. Your hands, your feet, your time, your donations, your prayers – we give thanks for all of you!

We have several projects we are working on. A new building for the dental clinic, a building for the USAID program, the replacement of almost 100 doors and frames (we lost this battle with the termites), building of a new pediatric ward, remodeling of the clinic, preparing the roof of the in-patient area for mounting of solar panels, and preparing the electric service for solar installation.

It all started in October when we sent a container full of supplies. When we left in October, we put our Haitian construction men to work doing all the needed block work for all of these projects with a focus on the inside of the USAID building. By Mid-November, Duane was at the hospital with a team of his family. They worked on the finishing of the USAID building and some much needed maintenance and organization, followed by a team hanging doors and doing plumbing work, then another to do mostly electrical.

The experience Duane has gained making travel arrangements for all of us, and changing them, and changing them, and again, changing them, I think he should start a Travel Agency!!!!!! Getting everyone in and out of Haiti during these times has been a huge challenge.

Great progress has been made on all of these projects. After a little break we start at it again on the 8th of January. We are looking forward to seeing these projects completed.

The Hospital continues to be very busy. We are excited to see the progress that has been made by the staff. We continue to work with them to improve the service given to the Haitian people.

Each trip we are reminded in some way how hard and sometimes cruel life can be. The Saturday we arrived, as the clinic waiting area started to empty, we noticed a little boy, maybe 3 or 4. We think he has cerebral palsy. Someone left him there! Someone took him home for the weekend, thinking they could keep him, however on Monday he was back. When we left the staff was still taking care of him in the hospital.  We are looking for a place that would take him.  Can you imagine being in that situation?

This week we will finalize the Rice and Goat fund. This is always a blessing for the staff as it provides for their needs but also lets them know a lot of people care and support the work they are doing.

Dr. Bill continues to rest at home, watching and giving us guidance. Wishing he could be there.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Dr. Bill, Duane, Dan and the whole crew!

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