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

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

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

 

September Trip

Duane, Evert and I left for the first trip to Haiti since the middle of February. We talk about our trips there always being an adventure, sure enough our adventure this time started on Saturday morning leaving Miami. Of course there are all the Covid precautions that must be followed… so after boarding the plane which was completely full, not an empty seat. We were informed the plane was overweight, so we sat while they ran the engines for a time to burn fuel, then must of thought more needed to be removed so they literally drove the plane around the airport. That must not of worked to their satisfaction so we returned to the terminal to remove four passengers, The process of asking for volunteers, to paying people to get off, was stressful for all. There were a bit of chuckles as four small people left the plane. Guess what….. now we don’t have enough fuel for the trip, so we wait for fuel. It just kept getting better, we are then informed that we needed new pilots because they will run out of time they can fly, so we wait… Finally leaving two and a half hours late. We arrive in Port Au Prince after five hours sitting like sardines, shoulder to shoulder, so the logic of loading row by row to maintain social distancing made all kinds of sense. Well it continues… because of all the unrest in Haiti, we have been flying to Cayes. Our pilot had left to fly someone else by the time we got to that terminal. We realized that there is no night flying in Haiti our time to get on a plane and not have to find somewhere to send the night in port, was pretty short. We were assured the plane would be back and we would get to Cayes (the pilot would have to stay in Cayes and fly back in the morning). The plane will be here in 5 minutes, a little fuel and you will be on your way. Yea, right we thought. We were happy to see the plane land a few minutes later. Guess what they couldn’t find the fuel truck, now there was a little panic…. After a couple minutes, here it came from the international terminal, we might just make it. Not yet, they could not get it to pump fuel, at one point two men were under the truck trying…. After a few minutes, we saw the hose just and fuel flowed. We ended up landing in Cayes a little past dusk. So much for a easy short travel day.. Evert did enjoy being able to fly the plane most of the way….

We haven’t been able to get to Haiti for over 6 months, so we were very happy with the condition of the hospital; there is a growing pride in the Mission at CSL. This is a little of the fruit of several years of trying to cultivate that attitude. As a whole they have done a very good job during this trying time. We stayed open during this whole Covid time. When a lot of services were not available, our staff showed up and served the people. We are so Thankful to them.


Dr William is back after almost 6 years doing his Surgical residency, ( he needs to complete a research project by the end of the year) everyone is excited to have him back. We are excited to be able to offer services we couldn’t before. He will be putting a lot of focus on training. We are looking forward to lot of changes in how we operate.


We must acknowledge the staff that has had to handle additional work load during this time. Dr. Moise and Welser have handled the bulk of the load… Thank You.


Duane, Evert and our Haitian construction team were very busy preparing for several work teams who will be coming to CSL in the next 4 months, to remodel our Dental building into offices for the USAID program, Replace and reinforce the roof on the in-patient area to support future Solar panels, replace most if not all the doors in the whole facility with steel ones. (Despite our efforts to control the termites they have had a feast on a lot of the door jambs.) and to prepare the electric supply for Solar system as well. It was HOT, it took a toll on them.. Of course the list of normal repairs was large and was worked on everyday as well.


The week was filled with meetings discussing many aspects of the Ministry. Our goal is that everyone who enters our gates will see and hear the good news. We continue to encourage our staff to show that love. In a country where life is as hard as it is in Haiti, we are encouraged with the progress being made.


Times are always hard in Haiti, but they are extremely hard now. We are seeing an increasing need for use of our Poor fund. We appreciate all of you who support the work we do in Haiti, and hope you continue.


Thanks for your support.
Dan, Duane and Evert