Earthquake Relief Update

Much has happened since the earthquake struck southern Haiti on Saturday, August 14 at 8:30 am. Duane and I had returned home that morning when reports started filtering in that the damage was severe but that there was still activity at the hospital. We quickly made plans to return the next week with a team.It amazes me how God supplies in times of need and He most certainly did that day, with members of the community immediately offering assistance (I don’t even know who most of them were or how to properly thank them) and with the help of the team recruited by Dr. Jose from Cox Health – Dr. Nugent, Gail, and Sean. Thank you for your hearts of service and your desire to assist those in Haiti.
Since our return on the 28th, the staff has been operating on their own. They are tired, but continue to serve. Our focus right now is on repair. There is a sense of urgency because once infection sets in we will be forced to do a lot of amputations. We have had to perform some already, mostly due to severe damage. We will do everything we can to save limbs because the disabled in Haiti have an extremely hard time surviving.

We had a very good working relationship with Samaritan’s Purse while they had their mobile hospital in Les Cayes and have exchanged patients and supplies back and forth for the past 4 weeks. This week they shut down their operation and we will be assuming responsibility for follow-up of their patients. They were kind enough to leave us with supplies and equipment that we can use, including a portable x-ray machine that we have had a need of for a long time. Often it’s difficult to work with other organizations as we all have our own agendas, but it was awesome to work alongside of Samaritan’s Purse with our common goals. We give a special thanks to them for serving the Haitian people.

Along with everything else, we are moving forward with the installation of the solar system, planned for the middle to end of January. The earthquake has demonstrated the need for reliable electricity even more. We sent a container on September 1 with the panels and mounting hardware, along with a lot of building materials we will need for planned repairs on employee’s homes. We are exploring the extent of damage to their homes and how we might help them.

You have all responded to our request for donations in tremendous ways that we couldn’t have imagined. Thank you for your generous financial support – God is good. We have raised enough funding that we can confidently extend free services to the earthquake victims until October 20, and we will be putting an additional $10,000 into our poor fund for other needs. We have a team leaving for Haiti on October 12 (Dr. Luke, his daughter Maddy, Duane, Ruth, & Tabitha). They will assist in the treatment of patients and evaluate if there is a continued need to extend free services. Our plan is to build up the poor fund as needed.

We will continue to keep you informed. I wish I had some pictures to share as they always say a 1,000 words – hopefully I will have more next time.

Please continue to keep our staff and their families in your prayers while they continue to put in long, busy hours; for the victims and their families; for those who lost their homes as they try to find solutions; for us to make wise decisions; and for our chaplains as they seek to share the gospel message with all who come through CSL’s doors.

Praise the Lord for all He has done.
Dan with Duane, Dr. Jose, Dr. Luke, and Tabitha

A Busy Hospital

It has been 12 days since the earthquake struck Haiti. We arrived at the hospital on Friday afternoon, the 20th. There were patients lying everywhere – outside, under awnings/trees (anywhere to get shade), in waiting areas – literally anywhere they could find a spot. We went right to work preparing for an early start on Saturday. Since then our team and the hospital staff have made huge progress. This morning is calmer; there were fewer people sleeping on the grounds last night. There are a few tremors happening from time to time and a lot of the Haitians are scared to sleep inside. Can’t say as I blame them.

Team from Cox Health Center – Dr. Jose Dominguez, Sean Apple, Dr. Dylan Nugent, Gail Dooling
Medical supplies meeting us at the airport in Port Au Prince

We are so thankful that God spared the hospital from damage, allowing us to remain fully functional. Up until Sunday, when Samaritan’s Purse’s mobile hospital became functional, we were the only hospital fully operating in the area. We had a meeting with Samaritan’s Purse on Sunday and are working together to best treat some of the most difficult cases.

Meeting with Samaritan’s Purse

It is hard watching patients wait for treatment as we prioritize and do the worst cases first. There is one man who for days has been on a hospital gurney in the middle of the clinic waiting area. I think his family moved him there so he could get some air, or maybe so we would have to see him every time we walk through. His right leg is broken and he has a cardboard splint stabilizing his leg. It is even harder to see the kids; we’ve cast their broken legs and arms and sent most of them home.  It’s the ones who have lost arms and legs, they are the hardest.  A three-year-old, who had to have her arm removed yesterday is maybe the worst. In a country like Haiti, losing an arm or a leg will make your life very difficult, as if it’s not difficult here already.

The team from Springfield, Missouri, continue to work very hard, trying to get through as many difficult cases as they can with the time they have here. What a blessing to have them here. Dr. Dylan Nugent did his post residency program in Kenya, Gail Dooling spent 14 years in Papua New Guinea, Sean Apple has spent time in Pakistan, and Dr. Jose was a doctor in the army. Having Dylan, Gail, Sean, and Jose who are used to dealing with trauma in less than ideal conditions have helped get through these difficult cases. Sometimes special experiences are priceless. Today we had an emergency C-section come in the middle of concentrating on orthopedic cases; the baby was just stuck, time was running out, and Gail new exactly what to do and pushed in the right area, releasing the baby.

Dr. Jose Dominguez, Gail Dooling, Sean Apple, Dr. Dylan Nugent

A big shout out to our staff of doctors and nurses who have put in countless hours treating those in need. I’m aware of 6 staff members who continue to put long days in here when their homes have been destroyed. John Eddy’s family comes every night and sleep on benches in the community health area. How to help these staff members will be a challenging question to answer in the near future.

Visiting our OR nurse, Miss Lise Berth. Her home was destroyed in the earthquake.

We have a couple more days of work before we head home.  We were notified yesterday that our flight out was cancelled. No explanation – just cancelled.  We tried to reschedule for Friday but all flights were full.  We really don’t want to leave early and leave cases undone.  We are working on options but it is out of our hands.  Please pray for a good solution.

Thank you to all for your donations sent since the earthquake hit. Keeping the hospital operating through this time without billing for services is expensive, and it is a blessing to see how God is already providing.  We appreciate your prayers and support.

Dan Boerman

Caring for the Wounded

Things are going well at the hospital. The staff here has done an excellent job following the earthquake. They are very tired so we gave them Sunday off and did prep work most of the day. The team from Springfield Missouri Cox Health are doing a great job not only treating patients, but also training the staff in ortho trauma. We are learning a lot that we will be able to use in the future. Dr. Dylan Nugent, an ortho surgeon who spent time in Kenya, has been happy with the skills of our doctors, especially Dr. Lamy.

The team from Springfield brought over 650 pounds of medical supplies; Tabitha Sheen was able to arrange the purchase of an additional 850 pounds in Port Au Prince. Agape Air was kind enough to fly all the supplies to Les Cayes.

Thank you for your support and prayers. We will continue to keep you updated and will hopefully be able to share pictures soon. Dan

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