Sunday, October 17, 2010
Here’s what Dixie wrote about the need for hearing screening equipment:
“I received an email today from Susan Westwood, the RN in charge of the nursery. For years, our babies have had repeated ear infections from a variety of causes, but we know that it has affected their hearing. We have no way of checking hearing on children under the age of 4. Most pediatricians in Haiti send children to the Dominican Republic for hearing testing when they think there is a problem.
Susan told me about a baby we have in the NICU who is 4 months old and doesn’t respond to noise at all. There are others that only respond to loud noises. We would like to be able to test their hearing.
Susan found a portable machine that is able to test hearing on infant. This machine is called a Welch Allyn OAE Hearing Screener. This machine is easy to operate and do not require a lot of training. The results are fast and accurate and take only about 10 seconds per ear. We can get accurate results without any response from the baby, and the machine gives us either a pass or fail result.
This would help us test the children’s hearing, and identify children that might benefit from hearing aids. It would also be good to be able to monitor our children who have chronic ear infections.
We need $4500 to buy the machine, printer, and supplies needed to make it run. I think it would be really great if we are able to use this machine to do screening of all of the school children that are sponsored through GLA and children living around the orphanage. But to reach out and be able to do this, we need help to raise the funds needed to buy the hearing screener. Can you help?”
Dixie Bickel, RN
Thursday, June 24, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The 22-year-old woman, wearing a gauzy blue dress that she had changed into after her release, spoke in a whispery voice. Perhaps the worst part of the whole ordeal, she said, was the place where her kidnappers had chosen to imprison her. That they abducted her was terrifying. That they raped her, repeatedly, was too horrendous to absorb just yet. But stashing her in the ruins of a home? Making her crawl on her stomach beneath a collapsed slab into a destroyed house where they hid her in a pocket of rubble? That was torture, she said.
“Since I had not slept under any roof since the earthquake, I was so scared I could not breathe,” said the woman, Rose, who requested that her full name be withheld.
Rose’s kidnappers told her brother-in-law, who delivered the ransom of about $2,000, that they would kill her if she talked. She had no intention of doing so. But police investigators showed up at the family house in the Delmas 33 neighborhood shortly after her release, and a reporter from The New York Times happened upon the scene, later accompanying Rose to a women’s health clinic at the family’s request.
Being present when Rose and her family were grappling with the horror of her ordeal offered a firsthand glimpse inside the vulnerability that many Haitians, and particularly women, feel right now. Sleeping in camps, on the street and in yards, many feel themselves at the mercy not only of the elements but of those who prey on others’ misery.
So many cases of rape go unrecorded here that statistics tell only a piece of the story. But existing numbers, from the police or women’s groups, indicate that violence against women has escalated in the months after the Jan. 12 earthquake. Kidnappings are rare, but they, too, have increased, and “the threat is constant,” said Antoine Lerbours, a spokesman for the Haitian National Police.
Malya Villard, director of Kofaviv, a grass-roots organization that supports rape victims, said that the presence of thousands of prisoners who escaped during the earthquake aggravated an environment where insecurity and despair feed on each other.
“It’s an ideal climate for rape,” she said.
Ms. Villard said that Kofaviv’s two dozen case workers, in Port-au-Prince, had counseled 264 victims since the earthquake, triple the number in an equivalent period last year. Arrests for rape are fewer — 169 countrywide through May, but more arrests have been made in the last few months than during the same period last year.
Since the earthquake, international relief groups have expressed concerns about violence against women, especially in the camps under their watch. Poor or nonexistent lighting, unlockable latrines, adjacent men’s and women’s showers and inadequate police protection have all been problems.
Recently, security in eight big camps has improved, with joint Haitian police posts or patrols; about 100 Bangladeshi policewomen arrived late last month to deal with gender-based violence at three of them. But there are about 1,200 encampments throughout Haiti, and this city’s battered neighborhoods are largely left to their own defenses, too.
Rose and her relatives recently moved back to their properties when the owner of the property where they were squatting threatened the tent city residents with eviction. Their homes have been marked with a yellow stamp by surveyors, meaning they are damaged but fixable. Rose and her relatives sleep outside them, fitfully. They were scared of the “young thugs in Mafia sunglasses,” Rose’s cousin said, even before Rose’s abduction.
On May 10, Rose, a statuesque woman who is learning to be a beautician, went out to buy some cookies. A police officer whom she knew beckoned her to sit in his unmarked car, she said. She did. Then two men ordered the officer out of the car, taking his gun and driving off with Rose.
The men shoved her into the back, and made her lie face down. She does not know what neighborhood they took her to; it was empty and rubble-filled, and had many destroyed houses. When she protested entering one, they slapped her, she said, and forced her to squeeze through the collapsed entrance. They pushed her into a crawl space beneath a fallen ceiling.
“I was scared mute,” she said. “Only when they raped me did I scream. It hurt.”
Clutching her pelvis as she talked, Rose said that the men had taken turns, raping her seven times. “Or maybe eight,” she said, shutting her eyes.
The police officer showed up at Rose’s house the morning after she was kidnapped to tell the family what had happened. “He waited all night while we lay awake terrified,” her brother-in-law said. “He was looking for his car. We said, ‘What about Rose?’ He said, ‘We’ll look for her, but, you know, you will hear from them first.’ ”
The kidnappers used Rose’s cellphone to call. They put it on speaker phone and hit her repeatedly so her family could listen to her cry out in pain.
“They demanded $50,000 American,” her uncle, a vendor, said. “That’s crazy. I don’t have 10 gourdes to my name. But they said, ‘Don’t bother going to a voodoo priest. He can’t help you. Don’t bother calling Obama. He can’t help you, either. Just give us money, or we will kill the girl.’ ”
Over the next few days, the family managed to raise $2,000 in gourdes, the Haitian currency, from neighbors. The money was left at a drop site on Sunday evening. At 3 a.m. Monday, Rose was blindfolded and put on the back of a mototaxi. When she arrived home, she collapsed into a fetal position at the door to her house and knocked weakly.
Several hours later, the police investigators arrived. Family members encircled Rose as she answered questions in a monotone. Occasionally they peered out at the street through the cracks in their home, fearful that the kidnappers were watching.
Rose had already changed her clothes and bathed, which she did not know would frustrate the collection of evidence. But the police did not raise the issue, anyway, her family said.
When the police left, Rose rode in the back of a car to a Doctors Without Bordersclinic, wincing in pain as it bumped over rutted roads. At the tented clinic, she was instructed to take a seat on a bench. Another woman, slim and poised, entered the open-air waiting room and told a nurse she needed to see a gynecologist.
“Infection?” the nurse asked. “A case of rape,” the young woman answered, in clipped French. She had been invited to a “literary circle” in a tent city the previous evening, she said. “No books were discussed,” she said. The two victims sat side by side and stared straight ahead. The nurse said that the clinic had treated about 60 victims in May.
When Rose was called into an examining tent, she stumbled, woozy from hunger. The nurse gave her a couple of packages of crackers. Rose said, “I don’t have any money for those.” The nurse told her they were free. Rose offered one of the packages to a Times reporter, who declined and left her to be examined privately.
Rose was discharged with an armful of condoms and pill boxes: antibiotics for sexually transmitted diseases, anti-H.I.V. treatment, pills for vaginitis and over-the-counter painkillers.
As she emerged, her uncle — whom Rose calls Papa — watched her from a distance, tears streaming down his face.
“Beautiful child, oh beautiful child,” he said. “Look into my eyes and you will know how I feel. When is this all going to end? Haven’t we suffered enough?”
A version of this article appeared in print on June 24, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Pastor Gerald Bataille looks weary. His voice cracks with the hoarse edge of someone who has not slept well for some time.
In the weeks following the January earthquake, the leader of the Tabernacle of Glory Pentecostal Church in Port-au-Prince has been working around the clock every day. But Pastor Bataille is not in the frame of mind to give up. His name means “fighter.” And that, say those who know him the best, is exactly what Pastor Bataille has shown himself to be. In the face of massive – even overwhelming – odds, Pastor Bataille has rallied his people to respond with energy, with compassion, with grace.
Less than three weeks after the quake, Pastor Bataille led a funeral service for 30 of his church members killed in the disaster. Some of their bodies had not even been recovered from the rubble. There were moments, he admits, that he felt like dissolving into tears. But he kept it together – not just for himself, but for all those looking to him for strength and leadership.
With such a heavy weight on his shoulders, it is remarkable, perhaps, that Pastor Bataille can stay buoyant. Yet he exudes genuine optimism, genuine hope.“People are seeing the love of Christ in us,” he says, barely pausing to talk as he helps to unload rice and beans at his church. “With World Relief’s help, we’re showing people the love of Jesus, not just telling them… and their hearts are touched.
The love of Christ is something that everybody needs and I believe this love can draw people to find hope and peace.“I pray: ‘Lord, this is the time… it is the time for change for Haiti.’ If we will turn to God, He will hear us. We have known so much pain, so much sorrow, but I really believe this is the time for a big change.”
Within hours of the most cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti’s history, the Tabernacle of Glory Pentecostal Church in Port-au-Prince became a place of refuge for thousands. The church – an impressive half-completed mini-amphitheater – became a central food distribution point for World Relief. Inside, thousands of bags of rice and beans – enough to feed more than 100,000 people – were readied for distribution to the neediest families.
World Relief set up a system with the church to distribute the food in bulk, primarily to trusted local pastors. Word soon got out. Hundreds of pastors and others lined up in the sun in the hope of receiving some rice to take back to their families and their churches. Meanwhile, children were served hot meals of rice and beans at the church’s feeding station – a lifeline for many families struggling to find any food.
Pastor Louis Ricot came to the church every day after the quake, looking for food. “My people have nothing,” he said with a slight shrug. “We have no help from anywhere else…”Pastor Ricot was just one of thousands of pastors desperate to help his people who were living in tents made out of sticks and torn sheets. “It’s very difficult because there are many people in Port-au-Prince who are hungry right now,” said Michael Jean Baptiste, a church mobilization officer with World Relief, working alongside the church. “I thank God that we’re able to serve Christian and non-Christian alike, because everybody needs help.”
Like many quake survivors at the Tabernacle of Glory, Baptiste questioned God: ‘Lord, thousands have died… why am I not one of them?’God gave him the answer: ‘I have given you the opportunity to live to help your brothers and sisters in this hour.’ “Pastors come to us and say: ‘I have to feed 500 people… can you help me?’” explained Baptiste. “These people love Jesus… Jesus taught us to give to those who are hungry and it is a grace for me to serve them.”
Meanwhile, in the church grounds, hundreds received medical care at a clinic set up under a shelter. Moms with their babies in their arms waited patiently, while a doctor and nurses from Colorado treated and bandaged wounds, checked eye infections and gave out vitamins.
“I feel that God is at work here,” one mother said. “Who else would do this for us?”
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
This was only 1/2 of the dining room and the table we all gather at for breakfast and dinner time.. We all knew when to come for meals as Dr. Morquette would sing this song and we all would come running.. 1/2 the time if you weren't in the room you would hear everyone sing very loudly at the end, AMEN~AMEN~~
I figured how to post more than 1 picture at a time JR!!!! YEAH "ME"!!!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
JR & RC see each other for the first time! So sweet!
Welcome home CCC Go Team! It was so nice to see all of you at the airport last night and welcome you in person! What a privilege to hear the stories from JR and Vince on the way home and I look forward to hearing many more! Well done! You are all inspirations to me! Thank you for all of your hard work!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
JR your wife has been making me cry with her sweet post too. You should see the text she sends me. I'm pretty sure I'm her fave! LOL! I was at your house last night around 10:30 and RC was working her tushie off preparing the house for your homecoming! I think you are gonna like Coco's new pink pillow that goes right above yours in your bed. She has missed you too! She (Coco) gave up drinking bottled water while you were gone just as an act of appreciation.
Alexis said she may even wash her smelly volleyball gear too before you get home tonight. Just between us, well and all the other bloggers, I hope she does. It smells like the inside of my kickboxing gloves!
Did you sweet talk any government officials so they will consider opening the borders for international adoption again?
I'm praying for y'all today and the people on the airplane who have to sit next to you...lol...seriously safe travels all the way into the arms of your families! Well done!
Michelle, Meshelle, Shellyboo, Shelly just don't call me RJ
I've been gettin' my funny on in the comment section of the blog! Have you been checking the comment section? We sure have enjoyed ourselves there! LOL!
I can't wait to get the news that you are back on American soil, so text me from Miami K?!
Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made rejoice and be glad in it!!!
I love the pictures!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Love and safe travels back to the good ol USA!!!
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness [a] will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
This reading says it all for your trip to the "sun scortched land" and the work you all have done this week - may you rest well tonight and be prepared for your journey back home tomorrow. We pray for God's protection on you all for a safe journey back hom tomorrow. What are great work our Lord has done thru you all this week.
J.R. you inspire me, for you to go way out of your element zone and do it with grace and with a smile on your face. You just keep taking my breath away.
When we met I was overwhelmed with the idea of you,
When we got to know each other I learned that you were a person with strengths and weaknesses like everyone else
When we got closer I was overwhelmed with the idea of love
Now as time has passed, I am no longer overwhelmed with the idea of you and love, but I am more than overwhelmed with you and the love we share
-Susan Polis Schutz
I miss you and can't wait to see you!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Hey maybe you guys can post a picture of Vince so Cris will believe he exists! LOL!
Matthew 25:35-36 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Matthew 25:40 The King will reply," I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
*what we do for others demonstrates what we really think about Jesus words to us, feed the hungry, give the homeless a place to stay, look after the sick and look after the orphans and widows.
* what each of you have done on this trip seperates you from mearly hears of the words to doers of the word. You have walked your worship, even when you were sick you still were the hands and feet of Jesus. I thank you all for your service, love and hard work to help the Haitian people. I'm sure they will never forget you! I know I won't!!
Finally, Matthew 25: 21a "Well done my good and faithful servants" those will be the words you will hear when you stand before our Lord Jesus someday for a job well done! Praise God for each of you!
With much love and respect,
What are the pick up plans? Are you all riding back to Black Berry Campus together and I pick up the guys from there or should I plan on picking up J.R. and Vince at the airport? What time you all getting in and what FL. #. Sorry for so many questions but J.R. wasn't told this info before leaving. I will continue to pray for you all to feel better for your travel home.
Jesus, I pray that you continue to watch over J.R. and his go team, that you continue to keep them safe. It has been a rewarding yet hard journey for them. May they have the strength to get up in the morning and finish your work. May they fill the kids hearts with joy and with your WORD as they leave them on the final day. Lord, you are a good, loving and forgiving GOD, you are my savior and we know we are not worthy of your grace. But because of you we can travel to Haiti and spread your love and grace, you are the ALL mighty!
For the LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
They will be protected forever,
but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;
Because of Him,
Michelle & Kevin Ridens
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
For some children, all sorts of situations cause worry. They have paralyzing fear about homework, schedules, and teachers. They agonize whether they are going to fail a test or have friends to sit by in the cafeteria. The fear can even make them physically ill. Psychologists say the cause of anxiety disorders in children is both biological and conditional. Some children are more prone to being shy or perfectionists, and these tendencies show up during the school years when pressures increase. Anxiety disorders are not limited to children, but also plague countless adults.
In our discussion about our self-image and identity, we often focus on external characteristics like appearance or possessions or accomplishments. But what about internal issues that threaten to derail our secure identity in Christ?
Today’s passage in Philippians is worth committing to memory, for it offers advice for those who are anxious in spirit. It begins with a command, “Rejoice!” (v. 4). The command may seem puzzling, worry has just been mentioned. When are we to “rejoice”? The answer is “always.” But the source of our rejoicing is not found in ourselves or our circumstances, but “in the Lord” (v. 5). Our lives are embedded and transformed in Christ. We are not our old selves.
The reason we can rejoice is found in verse 5: “the Lord is near.” God is near to you today. He knows you and your circumstances. He knows what you will do and say. He goes before you. Therefore, the next verse makes sense. “Do not be anxious about anything” (v. 6). This is perhaps the best advice that can be given. We can tell everything to God—even all of our worries. God is the only one who can see the future. He is the only one who can truly help. In return, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (v. 7). What better news can we get? The peace of God is ours.
TODAY ALONG THE WAYIn order to find peace, we have to spend time in the presence of God. Too often we fill our lives with talking, reading, or doing something. Today, meet with God in silence. Close your eyes and meditate on His character. Be still, and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10). You can cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Not only does He care, but He is all-powerful and able to bear any burden. Allow the peace of God to calm your anxious heart.
Rejoice in the Lord today!!!
We had no idea what we were in for but we took the challenge in stride and have made it 3 days with no major problems.. The patients that come to the hospital clinic are most patients that have had symptoms for months if not years and have never seen a doctor.. A lot of stomach and indigestion/intestinal problems that have gone untreated.. Also a lot of the women give birth at home and have no prenatal or after care so they have female problems.. Some have old injuries from the earthquake but very few of them.. We have had a few follow up bandage changes from injuries that are still pretty fresh, from injury or minor surgeries..
When the Haitian Doctor at the hospital found out that Justine, one of our team, he brought in many patients of his to have her consult and treat.. Justine found a lot of treatment devices that will help these patient for long term. KUDO'S for JUSTINE:)
There is loads and loads of supplies that have been boxed up and set aside so Amy and Teri have spent days unpacking and organizing all of them for Junie and set up a stock room.. They and label HUNDREDS of supplies that now can be used..KUDO'S to AMY AND TERI!!!They also Painted about 4 or 5 rooms that had been damaged and repaired from the earthquake..
As for the construction team, they have done the MOST PHYSICAL WORK of anyone here!!! They have been more or less working in a cement box, think of a HUGE HUGE cement basement with a cement ceiling and a here there in it.. The floor is just completely fille with boulders and rubble.. It is like a dusk factory inside not to mention probably well over 100 degrees in there.. and also a gas generator running while they are working in there...I was only there to help for a 1/2 of a day and within 30 minutes of mixing cement with a shovel on the ground and scooping it into wheel barrels I was so and dizzy I had to go outside for fresh air, which was not fresh at ll.. The water and running down the narrow street was from the suers so the smell was awful.. KUDO's KUDO's KUDO's to ALL the construction team, Mike, JR, Tom, Jim, and Vince!!!!
Amanda and Sarah worked for hours in the clinic and had incredible patience for the staff we were assisting.. They do things much different than we would but we took direction from them and did our best...KUDO's to the nurses on our team.. Sarah also helped Steve (our Dr) suture up a very deep wound in a little boys head.. It was open all the way to the skull.. He had tripped or fallen on the stairs.. Steve admited him into the hospital for the night and he left to get Xrays elsewhere as we don't have that equiptment set up at the hospital yet.. She also assisted Steve in suturing a boys hand which was cut pretty deep...
I was the help wherever need person, clinic taking vitals, bandage/dressing changing person, phlebotomist drawing blood for tests, PLAYING WITH THE CHILDREN while they were waiting to be seen, unpacking boxes, organizing, what ever needed to be done and I was available..
OOOOOOOOOOO and our construction-Videographer VINCE has gotten some amazing video with a huge nice movie camera and he will be sharing it with all of us once he edits it at home.. UPDATE, he is feeling much better now, he was our 1st team patient with the stomach virus and boy was it bad...
Well I'm glad I had a few minutes to get this blogged.. I feel terrible for telling everyone to read the bog but not contributing to it so here it all is in a nut shell (BOOK I MEAN).... Love and miss everyone.. Keep your comments coming.. Even tho we all don't have time to blog, WE READ EVERYTHING you write......AND APPRECIATE IT MUCH!!! HUGS N KISSES TO EVERYONE..
Donna, Dawn, George, whoever reads this tell Mom and Dad I said HAPPY 50th and wrote mom a short email to her yesterday.. Sorry I couldn't call them but was thinking of them ALL day since I remembered the date!!!!! HUGS N KISSES TO THEM ALSO!!!! :)
The drive to and from the beach was an experience that none of us will ever forget... We had the oppertunity to see more of Haiti, 2 hours worth on the way there and back... All I can say is WOW!!! Like I said Brant, I had flash backs of your videos from Iraq except no military present.. There were a few UN Police but not what I expected..If the video goes thru you will experience a small piece of what we saw..
This was 1 of the MANY MANY tent communities..