First of all, thank you for your prayers! Today was a great one and we really can credit your love and support for helping to make it happen.
Our team was split into two today. A few of us went to a little community called Drouin, which was about 4 1/2 hours away. It was the site of the cholera outbreak last month, so we were taking every precaution heading into the area. Drouin was a totally different Haiti than the one that we see in the cities. The terrain was beautiful but the location was *remote*. It reminded me of driving along the canals in South Florida, but instead of nice water, it was just brown and filthy. Cholera was keeping the residents from their normal routines of bathing, washing, and cooling off in the river, but life has to go on. If there was no other water, they were still forced to use it for their basic needs.
The purpose of our visit was to meet two local pastors. They were in charge of both a church and a school for the neighboring children. We were able to spend some time with them and found them to be as beautiful and shy as the city kids. However, they were children marked with tragedy. We noticed a few of the children wearing black instead of the cheery blue uniforms of the others. We asked why and were told that meant that they had recently lost someone close to them. One girl lost her 21-year old sister to cholera. Another just lost her father to a different disease, but even in their tragedy, they were still able to laugh with the others. However, one other thing that we noticed was that as we were taking their pictures for our Help One Now initiative that when we asked them to smile, they didn’t seem to know how — really! If we could get them to laugh, they would beautifully. But several of them just couldn’t quite get their faces to do this very simple thing; it was like they had forgotten how from lack of practice. Of course, the life they lead does not create many smiles.
The medical team spent their time in Kenscoff ministering to the community there. The dental team pulled over 50 teeth, and Jason was proud to declare “there were no screamers!” Altogether, they saw 180 people today and the list seems long for tomorrow. The Haitian people live with pain on a daily basis because they have no idea of anything different, so it is always amazing to see someone’s face after they are given medicine or when one of the doctors can fix what is not working.
We always set up a prayer corner where the patients can go after they are treated if they so desire. The stories that emerge from those are always challenging, but there was one 81-year old woman that really blew our team away. She lost every single family member in the earthquake. Savannah found out that she had been a believer for a long time and asked if she was ever angry at God for what happened like many of the people we see. The woman was surprised and responded “Why? My God is no different today than he was yesterday or the day before.”
I do not know how to relate to people that have had to dig their family out of rubble or have had to watch a family member die of a disease that would be treated in a matter of hours in any decently-equipped modern clinic. Nor have I any way to understand the concept of forgetting how to smile. But, my God is no different than theirs and I hope that one day I can trust Him the way that they do.