Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 10th--A refreshing children's home

What a wonderful time we had with Marie and Elizabeth at the El Shaddai Children's home were amazing! What a rest it was to drive a away from the noise and chaos of town to the peaceful breeze of the country. In a facility which is dramatic, especially by Haitian standards, is a glorious setting for the loving and raising of children. I found that these ladies are doing a fabulous job raising these kids but also pouring the love of Christ into them. The children were smiling, polite, happy, engaged in interacting with people of all ages. The older kids are focused in their studies. I had the honor of meeting Alex, who loves math and wants to study engineering. He is fluent in at least 3 languages. He was a great help in the pharmacy today and the adults marveled at his quick thinking and obvious intelligence. In addition to the mostly finished 7 bedroom house, there is a gazebo, barn, laundry shed, garden with irrigation and solar panels to run their limited electricity. They have a back diesel generator. God has blessed with with adequate food and water for the entire home. One of their supporting churches provides the salary for a full time gardener who assists with the grounds. There was a lack of desperation for survival in the eyes of these children that we had seen elsewhere in Haiti. This is a children's home, not an orphanage. The goal is to, when adults, return these children to Haitian society. In my opinion, they are building an A-team for Haiti!

We had clinic in the pavilion behind the house which will become church and with tarps for dividers for school classrooms. We saw more than 100 in the clinic from the community of kind, appreciative people. One baby in particular, was of great concern. He was the fifth child of a mother who had apparent cerebral palsy and mental deficits. She was kind and smiling, but treated the almost two year old as a tiny baby. She repeatedly swaddles him and does not encourage him to stand. The history was very difficult, in that she could only give answers which where totally unrelated to the questions. There is no social services infrastructure in Haiti, and once again, I became aware of what I take for granted in the US. Marie and Elizabeth have taken on themselves to help this mother with parenting, supplies and other needs she and the other children in the home have.

Upon examining the child, I found him listless in his mom's arms, only watching me. He was burning up with fever, and the rest of his exam suggested pneumonia. We decreased his clothing, gave him an Tylenol and sponged him off. He had an injection, given an treatment for a respiratory inhaler and was started on oral antibiotics with specific instructions for treating his illness. The ladies are going to check on this mother and baby frequently over the next week. The photo above was after his temp was done and he donned a washcloth on his head! What a cu-tie.

Marie and Elizabeth are praying for the physical and spiritual healing of their country. We completed our stay with them with an authentic Haitian meal. There are no common restaurants in town and most of our other evenings included waiting about 1-2 hours in a smoking, greasy diner on the UN campus. What a treat for us to enjoy good hospitality and great food, with people of have a heart for the Lord and are following His lead in their calling.

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