There have been quite a few blogs written lately by Engineer Nick Matthews. I thought I would write now about some of the recent activities of our clinic in Gatineau.
We have been blessed by having some medical personnel visit with each team of construction workers this winter. Some of them were practicing clinicians, including 5 physicians, some were nurses, others were paramedical personnel and some had no medical background, but big hearts. They all chipped in and helped us with a variety of tasks, learning something about life here, the culture in which we live and work, our patients and, most importantly, the ministry God has called us to here in Haiti.
In January we had the privilege of hosting a group of 14 (!) from my home church in Kingston NJ and some other nearby Presbyterian churches in the New Brunswick Presbytery. The group was led by Dr. Jim Horn, interim pastor of Kingston Presbyterian Church (my home church) and Elizabeth Schultz, associate pastor at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton NJ. Jim’s wife Linda, an RN, accompanied the group. Also from Nassau was Dr. Dan Everitt, an internist who is presently working with the TB Alliance and his artist/pastor wife Paula. Dan helped with patient consultations at the clinic and Paula spent countless hours writing out medication bags and pre-packaging medications. Cathy Davis, Dean of Students at Princeton Theological Seminary and her son Ben were also part of the group. Ben is a high school student who’s interested in medicine, so he spent some time observing Dan and myself in the clinic (when he wasn’t playing with our 5 new puppies!). Also in the group were architect Tom Lee and educator Marcia Van Dyck. John Heironymous was here from Hopewell Presbyterian Church, whose women have donated many “pillowcase dresses” that we’ve been giving out to our young patients in the clinic.
Carpenter Bill Voorhees, Robin DeGutis, Janet Rubenstein and her daughter Megan Caley, from my home church in Kingston, made their third visit to Haiti to help us and were thrilled to see that our house construction is finished. Their first visit here was in October 2007, a month after we had moved in on the first floor. There are now two additional floors on the house, including a guest floor with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a kitchen and balcony looking over the ocean.
Here’s a photo of the NJ group in our living room:
Here are the puppies:
Pillowcase dress from the Presbyterian Women:
At the end of January we had a visit from FHH Board President Dr. Gregory VonRoenn and his friend and former office partner Dr. Daniel Tanty. They were here at the same time as the first Elmbrook construction team (see previous blog). So, while the Elmbrook team was doing carpentry work, Greg and Dan were busy helping see patients in our clinic. Greg has been to Haiti many times, and this was his fourth visit to our clinic in Gatineau and Dan’s second visit.
FHH Board of Directors President Dr. Greg VonRoenn examining a patient:
Dr. Dan Tanty talking with a patient (L) and interpreter (R):
Early February brought a team from Oakwood Church, led by Neal Meitler. Carpenter Aaron Luebke kept the men busy, while Cherlie and I had help from nurse Debbie Brooks and physical therapy assistant Rachel Luebke. In their spare time, they did inventory on our donated medical supplies and packaged lots of medications:
The end of February brought the second team from Elmbrook Church, led by Dr. Ellen Klandrud. The team included nurses Beverly Samplaski, Dawn Johnson, Karen Kuzik and Susan Kern. Dr. Ellen helped with patient consultations at the clinic and the whole team pre-packaged medications, wrote out medication bag labels and helped organize the pharmacy room in our home.
Here’s a photo of the “medical women” from Elmbrook Team #2 with Cherlie and me:
Although he worked with the carpenters during his time here, visitor Marc Schulz agreed to help us work on developing a data information system that we can use in the future to track patient information and use the information to better serve our patient’s needs. Here’s Marc assisting with carpentry:
The third team from Elmbrook, in early March, included physician Dr. Timothy Buchanan, a family physician from Milwaukee. Tim assisted with patient consultations while nurse Phyllis Blodgett helped Cherlie with nursing care. Other team members, including Mary Ann Lee, Ruthann Kastello, Margaret Matthews and Russ Tolman helped out in the pharmacy and at home with packing medications.
Dr. Tim Buchanan (R) taking a patient history with interpreter Alix (L):
Russ Tolman in our clinic pharmacy:
Phyllis (L) and Margie (Nick’s mom) (R) packing medications:
Mary Ann (L) and Ruthann (R) doing data entry in the computer:
While these visiting groups were here, we were blessed to have with us Joyce Throness, a missionary with Worldteam, the mission organization I previously served under. Joyce is a “missionary kid” who was born and raised in Cayes, Haiti. I got to know Joyce on my first visit to Haiti in 1973 and we’ve been friends since. She worked with Cherlie and me at Hopital Lumiere in Bonne Fin as the director of the guest house there. She’s a great cook and did a fantastic job in running the kitchen during the time these visiting groups were with us.
Here is Joyce in the place we loved to see her: the kitchen!
We appreciate all of these visitors and the hard work they did while here with us in Haiti. More importantly, though, we feel blessed by them as people and we appreciated the dedication they showed to us and our ministry. We felt privileged to have them assist us in doing the work of the Lord in this land. Many thanks to them and to all who supported them in prayer!