There is no doubt that Haiti is a difficult place to live and work. Many of the things that we take for granted in the US are lacking or limited here in Haiti – things like electricity, clean water, good roads, internet access, etc. So, we learn to make do with limited resources and to protect the precious resources that we are given. Acquiring medical equipment and supplies and shipping them to Haiti, bringing them out from PAP and getting them up the mountain to our clinic can be a logistical challenge. It is truly a situation where “anpil men, chaj pa lou” (many hands make light work). Below is an instance of people working together for the good of our ministry and the people we serve:
We recently were given permission to have some medical equipment and supplies shipped down to Haiti through HarvestCall, the mission outreach of the Apostolic Christian Church (ACC). ACC is now responsible for managing the mission hospital (Hopital Lumiere) where Cherlie and I previously worked in the 80’s and 90’s, in partnership with the MEBSH church denomination. ACC has a large warehouse in Bluffton, IN and regularly ships containers to Haiti with medical equipment and supplies for the hospital. We had some supplies in Milwaukee that we packed in drums with the help of Don Richmond, Ray and Donna Moon and Yvonne Ducharme in April when we were in town. Then, Cherlie and I, along with my mother Virginia, went with the Moons to IN to deliver them to the ACC warehouse. At the same time, other large medical equipment was donated to us by the Avera Hospital system in Sioux Falls, SD and shipped to IN. It all arrived at the warehouse at the end of April and was shipped on a container to Haiti a few weeks later. The container was cleared through customs by ACC’s very competent broker and staff and delivered to its Construction Department in Cayes, Haiti. We were notified that the shipment had arrived and made two trips to Cayes from Jérémie (three hour drive) to pick up the equipment from Brent Wagenbach, an ACC missionary, who did a wonderful job in getting the crates loaded onto our truck with a forklift. We then brought them out to Jérémie and up to the clinic.
Unloading two crates from the truck, each weighing over 1400 pounds, without a forklift presented a logistical challenge. We figured it would take at least 15 men to even lift the crates, much less move them off the truck and put them on the ground without dropping or tipping them over. Here’s how the process unfolded:
Deciding how to get the two large, heavy crates off the truck and onto the ground outside the clinic.
Contemplating moving the crates from the truck onto a pile of plywood where they could be opened and unloaded.
We decided that even if the first crate could be pulled onto the plywood, it would most likely tip over before it could be moved onto the clinic porch and unloaded. So, we decided to take the crate apart inside the truck and unload each item separately. Our helpers did a wonderful job and within a couple of hours, both crates were unloaded and all the equipment was safely inside the clinic buildings.
Taking equipment off the truck with the help of local Haitian men.
Carrying a heavy operating room light into one of the storage depots.
Carefully taking an infant isolette (for future use in a maternity center) off the truck.
Infant warmer safely in one of the clinic rooms.
We give thanks to the Lord first and to everyone who helped in this process. You are all wonderful!
We especially want to thank the following people:
Micheal Stebbins and Kathy English and the Avera Hospital system, SD
Brent Wagenbach, Mary and Bob Honegger, Cindy Shorb, Gary Barger with Apostolic Christian Church
Ray and Donna Moon
Our Haitian staff and workers who helped unload the truck