It’s been quite a while since I’ve written on this blog and I apologize for being out of touch. Cherlie and I feel that we have, indeed, been over the river and through the woods, but we’re not going to Grandmother’s house! We spent the month of November in the US and it was a busy time with lots of unexpected occurrences.
Our first stop was in Milwaukee where we had an FHH board meeting and visits with many friends and supporters. While there, we took a quick road trip to Sioux Falls, SD to visit with the Avera Health Operations Council. They allowed us to share with them the history of our ministry in Haiti and explain the many ways in which Avera Health has helped us to provide up-to-date health care to our patients. We got treated to a tour of the city, the Cancer Center, Emergency Department and corporate offices and had a wonderful reunion with many previous Avera visitors to Haiti. It was great to see familiar faces and get to know new people and Cherlie even got a quick (cold) ride on a Harley motorcycle!
Again, with Milwaukee as our base of operations, we took another road trip to Louisville, KY to attend the annual Medical Missions Conference sponsored by Christian Medical and Dental Association. We had a booth for Friends for Health in Haiti and met lots of young nursing and medical students who are interested in serving overseas in the future, practicing physicians and nurses who are open to short-term visits and organizations providing services that might be helpful to us in our clinic in Haiti. The “team” representing FHH consisted of Logistics Managers Ray and Donna Moon, Yvonne DuCharme and Director of Development Judith Romelus. They did a great job handing out FHH “freebies”, talking up the organization and our needs and getting contact information on all who stopped by the booth. Thanks from Cherlie and me for a great team effort!
On our way down to Louisville, we took a side trip to Bluffton, IN with a truck loaded with drums of medical supplies and equipment that are being graciously shipped to Haiti by Apostolic Christian Church’s Harvest Call ministry in Haiti. This is a huge service to us since ACC ships containers to Haiti frequently and allows us to include some of our supplies in the container, the contents of which are unloaded in Les Cayes, which is not far from Jérémie. Thanks, ACC, for your service to us and our patients.
In the midst of all the FHH-related activities, I received the shocking news that on November 4th, a few hours after I spoke with her on the phone, my 95 year old mother fell on her kitchen floor and literally broke her neck, C1 and C2, to be precise. The C2 fracture was somewhat displaced but she did not suffer neurologic damage, nor did she have any serious head injury. Her face was swollen and purple from bruising but her spirit was not diminished, nor her incredible memory and cognition. Surgery was considered in the early days after her injury but was not felt to be a reasonable option. After six days in the hospital in Princeton, NJ, her pain was more tolerable and she was transferred to a rehab facility. I was fortunate in being able to be with her for 9 precious days, during which she made tremendous progress and is now able to walk with a walker in spite of the large, hard collar around her neck. We hope she’ll be able to go home soon with a live-in caregiver. Needless to say, it’s been a stressful time for us as a family and all I can say is that I am blessed to have three wonderful siblings and a niece who lives nearby. All are sharing the load and it’s been a joy to be able to rely on one another’s strengths.
Cherlie and I are now back in Haiti, ready to re-open the clinic and resume our important activities here. Thanks to all of you for your prayers on our behalf. It is a privilege to serve the Lord here with partners like you all.