Once again, we have had an amazing week. I can already anticipate that I will have a hard time coming up with creative new ways to start my blog posts after teams leave because every week is an amazing week at Hope Center, Galette Chambon.
2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” This promise is evident every single day here where we are in Haiti. God just keeps sending what and who we need even before we realize we need them. I could list story after story of times when we recognized a great need here after a team arrived only to find out someone on that team specialized in that very thing. The cool thing is, that person said yes to God to come here having no idea how he or she would be used. It’s tremendous! It shows God’s hand in the big and the small things, and it shows great faith on the part of the individual who obeyed God’s call even without exact details about what he or she would do here. Once here, that person was able to “abound in every good work” that God planned for him or her to do.
This week we had another team from Pensacola. This group was from FBC Pensacola. They arrived on Sunday afternoon, February 15th and immediately got busy with the tasks they came prepared to do. Since FBC Pensacola is one of two churches that sponsor the orphanage, and they want to continue to develop a relationship of trust with not only the children but the workers there too, their priority as a team was to come to love on the children at the orphanage and continue preparing the space for the interns. They had a long list of items they wanted to accomplish, and as the week progressed, they crossed it all off. They were even able to do a few extra things up here at the Hope Center too that we were not expecting!
Another priority for the week was getting our clinic back up and running again. Now that we are registered with the Haitian government as a health care facility, we need to put into place a more detailed and thorough record keeping system. Even though it was quite a monumental task, this team helped us get our files set up. Mountains of forms were copied, hole punched, stapled, and recorded both on paper and in the computer so that we can begin keeping patient records efficiently. It was trial and error for a couple of days, but by Thursday, we were seeing our first return patients and were able to quickly locate their charts and follow up with their care! It was so exciting!
While team members Jim Hinson, John Hosman, Galen Counselman, and Matt Johnson worked on projects at the orphanage, several other members of the Pensacola team worked in the clinic. Dr. Gannon was our visiting doctor, and Lori Kizziah, PA, worked in the pharmacy. Karen Mabie & Susan Hill assisted Lori in the pharmacy, and Merill Ray, Kathryn Kizziah, Hallie Hill, and Anna Johnson all helped with triage and any other need that we came across throughout the day. Every single person that came through the clinic this week saw and heard about Jesus as each of these ladies and Dr. Gannon let Jesus use them to minister. Every day was precious.
On Thursday, the team loaded up all of the orphanage children and workers and took them to Club Indigo Beach for the day. The children had never been to the beach or to a swimming pool. They absolutely LOVED it. The team was able to play and splash with the children all day long building life-long relationships and memories.
Now for the surprise God had in store for us…. Lately we have been struggling with our Internet gobbling up data with no real explanation. It has been costing a lot of money to maintain our Internet and we had gotten to a point that we were hesitant to even use it. We have seriously needed someone that knows what they’re doing to look at our system to see if it can be resolved. Another need we have related to technology is a program that will allow us to put patient records in a database and be able to pull up charts when patients come in and compile research data to send to the Ministry of Health. We had searched for some medical recordkeeping software before we left the US in January, but everything we found was connected to the cloud. With our Internet issues, we certainly didn’t need to be dependent upon the cloud to keep up with our records. We had decided we would just have to figure out a way to use Excel to keep up with patient records. This was going to be very labor intensive and was not going to make it easy to find patient charts. Last week, as I knew time was approaching to open the clinic and keep records, I began praying that God would send someone soon who could help us figure out both of these problems. On day one of this week, we found out that team member Galen Counselman is an IT specialist and genius when it comes to technology, and team member Matt Johnson is also a technological genius who writes programs that can do just about anything you want them to do. Galen looked over our Internet and all of our computers and other devices to make sure nothing on them was silently running that could run up our data usage, and he resolved several issues that could have been a problem as well as researched a possible unlimited data plan that we can subscribe to. Matt sat down with Tony and Dr. Gannon to discuss things that our medical record keeping software needs to be able to do and said that he could have us a program written that would do everything we need it to do in no time. Yes, God knew what we needed, and he sent the people here to get it done. They didn’t even know that He would use them in this way when they came. …BUT GOD knew.
Before I sign off, I want to shout out a special WELCOME to our new intern Rachel Charpie. Rachel is a music therapist and she is going to be serving in our orphanage for the next two years helping coordinate team interaction at the orphanage as well as help create more structure between the staff and children at the orphanage. She is going to be a huge asset here, and we are so blessed to have her. We look forward to working with her over the next two years. We also look forward to hearing her sing in church as she has an AMAZING voice and loves to honor the Lord with her voice.
We are so grateful for all of the teams that come here and serve. Each week we are blessed in a unique way and God uses them to bless the people of this village tremendously. It’s hard to say goodbye, but we know that many of them will be back to love on the kids again, so we don’t say goodbye; we say see ya next time!! We love you!