Tag Archives: birth

God’s Power Working Within Us…He is ABLE

This week we returned to the states because we are about to embark on a new and exciting adventure. We are not leaving our current role as missionaries at Hope Center, but rather God is leading us down a path that will enhance that role in a way. It is exciting to see how God has been planning and preparing us for this, and now it is about to happen!

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Today’s post is actually about my amazing husband, Tony. This trip to the states is about his future as a health care provider, and I am so excited about what God is planning for him next. As most of you know, he has a degree in Nursing and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. Since moving to Haiti, he has been called upon to perform a wide range of activities related to health care that pretty much run the full gamut of all things related to health care provision. He does everything from cleaning the clinics to delivering babies, and he does an amazing job! I have never met a doctor who has come to Hope Center that didn’t have full confidence in Tony’s ability to perform all of the things he does and who doesn’t respect him for doing what he does in the field. His ability to diagnose and treat illness and injury is truly a gift from God, the Master Physician. It is absolutely amazing to me to watch him at work, and the people he cares for – both young and old – absolutely love him.

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I have said before that whatever God calls us to do, He also equips us and provides for us so that we can do His work. It is a promise he gives in Philippians 1:6 where it says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” He has definitely always done that for us so far, and we have no reason to believe He will not continue to do just that. God has been up to something big for a while now in our lives, and every day it just seems to get bigger!

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At this time, God has called Tony to continue his education through an online Nurse Practitioner program offered by Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Today he is sitting in a classroom for the first time in over ten years and he is beginning his journey to becoming a Nurse Practitioner. It will not be easy to add this to his very extensive list of responsibilities he already has at Hope Center, but we are confident that God will make a way and He will provide the resources, stamina, and capability to get it done. It is interesting how it has all come about.

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A couple of years ago, Tony met an instructor that was visiting Haiti who works in this exact program. She told Tony that he should consider getting into the program to enhance his skills as a medical provider as well as better qualify him to do the things he often finds himself doing in the clinic at Hope Center. He began to pray about it, and doors began to open. Recently he found out that he had been accepted into the program, and today is the day the journey begins!!

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If you are reading this blog post, then I know that you are a supporter of our ministry at Hope Center in Haiti. You either have served there personally, you pray for our ministry, and/or you support But God Ministries in one way or another. If you follow our work, I know that you see what a huge ministry we have there. Children are going to school, families are being fed, people are receiving routine health care that improves their quality of life, people are being healed daily, lives are being saved, and God is being glorified in the many souls that have come to know Him through the efforts of everyone that serves and supports Hope Center in Haiti through But God Ministries.

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I also know that through all of this, you know that Tony is one of the most gifted, dedicated, and hardest working individuals in both health care and on the mission field. He gives everything he’s got to glorify the Lord in service to Him. I think we are all pretty much amazed by the things God does through him.

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So now I am asking you to PRAY. Please pray that God will continue to guide Tony through this journey, equip him to accomplish what He has called him to do, provide the support he needs to help carry the load, as well as the support he needs to pay for this degree program, and the encouragement he needs to finish strong. This education will ultimately broaden the scope of Tony’s ministry as a provider and in turn allow him to help many, many more people in his call to serve our Lord in Haiti.

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We thank you so very much for following our ministry in Haiti, and we especially thank you for praying for us. We put all confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ to lead those He has chosen to support us in various ways to answer His call and do just that. So every time the Lord places us on your mind, please stop and pray for God to give us strength, peace, stamina and provision. If He prompts you to sign up for a mission trip to come help us carry the load of ministry in Haiti, then do not hesitate to get on a team that is coming down. If He prompts you to help support us financially in this endeavor, then we ask you to follow through with the instructions below. Whatever God asks you to do, please know that we value every form of support and we cherish the role you play in this ministry.

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God’s plan just keeps getting bigger and bigger and more and more exciting, and it is such an honor and blessing to be a part of it. It still just blows my mind that we are doing what we are doing and that we GET to serve in this way daily. We could never do it on our own though, and we certainly don’t want to. We give God ALL the Glory!! Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to HIM who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…” He has definitely exceeded our expectations in Haiti! It is ALL HIM, and we seek to Glorify Him in everything we do. We are all just body parts…allowing God’s power to “work within us.”

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If you are led to give towards helping us pay for Tony’s school, just go to the But God Ministries page and click DONATE and then create an account, and on the drop down menu click NURSING MINISTRY. In the ADDITIONAL COMMENTS line, put TONY SCHOOL. We are trusting and waiting on the Lord for provision. Tony made his first monthly payment to Samford this week and God provided EXACTLY what we needed to do that. It was actually more than we make in a month! Wow. The next day, we had to order books and received a text telling us that same amount was being deposited into our account! HOW ABOUT THAT FOR AN AMAZING GOD!! He is ABLE!!

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God Continues to do AMAZING Things!

I tell myself all the time that I need to set aside more time to write, but if you have ever spent time here at Hope Center, you know that time is a precious commodity, and time to write is rare. I do recognize the importance of communication though, so I am always looking for opportunities to sneak off and write a post. Today I am going to try really hard to get this done because there is SOOOO much I want to share!

Hope Center....

Hope Center….

As I sit here typing, I can hear the sounds of Hope Center outside my door, and they are ever changing and ever encouraging. The sounds are more quiet today than usual. I hear Fedna singing as she washes sheets from the clinic. I hear the wind blowing through the papaya trees, and I hear the rooster crow and chickens answer back in unified clucks. There’s a lone mother goat outside the wall calling to her two newborn kids, and it brings a reflective smile to my face as I remember how excited the team was last night to be able to hold one of the baby goats in their arms after church. The team has gone up to Thoman for a hike to the river, and Tony and Vladimir have gone to Leoganne to take baby Francesca to see an orthopedic surgeon who we are hoping can help her with her feet. The house is quiet,and I am savoring the opportunity to remember and write.

Some of you may be wondering who Francesca is. She is one of several patients that God has led us to help in more extensive ways because they need more care than what we can give in the medical clinic here. Francesca was born without feet. We believe it was caused by amniotic bands that twisted around her ankles during development and caused her feet not to develop. One leg still has an open wound on it and the other is completely closed off.

Baby Francesca born without feet because of amniotic bands.

Baby Francesca born without feet because of amniotic bands.

After taking her to a local hospital, we have been providing wound care and education to her mother and aunt every day. Last week, God led me to contact Mike Wilson with My Life Speaks over near Leoganne. I simply asked him for advice since he deals with special needs children all the time. Lo and Behold, he said that an orthopedic doctor would be in town this week as well as an infectious disease doctor who could both take a look at Francesca’s legs and make a plan for her care. Once Tony and Valdimir arrived in Leoganne with Francesca, the doctor told them that there is a doctor in Texas that is going to start making prosthesis for children who are referred to him by Mike. Mike said that Francesca will probably be his first patient, and he is going to do it all for free! Praise the Lord!!

Francesca and her aunt

Francesca and her aunt

Every time I have an opportunity to stop and think about everything going on around here, I am overwhelmed by the many ways God is moving in our village and through our ministry. It isn’t US that is doing these things. It’s GOD who is constantly moving, providing, and building this community in astounding ways. WE are not capable of doing what’s been done here. We are only instruments that He uses to answer prayers, bless lives, and build His kingdom. It’s amazing…..

Besides Francesca, we have been working hard to advocate for several others that have come to our attention and been given special provision through the Hand of God. A few months back we saw a little boy named Daniel in our clinic and Tony diagnosed him with an umbilical hernia. I found out that some general surgeons were going to be doing hernia surgeries at a nearby hospital, so I made contact with the lead doctor there and he asked me to bring Daniel to the hospital for the surgeons to examine. I ended up taking Daniel as well as his brother and another boy named Brayence to see the doctors, and it was discovered that all three had issues with maldevelopment of genitalia. Daniel’s brother received surgery already and Daniel and Brayence are now having tests run and are scheduled to have surgery in August. God has provided in miraculous ways!

Daniel and Brayence while on their way to see the doctor

Daniel and Brayence while on their way to see the doctor

Another patient I would love for you all to be praying for is Graycey. She was born the week that FBC Madison was here and she and a baby boy were born here on the same day! Two days later, Graycey’s parents noticed something wrong with their baby and they took her to a nearby clinic because ours was closed. (It must have been on a Wednesday) The doctor at Love a Child referred her to a cardiologist in Port au Prince and he did a sonogram and EKG. They discovered that Graycey has a heart defect. She apparently has fluid build up around her heart. We contacted someone with Haiti Cardiac Alliance and they have agreed to take her case which means they will do her surgery for free! Please be praying for Graycey and her family as they wait for her to be old enough and weigh enough to safely have the surgery she needs. She has to be six month old and weigh 8-10 kg. Pray for God to hold her steady until then!

Graycey and her family before going to see the cardiologist for a workup and referral to Haiti Cardiac Alliance

Graycey and her family before going to see the cardiologist for a workup and referral to Haiti Cardiac Alliance

Since my last post, Jesula has continued to see the doctor at Bernard Mevs Cancer Center and has now started chemo treatments. Her breast cancer is still horrific, but it is slowly but surely shrinking, and the last time I called to check on her, her voice was much stronger and she sounded hopeful. She is now staying with a family member closer to Port au Prince, so they are getting her back and forth to the hospital. This is a huge relief and answer to prayer!!

Jesula has a terrible breast tumor that has to be cleaned daily and causes her intense pain. She is now receiving chemotherapy in a cancer center in Port au Prince

Jesula has a terrible breast tumor that has to be cleaned daily and causes her intense pain. She is now receiving chemotherapy in a cancer center in Port au Prince

Many of you have been praying for a young lady named Marise for over a year. She was the 11 year old who came to a mobile clinic we did in Thoman last year and she had two bones sticking out of her leg from an injury she experienced two years prior!

Marise and her sister when she first came to our mobile clinic in Thoman.

Marise and her sister when she first came to our mobile clinic in Thoman.

The next week I showed her picture to a doctor from Meridian named Dr. Freddy Grant. He was horrified by what she must go through every day climbing up and down the mountain to get water for her family. God burdened Freddy’s heart for Marise, and he began praying for God to make a way for him to help her. Last week Freddy came to Haiti, hiked with Terry Warren to find her in the remote village where she lives, explained to her mother that he had found an orthopedic surgeon willing to help her, and they all went to Carrefour to do the surgery! I cannot tell you what a huge miracle all of this is – for it to all take place in ONE WEEK!!

Sweet smile Marise gave Dr. Freddy Grant before her surgery

Sweet smile Marise gave Dr. Freddy Grant before her surgery

Many people in remote villages do not believe in modern medicine, so for Dr. Grant to convince Marise’s mother to go with him, a total stranger, who has told her she may not return to her village for over a month, is huge. I believe the many people who were praying for God to move in this situation were very instrumental in keeping the enemy at bay and placing a God-given peace and trust in Marise’s mother’s heart to cooperate with the plan.

Marise getting ready for surgery on her leg

Marise getting ready for surgery on her leg

Now Marise is in recovery from her surgery.

Marise in the hospital in Carrefour being prepped for surgery

Marise in the hospital in Carrefour being prepped for surgery

It went incredibly well and she was actually released from the hospital today! She and her mother have a place to stay in Carrefour as well as transportation back and forth to the doctor for follow-up care. All of their meals, lodging, and transportation has been paid for by generous donors that Dr. Grant contacted before the trip. There is a pastor there in Carrefour who is allowing them to stay with him and his wife, and they are looking after her care. All of these things do not come together so smoothly on their own. God has moved in a miraculous way! Thank you for praying for God to move in this young lady’s life. He is answering your prayers!

We also had several teams that built houses for families in our village. A group of girls from Natchez built a house for one of my English students and his family. The team from Beersheba Pres built a house in the village for an elderly couple and their grandchildren. And the group from FBC Jackson built a house for Bicly’s uncle who was living in the same mud hut he was born in over 50 years ago. And then the Team from Pensacola built a house just last week in our village! There is nothing like the feeling of handing over the keys to a family who has been living in deplorable conditions and seeing the look of joy and thanksgiving on their faces. God is so good!!

Some of the girls from the Natchez team with Nicoderm and his family after they built their house

Some of the girls from the Natchez team with Nicoderm and his family after they built their house

Beersheba Pres Team in front of the house they built for a family in our village

Beersheba Pres Team in front of the house they built for a family in our village

FBC Jackson group in front of the house they built for Bicly's uncle in our village

FBC Jackson group in front of the house they built for Bicly’s uncle in our village

Teams that have come in the last couple of months have built school desks, cabinets, chicken coups, and finished the terrace garden. It absolutely amazes me how much hard work and buzzing around teams do when they are here. One of the newest things we have added to the agenda here is a Motherhood Seminar. The lack of education in our village regarding childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care is detrimental to healthy births and child development. We have asked God to lead one team per month to host a seminar that covers pregnancy to newborn care and everything in between. So far we have had four seminars and the response has been tremendous! We invite up to 20 pregnant mothers for each seminar and they have learned so much that will be helpful for them and healthy for their new baby! The teams that have done seminars so far have been Freedom Christian Fellowship out of Gautier, FBC Brandon, Beersheba Presbyterian, and Colonial Heights. They have all done an incredible job! We are looking forward to seeing many positive outcomes from these seminars!

Motherhood seminar at Hope Center hosted by FBC Brandon for women in our village who are expecting babies

Motherhood seminar at Hope Center hosted by FBC Brandon for women in our village who are expecting babies

It amazes us how many professionals come here to Hope Center and use their skills and profession to minister to people in our village. We have had plumbers, carpenters, electricians, business professionals, educators, medical professionals, and the list goes on and on – all giving of themselves and their expertise to minister to people here. Below are some pictures from when The University of Alabama Culverhouse School of Business came and helped people in our village with business plans and computer programs!

Culverhouse School of Business students working with people from the village on business plans

Culverhouse School of Business students working with people from the village on business plans

The UA Culverhouse School of Business working with people from the village on computer programs

The UA Culverhouse School of Business working with people from the village on computer programs

As But God Ministries seeks to help grow the economy in our village here, more and more people are being blessed with the opportunity to make an income with their own gifts and talents. Two men from our village doing just that are Makil Geoffrard and Nathan Fenelus. Makil has been doing very well with his chicken business as he incubates eggs and grows the chickens to sell. Last month he sold over 100 chickens! Nathan is a tailor and he has started Nathan’s Shoppe Tailleur d’Espoir (Nathan’s Tailor Shop of Hope). He has started making pencil bags for DotProducts and they are selling very well! He has already started working on his second big order!!

Nathan showing off the pencil bags he made for DotProducts #entrepreneur

Nathan showing off the pencil bags he made for DotProducts #entrepreneur

Makil's chicken business is BOOMING! He is praising God for provision.

Makil’s chicken business is BOOMING! He is praising God for provision.

Recently we had a huge eye clinic and dental clinic here. The dental team from Lake, MS, led by Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth, saw hundreds of patients and pulled even more teeth. I cannot tell you what an instant relief this is for someone who is in intense pain and cannot eat or even sleep because of it. They come here swollen and crying for help and they leave here completely pain free! While they are here, they hear about the love of Jesus and how God has provided this clinic and these resources as an answer to prayers in our village.

Jimmy Hollingsworth and friends from Lake, MS, hosting a dental clinic

Jimmy Hollingsworth and friends from Lake, MS, hosting a dental clinic

Last week we had a huge eye clinic. An optometrist named Lauren Eaton came with the Colonial Heights team and they saw hundreds of people, giving them eye exams and glasses if they needed them. They saw one pastor who was pretty much legally blind and could hardly see to go up the steps into the clinic. When he left, he had a pair of really strong glasses, and for the first time in years, he could see everything in front of him! He was praising Jesus for such a wonderful gift of sight!

This sweet man entered the clinic blind and left the clinic able to see!!

This sweet man entered the clinic blind and left the clinic able to see!!

Several of the team members who were entering records on the other side of the room said theirs was the best seat in the house because they got to see the looks on people’s faces when they could see well for the first time in years. What a blessing that was! Praise the Lord!!

Lauren Eaton from Colonial Heights team doing an eye clinic

Lauren Eaton from Colonial Heights team doing an eye clinic

The teams that have come in the past couple of months have been AMAZING! What am I talking about?…. ALL of the teams that come to Hope Center are AMAZING! I am not sure if I have group pictures of all of them, but here are a few….

FBC Madison team getting ready to head home after an amazing week of ministry

FBC Madison team getting ready to head home after an amazing week of ministry

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FBC Jackson Team before leaving Hope Center heading home after an amazing week of ministry

FBC Jackson Team before leaving Hope Center heading home after an amazing week of ministry

FBC Brandon group in front of the church

Finally, one of the highlights of our year has been the opportunity to share our home and ministry with family. We can explain all day long what it is like to do God’s work here in Haiti, but to be able to actually share in that work with the people closest to us is just extra special. Our summer began with a very special treat when our son Jonathan and his sweet wife Katelyn came to spend five whole weeks with us!!

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They hit the ground running by working in the pharmacy, helping with English class, helping with VBS, helping host a double wedding, and even got to help deliver a baby or two! The team here this week just commented on how organized the pharmacy is and it is because Jonathan and Katelyn got in there and cleaned it all up and rearranged some things to make it easier to find things.

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We got to go on a three day adventure with them to Jacmel and made a very eventful trip down to the little town of Belle Anse where we got to pay a visit to our friend Brittany Hilker at Reimagine Haiti and sweet Betsy who many of you have been praying over for a year now! Betsy’s recovery from malnutrition has been phenomenal and it is your prayers and God’s provision that have made all the difference in the world for her!

Katelyn and Mickie with Sweet Betsy when we went down to Belle Anse to visit

Katelyn and Mickie with Sweet Betsy when we went down to Belle Anse to visit

It was an absolutely WONDERFUL five weeks with them and it ended with a week spent with the entire Meeks family and the Colonial Heights Team. There are no words to describe how amazing it was to share the week with family like we did. We are so thankful that Jonathan and Katelyn were able to spend so much time here with us and even more thankful that Katelyn was able to have her family here too! This week we have Jacob and Madison here with us, and they will be here for the next three weeks! We are beginning to get very spoiled!! We will post pics of them at the end of their stay.

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Once again, I want to thank you all for the part you play in our lives here at Hope Center. Your prayers and support help make things like these happen every day here. Lives are being changed, souls are being saved, people are being healed, and God’s love is shown every single day here……at HOPE Center.

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Our First Hope Center Baby!!

Friday, February 8, 2013, started out like any other day at Hope Center. It was the last clinic day of a long, tiring week, and both Tony and Vladimir were both looking forward to finishing the week and enjoying a restful weekend. As usual, Tony got up early and went down to the clinic to set up and pray for all of the patients he would see throughout the day. Soon Vladimir joined him, and the two of them prayed together before telling G to let the first group of people in who had been waiting patiently for the clinic to open. The day progressed like any other, and as the sun began to kiss the mountain top of Petionville, there were twelve patients left, and it looked like they may even finish early. As Tony looked outside to call in the next patient, he noticed a woman making her way through the gate and slowly approaching the clinic. She was a mother in labor, and immediately Tony realized that this was not going to end up being just another ordinary day at Hope Center. This was a day he had been praying about for many months. It was the day that the first baby would be born at Hope Center. Suddenly he wasn’t tired anymore.

Tony holding the first baby to be born at Hope Center

Tony holding the first baby to be born at Hope Center

He met the woman half way as she progressed through the courtyard and helped her into the clinic to get her comfortable before taking the next patient. He helped her to the exam room in the back of the clinic where he could assess her and then let her rest in privacy while he finished with the rest of the patients waiting. Shortly after arriving, her water broke, and after checking her again, Tony told the mother to prepare for a long evening because she was not dilated very much. She then explained to Tony that she didn’t think it would be as long as he thought because she tends to deliver quickly. Realizing she sounded like she had quite a bit of experience in giving birth, he asked her how many children she had. Her answer was six! This child would be her 7th! A bit of relief came over Tony as he realized that his first delivery would be with a pro.

Baby care

After a little while of resting in the back room, the mother decided it was time to get up and walk around. Tony helped her down and out the door and sent her into the courtyard to walk around with the gentleman (midwife) who came with her to the clinic. Tony resumed seeing the other patients, looking forward to getting them all taken care of and on their way so he could focus on delivering his first baby. Suddenly, with three patients left, the security guard came to the clinic door and said, “You better get out here. She’s having the baby.” Tony told him to get her to come on back into the clinic so she could have the baby in the room he had prepared for her. Then G replied, “No, she can’t. She’s having the baby now!” So Tony rushed out to find the mother in the courtyard, with the midwife hovering over her, and the baby already on it’s way! There was no time to move inside the clinic. Mama was right! She was delivering fast!

Tony and the midwife tend to the newborn baby

Tony and the midwife tend to the newborn baby

He rushed to her side to help the midwife with the rest of the delivery and take care of the beautiful baby girl and mother.  After getting the baby all cleaned up, he put some drops in her eyes and handed her over to her mother. It was the most amazing feeling. A baby had been born at Hope Center! Tony went to the storage room and picked out a few baby girl outfits and a newborn blanket and returned to baby and mother.

Tony found a cute little dress and blanket for the baby.

Tony found a cute little dress and blanket for the baby.

Shortly after giving birth, the mother was up and walking around, preparing to walk back home to the rest of her family. Amazing! This woman had just given birth to a baby between 7 and 8 pounds, and now (after many pictures and celebration) she was about to walk home! Now that’s a miracle right there folks! This mother of 6 arrived at the clinic in labor and two hours later she had given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl and was now walking home with her baby! Our Hope Center pastor, Daniel, gathered everyone together and prayed for mother and child before sending them on their way.

 

Tony prepares the baby to go with her mother

This is the mother (who just gave birth!) preparing to make a 20 minute walk back to her house with her baby!

Tony returned to his last three remaining patients, thanked them for patiently waiting, tended to their needs, gave them each a pack of crackers and sent them on their way as well. What started out as any other day at Hope Center Clinic, ended up being a very special day. God had blessed us with our very first Hope Center baby! Certainly not an ordinary day!

 

Things rarely go as planned in Haiti, including birth. Here's Tony's neatly prepared delivery room....AFTER the baby was born....still untouched. Ha!

Things rarely go as planned in Haiti, including birth. Here’s Tony’s neatly prepared delivery room….AFTER the baby was born….still untouched. Ha!

Tony plans to go visit mom and baby tomorrow, and she wants him to help them name their little girl. He plans to suggest they name her Hope because she represents what God has brought to this village through Hope Center. God has given the people here Hope, and He is blessing the lives of countless individuals through Hope Center. God is good…..ALL the time!

What a blessing! What a miracle!

What a blessing! What a miracle!

 

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February 9, 2013 · 6:31 am