Haiti Medical Missions — Clinic Day 3

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? …It is God who justifies… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–Romans 8:32-39

 
A view of what our patient population has become
Photo credit: Don, on Darcy’s cam 😛
 
Today’s day was a ton of firsts. The first time our team separated since arriving in Haiti. The first time our students spoke up to share during our nighttime devotion, which was SUCH an encouragement. The first time several people who had no idea about Christ, were able to experience Christ in their lives. In a trip such as ours to a country with as much of a destructive loss as Haiti, it’s still easy to get discouraged by small things, small setbacks, small roadblocks in our attempts to help the people here. As one of our students, Emmy, got to share during our fellowship tonight, it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the things we want to, but can’t do to try to alleviate the incredible poverty. Yet God is at work. And something we have to remember over and over again is this… if our God is with us, what could EVER stop us?
 
With almost half our providers going to the orphanage, Steve and Rick heading off to scout a potential future ministry site and a half staff remaining at clinic, it was hard to know what to expect today. There were a couple of discouraging moments to start off: one of our members felt sick and had to take the day off. The people at the orphanage were at a shortage of translators, so for a good two hours (at least), they couldn’t communicate with the kids. There was a lack of water at the orphanage. However, God had a plan to use those setbacks to create one of the most powerful sharing nights on the trip so far. By the end of the night, there was hardly a dry eye to be found.
 
One of our children’s ministry leaders, Emmy, was the first to share about her reaction to Haiti as a result of today. And God used some of the setbacks at the orphanage to stir a change in her heart. Because the providers were so overwhelmed at the orphanage, Emmy was able to fully experience just how helpless she was to help these people.  The need is too great. But what we can do is share the gospel, and that is one of the best and most wonderful thing we can do for these people. This set off a cascade of similar feelings and stories from providers and non-providers alike, and we all were led to share stories of finding beauty in brokenness.
 
Another example of God at work was the fact that today was overwhelming for both the physicians at the orphanage and the physicians at the clinic alike, but because of the large patient to provider ratio, our students were able to see patients on their own, pray with patients on their own, and even bring to Christ some of the patients on their own (with a referral to the pastor afterwards : )) To see God change not only the lives of the Haitians, but also the lives of our team members…this was a powerful encouragement, to both the first-timers and the more seasoned people on this trip.
 
It always amazes me the extreme passion and richness these people, who are down to sometimes close  to nothing, have for Christ. The hunger they have for knowing Him, for relying on His provision and for giving them hope of a beautiful, amazing life in Paradise after death. At least 5 people heard about the gospel and prayed to receive Christ today, truly by God’s grace alone. And then there are their stories. A small sampling:
 
  1. Marc saw a women who excitedly proclaimed God had come to her in a dream after 7 days of fervent prayer and said to her that she would be healed of her years of suffering from cystic lesions on her skin that very day. And God led her to our clinic. When Marc performed the procedure for her, she kept exclaiming how God had answered her prayers. It caught Marc a bit off guard, but it just goes to show how God uses us, even when we least expect it, to carry out his will!
  2. One of Keith’s patients came in with an ulcer on his hand. When asked if he knew Christ, he said ’yes’, hesistantly. Further questioning revealed that his mom was sick; went to a witch doctor who ‘treated’ her, and she died 4 months later. Because of that, he wanted to believe in Christ, but didn’t think he was ready for it completely. After they went through the Evangecube though, he wanted to accept Christ right then and there. As Keith shared, God let this guy turn a small wound into a large one in order to bring him to clinic in order to receive Christ. Reminder: we cheat God a lot by NOT sharing with our patients.
  3. Cody’s story: He got a chance to talk to one of our Dominican team members today. Slowly, he learned her mother died early of breast cancer; she was raised by her father until 13, when he raped her, multiple times, until she coudn’t handle it and ran away. She had nobody to love her; nobody to take care of her. She also has breast cancer and just went through chemo. Yet despite all that, she was here in Haiti to share the gospel. Wow. It’s a reminder that every time you spread the gospel, the gospel message is not limited only for these people; it has the opportunity to be shared with their children, with their children’s children, and on and on. Forever.
 
And I could go on forever…

To top it off, Matt shared a devotional with us today on the story of how Jesus feeds the 5000. It was eerily cool how closely it tied into the feelings of our crew tonight. In the classic story, Jesus takes 5 loaves of bread and some fish from a small child and uses it to feed the 5000. The disciples doubted; they were skeptical at the meager offering and exclaimed not even months and months of wages could feed that many people. Yet as they distributed the bread, God multiplied it, and at the end they even had leftovers. In the same way, our role is like the small child. We are also merely humans on this earth who can only contribute a meager offering in comparison to the overwhelming need that is present. However, as long as we obey, God can use our tiny contribution for His glory.
 
It is crazy how only one week has passed, but we’ve seen more than 600 patients. More importantly, we’ve been able to see a total of at least 10 people hear and accept Christ into their lives for the first time. How amazing is God’s provision!  Some prayer requests as we finish up this week:
  1. For one of Dave’s patients today who came in looking really sick, with ascites, pitting edema, rectal prolapse and anemia and who he sent to the hospital. That she will get the care she needs and be nursed to health.
  2. For the people who prayed to receive Christ today—that they will thirst to learn more about him and get involved in a church/supportive community of believers in Haiti
  3. For our patients today, that they will be healed of their sickness; that the medications we gave them will run their course
  4. For Bill and Steve, who are still at the other site and will join us again tomorrow afternoon
  5. For the church service at New Life tomorrow, as we get the priviledge to worship with the congregation there!
  6. For our team members, that we will remain healthy (the one who fell sick today is much better after a day of rest!) and continue to be moved by the Spirit to carry out God’s will here!
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