2016 Medical Mission Trips
The April MIVO team united together to bring care to over 600 patients with the completion of 24 surgeries. Our skill sets and backgrounds vary, yet when folks come together with servant hearts, one quickly sees that the team has been hand-chosen. We encountered challenges with higher acuity and with the sheer volume of patients requesting to be seen over our first days of clinic. With teams coming down every 3 months and our MIVO staff in-country preparing for these days, we hit the ground running. Dr. Etienne was the only surgeon on the team, so he was kept quite busy. Many former patients are now returning for follow ups from surgeries or casting. As the close knit community becomes more aware of what we offer, the Centre is receiving more referrals from outside sources. Our 7 team members learned from one another as different situations arose and we developed an awareness of each other’s strengths. One cannot function alone in this chaotic yet wonderful setting without a constant exchange of questions and answers, laced with doses of humor. Our days began with devotions and sharing while our evenings often closed with conversations of the day’s events. We were blessed with team members conducting an informal worship service prior to opening the clinic on Sunday. Several MIVO firsts included a father and daughter combo on the team and the patients in the waiting area were serenaded by a team member playing the ukulele.
Dr. Etienne and his team were able to perform the most acute surgery thus far in the Centre’s history. He successfully performed an above the knee amputation for a middle aged man who had suffered for several years with an ongoing, painful wound which refused to heal. The gratefulness of this man was beyond compare. He will continue to be followed by the Centre, and in months ahead, will be fitted with a prosthesis. Countless other patients enter the Centre, filled with hope of recovery; seeking solutions to ongoing problems. There are hours filled with joy and praises to God as parents hear their children can be helped. Grandparents can walk out, on their own now, with a walker. Yet, there are moments that challenge us all, when there is not a surgical or medical solution. We find one another and encircle the families for prayer. Tears are shed, yet God’s love is felt. The patients and families realize they are not alone. This team offered so much love in so many ways. With four of us repeating team members and three first-timers to the Centre, we agreed it was difficult to leave. We are a special, peculiar family, united by the events of the past week. We cherish each other, and the people of Haiti. We rely on the God who created all things and whose Spirit continues to renew the face of the ground. (Psalm 104) May He rest His favor and His healing hand upon all those whom we have been so privileged to encounter.