2017 Medical Mission Trips
JULY 2017 Trip
The July, 2017 team began to evolve upon the arrival of July, 2016's team return to American soil. Six Pitt University Rehabilitation & Science students were integral members of last year's July team. Joe Schmitz, who headed up the student team, was incredibly impacted, career-wise and personally. He, along with MIVO, immediately went to work formulating a program and process whereby his fellow teammates would be offered a similar experience in July of 2017. And so....the largest MIVO team to go to the clinic was formed, long story short. This team of 6 Rehabilitation Science students, 1 med student, 1 nursing student, 1 surgeon, 1 occupational therapist, 1 physician's assistant, 1 nurse practitioner, 2 essential support staff members and 5 RNs were the first MIVO team to break in our new residence building on the property. What a pleasure! It was truly nice to have that physical break between the busy atmosphere of the clinic and the peacefulness found on the front porch of our new, second home.
From the beginning, we knew our time at the clinic would be busy. MIVO's Haitian staff had been scheduling patients for us to see since we were last at the clinic in April. Everyone was prepared for a "hands on" learning experience from beginning to end. And indeed, this preparation came in handy as the entire week was "all hands on deck" pretty much each and every day.
The patient encounters and divine appointments that came out of the 6 days of clinic are innumerable. 519 patients were seen with 10 major surgeries being completed. The team had prayed to God: to allow "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven". We wanted to be Jesus' hands and feet as we worked together, bringing the reality of God's love to everyone that we met. God indeed proved faithful to answer our prayers in countless ways.
When on these trips, each of us are encouraged to be in a state of readiness at all times. Even when we are not geographically at the clinic, people in need are placed in our path. One such event happened during an evening outing to visit Dr. Etienne's former home in the town of L'Estere. After an evening rain cleared, 14 team members decided to reroute and stop by a local soccer game. Upon pulling into the jam packed area beside the game, they noticed an energized crowd of people coming towards the MIVO van. In the center of the moving group were several men carrying an unconscious young man. They were attempting to bring him to Dr. Etienne. He had been knocked out cold during a man to man collision on the field. Dr. E. and Steve cautiously proceeded out to the limp man lying on the ground as the team stayed in the van praying for God's intervention. Upon initial assessment, this player had no pulse and was not breathing. Dr. Etienne re-positioned the young man's airway and was about to begin CPR, when Steve announced that he had found a weak pulse. After further assessment, the soccer player was carried onto the MIVO van. The soccer team and family / friends followed the van to the clinic. Upon arrival, the staff and team members sprang into action and thanks to the will and grace of God combined with the actions of the team, this young man pulled through. He was released from the Centre a few hours later under the care and watchful eye of his family. He sustained no critical, lasting injuries that we could assess! All glory and honor to our God!
Despite the intense heat of July and a few supply barriers, this team provided incredible love and care to each and every person they encountered. Even on the 3 outings into the community, children were held, the elderly were hugged, and physical care was provided. We also found that at times, we as team members were in need of one another. A team of this size was enhanced by everyone's flexibility and input into continual reassessment of day to day workings of our clinic. This was evidenced through personal touches and assistance provided to one another, be it from one team member to another, from the team to the team leader, or as a group, offering prayers to the Almighty as we each realized that we were in need of His continual help and guidance. We know that the Lord stretches us on these trips and "stretch He did". Many personal "firsts" happened during these days, both professional and personal. We hold these firsts close to our hearts. We also realize that each teammate, regardless of background, brings wonderful gifts to all involved. God's will is that we do everything as if we were doing it for Him. Love is to be our highest goal. And love, we did!
In closing, here is a comment from one of our July team members, "It was beyond what I expected. The number of people we saw inside and outside of the clinic was incredible. We all communicated so well and we were always throwing out positive encouragement to one another. I truly saw God in everyone this weekend and I felt His presence the whole time."
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