2016 Medical Mission Trips
This last trip to the Clinic, in the midst of a busy fall, proved to fit into God’s fulfillment for a bountiful harvest.
Hours of preparation: individually, as a team, and as an organization went into the success of this last trip. Thank you to everyone who played a part, either through donations, logistics or prayer support. We all know that prior to a fruitful harvest, one must till the ground and plant as instructed. There was an air of uncertainty as we were unsure of what to expect with Hurricane Matthew having ravaged through the western portion of Haiti just weeks prior to the trip. Alas, the clinic and the L’Estere area were spared major damage or loss of life. We were extremely thankful.
With 7 devoted team members including 2 surgeons, 3 nurses and 2 support staff, we were a busy crew! Everyone hit the ground running as people gather early in the morning on the Centre’s porches, awaiting their turn to be seen. Our Haitian medical staff were there to lend a hand and register everyone. They are critical in laying the groundwork for the forthcoming harvest. New patients’ information is gathered and surgeries are scheduled. All in all, a total of 473 patients were seen, 19 surgeries were performed and 123 new patients were registered with the Centre.
Two MIVO firsts included the celebration of holy communion during our worship time on Sunday morning and then Shonie, one of our nurses, sang “The Lord’s Prayer” to a packed waiting room on another day at the start of clinic. Even during harvest time, scripture shares that the focus needs to remain on the Lord, regardless of the work at hand.
Children were a memorable portion of this team’s encounters. Stanley, our teenager with severe knock knees had two separate surgeries (osteotomies) on two different days in order to repair his legs so that he might be able to walk aright and without the use of crutches. Dr. Etienne and Dr. Triantafyllou were a wonderful pair during this intricate procedure. Many of you, as well, already know the young earthquake victim who was fitted for a prosthesis by Dr. Sicuranza during a former trip. The tip of her left stump needed to be reshaped so that it would be able to support her weight through a prosthesis. Her surgery was successful as well. Successes are many, yet those turned away remain in our hearts. Many patients come with complaints of acute pain following Haitian orthopaedic surgery, and when we review their x-rays we can clearly see why they suffer. All too often, the hardware placed at the time of surgery is not in the correct place or had shifted. Bones fail to heal correctly without the proper alignment. Also, there are the young patients with major long bone fractures which would require general anesthesia for repair. We come together as a team over these patients, praying for a miracle, praying for enhanced capability to do more involved surgeries in the near future at the center.
For this writer, the theme of this trip was truly the harvest. One of our hired security guards heard a team member praying with a patient. As the evening closed, the guard quietly approached one of the translators and shared that he, too, wanted to say a prayer like he overheard a patient say earlier. He wanted to give his life to Christ in a way he had not done in the past. What a privilege to pray with this young man! You see, wherever one is, whatever he or she does, one is never sure who is watching; who is listening. You think you are simply praying with the person in front of you. And then you find out different. We are a team thankful for answered prayers, for safe travel and good health. We felt God’s love over us, through us and in us on this past trip. As we read in Isaiah 9: “You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest…” May each one of us continue to rejoice as we plan for continued harvest, near and far.
Farmers needed to do their part in planting to be able to reap (Prov 6:8). But the focus in harvest revolved around the product and the work of the Lord in bringing it to completion. Even during harvest, the Sabbath rest was to be kept so that the focus would remain on the Lord (Exod 34:21-22). Of course, great joy accompanied the harvest (Isa 9:3).