REENTRY IS THE HARDEST
Here are my top 3 (they all seem to satisfy equally well):
- We got a lot done. Saw 1,262 people.
- I got the frig installed.
- The weather was nice.
It is a little bit strange, coming back or experiencing culture shock in reverse. Reentry is always the hardest. Long warm showers are always a blessing, who knew that the ability to always flush the toilet could be such a luxury.
I ran across a Franciscan benediction that I thought was appropriate.
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships – so that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people – so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war – so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world – so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen. (Franciscan Benediction)
I especially like the last line, about being blessed with enough foolishness to think you can make a difference. Well, that was certainly true of this team… you made a difference, good job to all.
Steve Bressler (“Seto”)
BLESSED MY EYES
It has taken me a while to process!!
Hope: I found hope in Terre Blanche. HFH is making a difference in many ways.
Community: One person can make a difference but when we join together – God multiplies our efforts.
Seeing: From Frederick Buechner – “He laid his hands on me and blessed my eyes to see God’s image deep in every man.” I saw God in all of you, in our Haitian friends, and in all we encountered both inside and outside of the clinic.
There is a story about a child finding stranded starfish on the beach and so he was throwing them back into the ocean. A man stops and tells the boy that he can’t possibly make a difference because there are just too many to save and the boy replies, “I made a difference to that one,” as he throws another one back in the water.
That story sums up what happened with Anelson, a malnourished 17-month-old little boy brought into the Clinic of Hope by a desperate mom on Monday. He was dehydrated and in severe need of medical care. By Thursday, he was able to sit independently and was alert enough to have eye contact. He went home on Saturday morning. His life was saved by concentrated care by a pediatrician and a nurse on our team. It doesn’t get much better than that!
There were other stories that should/could be told and many can bring tears to your eyes. The difference made during a week working in Haiti is a two-way street. We help the Haitian patients with medical care, but they enter our hearts and open our eyes to what really is important in life.
LIFE-CHANGING TEN DAYS
Terre Blanche is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Every morning I woke up and drank my cup of coffee on the roof and watched the sun rise up over the mountains and in the background I heard our patients singing Haitian songs while they waited for the clinic to open. It was priceless.
I wish I had the words to describe how amazing this trip was. It was the most amazing/tiring/meaningful/challenging/life-changing ten days of my life. We saw over 1,070 patients in five and half days.
1. One sad recollection is when Dr. Joe discovered a mass instead of a fetus in a young lady. Both the young lady and her mother were fighting back tears of sadness and stress – but so was I.
The good part is that now she can proceed. Hopefully, have this resolved; and then, hopefully, have a successful pregnancy later.
2. The last patient Dr. Joe tested that day showed a mother was going to have twins.
3. Again many little kids (cutest ever) holding hands with us as we walk around the village. One little boy was helping me as we crossed the dam. Just like a longtime friend he was there really trying to protect me. You just have to love all those children as they show love so easily.
SENSE OF PURPOSE
- It was so good and so much harder than I thought it would be.
- I felt a deep sense of purpose and autonomy.
- My biggest fear going into the trip was connecting with the team, and my biggest joy in coming out of the trip was connecting with the team.
- We were so well loved by the Haitians who cared for us in the clinic.