My prayer in preparation for this trip was that our team could somehow be the hands and feet of Jesus. That we might work well with the Haitian staff and be gracious as we entered their workplace. With our limited ability to communicate, I prayed that our team could offer love to those we met. Here is a bit of what I saw during my week as a volunteer team member:
At the end of a table there would be a physician and translator, who became a team throughout the week. As a patient sat down, the physician would lean in, offer a greeting and smile, and listen to the patient’s story. The doctors and nurses examined, diagnosed, consulted and treated patients with great tenderness. I saw patients cared for, prayed over, listened to and loved.
I saw a nurse offer compassion and love to a patient who was in extreme pain. Without hesitation, she found a quiet place for him in the crowded clinic where he could sit. She then tenderly bathed his wounded feet.
A mother walked eight miles in the heat with her 1-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter to come to the clinic. She and the daughter were sharing one pair of flip-flops. Once inside the clinic, she sent her daughter to buy a small plastic packet of water and slipped off the flip-flops so her daughter could wear them. She tucked her feet under her chair, clearly embarrassed to be without shoes. The mother took no water for herself. She soothed her son, nursing him until the doctor was ready. In the span of five minutes, I saw this mother offer all of herself for the good of her children. A Haitian clinic worker saw this beautiful selfless mother, got her some water and found her a pair of shoes. Her young son was treated and she returned to her home refreshed.
I saw women consult with a doctor about infertility, a pain felt deeply in every corner of the world. I saw the physician gently explain options, give hope where he could, and offer kind words to those who would likely continue to struggle with this problem.
I saw our Haitian translators catch winces of pain, prompt extra questions of the patients and, when needed, offer humor to ease the fear some felt. One translator in particular had a way of calming the crying children. It seems that regardless of the country, few children like to get their ears checked!
So very thankful that God answered my prayer.
By Marissa Newby, HFH board member