July 28, 2010,
I have always said that Haiti has a way of exposing my greatest weaknesses, while also giving me more opportunities than I feel capable to address and capitalize upon. Since I arrived in May 2010, much has been accomplished. Through the groundwork provided by a physical therapist from New York who was here during the entire month of April, coordinating small teams of physical therapists and prosthetists/orthotists, the work in the clinic has blossomed. So far, we have had 3-6 people on the rehabilitation teams (physical therapists, occupational therapists, prosthetists, orthotists, etc) who have been flexible, self-starters, competent clinicians, and fun people to be around. The inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation work has filled the entire day, each day. We have been able to make more that 60 artificial limbs or orthotics, with more the 80% of these being for person affected by the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
Being able to work within a professional/experience base makes providing an artificial limb, making a brace, and engaging patients/clients in physical rehabilitation therapy perhaps the easiest of most decisions that must be made here in Haiti. More challenging is
the work of sustainable development to help for the long haul. Most of the patients we see did not have any work before the January 12,2010 earthquake and in a country with at least 75% unemployment, most see no hope of getting work, especially if they have no
So, prayers are appreciated as the Advantage Program In-Country Advisory Board works to find some temporary relief and long-term help for our clients/patients in a way that will continue long after any of us are here to help.
On a personal note:
• Marvin & Carmen (the couple from Nicaragua who are CPO; Carmen is also a PT tech) and I have moved into our house. The electricity is too weak to even run a fan strongly and the inverter system has not yet been set up, so we have little electricity, no inverter, and “real” power only when we run our generator. So please pray that we get these problems sorted out soon.
• I have been very sick (was hospitalized over the weekend along with two other missionaries) with some kind of terrible stomach virus/bacteria that created violent vomiting and diarrhea. We believe this was “shared” with us from a team who came from the countryside. So far, of the 17 people involved, seven people have had to be hospitalized for fluid replacement and IV anti-nausea medication. Of the seven people, three were hospitalized in Miami on their return flight to the US. So, please pray for us that we can find the source and solution for this problem.
• For me personally… I have little “physical” reserve and have lost over 5 pounds as a result of this illness. Also, some small day-to-day decisions and some very big decisions need to be made for the immediate and near future. For now, I am trying to focus with a short term time line of 1-2 weeks and long term time line of 2weeks-1 month.
For those of you who are the “praying sort”, please pray for: open hearts and hands to share the love of our God with others; healing for all of us; settling into our home; making tough decisions with wisdom and love; planning for the immediate future The mission of Medical Teams International is “to demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world.” Pray that we will do this well!Thanks for your support. Please note that if you can and want to support the work financially, you can do so through:
Medical Teams International; ATTN: Haiti-Advantage Haiti Program; PO Box 10; Portland, O)R 97207; (800) 929-4325
Be sure to designate your funds to Haiti-Advantage Haiti if your desire is for the donation to come to the Advantage Program specifically.
Again, thanks for your prayer support! We need it….
Anba Zel Li (Under His Wing) Ps 91
Advantage Program Director