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Haiti Mission Trip January 2013
Carol Haisten went with the North American Haiti Partnership mission team Thursday, Jan. 17th, 2013.
The post come for different people on the team. As you follow these post, please keep them in your
prayers as well as the rest of the Team Members.
  They are leaving tomorrow (Thursday, January 17th) to return on Wednesday, January 23rd.  The team is: Lee Jacobs, Steve Vereb, Tom Judd, Carol Haisten, Luvenia Allen, Rob Gailitis & Charles & Lori Chase.  This team will be visiting several partners (pastors and ministry leaders in country) to encourage and look toward future ministry opportunities in a variety of capacities (construction, education, medical clinics, orphan care, etc.).  In addition to visiting and encouraging local leaders, the team plans to hold a few medical clinics including vision screening and providing eyeglasses for adults and also for children in an orphanage and school who badly need vision care.  
Please be praying for the team as they leave bright and early tomorrow morning.  Pray for safety while they are travelling and for flexibility to follow God's agenda.  As always, even with our own plans (going prepared is important after all), God guides our steps.  Pray that they will truly be an encouragement to those they come in contact with as they are the hands and feet of Jesus.
I will be sending out email updates to all of you as I receive them.  
Thank you for keeping this team in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.
In His grace,
Bekah Hamrick

Hello Everyone.  
Just a short note to let you know that the team arrived safely in Haiti - a little late (they got in around 545PM) but they are there.  
I'm sure I'll receive another update from them at the tomorrow and will send the information along to you.
Tomorrow morning, there is a meeting scheduled with the consulate to hopefully obtain a visa for the daughter of one of our dear ministry partners, Jean Baptiste.  JB is also the in-country trip coordinator for all of our mission trips.  His daughter needs to come to the United States to be tested and evaluated for her diabetes.   It was scheduled for while the team is there so Lee can speak on her behalf.  You can read her story on the NAHP website (  Please be praying that the meeting goes well and she is granted a visa in order to get the care she desperately needs.  
Additionally, the team is planning on visiting JB's school and providing a medical clinic there as well as encouraging the teachers and students.

Thank you for praying for the team.
Bekah Hamrick
Hello again.  I just received a text from Lee with this update:
Day 1
After a very early and very rainy trip to the airport, we had an unusual hassle-free check in time with six large canvas bags of medical supplies and children's backpacks from Edu-Pak in Atlanta.  Long but restful layover in Miami - also with heavy rain showers.  Arrived at sunset.  Hotel is great - nice rooms and very good food.
Meeting at the Embassy at 7AM in the morning.  Entire team will visit the local hospital after the embassy meeting to visit Jean Baptiste's wife who is ill and is there with an infection.  
We then plan to go to the school with 100 children - visit with them and then hold a medical-optical clinic.  Pray we will all learn how future teams can best serve and encourage these pastors and local leaders.
To bed early - we're all exhausted.
Lee for the team

Day 2
Sorry for my tardiness in sending today's update, but Jean Baptiste just dropped us off after returning from the hospital after a second hospital visit to see his wife Rosalyn.
Let's start with that report: We went back tonight because that doctor was supposed to meet with us. Not surprising, he was a no-show. I'm sure my presence was a little intimidating. Although it bothered Jean Baptiste, we really didn't expect to learn much.
Tonight her temperature is down after they followed our nurses recommendations for cool baths. She has severe deep bone pain throughout her body,  and is markedly dehydrated.
I believe she has Dengue Fever - common for residents who get repeated infection .  It is life-threatening when the patient gets so severely dehydrated. Now that we have given clear instructions on the medications we left her, along with necessity of drinking large volumes of 7-up, I believe she should make.
Please pray for her and her dear family - they are worn out.  I am planning to recommend that they take her home from the hospital tomorrow - there's no reason to stay.
Otherwise, we had an excellent day at the school. The nurses saw teachers and kids - several needing medical care. Charles and Steve provided 19 total (13 children) with long distance in addition to readers. Several had terrible vision. What a wonderful ministry. Clearly we need to get optical teams here at least annually.
...but I was not at the clinic until late in the morning; I took Jean Baptiste's 11 year old daughter to the US embassy to request a visa to go to Georgia. She is a juvenile diabetic.
However, she needed a passport-size picture for her visa application.  Not a problem since there were some Haiti entrepreneurs on the crowded sidewalk with a printer hooked up to a car battery. Nice pictures.
As we were going to the entrance, Jean Baptiste gave me the packet and told me he would be waiting in the car. I was a little surprised - actually quite surprised - but he said he was told a visa was more likely with me as the requester. 
At any rate, after 30 minutes of forms and security clearances, we went into a large room with a gigantic line with no obvious beginning. Fortunately  a nice security guard sent me to a "medical" visa line instead (I'm sure being American helped) and we waited 10 minutes instead of 5 hours. Whew!
After spending time with a clerk at one window going over the application, we were sent to meet with an officer. After presenting my passport and the application, this American lady looked up and asked, "You were born in Frankllin County Vermont." At first I thought it was a test(!), but then I learned she grew up 15 minutes from my birthplace St. Albans. Then she noticed my Kyrgyzstan visas and we chatted about our common experiences since she was stationed there!  I know I shouldn't have been surprised, but I still get amazed when I witness how His miracles. He loves us so much.
Well, with such intervention there was no doubt in our minds the visa would be granted. We were told we needed two more documents but there should not be any problem granting the visa!  You can imagine how thrilled Jean Baptiste is - what an emotional day he has had.
Tomorrow we will visit a pastor who we have come to know well. We will hold a clinic and visit his tent making job site - he does dental work.
Please pray for the Jean Baptiste family - and for the team's health.
Good night from the Palm Inn 
Lee for the team

Haiti 1/17-23rd Day 3 (1/20/13)

Greetings from Haiti.
All is well - and everyone on the team is well. Group has really come together - very focused but flexible - one of the main prerequisites for any short term missionary.
Team grew by one as Tom Judd joined us. Tom will be here a week - with us until we leave then will spent the rest of the week teaching bioengineering here.
Well another day that went well but much was not as we planned.

At breakfast (6:30am) this morning I told Jean Baptiste that I thought he should take his wife home. The doctor had gone to her room after we left last night and stopped the medications we had started. Since she was getting no therapy whatsoever - she might as well go home where we can manage her. This was a very difficult concept for a Jean Baptiste to comprehend. To make a very long story short - I went with him to ask the opinion of a local doctor he trusted. After describing my observations with probably more passion then was really needed - he thankfully told Jean that the hospital was not the place for her.

We then went straight to the hospital and brought her home. We saw her again tonight. With the medications and the instructions to get her to drink at least 4 bottles of 7-Up, she now has a good blood pressure while her temperature is down to 101. We added codeine tonight and will attempt to but injectable pain medication tomorrow. The severe deep muscle and bone pain is the hallmark of Dengue Fever - often called "breakbone fever". Pray for resolution of this difficult illness - as you can imagine - she is worn out.

While I was running around, the team provided care at Pastor Clerzius' church. We have known him for several years - a real servant in his community.
Luvenia and Lori took care of several patients - many with real high blood pressure. Carol did her usual excellent job as chief pharmacist.

Steve and Charles worked in the balcony - made and distributed 13 glasses and about 25 readers. Among the patients was the chief of police and his two kids - one with Downs - who needed glasses. They were so very appreciative of the care they received. An older woman who needed major correction was all smiles when she could read her Bible.

Overall, this service underscored the main reason we are here - to encourage the local pastors - the real community leaders here.

I should add - the team walked down the street to Pastor Clerzius' dental office. This is his tent making job - a dental practice in which his primary tool is a Dremel. He sure could use better equipment.

After lunch at a little mall, we went out to Onaville - a property that Jean Baptiste purchase to build a church, school and hospital. This is the vision of Jean Baptiste - his real passion. It was so special having the experience of Rob Gailitis on the trip. Rob knows Caribbean construction - material as well as the all important cultural considerations. Rob had some suggestions on the approach to the foundation that had already been undertaken. We are meeting tomorrow with the engineer who has been advising Jean Baptiste. Understanding the complexities of building in Haiti is one of the primary objectives of this vision trip. We really want to encourage a quality building program - and thankfully The Lord put Rob on the team.

Tomorrow we worship at Pastor Diseuseul's church and then will hold a clinic in the basement after. We'll make a couple of visits during the day to check on Rosalyn.

Thanks for your prayers. Please know we value your support!

Good night from Haiti.
Lee, for the team

Haiti 1/17-23rd Day 4 (1/21/13)
Good Sunday evening from Haiti!
We are doing very well - the team is healthy, sleeping well, and eating too much Haitian food. 
 We had a wonderful morning of worship at pastor Dieuseul's church.  Overall 200 people attended. The choir was amazing. You don't have to know the language to be moved; a very special experience.
Only "challenge" during the morning was when Pastor Dieuseul called me aside to tell me the guest preacher would be very late and asked me if I could preach. He thought 35-40 minutes would be good....  Total reliance on the Holy Spirit!
Following the service, we moved the chairs and brought in tables and held a clinic. The optical team was the busiest - they provided lots of glasses and received lots of grateful smiles in return.
The nurses and pharmacy also worked hard.  Several very high blood pressures requiring treatment. Pastor Dieuseul 's wife is a nurse and we so we gave her a large supply of anti-hypertensives to provide refills until another team returns.  
Before returning to check on Rosalyn, we went to a pharmacy to find some injectable pain medicine. Prior to going, we discussed what we felt would be the best option and decided the safest medicine for her would be Tramadol - effective and safe.  Turns out they only had one injectable pain medicine and it just  happened to be Tramadol. 
I am pleased to tell you that Rosalyn is doing remarkably better. After the hydration and pain management her temperature is down and her pain is less. She finally got some rest last night after the pain pills - first time in a week.
She even smiled for a few minutes. What a change after being 104+ and completely unable to move. You can only imagine how relieved the family is.
We are so thankful to God for the progress - to Him be all the glory!
A quick comment on the traveling: We have gone a lot of places and have spent a lot of time together in the van. However, we actually haven't gone very far. The terrain is mostly steep hills and the roads are dirt and stone with continuos pot holes.  We have to go real slow and so cover very little ground.
Team members have mentioned more than once that they hope the constant vibration from the bumps would neutralize the large number of calories from this superb Haitian food.  Might be a little wishful thinking...
Finally, Rob and I had dinner with Jean Baptiste and an building engineer. Jean also brought along his friend to translate - a believer who is the chief of police in Onaville. I thought Rob did an excellent job communicating his experience, his observations of Haiti structure, and his desire to submit suggestions on the building plans for Jean Baptiste's church in Onaville.  
All in all day 4 was a busy day. Tomorrow we will visit Pastor Dieusuel's school and then visit Samaritan's Purse.
Thanks again for praying for this team. All of you back home are very important to each of us here in Haiti.
Good night from Haiti.
 Lee, for the team 
  Continuing 1/21/13~
 Haiti 1/17-23rd Day #5

Good Monday evening from Haiti.

Team is doing well - staying healthy and learning more about ministry needs each day.

Started the day by visiting Samaritan's Purse in Cite Soleil.  Cite Soleil is an extremely poor, densely populated community.  Although we thought it looked like the ghettos in Port-au-Prince, our translators told us that the tent city slums of Port-au-Prince have only been there since the earthquake and Cite Soleil has always looked this way.

Samaritan Purse  (SP) has been in Cite Soleil since the earthquake. The reason for our visit was to learn more about the medical community from a well known and respected organization. 

An RN from Minnesota gave us a tour of the facility. This SP project is funded by Samaritan's Purse Canada. Security is tight since Cite Soleil is one of the more dangerous communities in Haiti. The facility is very small - just 10 exam rooms - and focuses solely on primary care.  The clinic is staffed by local doctors who are mentored by North American physician volunteers. Because of the tiny facility, they are very limited on how many North American doctors they use, and for that reason, despite an exceedingly high demand and needs in the community, they are not looking for large numbers of volunteers. So while the visit was fruitful, we were all very surprised that an organization with  such an international reputation has such a limited presence in Haiti.
We then went just down the road to a school run by Pastor Dieuseul.  Basically it is in a small building in a very impoverished area. The children gave us a great reception. Several of the present teachers had previously attended this school.  We were shown areas of the school that have not been used since the earthquake because the heavy, thick, block ceilings were falling in. While Rob was pointing this structure out too us, it became clear to us why so many of the children at school through the Port-au-Prince area during the earthquake could not escape the falling ceiling cement blocks. 

Later we visited Rosalyn.  She is doing so much better - today without fever and with good blood pressures - and is sitting up. It has been a tough journey for her and Jean Baptiste. As a matter of fact, we encouraged Jean Baptiste to stay home today and be with his wife. 

I spent some time with a young Haiti man who I met previously when he translated for us.
He asked to meet with me because he is so discouraged - he and his young wife have now been living in a small tent with dirt floors since the earthquake three years go. Despite this situation he is running feeding program and bible study for close to 50 kids. Quite a young man.

The team was back at the hotel by mid-afternoon to rest. Tomorrow is a full day since we will be driving north to look at property that the Haitian church in Lawrenceville is purchasing for a clinic. We will then spend the rest of the day at Reformation of Hope - an orphanage, vocational school and other impressive ministries. We plan to provide care for 70 kids and 12 teachers in addition to our discovery time.

Again, I want to assure you that the team is doing very well. I think we all believe that this model of combining service (Four 1/2 day clinics) and learning/discovery is very effective.
As you all probably have heard, the team's number one objective for this trip was to encourage our pastor friends - and I think that is going well.

Please keep praying for Rosalyn and Jean Baptiste.  Also pray for safe travels and an added boost of energy for the team because tomorrow will be a long day.

Good night from Haiti!
 Lee for the team
 Just a note on Samaritan's Purse - Lee is forgetting they have a large orphanage and school in Haiti.  Not sure if they provide medical care there, but can't imagine that they don't on some level.  ~ Deb

Haiti 1/17-23rd Day #6  1/22/13
Good evening from Haiti

Our last evening here - heading to the airport in the morning.

As advertised, a long, tiring day - but a day full of memorable experiences.

We stopped by to check on Rosalyn. Thank the good Lord, she has continued to improve. Although her convalescence will last a few weeks, I am expecting a full recovery - something I didn't think would be likely when I first saw her when we arrived.

We then visited a building site for a rural medical clinic sponsored by the Haitian church in Gwinnett. They have asked us to design and assist in building this clinic.  The site looked great, so we should be able to move ahead with the building.

From there we traveled a short distance to an orphanage run by Reformation Hope. Pastor Jean Paul, who used to live in Marietta, started this home for kids who were living on the street after the earthquake. At the beginning, as you can imagine, the kids physically and emotionally were in tough shape.  Today, as evidenced by our screening medical clinic, the kids look great. The nurses cared for the teachers, and as we have seen throughout the week, the optical team was very busy.

We had lunch at a restaurant that was started through a micro-enterprise ministry at the church. 18 people now work there and now are able to attend school.  The fried chicken was excellent.

We had a great final evening meeting together. We all feel this has been a wonderful week  - and every team member is committed to continue on with involvement in Haiti.

Tomorrow we will pack up and head to the airport at 11:00am for our 1:22 flight. I have an early meeting at the pediatric hospital, and Lori will do a final home visit with Rosalyn.

I've enjoyed sending these evening updates, but they are just glimpses of our experiences; the team will give you several more detailed observations and learnings.

On behalf of the team, thank you for all of your prayers and support. I realize, that while the week has flown by for us, for you back home time has probably gone by slowly . So thanks!

By the way - how will YOU build on this Haiti experience?  Can you come here? Can you help financially with the needs you have heard about?

Please pray for Haiti!
Lee for the team - one last time
**One last note from Lee to add to clarify a portion of his note from last night...
A clarification from last night's update: I definitely didn't want to downplay Samaritan's Purse here. I was referring specifically to their medical ministry - their orphanage is outstanding!


Final note from Lee and the team.  Their flight leaves tomorrow (Wednesday).  
Please pray for safe travels.
Bekah Hamrick