Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 3 in Haiti: Tiny baby

Most of today was spent working with Sister Gladys, one of the founders of Canaan Christian Community. She needs lot of administrative help. She not only runs this place but she also is in charge of about 150 churches. Her father was a prolific church planter and these churches have stayed in contact and basically made an association.

For many of these pastors this was the first time they had ever been to Canaan.

The most heart-wrenching story of the day was one of a premature baby.

Born about 12 days ago, the baby was released from the hospital and basically sent home to die. The doctors told the parents that the only hope the baby had was to buy some formula to build up its nutrition. But a relative – not even the parents – brought her into the clinic today. She weighed less than two pounds.

The dad, not seeing the point of paying for something that would most likely result in death, had condemned his daughter to die without even trying. The mother was most likely malnourished. Reality is harsh here. Life and death part of every day.

Elsie, who is in charge of the clinic, and two of our volunteer nurses went to Port-au-Prince to try to take the baby to the hospital. She was turned away from at least three hospitals before one agreed to take her.

Of course, that is also dependent on the money provided by Elsie and the medicine that they had to leave the hospital to buy nearby. Even then there were about 60 babies in this one area of the hospital.

In spite of this harsh reality, you see hope here. Many times when Haitians build they leave room for growth to a second floor. On the drive here and even here on campus, the buildings have rebar and plumbing pipes sticking up from the roof – looking toward growth in the future.

We ended the day without me taking a shower – again. Our water-soaked floor became even worse with the sink leak and the toilet overflowing. I did not want to have to wade through “water” to get a shower. Maybe tomorrow. There is always hope.

It was too late to try to go somewhere else so I went to bed dirty again.

If this is the worst I have to deal with I feel very fortunate.

More photos.

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