Welcome to the Healing Haiti + Eagle Brook Mission Blog. We invite you to follow mission team members as they experience what God is doing both through them and in them while in the mission field of Haiti.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Saturday, July 28, 2012
much to be done
Today has been one of the hardest days of the trip, there is so much that occurred today and so much to share.
We ended our work today at the home for sick and dying children. I have been fortunate to encounter a nurse from the states several times this week. The nurse is currently volunteering at the home for sick and dying children and has been to Haiti numerous times to volunteer in the past 10 years. She told me that she feels so honored that God has chosen and allowed her to make this trek and to be called to work she feels so passionately about. I was able to have a conversation with her today as we were holding children in the outdoor courtyard. One of the first questions I asked was what types of things does she get involved with while staying in Haiti... what is her day to day life like when she ventures on her three week journeys here. She explained the structured day of the home for sick and dying children which begins with prayer. Next is off to give medication, feed, bathe, and take care of the children... which is a cycle that continues during the day until the late evening. The nurse also makes trips out to the wound clinic when it is held during the week. She debrides rotting flesh, cleanses infected wounds, lances abscesses, prays, and encourages hope of the patients she encounters. But what most took me back is what she does faithfully every Thursday while in Haiti.
She made a point to gather donations and supplies for the Haitian people while she is back home in the US... but the supply she struggles the most to gather are body bags. Every Thursday while in Haiti, this nurse who has dedicated her life to the living, buries the dead. She ventures to a local morgue that is filled with bodies of people who have no known loved ones or who's family and friends can not afford to pay for a funeral. When the body is turned over to the morgue, there is no protocol for placement. The body is placed in a room with many others... there is no table or specific space for each deceased. Sometimes the morgue is stacked with the corpses waist high; some naked, others so far along in the decaying process that feet and hands have started to fall off.
She carefully takes each body and places it into in a bag. Many infants can fit into one bag or a thin adult can have other children placed with him. She told me that this Thursday was particularly difficult for her. There was a small boy that looked so healthy that she could not believe he was even dead, those that had loved him had placed a tiny pair of clean new looking shorts on him. Another was a baby girl who had a crown of flowers placed on her head.
After being gathered, the dead are then taken to a cemetery where a burial with prayer, music, and respect are provided. The nurse told me that she feels drawn to the ministry because God thinks that each of our bodies is important enough to house the soul therefore each body is important enough to have a funeral and be lovingly buried...not placed in a shallow mass grave in an unknown location.
I stood back after speaking with her and realized that this is a ministry I hadn't even considered. So many things I take as basic universal human rights that are unable to be provided here. There is so much to be done that I wonder how anyone could ever really make a difference. But then Matthew 25:40 comes to mind, " And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.'" God does not say that He measures how many lives we are able to change in one attempt. I have been foolish to not act due to being overwhelmed or not feeling as though I could make a large impact. God has not called me to change the world, but to foster His love and compassion in my daily tasks and to be a blessing to others through each gift He has provided me.