Yes, I know it has been almost forever since I've updated the blog. Life has been busy, but that really hasn't been the real reason I couldn't write. The real reason is our internet, it has been so bad lately I couldn't get on long enough to update the blog. I finally was able to get the company based in Port-au-Prince to make the trip out here and fix it. Now we are back to incredibly fast internet, and I've spent the past week getting caught up on all the e-mails and other types of communication that I had pile up over the past few weeks. I feel all caught up now, and am ready to update you all on life here at the HOH!
So, first things first. Cholera. The numbers of new cases at our hospital have decreased greatly. Not enough to eliminate the need of the make-shift cholera ward, but certainly enough to allow life to feel like it's getting back to normal. Although, as is common here in Haiti, "normal" has changed once again, and cholera seems to have become a permanent word in our vocabulary, and a pretty fixed part of our lives. With fewer cases, and the feelings of threat seeming to have diminished it's easy to get lax in the precautions we have put into place to avoid it entering our home. We are so thankful no one has gotten it here, but we constantly have to keep on the kids to keep it that way. Previously, no one would eat before washing their hands. Even 4 year old Nani was obsessed with hand washing. No matter what it was that you gave her to eat, she'd say, "I haven't washed my hands yet". The other day, Linda reminded her to wash her hands before eating and she replied, "I don't need to wash my hands, the cholera is over"! Well, reality is, it isn't over and while we are thankful we haven't had it in our home, many others are still suffering.
A friend of ours who is a nurse had it hit her family last week with a vengeance. Her 34 year old brother came down with it. Within just a few hours he was almost dead. He recovered from the Cholera, but the day he was discharged to go home he came down with a secondary complication that we have seen several times since the epidemic started. His body slowly started to become paralyzed from the feet first working it's way upward. Just last week we lost one of our nurses here at the hospital from this same thing, but this time the Dr.'s knew what it was. They came to Linda and I on Sunday night asking us to come up with a way to get this young man to PAP so he could get on oxygen before his lungs became paralyzed. We worked long into the night, and then again on Monday morning. Finally, we were able to set up an emergency flight with MAF. By Monday afternoon he was in a hospital in PAP. He is still very critical, and could use your prayers. Our friend's name is Clenide, so you could just pray for her brother, I can't remember his first name off hand.
I wanted to give you an update on Terrence, since several of you have asked me about him. If you don't remember, he's the young man who has Myosthenia Gravis. He's been staying here at the HOH since he returned from PAP back in July I think it was. He has had an amazing recovery. It's been slow, little by little. First he was able to eat again, then slowly start to move his hands. In the last couple of weeks he's been able to start moving his legs, and then one day surprised us by starting to walk all on his own! He is still weak, but he is putting on weight and starting to join in on activities around the house. I found out from one of the homework assignments I gave him in our Bible studies that he wants to be a pastor some day and preach God's Word. I never knew that! How exciting it is to watch God spare his life, and go on to form and shape his character during these past few difficult months. Thank you so much for your prayers on his behalf.
It feels like the kids have been on vacation forever! To keep busy, some of the boys decided to redecorate the babies' room here at the HOH. When they had completely covered the walls and ceiling of the babies' room they went on to the wall between us and the hospital. Our home has been transformed into a "Disney" and "Pixar" wonderland by some amazing art work done by the boys from our community projects. Here are a few pictures...All in all, a pretty incredible job! And our house is looking like a very happy place!
While the community kids have been making our house all nice and pretty, our kids have been busy working in our local community to bank up their community service hours in exchange for their upcoming school fees. They should start school on Monday, we tend to preface everything with "should" or "might" these days. We are still waiting for the results of the elections back in November, and know that whatever we have planned will be affected by that announcement. We hope to start back up with our Bible studies, and this Sunday we will return to our study on the names of God as well. It will be nice to return to a more normal schedule after so many weeks on vacation.
The Christmas and New Years festivities were enjoyed by all once again this year. We did our fairly usual Christmas program for the local community. Linda and I enjoyed being invited to the program again this year, and apart from helping with the food preparation, we basically had nothing to do with the program planning or implementation. The HOH and young adults did it all, and we got to sit back like 2 proud mamas watching their kids perform! Christmas has been stretched out again this year as the gifts didn't arrive in time for the 25th. We are planning a small party this evening to hand out the gifts as the last of them arrived yesterday.
We have been blessed this year to watch God provide for our needs over and over again. What a great God we serve. Thank you for your prayers for us and your support. We wish you all a blessed New Year 2011. Today I'll end with one of our favorite blessings here at the HO, it is found in Numbers 6:24-26, "The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."