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today was a difficult day.

it started with me taking one of my dear friends here in haiti to the airport as she is leaving haiti.  her term here is finished and she is going home to a wonderful job and great family and friends.  i am excited for her, but feel like there will be an emptiness in my heart.  we will remain friends, but i can’t just text her to share something funny about my day or have her over for taco’s.

our program at heartline truly feels to me like an oasis in the middle of chaos.  the women we see every week come faithfully, they built friendships.  we see success in the fat little babies who graduate at 6 months old.

today the brokenness of this world felt extremely heavy.

one of our moms is so young.  so beaten down.  she is 16 years old.  it was not her choice to have sex.

we spoke with a mother of 7 who is pregnant again.  she has way too many risk factors to deliver with us and needs a higher level of care.  i hope she will do the necessary follow-up so that she will live through this pregnancy and not leave her children orphans.

another mom came with her little 3 month old and just shared that she couldn’t go on anymore.  she didn’t have the resources to care for her.  she cried.  my heart aches.

the stories go on.  you can read a bit more here. http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2012/11/help-our-hearts-to-hear-your-sound.html

there is a war going on between israel and palestine.

there is scandal over a general and his biographer.

there is national debt.

there is brokenness.

tonight i read this and it sums up exactly how my heart feels tonight, “our souls are wired for what we will never enjoy until Eden is restored in the new heaven and earth.  we are built with a distant memory of Eden.”

come Lord, Jesus come.

Den-Den

this is one of our mama’s with her two little ones.

her husband died when she was pregnant with her last child.

her little two year old den-den came with her to program a few weeks ago with a severely burned hand.  little ones put their hands, feet, faces in hot open pots here all the time.

there was something super special about this little guy.

he had such personality.

he enduring super strong when i cleaned his burn.

everytime he came for a dressing change he would ask that we put a glove on his other hand when we were putting on our gloves.  he always wanted a balloon made from gloves, he wanted candy, normal little kid stuff.  but he just had such a hint of intelligence.

at one of our dressing changes, his mom started talking about how she was probably going to give him to someone who had asked for him.  WHAT??  my mind can’t even understand that.  i questioned her, who was this someone, a family member, an aunt, a cousin?  no.  just someone who said they would send him to school.  she doesn’t have the money to send him to school.

my first response is to be angry with a mother who would dare give her child away.

my second response is to step back and even try to imagine being in her place after losing her husband and not being able to provide for her children yet wanting to best for him.

i don’t always have the words.

i hardly ever understand.

i pray this little one is able to stay with his family.

 

 

 

a near miss.

a near miss – a near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. (from wikipeida of course!)

today we truly had a near miss at one of our deliveries.

we had a very sweet young mama come in and deliver today. she came to maternity almost complete and had probably labored alone most of the night. she is shy and timid and we hoped to support and encourage her through her labor.

all went amazingly well. i was grateful.

tara (one of the others who works with heartline) went to scoot the baby up a bit more onto moms tummy after delivery and then all of the sudden, said “oh, no!!” i looked and there was a loose cord and we had not cut the cord yet. it took me about a second to realize that meant that the cord to the baby would also have been bleeding. i immediately grabbed the baby and clamped with my fingers the umbilicus and the cord that was bleeding. wini (a nurse who works with heartline) immediately grabbed a clamp and we clamped the babies cord. all was fine. he bled minimally. that is a completely crazy thing, a cord avulsion. for no reason the cord basically snaps at a weak point leaving the baby to bleed unless you clamp the cord.

scary. that was a near miss.

i am super glad this mama delivered with us and not at home without a trained attendant as so many women here in haiti do.

safe places to deliver babies are really important.

while i was looking up information about cord avulsions i read this comment about the stage of labor between the baby and the placenta coming –

“This indeed is the unforgiving stage of labor, and in it there lurks more unheralded treachery than in both the other stages combined. The normal case can, within a minute, become abnormal and successful delivery can turn swiftly to disaster.”

our delivery could have turned into a disaster. or the cord could have broken in the weak place before delivery and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it. if you prayed for our sweet mama today, your prayers were answered and she had a healthy beautiful baby boy. (with the cutest fat cheeks i have seen in a while!)

tonight was special.

i feel like i enjoyed a little bit of heaven tonight.

it was completely spontaneous, unpredictable and wonderful.

after church tonight a few of us gathered for dinner, simple enough.

but, the neighbors to the family where we gathered were just pulling in the drive as we were all arriving for dinner.  they had some very exciting news in their life.  their daughter was competing on Black Entertainment Television on the show Sunday Best.  (imagine american idol with gospel music.)  not only was she competing, she had ended up in the top two finalist position.  the show had just played and the dad came to tell all of us to get out our phones and vote for her.  so of course we did. . .

then the rest of the family came over and we all enjoyed watching her performance on TV.  her voice was amazing, her love for God almost tangible.

then her and her younger sister sang for us.  completely amazing.  then the rest of the family sang.  my heart stood still at times, so amazed by their voices, talents and ability.

truly, the best part of the evening was when we all joined together and sang, How GREAT is our God.  voices blending, harmonies, praises sung to our creator who deserves to be praised.

what a picture of what heaven will be like.

different skin colors, different vocal tones, different races, different languages, all coming before the throne and singing How GREAT is our God.

 

procrastination. . .

i am a procrastinator.

it is true.

but this time leaving haiti feels different.

it isn’t only that i am procrastinating in my packing, it is that i just don’t want to do it.

i rolled a suitcase out to the living room tonight and almost cried.

i leave haiti soon and will be gone a longer period of time than i have been gone all year.

my heart is sad.

i am leaving my fiance.

my friends.

i am leaving women who are nearing delivery, women i have watched develop in their pregnancies from their early weeks.

this living in two worlds is hard.

so i know it is more than just procrastination that is keeping me from packing.

it is also a bit of denial.

but it will get done.

i will go.

and i will return so soon. . .

 

 

little baby david

last wednesday night, one of our moms who is pretty young delivered.  she delivered a 6 pound 8 ounce baby boy.  he really didn’t feel like breathing at first after he was born, but caught on in a couple minutes and did fine.  the complication with him was that his moms water had broke many hours before her delivery.  so he needs 7 days of antibiotics.

those antibiotics are best given IV.  on thursday when i started his IV, he was pretty dehydrated and it was a really hard stick.  i knew that if i got it, i was going to be really grateful because i wasn’t sure at all how we were going to be able to place it.  his veins looked like threads that day.

today his veins looked way better and in my head i was thinking, oh yeah, this will be easy.  i can do this.  two missed attempts later i was feeling a bit less confident!

he has 3 more days of antibiotics, he really needs to have an IV.  on the third attempt, i still felt like i wasn’t going to get it.  i closed my eyes (just for a second, okay everyone!!) and just asked the Lord to do this.  i confessed that it wasn’t about me or my ability, but it was about this babies need to get medicine.  i got the IV and little david got his dose of antibiotics for the night.

there were a few lessons in that couple second prayer for me.  one is that the Lord cares, hears and answers.

the other is how often we should make that confession, “it isn’t about me!”  we may be a conduit, a force, an opportunity for the things the Lord has to be fulfilled in this world.  we are supposed to help His kingdom come to this earth, but it isn’t supposed to be about us.

how often it becomes about us,

our skills,

our job,

our abilities,

our resume,

our knowledge, the list goes on and on. . .

but it isn’t supposed to be about that.  it is supposed to be about Him and His glory.

His glory is supposed to be us showing who He is.

Wikipedia in one of the definitions for Glory states “an optical phenomenon produced by light reflected toward its source by a cloud of uniformly-sized water droplets”

that is what it is supposed to be about.  we are to reflect light towards it source.

when we reflect light to its source, the world sees Jesus.

beautiful babies!

today was a great day.

we picked up this beautiful baby and his mom from the hospital.  he had to be delivered c-section because he was transverse.  friday night his mom came in saying that her water broke and she wasn’t really hurting, but since i told her to come right away if her water broke, she did.  mind you, it was about 8 pm and she said she noticed her water broke at four.  but, “right away” is relative right??  i am just really grateful she did come.  her baby had not turned head down and she wasn’t in labor, so off to the hospital we went.  the hospital had space and did a c-section that night and today is the first day we get to see this precious little baby!!  cute, huh??

i kinda liked him!

another mom came in this morning around 8 am and had been hurting since 3 in the morning.  she had no difficulties and delivered a beautiful little girl, who i think breast fed for the first hour of her life!  perfect.

i taught about family planning today and felt like the women were very open to participating and asking great questions.  there are many superstitions and mis-information about family planning, so open conversation was great.

i just had some watermelon that was perfect.  all in all, so far today has been great.

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