Archive for May, 2009


i don’t really know what to do about this kansas weather. i was obligated to put on a sweater today to stay warm. it must be time for me to head back to haiti!!


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today is an interesting day. i have lots to do in the sense of my to do list, but i am finding it challenging to get my brain in gear even after a couple cups of coffee.

i need to work on some things related to haiti. i think there is a block because it is hard to process. it is hard to think about there in light of being here. the two worlds in which i live are so completely different. i can’t even begin to process how they both exist in such complete contrast.
maybe another cup of coffee is the key!

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widley. . .


this is widley.  many of you know him, some of you know him very well.  a photo of him and me at the hospital was one of the photo’s for the art show this last weekend.  the photo is him and i holding hands during one of his recent hospitalizations. 

he has a bowel problem called hirsprungs which required him to have bowel surgery and a colostomy a few years ago and his mother took amazing care of him especially when you think about the fact that she is living with him in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, doesn’t have indoor plumbing or even running water.  he has had a couple more surgeries since that time and no longer has a colostomy, but over the last few months while i was in haiti i saw him every few weeks.  he was having serious bowel problems.  there were times i was able to take care of him and then other times when he was pretty serious and i started an IV and sent him to the local hospital.  there is a pediatrician at the hospital who is familiar with his story and also a general surgeon.  the only thing that is so hard is that his mom really has no money to pay for her hospital bill.  i was able to help pay for those needs through money that others have given to me.  thank you!

how hard it was for me to watch his mom walk with him out of the gates to take him to the hospital.  she would carry him, i know the physical road she took, but can’t imagine in her heart the pain she felt related to watching her son suffer.  we were able to get a recommendation from a pediatric surgeon and started a specific bowel regimen and that really seemed to be helping him, his arms started to look bigger, he was gaining weight.  then the day before i left his mom brought him back and said that he had been throwing up all night.  could it just be some bug, possibly, but with his history his mom really wanted to take him to the hospital since our medical team was leaving the next morning.  she told me with tears in her eyes that she was just so worried about him because he wasn’t eating.  all the other times he had been so sick he still would eat, she just knew there was something wrong with him.  so i put in an IV to help get him a little bit of fluid and then off she went once again to fight against this disease that is fighting so hard.  i don’t know if one day he won’t make it through these episodes.  i know that will be a devastating day for his mom.  i hope and pray that day doesn’t come for a long time.

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thank you so much for those who helped coordinate and plan the art show last night, for those who showed up and for those who gave generously!

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art show today!

remember to try to come by dunn bros between 4-8 to check out the Hope for Haiti Art Show! dunn bros is in overland park off metcalf and 91st.

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in life. . .

one of the pictures at the art show at dunn bros is a goat on a mountain in La Baie des Moustique, which is an area where we have an outlying mission campus.  the artists work that coordinates with the picture is a light blue tea cup.

for me this piece stands out because it makes me think about life.  it makes me think of the beauty in nature and the beauty in relationship.  i think about those who i sit around with and drink coffee or even tea.  perhaps it is a friend in kansas city or a friend in haiti, but those are special times as we process life together.

what truly is life and what are those things that are imperative to life and what are those things that are superfluous.  i realize those things about life in haiti when i am faced many days with extremely difficult realities for those around me.  the last week of the surgery team we saw many patients who had terminal bone cancer and how difficult to tell them that there wasn’t anything we could do.  one 15 year old boy had a horrible mass on his knee and our orthopedic surgeon was able to remove his leg, but how hard to know it had probably already metastasized to other parts of his body.  how challenging to take care of preemie after preemie, some living, some not. 

in the midst of the everyday hardship in haiti a verse sustained me.  it says that God keeps us in life.  i have to believe that and know the truth.  i believe that for our little one Guelson below.  he is one of our preemies who was born a twin.  his sibling died at home and his family decided to bring him to the birthing center.  we had just gotten our new incubators and had a visiting physicians assistant who was able to put in an umbilical line.  the little guy had gained back to above his birth weight of 2 lbs 11 oz before i left. 

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i am so thankful that God has kept little Guelson in life.  i am thankful for the relationships where i sit with friends and family and i realize that both of those realities are fragile, that God keeps us all in life.

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one of my favorite pictures for the hope for Haiti art show is the picture with one of my sewing hope women. 

her name is mesilia. 

you can see the picture they used on my sewing hope page of my blog. 

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every week i meet with the 12 women in my sewing hope project.  some weeks we meet and pray or read scriptures, some weeks i just have time to give them their packet for the next week.  every week they sew baby blankets.  they hem the edges of a piece of flannel and then i pay them.  while my mom was in haiti, she worked with them helping improve their skills and beginning to teach them some quilting skills.  the idea for me is to work with these women trying to help empower them to be able to provide for their children in better ways.

it was along that idea that a group of five or six of us were talking one day about other projects the women could possibly do to make money.  i really wanted their ideas, i want them to begin to think about what they could or would want to do if they had a little bit of money for an investment.  i was trying to encourage them to think about options that were different from just what everyone else was selling at the market.  it is hard to think of things that are different when you have never seen other options, but we kept talking and trying to think of ideas of what they could do.

it was mesilia who said with excitement in her voice, “i know, we can go buy a cow and kill it and sell it in the market.  that is really where the money is, it is in selling things like that.”  everyone looked at her with a pretty shocked look, the rest of the women had been talking about selling flip-flops, dishes and other benign topics, but it was mesilia who really liked the idea of butchering a cow!  from her confidence, i knew that she had done it, that she could do it and would be more than willing to do it again!  none of us were prepared for her comment that day and it truly made us laugh.  perhaps some day we can buy a cow for her to sell!

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