Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Finally home....."

I'm not gonna say it was the longest day....but it was right up there....we finally got home a little while ago and I wanted to make my last update for this trip while some of the things were still fresh on my mind....

1) Many of us had our first experience in "1st class" on a 767....(I only point out the size of the plane because I have been "up front" before, but never on a plane of this size...."there is a "HUGE" difference!!) We even tried to petition the pilot to fly around the island a couple times just so we could "enjoy the moment"..... :)

2) After experiencing that high on our leg from Port Au Prince to Miami, we found ourselves sitting in rows 34,35, and 36...(or something like that, on the next leg....) What a difference a few feet make....(no warm cloth....no warm peanuts....no warm cookies....heck, no warm anything sitting back that far....) the captain even announced that there would be an "in-flight" t.v. program of some sort and we were getting static for awhile...which I guess was due to, "no warm signal"....but we "toughed it out..."

3) We said our usual "good-byes" and what not...but we were privileged to all read a note left by one of the team members, (who will not be identified, "Doug" so as not to be embarrassed, "Doug") that prolly put into perspective how everyone felt this week....thank you, to all who were a part of this trip...it was a great pleasure to get to know you during this effort....(our team members came from Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey and even a few from Mexico I believe....)

4) "Thank you" to Caitlin for being the beneficiary of some of my best "wedgies" to date....it' amazing how one person can endure so much and still come back for more.... ;)

5) Thank you to my son.....you made this "old man" very happy! For being a part of something that means so much to me, made this trip a special one that I will always cherish.

6) Also to Matthew, for introducing the Indiana contingency to the sacred works of "ninja man"...I am sure they will be scarred for some time....

Here are just a few final pics....just casual shots of this past week...... :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Our final full day in Gramothe....a "full circle of emotions"

We had a whirlwind of a day today....we started by going to worship service around 9:00 this a.m....we had, as usual, a very uplifting time...between the music, the testimonies and all the wonderful people making us feel welcome, it was just another fantabulous morning of glorifying the Lord! :)
After the service, we went down to the clinic for about an hour to do some final "clean-up/put away" duties...(then it was time to say "good-bye" to the clinic for another yr....)

We went back to the house just long enough to change clothes and then off again....Willem was taking us down to Port Au Prince to see the "tent city" and the area that was hit the hardest by the earthquake....on our way down, we came across some road construction....to our suprise, we seen some of our U.S. troops...."directing traffic"! Not exactly what we thought they were doing down here according to the news coverage back home...(and not overly friendly to boot...but that' for another day...)
When we finally got to "tent city" I couldn't believe what I was looking at....in an area probably not much bigger than a shopping mall....virtually side by were tent after tent.....and then Willem told us that there were 60,000 people living in the area! Amazing as it sounded, we also came across another unbelievable site...as we were driving down the road, Willem stopped by a woman standing in front of a tent....he asked her how many people were living in it...she said "8"!
And they are not even to the "rainy season" yet....

After that we went to another area that Willem said was the poorest area in Port Au Prince...and it was terrible....all of this made us all very disheartened to the fact that all the news reports we receive back home are just simply not reporting what is actually going on down here....these people are living in a terribly unsafe and unhealthy situation...we can't see where the millions upon millions of dollars that have been sent to aid these people have gone to...it' not visible in the areas that have been hit the hardest....having said that, the people of Haiti have to be the most resilient people on the face of the earth...they aren't just sitting around...they are trying to "patch work" together anything they can...it' absolutely humbling to see such a high level of zeal and hope in what appears to be a hopeless situation...(a lesson that we could learn to better appreciate back home and stop relying on the gov't to enable us constantly with their involvement ...but that too is for another day....) ;)

I can't imagine how they would begin to recover in the "city" areas...it doesn't have the infrastructure in place to make a "quick" recovery...it may be decades, if at all, before a visible difference will be made...

Finally, after seeing all of this, we made our way to the orphanage...a point of great joy...it really brought to perspective why we all truly come and are a part of Mountain Top Ministries...

God has shown us through the children that we can and are making a difference....please continue to pray for all of the people of Haiti...please remember Mountain Top in your prayers...and finally please remember all of us as we begin our journey home tomorrow...I hope this blog has helped you feel a part of what Deb, Matthew and I have been experiencing this past week...we are all looking forward to getting home.... :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"An easy day of it......"

Today was a much enjoyed "rest and relaxation" day for the most part...we made our usual trek to the Baptist Mission...a local area "shopping plaza"....a chance to get a hamburger and fries! :)

After we got back from the Baptist Mission, we went up to the clinic to do a little clean up work...I also found out we had a very big week....we were able to treat 1,058 patients this week!! (713 in the medical clinic....and 345 in the eye clinic.....) Tomorrow we will be attending church and then some will be going thru the village and then if time allows, we will go to the orphanage...another busy day!! :)