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   Home      Community Involvement 2013      Haiti Medical Mission
     This past May, one of our team members had the pleasure to be part of a Medical Team which went into Carrefour, Haiti. The goal was to establish a clinic to see as many patients as possible in the short time they would be there. What was achieved was nothing less than amazing. The team consisted of persons from the United States as well as residents of Haiti. Medical personnel from both sides of the map, together with translators and lay personnel. Many who came together as strangers and left Haiti as friends. Touching lives in way that they will probably never even know. But taking away so much more than they brought.
     The clinic saw 525 persons in 3 days of clinics (total of 20 hours worth of clinic) plus also provided a hygiene and oral care clinic on another day. In a country which doesn't have the funds to have access to medical care, this was such a vital project. People started showing up for the clinic at 4:30 in the morning, and the team didn't start seeing patients until 8:00. The temperatures were high, the humidity was way up there, the rain was scarce, and the need was great. But this team held strong and saw as many as possible, finally running out of time and medicines. And unfortunately left many unseen. Which brought sadness to all who worked these days.
     The one constant theme was a need. There is no feelings of entitlement here, the government doesn't hand out items for healthcare. People died every day just because they can not afford to see the doctor. No $150 Nikes seen here, that would feed a family of 4 for months. Children starve because mothers don't have enough milk to feed them, because mothers don't have enough to eat or drink. Children die from disease that should be able to be prevented, prevented frequently with education.  And families live every day with destruction that they had nothing to do, could not prevent, and strive to overcome even to this day. The scars are still visible both on the countryside as well as the people.
     But the faces are filled with smiles. The children look forward to seeing people come, and are so glad to have someone to hold their hand or to talk to them, even if they don't understand the words. The truly understand the look. It is sometimes easy to see love in a person's face. And it is so easily seen in these faces. The looks of mothers who are grateful for someone to see their child, to address some of their fears, and to offer them some assistance. A helping hand, a new beginning, the start to a new life. Hope. Sometimes it starts with so little and becomes a wildfire which spreads. This team hopes they helped to light a small flame, which they plan to fan over the next several years with return visits to this beautify country. Please become part of the team as you view the following photos, and they hope that it will inspire you to help others around you.
For a more indepth review of her time there, view Sharon's blog here:  Health For Haiti 2013 
For more information on the organizations involved in this medical mission:  
                 International Medical Aid               Bread To The Nations 
Sometimes it is something small which has the biggest impact. For our team member Sharon, it started with meeting this little girl last year. And the feeling that something else could be done. Well, here is the same girl, 6 months later. Sharon got to visit with her and seeing her smile says it all.
This was the second child that brought Sharon to the country of Haiti. A random photo posted on Facebook, a conversation started,
and a new idea bloomed. We are glad to say that this little one is
doing well and will long be remembered as a catalyst for the start
of the medical Mission to this country.
The building where people stayed while waiting for the clinic to start. Many walked for miles and arrived hours before the start of the clinic each day, and stayed for hours waiting to be seen. And nary a cross word was heard.
Some of the people gathered on Sunday for the hygiene and oral care clinic sponsored by the medical mission.
Some of the children which we saw each day. They loved having their picture taken and took joy is the simple things of life.
Many people still live in these make-shift homes, tarps over stakes. Women, children, older adults. No water, no toilets, little hope.
Sometimes you just have to look around to see where you can fill a need. This little girl, even though she lives in one of these tents, still has the ability to smile and wave, even if she is a little bit shy. And her clothes? Well, they wear what they have and do the best that they can each and every day.
When you look around, you often see people carrying their wares on their heads. Since they often travel for long distances, this makes it easier than trying to hold them in their hands. This little girl is starting out at a young age learning how to balance containers.
Sharon was very happy to be joined on this trip by her niece Lilias.
Here she is with her translator Ronald.
Sharon was helped by her translator Wendel, whom she had become acquainted with during a previous trip to this county.
 Another look at one of the faces of the children. All smiles,
so happy to just be alive.
Some of the supplies handed out during the hygiene clinic. There
were toothbrushes too!

Every place has its own beauty, if one only takes the time to look. Such is Haiti. For a place so devastated by natural disasters, it remains an area of incredible beauty. And hopefully one day the countryside will once again hold houses instead of tents, where children will have plenty to eat, where healthcare will be available to everyone, and where for each new generation, everyone will have a brighter future.

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