Monday, May 23, 2011

Mother's Day

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my second mother's day as a mom. As any of you who have had small children can relate, it wasn't my dream day. The children are not old enough to say "happy mother's day" or give me gifts, but they are old enough to throw fits, need punishment, push my buttons, and make me want to crawl out of my skin (or at least out of the house for a few solitary hours). But a few days ago I got an unexpected present for mother's day, just a few weeks late. The kids and I were playing on the back porch and heard an accordion and some men's voices singing nearby. This isn't a rare experience here in Christianville, because the men's choir at church often rehearses in the afternoons. But on this particular day I felt that the kids needed to get out of the house and, since they both like music, we decided to walk over to see the men's choir practice. Normally they practice in the empty lot that used to be the eye clinic, but we found them this day in the school yard, sitting in one of the transitional classrooms. When the men saw us standing there, watching them from the doorway, they stopped practicing their individual parts and decided to put on a show for us. Fanfan, the dental assistant/accordian player/choir director, led the men in a mother's day song that they had been practicing for Haitian Mother's Day, which comes a few weeks later than ours. The men sang of their love for their moms. Nora clapped and Titus smiled, and the men sang on. Nora stopped clapping when the men drew the song to a close with a verse that said, "You are my mother, you have the right to punish me, so go ahead and spank me." I don't think she approved of that verse. I thought it sounded pretty practical, though.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Visit to Seguin

After three years off the mountain, I decided to go back and visit again with all my friends in Seguin. There is an agriculturalist that works here at Christianville, and he was interested in visiting Seguin with me and possibly feeding the school children in the HCO school, so Ryan and I, Nora and Titus, along with Edsel (the agricultural expert) and Jimmy (a friend) took a long ride up to Seguin a couple weekends ago. I made the mistake of taking the Fond Jean Noel route up the mountain, because I knew it would have a good view, but I had no idea how horrible the route had gotten. It took us quite a bit longer to get up there than I had expected. Once we arrived, everyone in the local area came to see us. It was great to see everyone again. Margarethe made us some food, and we sat in Christnet's home and chatted awhile. Then we visited with everyone in the yard. Nora played with the kids, and Titus cried because of the cold and all the strangers.

I was able to visit with Papa Alexandre, the local voodoo priest, for awhile. He is going blind and not very healthy. I talked to him about accepting Jesus as his Savior, but he is convinced that he is a good enough person to make it to heaven on his own merit.

We were able to visit with Marie Lourdes and her newborn babies. She is still very weak and anemic, and her babies are small and having some troubles growing. Doctor Clayton is back on the mountain now, though, so she is in good hands and hopefully she and the children will get healthy and strong quickly.

As our visit came to a close, I sat on the porch and chatted with Margarethe while Nora played with the local kids. At one point, I noticed that she was sitting down with six other kids, and that four of those six were children that I had delivered. If anyone would have told me that one day I'd be sitting on the porch, talking to Margarethe like any other day, but watching my own child play with the kids, I'd have told them they were nuts. God is good. He blesses us much more than we deserve.

When it came time to leave, I felt a tremendous sadness come upon me. I miss Seguin. It feels like home. I miss my neighbors and my friends. I also feel the burden of the poverty and great needs that are ever present there. I am thankful for Kyle Martin and Clayton Bell, who helped Seguin this past year by reopening the clinic. I am hopeful that the new Haitian doctor that HCO has found will keep the clinic running well. And I'm thankful for Margarethe, who continues to stick it out in Seguin, despite all the hardships she faces there.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Marie Lourdes update

Happy News!

Marie Lourdes Auguste and her husband Emmanuel welcomed their family's newest two additions to the world on Thursday, April 28th. They are Manoucheka and Calipson Auguste, each weighing a little more than four pounds.

their little girl, Manoucheka

and Calipson, their little boy

Marie Lourdes was barely 8 months along in her pregnancy, and began bleeding. She needed a transfusion before the doctors would perform a C-section to deliver the children. Qasim sent word to Marie Lourdes' friends and adoptive family back in Seguin (she is an orphan who has no family of her own), and they all came up with excuses not to come and give blood. So in the end it was Qasim, Maslen (Bubba), Yves (TiBra), and Eli (PeeWee) who were the heroes that went to the hospital to donate blood. Thank you, Qasim, for showing unselfish love. Thanks also go out to Maslen, Yves, and Eli, who overlooked the stigma and horror stories about giving blood that are common in Haiti, and volunteered anyway.

Marie Lourdes is recuperating slowly from her surgery, and doing her best to get some rest, while breastfeeding and taking care of the two wee-ones. She is expected to be discharged from St. Michel hospital tomorrow. The babies are breathing well and feeding well, despite their small size. Please pray for Marie Lourdes, Emmanuel, the new babies, and the rest of the family that waits at home. They have a long road of recuperation and growth ahead of them.