Feb 11, 2012

God is AWESOME!!!!

God is AWESOME!!!!

Well time certainly seems to be flying bye these days but lots of exciting things to report. If some of you have not heard from my facebook page Beetlove finally took her first steps two weeks ago.!!!! Now she is walking the full length of the gym with very minimal assist using a walker. You will have to check out the video under videos on my website. This is something doctors told her would not happen but she has persevered and is inspiring us all along the way. She still has a dislocated left hip and will need a surgery as she gets older, but for now she is not in pain and happy to be standing and taking steps. It has been AWESOME to watch this young lady that came to our clinic last April unable to talk or even sit up now talking, walking and even going to school.  We serve an amazing God!

We are still diligently working on getting all the kiddos at a local orphanage seated properly in wheelchairs. This has been a project we have been working on for months but things are finally coming together. We are working with a group called AFYA that has 4 Haitian rehab techs and 7 Haitian carpenters working with them.  We have been working with the rehab techs to teach them how to properly assess posture and place children with disabilities in good alignment. We also have been working with the carpenters to teach them how to build custom wood inserts then place foam and straps to help position the children. It is my prayer that this ministry will continue and lead to a small business for these Haitians. Adaptive equipment is much needed here and allows individuals with disabilities to have more independence, but you can’t just call up your local DME and order equipment. Everything is made by hand which takes time, but I have so enjoyed figuring out how to make something out of nothing. It has not always been successful but we have learned a lot along the way and now are getting an opportunity to share what has worked.

Our stroke and exercise classes continue to be packed every week. We plan to have our first 2 mile run/walk race in the neighborhood March 3rd.  Our exercise class is all excited about it and up for the challenge. We have opened it up to any that want to come run or walk and hear more about how to eat healthy and prevent hypertension. We have even promised the therapist will give two minute massages to each finisher along with a certificate. It has been so fun to see how dedicated they are each week to coming together in fellowship to exercise. Last week one of the employees from the orphanage we volunteer at came up to me after class to tell me how good she feels now that she is exercising. I thought she was going to karate kick me right then and there.

Our patients have inspired us so Jeanie and I have a running challenge of our own to complete before we go. It is so sad that all the images you see from Haiti these days in the news are of collapsed buildings and sad desperate faces. Yes, there are images here that I know I will never forget but there are also so many beautiful things about Haiti, especially the people. When I think of Haiti I don’t think of desperation but of hope, resilience and beauty.  This country has so many beautiful places and our Haitian brothers and sisters have so much to teach us. This is the Haiti that we have come to know and love and this is the Haiti we want to share with others.

 Over our holiday break Jeanie mentioned to me in a phone conversation “wouldn’t it be cool to run across Haiti and do a documentary to share the beauty we have experience here.“ Well long story short this once abstract idea has turned into an epic run that will take place with 4 other friends. On March 28th we plan to set off from the destroyed palace (what would be like our white house) in Port au Prince and run 15 miles straight up into the mountains of Kenscoff. The next day we plan to continue our trek up the mountain that is only passable on foot or moto another 15 miles to Sequin (which is the second highest peak in the Caribbean). The third day we plan to finish with a 26 mile run down the mountain into the beach city of Caye Jacmel. We will have a videographer with us capturing the beauty of the trip and sharing stories of the people we meet along the way. We also plan to highlight many of the cool ministries that are doing things to help empower Haitians. Our hope is that in the future this ultra marathon could become a race that would attract more people to Haiti and help boost the eco tourism that is much needed to supply jobs. It is going to be a big challenge both physically and mentally but an amazing way to wrap up this experience here in Haiti. If this is something you would like to support both financially or prayerfully (we will need both) it will be greatly appreciated. All proceeds will go to Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis to help fund our clinic. You can find out more about the race and see pictures on our facebook page Run: Haiti Ultra Marathon. 

Well I am getting tired just thinking about all we have coming up but as always thanks’ for all your love, prayers and support. May God continue to bless you and guide you on your journey.