Welcome to LESPWA International's blog. Please follow our page to learn about our work in Haiti

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hello all!

Here is a brief update on what our team has been up to. 

Yesterday, we headed out to "the land" and were pleased to see some great progress on the buildings! On the last trip a basic gravel and brick foundation was laid. This time, however, there were two structures on the foundations. We were meeting the church kids/choir from Michel's church at "the land". Our plans changed a bit as they often do here in Haiti. The bus with the kids arrived about 2 hours later than originally planned. When they arrived, we all loaded into the bus and headed to a beach location to have a church service and enjoy some fun and fellowship. Tim shared the message (with Michel translating) and we sang a few songs. Then we had lunch and enjoyed an afternoon of swimming, frisbee, and other water games. Saying goodbye to all of our Haitian friends was hard, but we were thankful for the opportunity to hang out with them for a second time while we were down here.

Today, after prayer, breakfast, and devotions, we loaded up the Rolling's van and the team headed for McDonald to finish up clinics at the school there. Jerry and Matt stayed at the Rollings to accomplish various projects. Matt worked in the banana tree grove, helped the workers with the water filters, and mowed the lawn. Jerry was taking photos and video of the water filter building process for the Rolling's website. A busy day for all!

As always, thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello all! It is now the weekend, and we all thought that we would finally get a day to sleep in, but instead we decided to wake up early and start our day off by snorkeling. Everyone had an awesome time and we all got to see the coral reefs of Haiti as well as many unique colorful fish, along with a slimy white baby octopus (We almost died from shock). Some of us also just spent some time working on our gorgeous tan(lines) that we will all get to show off when we return on Tuesday. We can't believe that our trip is coming to an end! After snorkeling, we were able to get together with some other missionaries around the area. These former American/Canadian missionaries were extremely happy to get their teeth cleaned/examined by Denise and Lori. For lunch, we had a pot luck with more than enough food that consisted of hot dogs, pasta salad, coleslaw, chips, bananas, brownies, and of course it would not be a haitian meal without rice and beans. After lunch, we just spent sometime getting to know each other and shared our famous skit. We all had many questions for the missionaries regarding their life transition to Haiti, which lead us into many great discussions about the Haitian culture. We then spent some time just relaxing, some taking multiple hour naps, and some cleaning the deck off that we spent all of our time on. Tonight we will be eating Sloppy Joes and will just be relaxing and preparing to have a blast tomorrow with the church youth group that we spontaneously planned because we are all so close to these boys and girls. Thanks for reading the blog and have a wonderful weekend!!

Carrie and Alisha

Alisha- Yes, mom I am still alive!! Love you and see you Tuesday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I think it's Friday, but the days don't really matter that much around here.  There's always work to be done and blessings given out to us by God.  We served in several directions today.  The medical and dental clinic was set up again here at the water project.  Some went to Michel's school to work with the children. Tim, Matt, and I put primer and then painted water filters.  The process is amazing and making such a positive difference in the lives of those who have them in their homes.  Something as simple as safe, clean water is such a gift here.  A huge thanks to all of you who have contributed in any way to this mission.  I know the Haitian people are appreciative of it all.

Karen Smith
Brandon created a centrifuge.

 Sarah, Deborah, Karen, and Tim were able to do some activities with school children.

Tim spending time with kids at Michel's school.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Update from Brandon

Hello America from Lespwa,

I am glad to report that everyone is alive and kicking here in Haiti. The medical staff (Dr. Dave, Alicia, Kerri, and I-Brandon) has been working hard with our lovely translaters to bring health and wellness to the people of here. We spent our first two clinic days, Monday and Tuesday, in Port-Au-Prince. Monday was a walk in clinic day, which in Haiti--just like in America, but a thousand times as much so--means that it was ca-ray-zy. The gang arrived early on Monday morning with the relevant suitcases piled on top of our mobile clinic (a.k.a. rickety van). Tim, Matt, and Michel (the groups guide, translator, and general godsend) were in charge of getting the supplies which you (our readers) have generously donated into the church. Once inside, the medcial staff feverishly unzipped bags and made decisions about what was essential to have ready access to and what could be kept aside. Then Karen, Deborah, and Sarah (if there was anyone else assisting, I apologize: twas a crazy day) put common meds in easily dispensed baggies (tylenol, advil, tums...especially tums, the education we did on diet was sorely needed. They don't know that there is a relationship between what you eat and how you feel...this is a bit of an exaggeration, but they kinda see eating as a good thing to do, not an essential...but there is a lot of salt and a lot of msg; no veggies and not that much fruit. People were so thankful when we told them that a good diet could keep them from some of their terrible stomach pain). We have recently started putting pictographic instructions on the bags at the direction of our gracious host Leslie...a wonderful, vivacious Canadian missionary.

Before the setup was even remotely complete the pews started filling up with patients [aside: given the widespread poverty in Haiti, there is a known and generally accepted policy regarding free medical care. This policy is not exclusive to--and in fact is usually more extreme in--Haitian run clinics. Those needing medical care walk early, early, early in the morning to the Hospital/Clinic (yes, this is how the hospitals are usually run as well) and line up to see the doctor. The line will often be so crowded that one person is squashed against the next: if one were to have an arial view the line would look like a caterpillar from the very end of the game caterpillar: for those not up on their 80's video games, a very very long caterpillar. Thankfully the church where our clinic was held was large enough that the patients were able to sit comfortably apart in the pews with room to spare. Dr. Dave, Alicia, and I (Kerri was still finishing up her last final and gettig ready to head to the plan at that point) were each set up with a translater and we saw patients throughout the day. Everytime someone was finished being treated I turned around and turned back and a new patient was waiting there. And the pews just kept filling and filling all day. So it was wonderful to be able to help so many people.

The really busy workers were Denise and Lori. Sometimes a Haitian can go for years (maybe decades...maybe a lifetime) without dental care. So they were working long after all of the medical patients had been seen. That goes the same for most of our other clinic days as well (not to say that the medical staff hasn't been exceedingly busy). I wouldn't be presumptuous to speak on her behalf. But I know that she's seen some harrowing mouths over these past few days.

The non-medical people had some good talks with the kids from the church and gave them some real inspiration and leadership. This segues into my next point nicely. One of the most important things that we have been able to do for the people of this country is offer them some decent education. This is the type of education that every single person has been able to offer. We have related the importance of brushing, good diet, good hydration (Let me just say that the humidity is higher than the temperature and to put it gently would be to say its balmy, and it is not cool...and we're on the shore), abstinence, the link between cleanliness and disease and I could go on and on. That night the kids put on a little talent show for us and we sang some songs for them. Their dancing and skits were definitely a highlight of the trip. It was wonderful to know that we touched so many people.

Well I hear the lunch bell ringing (metaphorically speaking), so consider this the conclusion of Brandon's Post, Part I


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

 Denise working on a patient at Michel's church in Port au Prince

 Having some fun with the church youth group/choir kids!

 Lori at Alexandre's house

 Alisha, Brandon, and Ruth preparing meds and supplies for clinics.

Sarah, Tim, and Deborah unloading a truckload of sand at Alexandre's.

Matt and Alexandre
Hello all!

Hope you are all well! Just wanted to type up this quick post to let you know what we've been up to the past couple days. We spent yesterday at Alexandre's house in Port au Prince. While the medical part of our team did clinics and dental, the rest of us assisted Alexandre by getting supplies for building a wall around his house. We moved rocks, cement blocks, cement bags, sand, and gravel. It was a lot of work and we were all exhausted by the end of the day, but it was awesome to be able to be a blessing to Alexandre. He and his family were great hosts and constantly provided us with cold water throughout the day.

Yesterday afternoon we loaded up the Rollings truck with our luggage and left for the water project. Tim and I travelled with the luggage. The rest of the team went with Chris in the Rolling's van to pick up Carrie from the airport before heading to the water project. Yonese prepared a delicious Haitian supper for us! It tasted so good after all of the granola bar meals we had been eating!

Today we did clinics in McDonald at a school there. We were at this school on our last Haiti trip, but didn't get time to see all of the children in the clinic. It was wonderful to be back to finish the other children who had not gotten the medical examinations last time. It was also neat to see some familiar faces which included the principal, Gabriel, and some other missionaries.

The warm temperature and high humidity has been very taxing on our energy, but I believe we are all happy to be here! We have had a couple of team members feeling a little under the weather lately. Please continue to pray for our health and that we would be able to willingly serve where God has called us!


Monday, May 21, 2012

The beautiful children of Sue's orphanage.

A great time taking the youth out for a meal! 

Youth sharing at Michel's church.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kids at Sue's orphanage coloring pictures!

Haiti... We're back! :)

Greetings family and friends!

We safely arrived in here in Port Au Prince, Haiti, and are at Sue's orphanage. The flights went well, and God blessed us in the various airports with wonderful assistance and opportunities to learn flexibility! A huge thanks to Deb who assisted us with our tremendous amount of baggage at O'Hare airport! 
Tonight we are watching a movie with the kids here at the orphanage. So fun!! For those of us who have been here before, it's exciting to see lots of familiar faces, and for those here for the first time, it's an opportunity to make some new friends! 
We are all looking forward to spending time at Michel's church tomorrow and can't wait to enjoy hanging out with the choir kids! 
Thank you to all of you who are supporting us through prayer! We couldn't do it without you all!

God bless!

The journey started at my home on Friday night at 9:00pm.  It is a great group and I am so thankful for the investment of many.  We have quite the clinics to get up and running, but first to have this time with children and then the church and youth group tomorrow will be great.  I know that people in Wisconsin will understand our joy of opening a large bag of beef sticks tonight for our supper along with peanut butter on tortilla shells.  For desert a nice selection of granola bars.  Yes, we are well cared for in ways that meet our every need. We got a bit of naps on the flights so everyone is refreshed and not crashing yet on the air mattresses that await our well traveled bodies and minds.
We will have time to update and help you share the time with us on the island.

~ Lori