Today was day three in Haiti and a day completely out of my comfort zone.
The first stop of the day was the home for sick and dying in San Fill. We separated the team by men and women. Men went to serve the guys in the clinic. Women went upstairs to serve the women.
We brought lotion and nail polish. We spent time in three different rooms. We would massage each woman with lotion and then if she wanted her finger or toe nails painted we would paint them. Since I am not a skilled polisher, I chose to massage. I would massage their arms, legs, hands, feet and back. In some cases the women would roll over and want me to massage her boobies and stomach. I wasn't comfortable with it at first, but then I realized that these women need love. So I would massage the upper part of her chest and then under her breasts. All I kept thinking about was what Jesus said, "What you do for the least of them you do for me".
One woman asked me to massage her stomach. When I massaged her stomach she winced and I felt what was most likely a hard mass in her stomach. I gently rubbed and sang to her. I started singing "Amazing Grace" - and I felt bad because I am a HORRIBLE singer. She started singing with me in Creole. She looked at me and smiled as she sang. I stopped singing and just let her take over. She had a beautiful voice.
Another young woman was on her last breath. When she would breathe she had a "death rattle". Her mother was there with her and it was an honor to be able to just massage her, love on her and pray for her.
Ou belle - means you are beautiful. I kept telling these ladies how beautiful they were and they would beam with joy. It was so peaceful and wonderful to serve these ladies.
The second half of the day three of us (me, Diann and Jenna) went to the wound clinic. Now for those of you that don't know me - I do not have a strong stomach for wounds, but I did not want to pass up this opportunity and I knew I should go and God would be with me. God was with me. The patients that came in had severe wounds on the bodies - legs, arms, heads, etc. Most of them are infected.
Jenna had been here before but had not worked on the wounds. I obviously have never done this before. Jenna and I decided to team up and treat the first patient together. When we removed the existing gauze off the wound the smell was awful!!! Jenna was wonderful and asked if I was OK. I was...barely. But after a few moments I was able to recover and continue to work. The wound covered the entire right side of his calf from just below the knee to his ankle. He had a second injury on the left side of the same leg about three to four inches long.
We clean the wound with water and gauze. Sterilize it and then put antibiotic ointment on it. We then put on fresh gauze and wrap it up. Most of the people gave us directions on how to do it because they were there on a regular basis.
It made me think about the next time I get a small cut or boo boo - I have nothing to complain about! These people are living every day life with massive infected wounds oozing with puss, blood and other stuff. One of the wounds was even green. They bandage up their wounds and go on with life. Things that would send us to the hospital are a part of every day life here.
Our excitement of the trip was when we left the wound clinic. We were with the sisters from Home for Sick and Dying and one man (our driver). When we pulled out of the compound into what is the absolute worst part of town, several local vendors were waving at our back tire. It was flat. We had no where to go so we ended up (sort of) pulling over on the side of the road to let our driver change the tire. We had to get out of the truck. There were three of us, two sisters, a young girl of 12, and three women from Argentina. We had to stand on the side of the road in a horrible neighborhood waiting for the tire to be changed. We were being stared at. I wondered if some of these people had ever seen a blan (white person) before.
THANKFULLY - the sun was still up and it only took about 10 minutes to change the tire. We were not allowed to bring a camera to either clinic, so I was unable to take photos; however, the lovely ladies from Argentina are going to email their photos to me and I promise to post them.
Word for the day: Strength. When I looked at the people in the wound clinic I had to think about how much strength they have. They had massive infections and still went on with their days. They didn't complain, they just dealt with it.
My second word for the day (stolen from Jenna) is: Powerful. I also witnessed a powerful God. A God who was with the sisters of Home for Sick and Dying who selflessly serve. A powerful God when we were singing to the women. A powerful God in our prayers as we prayed over our sick teammates. A powerful God in the men we met at a local hotel pool who are street evangelists and witnessed several miracles this week. It was amazing.
What a day. Now I'm hoping for a great night sleep and another wonderful day tomorrow. We are talking about getting up for church at a local tent city. Church is at 6:00 a.m.!
I now understand why people come down here several times. It is so fulfilling.
Thank you for your love and prayers!