This will be my last segment on Haiti, just some random reflections to tie everything together.
One question asked of me: “What did you do?” Among other things I fixed Gail’s glasses, played the part of an IV pole, learned how to take someone’s blood pressure, colored with some of the kids, and learned how to count to five and say, “Go to the tent!” in Haitian Creole. Most of the local people laughed at my south Philly-Creole accent.
We worshiped at a Lutheran Church on Sunday. Enock translated Pastor Benoit’s excellent sermon for us, and we thoroughly enjoyed the music, which included a grooving rendition of “Thy Strong Word.”
The Cholera outbreak cut out trip short by a day. News of the disease reached us early in the week, but it was in a region to the south of us. We were already taking precautions with the water, so we weren’t too concerned. Then, as the numbers of fatalities grew, we became concerned that there might be a quarantine or have trouble traveling, so we switched out flight to a day earlier. Other than another three-hour kidney-jarring, teeth rattling ride in the back of an SUV, travel back went smoothly.
Another question asked of me was, “Did you have a good trip?” I always answer, “No. It was rough.” It was rough to see the conditions the people live in and rough to not be able to do a whole lot about it. How many stomach aches were simply hunger? How many other ailments were due to dehydration? It’s hard to say. If the clinic continues to serve the people in Poto, then perhaps we did some good. If the experience will help us motivate others for mercy work like this, then perhaps it was a good trip.
We are already planning on going back with more from our church through the efforts of Mission: Haiti and the Florida-Georgia district of the LCMS. We keep in touch with many of our friends through Facebook and email. As I write this, a hurricane is just a few days from Haiti. A storm would be especially horrible for the thousands still living in tents and under tarps. Needless to say, we are doing a lot of praying for them!