Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hello Haiti and Good Bye Haiti And Giveaway!

I want to thank all of you who have followed our Haiti mission trip! And a HUGE THANK YOU to Sarah Robertson for doing such a great job journaling while we were there. 

I thought I'd give you a couple links that might interest you. First EBY! This video is done by our pastor's youngest daughter (Kevin and his family have decided to become full-time missionaries in Haiti). Toward the end of the video you will see a about 10 seconds of sweet Eby! Beka has done about 4 videos if you'd like to see what is like for an American kid new to Haiti. 

Here is another short video with a short clip of Eby!

Here is a Facebook link to Parakaleo. This is an awesome nonprofit organization. My daughter-in-love and Kevin Falde started Parakaleo. Every penny given goes to the people. Every one who works for Parakaleo volunteers so that all donations reach the people in need. It is one of the few organizations that can say that. Parakaleo means to come along side and that is what we are trying to do. Help the people help themselves.

Here are a few pictures of my family in Haiti.

This is my oldest son Joshua holding Eby. He's going to make a great daddy!!
Hannah, my daughter-in-love at the baptism holding sweet Eby. She's going to make a great mommy!
Here are my 3 guys in Haiti, Joe, Marcus and Joshua all working on the electrical. Doesn't it look safe? It was until Joshua fell through the table!
This is Kacie  talking with Josue who is interpreting for her.

Me and my sweet Eby!

Sara, Clifford (I love this kid!) and Sarah your journal/blogger!
This is one of our interpreters, Gilly. He is the sweetest guy and such a heart for the Lord.
This is Marcus. My son-love helping wire the church on the side of the mountain...Literally! I'm one lucky lady to have such great kids.
Hubby at the hospital lab yep that is the lab. My hubby is the medical lab tech when we go to Haiti. He was a MLT back when we first married and everything was done manually. Little did we know that God had a plan for that.
Okay so Josue is not really my family. But he calls us mom and dad and we call him son. He is my interpreter when I get one. Josue also graduated from seminary and is a pastor in Haiti. 
This is Joshua again with Marcus in the background. This is one of the ways we get around in Haiti.
I'd like to know what they are saying! Hannah and Kacie, two girls who stole my heart.

Remember the side of the mountain? This is my hubby hanging out the window over the edge of the mountain. And Pastor Prahl, Hannah and Sarah's father holding his leg. Hmmmm

This is my daughter! She's one of the PA's that come. 

This is my hubby and high school sweetheart. He's helping with the river baptism.

This is my Hannah again. She's one of the nurses that come. We are at the hotel in Caye Jacmel the night we arrived in Haiti and before we headed up to the mountains. Hannah's birthday and two ice creams! What's a girl to do!

This is me and Emelie, one of my closest friends and also our pastor's wife who are now missionaries in Haiti. Every day is a bad hair day in Haiti.

Next month I have a new release! A medieval novella set once again at Rosen Craig!

GIVEAWAY: And don't forget to leave a comment with your email for a chance to win choice copy of one of my books and choice of format!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Wrapping it All Up!

Wrapping it All Up!

by Sarah Robertson

I’ve arrived at the end of my entries from my Haiti Journal for this missions trip in 2018. It was a whirlwind week, and I will forever be thankful that I had the opportunity to go again. God provided in a miraculous way that my mind will never be able to fully comprehend. I do know that we serve an amazing God!

At the end of the week, I asked a few members of the team what word they would use to describe this week’s trip. Obviously it’s impossible to summarize the trip in one word, but they each came up with one word that God kept bringing to their mind. For one it was “thankfulness”, another “grace”, someone else said “gratitude”, and also “faith” and “love” were mentioned.

As I reflected on each of those words, I’m drawn back to the word that God brought to my This was a week where as a team we stood in faith that God was going to bring that medical bag along at the right time, that God would give wisdom in dealing with Eby’s life, that our faith in WHO God is and WHAT He can do would be strengthened and encouraged. God allowed us to have exactly what was needed to help Eby. From the diapers that Debbie Lynne used to pack fragile items, to the liquid infant vitamins that had been randomly brought along, to the clothes that Emma had outgrown that Eby could wear, to the infant catheter kit that Hannah was fairly positive she wouldn’t even need, God guided our hands and hearts from Stateside to Haiti.

Krissy said that word that she would use to summarize the trip was “thankfulness”. We don’t get to choose what home to be born into or what country we live in. But whether God has given us a home in the U.S.A or a hut for a home in Haiti, as Christians we are called to be thankful. “In everything, give thanks...” not always easy, but God has equipped us to do exactly what He has called us to do. We can each be ordinary people used in extraordinary ways for God’s glory.

Emelie chose the word “gratitude”. She commented that she was grateful that she can be used in a small way to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti. Wonderful friends to come along to Haiti and share in helping people less fortunate than we are causes the word “gratitude” to come to mind. Emelie said that she is grateful that God chose for us to be able to see Eby get better every day. The first day when we brought him home, she said she was so scared. All night she was awake and praying, and over and over again she thought she heard Hannah coming to tell Kevin that the baby was gone. Gratitude wells up within us as we realize that because God brought Eby into our lives, the grandmother and granddaughter accepted Jesus. While it’s all a bit overwhelming to process, she is am I.

Love- that’s the word that Debbie Lynne used to summarize the trip. She chose “love” because of several reasons. One, she fell head over heels in love with a little boy named Eby. Secondly, the people brought her much joy and showed great love to her. Thirdly, she fell in love with Haiti and its people all over again this year.

Each one of us chose a different word to describe our missions trip, but all these words point back to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Although we are all different and unique people, we have a common bond in Jesus Christ. Together we can serve in unity, with compassion, at making a difference in this world for Jesus Christ.

I’m sure that you are looking for some updates on a few of the people that I mentioned.

Obviously this boy stole a piece of our hearts this week! He went back up the mountain on Tuesday with the team members. Eby has made such great strides in his progress. After the medical team left, Eby smiled that day-go figure! Eby snuggled with the team members that week, smiled and laughed and starting walking regularly again! Some of his family arrived at the mission house on Wednesday to see Eby. On Friday, Pastor Kevin presented the grandmother with three choices for Eby’s continuing care. One, she could take him home. Although that wasn’t recommended for the best of Eby’s health, it was an option. Secondly, Eby could stay in Seguin with Nadine, one of our cooks, do that she could feed and give him medicine. If Eby’s health declined, the pastor could take him down to the hospital. Thirdly, Eby could go down the mountain with the team, and stay with Amenci. She would take care of him and get him to the nearby hospital if needed. The grandmother chose the last option. She made a decision that was probably very hard to make, but she knew it was best for Eby. Amenci , our Haitian cook, lives in Jacmel. She would take Eby with her for the next six weeks until the Faldes come back in mid-March. When the Faldes return to Haiti, Eby will return to his family. This way Eby will be able to finish his medicine, get extra food, and become stronger. Amenci has told Pastor Kevin that Eby’s favorite thing to do is play hide and seek! He has become stronger, and he acts like a two year old! Eby’s mom came to Jacmel to see Eby, which is a big deal. I’m sure that mama had to put quite a bit of effort into getting from Chota to Jacmel! Some of the construction workers that had worked on the mission house stopped by Amenci’s house to get an update on Eby. They couldn’t believe that the little boy standing by her was the same boy that had been at the mission house! Yes, we serve an amazing God!

2) Fenel is the name of the young man with the broken femur. He was able to get the X-rays done, and they were given to Dr. Philippe to look over and see what can be done. That’s the lastest update in that situation.

3) The girl with the lump in her neck- she did not have the HIV virus. It’s unclear about whether or not it is actually tuberculosis. She went down to the hospital without the pastor, but didn’t actually go into the hospital. (I don’t know what that was about) She will be going down this Friday with the Pastor from Chota to see about test results.

So those are three people that you can continue to pray for along with the young man with low iron. When Emelie returns to Seguin, she will test his iron levels. We are praying that these levels will have greatly improved.

A few fun memories from the trip:
1) One night was had hot tea at our supper meal. I usually enjoy hot tea, so I poured about half a cup. I took a big sip, and it was so not yummy! There was nothing to do but to swallow the gulp I took. Pastor Kevin came along and asked if the tea was good. I replied, “no”. He was surprised that it wasn’t good, so he poured himself a cup, took one sip, and made a face. He proceeded to pour the rest of his cup back into the pitcher! We don’t want to waste food in Haiti, and since Pastor Kevin did it, I poured mine back into the pitcher too! My dad had come to sit by me, and he had a cup of tea. I smirked and asked how it was. He replied, “Not good, but I don’t know what to do with it.” I told him to just pour it back into the pitcher, to which he did also! When in Haiti, we don’t waste anything. Since no one seems to be too concerned about germs, I’ll let someone else drink my portion of tea!

2) Remember the day that we had made Eby a bed under the table during clinic? Joe and I had started up the hill before everyone else with Eby and his stuff. The rest of the team tidied up and locked the door (actually it was screwed shut for safekeeping). As they started up the hill, Emilie suddenly turns around and head down the hill. “We forgot the baby!”, she yelled., dear, it’s been a long day, but the baby is safe! It did create a laugh as the team climbed the hill!

3) Germs-what are those?! Serving utensils are more of a suggestion in Haiti than necessity. It always takes me a little to get into the routine of just using my eating utensils to also serve myself food. But no one in Haiti seems overly concerned about germs, and life goes on. Faith is very germ conscious, and the first night we had a big meal at the hotel. After the meal, the waitress put the leftovers in a box for one of the Haitians to take home. The expression on Faith’s face was quite funny as she watched the waitress use several peoples food utensils to put the leftovers in the box! Oh well! Here we are- home again!

Thank you to all those who read my journal entries, commented on what you read, and were interested in this trip. It makes it easier to write knowing that I have friends that will enjoy the entries with me.

Be sure to leave a comment each day this week for lots of chances to win choice of my books and choice of format! Don't forget to leave your email address each day so I can contact you should you win! Good luck! Ends 4/9

Monday, April 2, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Mission Trip Day 8

by Sarah Robertson

We are wrapping up this week of the missions trip with a day of rest and recharge-kinda. The nurses and P.A.s on the medical team decided to take Eby to the clinic here in Cay Jacmel. Perhaps they would have some insight or ability to inform us of something we don’t already know. Eby is improving every day, but his energy is definitely lacking. He’s also very uninterested in life. Nothing really excites him or changes his face into a smile. He does let us know that he’s not interested in taking medicine, but even then he doesn’t really scream or cry. He just kinda whimpers and tries to turn his face away. It’s really sad.

Anyways, off to the hospital we went-another walk! While Eby is very light for a two year old, he does get heavy eventually. Hannah, myself, Debbie Lynne, Faith, Kacie and Eby, arrived at the hospital before the others. Kevin can’t seem to go anywhere without getting distracted by someone who knows him from childhood, knows him now, or someone who is curious about all these white people with a dark Haitian baby!

Hannah was able to figure out enough from the person at the table to get Eby checked in to see the doctor. Or course we didn’t know the moms name, Eby’s date of birth, and a bunch of other questions, but Hannah could at least get Eby’s name on the list. Eby was called into the nurses room before Kevin and the others arrived. The nurse weighed Eby and took his temperature. Keeping in mind that we are at a hospital, I found the way that the nurse took Eby’s weight was interesting. Hannah and Eby stepped on the scale, and then I held Eby while just Hannah stepped on the scale. I mean, it works, but it’s not the way it would’ve happened in the States. I held Eby while the nurse took his temperature. Another mom and child came into the room, and the mom and child stepped on the scale. The mom stepped off and handed her baby to Hannah while she weighed herself. Yes, things are done a bit differently around here! Eby was running a low grade fever, but he’s been doing that off and on for the last few days. After the nurses room, we had to go back in the waiting room and wait our turn for a consultation with the doctor.

Meanwhile the rest of the team showed up which was a good thing because Hannah didn’t think she could manage a conversation in Creole with the doctor! While we were waiting in the waiting room, the lab tech person knew Kevin. Kevin explained that Joe was interested in the lab, so Joe got to have a hand on look at the lab-which didn’t seem to be a lot to see!

Earlier I had walked out of the clinic to see if I could see pastor Kevin and the others coming down the road. Someone recognized me and tried to talk to me, but that didn’t work out! He looked very familiar to me, but I couldn’t place him. And since I don’t know the language, I just kept on walking. However a bit later I realized that I recognized him as the pastor from Chota. He had come down to the clinic with a few people that we had recommended to come to the hospital. I just couldn’t place him since he wasn’t at Chota! The young man who had broken his femur had come down as well as a young woman who has a large lump on the side of her neck. Parakaleo had said that if these two people wanted to get their injuries looked at we would help pay for their care.

Okay, back to Eby’s story- it was Eby’s turn to see the doctor. This was a very tiny room and since I’m not a medical person, I didn’t try to squeeze in there! It was already full with two nurses, two P.A.s , Kevin, Eby, and the doctor! The consultation did not take very long, and at the end of it the doctor said that he would like a pee sample. He asked Hannah if Eby would pee in a cup. He’s wearing a diaper, and he was recently changed. Hannah asked if the hospital had an infant catheter kit to which the doctor replied they didn’t have one of those! Oh wow. So we have two infant catheter kits up the mountain at the mission house, but the hospital doesn’t have one?! Hannah said that she was sure that Eby doesn’t have a U.T.I infection so she wasn’t too concerned about getting a pee sample.

We went off to the lab for the next step. I’m not a huge fan of needles and small children, so I didn’t offer to hold Eby. I have memories of when Travis had low iron and sitting in a lab with four kids four years old and under while the lab tech tried to draw blood-no thank you! I did stick around to watch some of the procedure. A few things that I noticed were that the lab tech didn’t wear any gloves or wash his hands first. Then he pulled the alcohol cleansing pad out of a container, used it, and put it back in the container! Hannah said that he used a straight needle on Eby’s arm, but she was impressed as he did get the blood drawn. Joe went to he lab with the lab tech while we waited.

While we were waiting we heard some information about the two people from Chota. The doctor told Kevin that the lady with the lump either has HIV virus or tuberculosis. If it’s HIV the lady would know today, but the test for tuberculosis couldn’t be ready until Wednesday. The young man with the broken femur was told that it was broken in two places. He would need to go to the hospital in Jacmel as the X-ray machine is broken at this hospital.

Joe told Hannah that Eby’s iron levels were low so that might be contributing to his lethargy and lack of interest in life. Eby also needs more protein in his diet, yes- as does the rest of the country! The doctor prescribed some medicine to which most of Kacie and Hannah said “no” to taking. We have medicine for possible infection, and both girls said that they weren’t comfortable in giving cough medicine to a two year old...especially when it came in a bottle without a label or dosing instructions!

Next came the billing part- how much would Eby’s labs and doctor consultation cost? It came to a cost of $6.50 U.S. dollars! While I like the low cost aspect, it’s a little worrisome about all the things that they couldn’t check for in Eby’s blood because they don’t have the proper equipment. It is what is is though!

Pastor Kevin said that we would borrow a dump truck to take the young man from Chota and his mom to the hospital in Jacmel so that the young man can get his leg X-rayed. As we’re getting ready to do that, the doctor remembered that the hospital in Jacmel is closed this week. Say, what?! Yes, apparently there is some type of festival going on this week so the hospital is closed until Friday! Who closes a hospital?! Such is life in Haiti!

It was eventually decided that we would go to Jacmel anyways to eat lunch and so that those who wanted to get souvenirs could do so. We went to a restaurant in Jacmel that the Faldes had been to before. It was a pizzeria place, and those aren’t found very often in Haiti! The owner and her spouse had grown up in Haiti, moved to the States, ran a restaurant for 18 years, and then they moved back to Haiti. The restaurant was very clean and tidy, and the pizza was was good-especially for American pizza in Haiti! Hannah ordered chicken wings for Eby as we weren’t sure that he would be crazy about pizza. He has never seemed to be too delighted with our American snacks. However, he was hungry and he kept eating the pizza as fast as I could cut it...UNTIL the chicken arrived! It was the first time I’ve seen his body shift in focus. He didn’t smile, but he sat up straighter, leaned forward, and reached out his hand for the chicken! He gave me his pizza pieces and started chewing those chicken wings! Eby can clean chicken bones, let me tell you! He eats the whole thing right down to the bone, including the gristle, fat, and tough meat! This child knows that when food is available, he should eat! He is going home in a few days, and I don’t think that food is plentiful at his home. We are going to try to get his family a few chickens for eggs or maybe a goat. The pastor in Chota and Pastor Kevin will work together to figure something out.

After lunch we walked down to the bay in Jacmel. This is the same bay that we can see from the mountain top in Seguin! It’s about 22 miles as the crow flies or a 3.5 hour drive! A few people bought some souvenirs, and then we headed back to the hotel.

Morning would come early for all the team members that are heading back to the States. Some of the team members have a 9:00am flight so we are leaving for the airport at 3:30am. Hannah, Josh, Faith, and I don’t leave until 2:00pm, so we have a while to wait at the airport.

We did sit around the table tonight talking and visting with each other. Hannah gave Eby his medicine and wrote some notes for those that would be continuing with his care. It was a tearful good by for me even though Eby certainly didn’t show any emotion! The team has done everything they can to help give him a boost in growth and a strong chance for survival. Now we must say goodby and continue to trust in the Lord. Even if I never see this sweet boy again, I will never forget him. I wish I could’ve seen him smile and have some life in his eyes, but I can only give him a gentle hug, kiss his sweet cheeks, pray for him, and head home.

We headed back to our rooms to pack our bags, get a few hours of rest, and be ready to leave at 3:30am. This week has been exciting, exhausting, full of adventures and memories, and I am ready to go home! God provided above what I needed for this missions trip, so I was able to leave some money with Pastor Kevin to help cover hospital care for someone, a goat or chicken for Eby’s Family, or whatever the need might be.

I am happy to be headed home to my husband and tribe. We may not have a lot of money by American standards, but we have food on our table, a roof over our heads, a vehicle to drive, hot water, electricity, and so much more! I’m going home with a heart full of thankfulness, a desire to serve God where I am, and a renewed strength and faith in the God that I serve. My heart yearns to return to Haiti next year, but only God knows what a year will bring forth. So for now I will strive to walk in the Spriit, serve where I am, and love God fervently.

God is so good to me. I am so thankful to each of you who prayed for me, financially supported me, helped out with our tribe while I was away, loved on my kids, and encouraged me to go. I am so blessed!

I don’t want to close up these journal entries to Haiti without saying a very special thank you to my husband, Roger. I don’t know of very many men, if any, that would encourage their wife to leave the country on a missions trip for ten days while they stay at home and keep everything running! I am so blessed by Roger’s faithfulness in the little things that are also big things like playing with our kids, working alongside them, taking them to church, having Bible time with them, being an honest and hard worker example to them, and leading by example in their lives. From the bottom of my heart I want to say “thank you” to Roger and “I love you”.

I’m not quite done with theses entries. I have one more coming that will be a follow up on Eby, the boy with the broken femur, and the lady with the lump on her neck. I also have a few funny memories that I want to share, and well as some specific lessons that God taught me.


Be sure to leave a comment each day this week for lots of chances to win choice of my books and choice of format! Don't forget to leave your email address each day so I can contact you should you win! Good luck! Ends 4/9

Sunday, April 1, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Mission Trip Day 7

Haiti Journal, Day #7, Sunday at Moriah Baptist Church

by Sarah Robertson

Day #7, Sunday, February 11, 2018

This morning started off a bit crazy as we prepared for church and the day. The hotel had made us breakfast this morning which consisted of spaghetti, salad, eggs, and bananas. We were supposed to leave for the baptismal service at 6:45am., but we didn’t leave until about 7:30pm.-Haitian time!

We traveled to the river bank in Cay Jacmel for the baptismal service where three young people were baptized. I enjoyed the opportunity to witness this baptism service as these young people are making a public profession that they are desiring to serve Jesus. We sang a few hymns on the shore of the river bank while Pastor Kevin did the baptizing and Joe assisted him by helping the young people step into the river. When I say we sang hymns, what I really mean, is that the Haitians sang, and we listened. I recognized the songs that were sung even though they weren’t in my native tongue. The tune to “There is a Fountian” and “Take my Life” are the same in both languages.

After the baptismal service, we headed to church. We stopped at a Baptist Church on the way to Moriah as Grandpa had been asked to preach there this morning. Cory went with Grandpa to that church and the rest of us traveled on. Since we were late to the baptism, we missed the Sunday school class hour, but we made it there for church. The church service at Moriah Baptist Church was a beautiful service. These dear church folks have worked hard on a new building for several years, so it was exciting to go to church there. The building was full of people! 

Debbie Lynne and I had walked over to the Pastor’s house when we arrived to drop off some gifts that Debbie Lynne had purchased for their family. The pastor’s wife was there working on making food for the church dinner that would be held after the service. She was so appreciative and seemed very happy. Debbie Lynne and I snapped a few pictures and then walked down the hill to the church building. The service had already started so Joe, Debbie Lynne, and I stood in the back. The rest of the team was sitting right up in the front. The Haitians like to seat their guests of honor right in the front, but as the building was full, we just stood in the back. Joe had been asked to give a testimony of the Lords goodness and grace during his bout with cancer. This church family was among one of several churches in Haiti that had been praying for Joe. Kevin translated for Joe, and Joe did a great job. Joe started tearing up a bit at the end, and so did I. I’m tired so everything is a bit emotional for me today. I haven’t even held Eby today as I know how hard it’s going to be to leave this sweet baby. It does seem to me that Haitians are not very emotional people as I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them cry. They are a strong and sturdy people, and some are very pain pulling their own teeth?! Ouch!

The church service this morning had a lot of singing, which I love to hear! I recognized all of the songs even though I didn’t recognize the words. We sang “The Love of God”, “Since Jesus Came into my Heart”, “There is a Fountian”, and several others. Some of the ladies from our team sang two specials together. I would critique a lot more if I was directing it for church or School, but since I’m not and it was sung from the heart, I pray that someone was blessed by it. This is the church that took up the offering last year in a Victoria Secret heart shaped box, but today I noticed that the Church has actual offering plates. There was also a group of Haitian young people that sang together, and it was lovely. I do enjoy hearing the Haitians sing as they sing with all their heart and soul.

After the music, my dad was asked to preach. Preaching through a translator is always a bit challenging, but I think that he did a good job today. Following the preaching, the church had communion. Communion is always a special time for me, and seeing it here in Haiti was very special. Here in Haiti the communion table was set up at the front of the church, and the congregation comes forward to get the bread and the cup. I wasn’t sure about taking communion since I didn’t understand the language, but I figured if Emelie did it so would we. Once Pastor Kevin and Emelie got up to get it the rest of the team followed. By the time Joe, Debbie Lynne and I reached the front, it was clear to see that there weren’t going to be enough communion cups for everyone. Some of the members of our team didn’t get a cup, but as Debbie Lynne whispered “The Bible doesn’t say how much to drink, I’ll share with Joe.” Since some people were sharing the cups, the pastor had one of the young men come over and full up the cups to the very top. (The communion juice was grape soda pop.) Since we cant understand the language it was imperative that we pay attention to what the people were doing. When they ate the bread, so did we. After we drank the cup, one of the young men came by and picked up some of the cups. Then they took the cups to the front, took out a few, filled them with the juice, and then the pastor’s finished the Lords Supper. That’s something we wouldn’t do in the States, but no one seems too concerned about germs, and it was clear to see that their hearts were in the right place.

After church, we tripped up the hill to the old church building for lunch. Lunch was a church dinner with pre-plated food that consisted of chicken, rice and beans, and beet salad. Unlike church dinners in the states, I did not see any food thrown away and every bite was eaten.

Although we were a bit tired after lunch, it was time to set up for the clinic. After church we had put labels in the people in church that were planning on coming to the clinic, as that way we could make sure that we saw those people first. It was a bit chaotic at first as we tried to set up a pharmacy table, a urnine station, and make a place to see the patients. Then we had people who didn’t want to wait in line so every time we turned around someone wa trying to cut in front of someone else! Pastor Kevin finally spoke to them in their language, so we were able to find a method to our madness! I didn’t feel especially needed in today’s clinic as the space was was crowded by the pharmacy table and we had a lot of people working. However, it did allow me to have a conversation with Debbie Lynne, so I was thankful for that.

Gilly is one of our Haitian translators for the medical team. His mom attends the church gathering we are at today, and I wanted to try to speak to her through one of our other translators. Gilly went up the mountain this morning with the construction team. The translator that I was using was a bit on the young side and still learning English so I’m not sure that I was able to communicate what I wanted to tell her. What I wanted to express to her was how much I respect and admire her. Gilly is a young man with a heart for God, a desire to serve his people, and a hard worker. I admire his mom as I know that moms are important in shaping their sons. In ten years or so, I want to have four sons that have a heart for the Lord, a desire to serve, and a willingness to work hard. (I want that for my daughter too!) I’m not sure that I was able to convey what I want to say, and I was trying not to cry, but God knows my heart.

It felt like the clinic would never end today, but it did. We saw 169 people this afternoon, which me as that we did see over 1,000 people this week! Seeds of the Gospel were planted, some seeds were watered, and we did see some souls saved for eternity! God is so good!

While we were doing the clinic, some of the guys from the team where working on some electrical work in the church building. At one point in time, Joe was hanging out the window over the mountain, and my dad was holding on to his ankles to stabilize him! Then Josh was standing in a piece of plywood across two benches and the whole thing almost collapsed!

We finished up the clinic, picked up all the remaining medicine and got ready to leave. But now the electrical people weren’t done with their job! So we sat and waited for them to finish. That was probably the most tiring part of the entire day as we were ready to head back to the hotel, but we needed to wait. Oh well!

While we were waiting, a mom came in and sat down in one of the benches. She had a baby with her, and one of the Haitian pastors began talking to her. The pastor then came and asked Hannah to look at the baby. The poor baby had some type of rash going around her ankles and the skin was rubbed raw and very painful looking. We found an antibiotic in one of our bags, and hopefully this baby will feel better soon. Maybe God delayed our going back to the hotel just so we could help this mom and baby.

Finally! At around 5:00 pm, we were ready to go. On the way back we did stop at the place where Emelie and Kevin are building their house. The lot is on a hill is about every lot in Haiti. But the view is beautiful! It would be a beautiful sight to take in every day.

We arrived back at the hotel around 6:00pm, and supper was ready about 7pm. The food was delicious, and my favorite was the goat and fried potatoes. I’m kinda tired of rice and beans, but that’s okay. We’ve been fed plenty of food, and I’m not complaining.

It’s amazing how tiring these days can be. The construction team that came in yesterday headed up to the mission house after the baptismal service. Dad and Krissy are also staying for another week, but they opted to stay with the medical team. They will head back up the mountain on Tuesday.

Tomorrow is our rest and recharge day. I know that Hannah would like to take Eby to the clinic to see if they have any insight to offer. I would like to go also as I want to see the hospital/clinic again. I am looking forward to tomorrow.


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Saturday, March 31, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Mission Trip Day 6

Haiti Journal Day #6

by Sarah Robertson

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I can’t remember what day of the week it even is anymore! The days are so busy and full that it’s hard to believe that Saturday is here already! We have a half day of clinic in Seguin before heading down the mountain this afternoon.

Hannah slept with Eby last night on her camp mat on the floor as she wanted to be able to wake him up to check his temperature and offer water. I doubt it was a great nights rest for her, as I well remember sleeping with a toddler!

I heard Hannah get up with Eby several times in the night, but his fever did stay down. He had be awake enough at 2:30 to eat the rest of his eggs and drink some water. I was up for the day a little before five, so I offered to hold Eby while Hannah crawled back into her bed for a short nap. Eby settled down in my arms, and all was quiet in the room. It gave me an opportunity to spend some time in prayer both for this sweet boy and his family as well as my own.

Shortly before 6am., Eby gave a few little burps and gurgles. I knew what was about to transpire as the vomit signals are the same in any language! As a mom to five kids, I just held him so that he wouldn’t get himself all yucky, and waited for him to stop. Hannah hopped up out of bed...that was a short rest...and took Eby while I cleaned up the mess. I’ve never been good with vomit, but I managed not to throw up. Yes, there is a reason I’m not in the medical profession! Eby did not show any other signs of being sick, and perhaps he was just too full from the eggs. While it certainly was not a lot of food for the average American two year old, Eby is very under fed. Perhaps his stomach just couldn’t take all the food that his eyes wanted to eat!

As we were getting ready for the day, the grandma and granddaughter showed up in the doorway. They had walked over from Chota...yes that 1 1/2 hour see the baby and find out what the plan was for Eby. We invited them to breakfast, and Pastor Kevin explained that while Eby was doing better, he was still very weak. Pastor Kevin explained that Eby could come down the mountain with us, and the medical team would monitor his care. Eby would come back up the mountain on Tuesday, and the grandma could come over to the mission house on Wednesday. She seemed very accepting of this arrangement, and almost happy (I have a hard time reading their expressions sometimes!). We sent them to Chota with a bag of food, and I gave the little girl most of my snacks that I had left from the week. We have plenty of food, and even if I’m a bit hungry, I’m going home in a few days. I have the ability to get plenty of food, and I’ve certainly come to want to look out for this grandma and granddaughter. I did notice that the grandma had on some very well worn tennis shoes today instead of the flip flops.

I feel like most of the team is still dragging a bit today, but we still managed to get the clinic started around 8:30am. When we arrived at the church, Grandpa said that the doors to the church would be shut once the preaching began. He knew that people would keep coming, but our time is limited today. It’s hard to turn people away, but we already had a bunch of people in the church that wanted to come to the clinic!

I made a BUNCH of trips up and down that mountain today. We needed more medicine, we needed water to mix worm slurpies, something needed to be found, etc. I did get in all my steps for the day (13,000) by the time clinic was over. My Fitbit tracks that there are 18 flights of stairs up the hill and back down to clinic! Yay for exercise!

Most of the people that came to clinic today needed vitamins, worm medicine, or pain medicine. We are almost completely out of acid medicine, and Hannah ordered a lot! Kacie did see a man whose iron level was at 5.6! That’s crazy low! In the States a blood transfusion happens at anything under 6! He told Kacie that he felt very weak and tired! Yup, I bet!! Pastor Kevin said that blood transfusions don’t happen in Haiti. He was confident that the hospital\clinic in Cay Jacmel would not be able to do a transfusion unfortunately. The team did what they could which was to give him a bottle of iron, vitamins, and pray fervently!

Hannah saw a little girl that most likely has multiple sclerosis. However even in the States that takes a lot of treatments, appointments, and braces-not really a feasibility here. It’s sad, but ultimately life is in Gods hands. Cory saw a lady who had pulled her own infected tooth and had given herself an, ouch!!

We wrapped up the clinic around noon, carried all the stuff back up the mission house, and dragged out everything we had. Anything that is left has to be inventoried so Hannah knows what to order for next year. The team also had to decide what medicine to take down the mountain as we have a short clinic after church at Moriah Baptist Church tomorrow. We did see 194 people in today’s half clinic, so we will most likely see over 1,000 people after we have the clinic tomorrow. That’s a lot of worm medicine, vitamins, pain relief pills, and stomach acid medicine that was handed out!

We headed back down the mountain around 1:45pm. Pastor Kevin had said that we needed to be leaving the mission house no later than 2, so for the first time all week we were ahead of schedule! Eby rode in the cab of the dump truck with the driver, the cook, and our Haitian nurse. The rest of us piled in the back of the truck along with the bags, water jugs, jugs for fuel for the generator, and medicine. Emelie always says that the thing to keep in mind about the dump truck is that everyone else looks more comfortable than you! It’s really quite impossible to get comfortable on the back of a dump truck and once you pick a spot, it’s sure to disappear in a few short miles. What I mean is that you’ll pick a spot on top of a bag or suitcase and think to yourself, “this is the spot, I can sit here for several hours and be comfy”. Then the bags shift, someone sits abruptly on your lap, or something falls on your foot. Then you think that the person across from you looks way more comfy than you, but the truth is no one is just have to deal with it! It is what it is, so you might as well be happy about it! We arrived in Cay Jacmel at about 4:45, so it was about a three hour ride. The best part was the warm bread that we got from a road side stand, and I could’ve eaten a lot more of that! Everyone had a layer of dirt and grime coating their skin and hair, but we made it safely. One of our medical bags had fallen off the truck and had been run over. When we picked it up, it smelled like Alcohol and Children's medicine. But nothing could be done at the moment so keep going!

We are staying at the same hotel that we stayed at on Monday night. Cory agreed to switch rooms with Faith, Krissy, and I as our room smelled very strongly of mildew. Then we realized that the air conditioner didn’t work in our room! Oh well, at least Emelie managed to tell the lady at the desk that we would like a fan! But out of all the rooms we have rented, I think only one room has a working air conditioner.

Shortly after we arrived at the hotel, the group that had flown into Port-au-Prince arrived. Tomorrow after the baptism service, this team will head up the mountain to start on construction work. Everyone came down the mountain today as Moriah Baptist Church is having a special service tomorrow at their new building.

After the other people arrived from the airport, we headed to supper. One of Pastor Kevin’s friends from childhood has a restaurant, so we were eating supper there. The food was delicious! We had rice and beans (of course), but also chicken, pasta salad, beets, grilled fish and some type of spicy coleslaw. This is like no other restaurant I’ve every been at. It feels and looks like a tiny house. There is one long table , and we were the only ones at the restaurant. There was one lightbulb hanging for the center or the room, and it was flickering like crazy! The kind of flickering that gives you a headache in about to minutes...praise the Lord for ibuprofen! Eby ate the food like it was going out of style! He had the type of appetite that one would expect from a two year old. He ate with one hand and held on to his plate with the other hand. He would push Hannah’s hand away every time she tried to more his plate. It was great to see him have an appetite. I just wish I could stay long enough to see him get some expression on his face. I’ve never seen him angry, but I’ve never seen him smile or change expression either. He’s like a little depressed old man. I do know that I will continue to pray for this boy as I head home. I don’t know if I will ever see him again, but I can pray that he will grow to love Jesus, and that his grandma and sister will grow in the Lord.

We’ve had a good week. I’ve made some new friendships, strengthened some old ones, and I’ve been encouraged and blessed by the unity and harmony of God’s people working together. As much as I have loved this week and being a part of the team, I’m ready to see my tribe. Eby has stolen a piece of all of our hearts, but I can’t bring him home with me. I do want to hug my own kids a little tighter when I get home. God has been so good to me.

We have a baptism tomorrow, a church service, a church dinner, and a medical clinic. It’s sure to be a full day!

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Friday, March 30, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Mission Trip Day 5

Haiti Journal Day #5

by Sarah Robertson

Friday, February 9, 2018

Honestly, I am so exhausted today. However, I want to write about the events of the day before I forget the details of today.

It was a night short on sleep as Hannah, Debbie Lynne, Kacie, and I took turns getting up with Eby throughout the night. He was woken up every hour from 10pm to 3am to try to get him to take some liquids. He is very, very sick but he is also determined not to take the formula or water. I only was able to get him to take about 1/2 ounce at 10 pm. Kacie tried at 11:15 to get him to take a little bit, and Debbie Lynne got Eby to take about an ounce at 12:30am. Hannah got up to check his temperature and try to feed him at 1:45am, and his fever had broke! Praise the Lord! Since his fever had broke, it was determined that when I got up at 3 to feed him, we could let him sleep after that. He didn’t take any liquids and his diaper was dry, but it was clear to see that Eby was exhausted. We all took a few hours of sleep from three to five am, but it was definitely a night short on sleep!

At 6am., Eby was still fever free, but he didn’t have a wet diaper and he was very resistant to taking fluids! We took Eby with us upstairs when it was time for breakfast along with the grandma and granddaughter. Eby was acting more alert, but he was very sleep and unexcited about life. Eby did take a bite of banana and a bite of bread, but he wasn’t crazy about eating! We had bread, bananas, and fried eggs for breakfast. We then offered Eby some eggs, and he loved those! He sat snuggled on Pastor Kevin’s lap eating eggs. We offered him water to drink, but he did not want anything to do with that! Eby’s grandma told Pastor Kevin that Eby wanted some coffee for breakfast! Um...No! The nurses and P.A.s were adamant about not letting Eby have coffee as that is a diuretic and this baby needs to pee! No coffee for Eby, but Pastor Kevin said that is probably what Eby eats for and bread. This little boy is about two years old, weighs probably about 16 lbs., and is severely underfed, and is in need of some extra care. Unfortunately, his family is poor, and it appears that there are a lot of mouths to feed at home.

After breakfast, we gathered together the stuff we would need for clinic today in Seguin. The clinic will be held at the church (down the hill), and at 7:30am, we received word that the church was full. Our work was cut out for us! Emelie worked on gathering up some stuff to give to the grandmother and granddaughter so that they could take a shower. Debbie Lynne had an extra dress and shirt that she had planned to give away to someone. I had brought along an extra bag of clothes, and I found a skirt and pair of bike shorts that I could do without. Emma had outgrown some of her clothes, so I had randomly tucked those in my bag also. While the granddaughter is bigger than Emma, the leggings and dress might work out perfectly as a tunic top and capris. While I did like the skirt that I gave to the grandmother, I have a whole closet of clothes at home! I also had brought along a bag of travel size toiletries that were perfect for the two of them. They were very excited about taking a shower, and it was nice to be able to offer them clean clothes to change into. It’s not to hard to figure out that they probably don’t have much back home as both of them took extra food at breakfast and hid it in the bag of stuff we had given’s heartbreaking!

Time for another day of clinic! People were already in the church waiting for us, so even though every one was a bit tired, it was time to get to work. It’s a bit of a hike down to the church, but as we set up for the day we realized that we had forgotten a few things up at the mission house. I offered to take a hike up the hill to get the tongue depressors and extra vitamins. As I walked through the mission house, I saw Eby laying on the camp mat we had set up the night before for the family. The blankets were neatly folded up, Eby was sleeping, and the bag of stuff we had given to the family was gone along with the grandmother and granddaughter. I was in a predicament. Do I take the sleeping baby with me back down the hill as he is sick and unattended? Or perhaps everything is different in Haiti and I should just leave him? I decided to walk back down the hill to the clinic to ask Hannah. As I walked into the clinic, I saw the grandmother and granddaughter. They had come to the clinic to say goodby. They looked so clean and refreshed after their showers. The grandma had chosen to wear the skirt that I had given her and the shirt from Debbie Lynne, and the granddaughter looked very cute in Emma’s clothes. They were returning to Chota and leaving the baby in our care. I’s crazy to me too! But around here Pastor Kevin said that they recognize that their baby will be well cared for and it’s one less mouth for them to feed. The baby will come down the mountain with us tomorrow and come back up with the team that is staying for next week on Tuesday. This baby has eight days to get well and be given a fighting chance at surviving!

I would take this baby home in a heartbeat if that were feasible, but his life is in God’s hands. This baby has been prayed over many, many times in the last 24 hours, and that won’t change even when I go home. God gave Eby a miracle in the fact that his fever broke, but he needs to drink and pee.
Hannah went up the hill to get the baby, and I went back up to see if she needed help. She was trying to get Eby to take some liquids, and he was resisting. He felt warm, so Hannah went back down the hill to get the thermometer. When she came back and checked his temp, it was normal. He was probably hot from all the blankets he was wrapped in. We gathered up some blankets and headed down the hill. I carried Eby, which made Hannah nervous, but honestly, it wasn’t too bad. I was carrying a very precious bundle, and I would’ve hurt myself before I let anything hurt him. We arrived at the clinic and made Eby a little bed under the table. Hannah said that we had to start getting him up every 45 minutes to fed him. If he didn’t start peeing, the team would have to try to get an IV in him.

At 10:30 am., I gave Eby to my dad as he needed a job. We put an ounce of pedialyte in a bottle and dad worked at getting him to take it. Eby is so slow at taking liquids and it took over 45 minutes just to get hike to take an ounce! We let Eby go back to sleep, and then we work him up about noon. His temperature was elevated again, so he was given more medicine, which he tried to refuse. I decided to try to give him pedialyte through the syringe instead of the bottle. Cory wanted to see if the baby would take formula, so I went back up the hill to get it. As I came down, I passed Pastor Kevin coming up. He was on his was to see if the cooks would make Eby some fried eggs. Since that worked this morning, we might as well try again. Pastor Kevin said that “our baby” might eat eggs if we offered them to him. It’s funny how Eby has become the baby of the Parakaleo team! Eby was not interested in formula, but as soon as the eggs showed up, Eby perked right up! I handed him the bowl, and he actually hung on to the bowl with one hand and ate with the other hand. He seemed to be perking up as the medicine kicked in, but as soon as I tried to get him to drink from the syringe he would push it away. After watching him feed himself for a few minutes, I asked Faith to pour some water in one of our sterile urine sample cups. I handed the cup to Eby and he drank it himself! Huge deal! It was as if the whole team stopped worked as cameras and cell phones were whipped out to take pictures of Eby. He probably thinks that these white people are a special kind of crazy! Eby did not want to let go of the egg bowl even as he got sleepy. I think that this baby is so hungry that he doesn’t want to relinquish the bowl for fear of losing his food-heartbreaking!

There is never a lack of hand to hold Eby around this team! This little boy has stolen our hearts. He has probably never been held this much, loved on this much, and he is certainly prayed for by every member here.

At around 3:00 pm, we woke him up again to offer food and liquids. He does much better when we wake him up enough to hold his own cup. He isn’t drinking much like maybe 1/2 ounce at a time, but it is something. Sweet Eby ate the rest of His now cold eggs, took a sip of water, and snuggled down to sleep. It’s as if eating and drinking zap him of his energy. Cory suggested giving Eby a Children's vitamin as he ate his eggs. Eby took one small lick, and put it in his bowl. He then proceeded to eat every bit of the eggs, but refused to touch the vitamin! This boy is resilient and stubborn- probably what has kept him alive this long!

Joe carried him back up to the mission house after the clinic was over. We actually had a fairly short day as we were done at a little after 4pm. That was nice because we were all tired! We didn’t see anyone that was overly sick today, but we did see two kids that had rocks stuck in their ears! Cory and Faith managed to get the rocks out, but I’m sure it was not the most pleasant experience for the kids! Also a bunch of these kids have the same type of viral rash symptoms we saw in Baie D’Orange. We saw 206 people today, so it was still a full and busy day.

Eby ate eggs again for supper. It seems like he really likes eggs, and they are a complete protein. Eby did have a wet diaper at about 4:00pm, which was a huge relief to all of us. He seems like he might be making a turn for the better, but I wish that he had some expression about life. It’s almost as if he’s depressed. He shows no interest in anything. At two years, he should show signs of stranger anxiety, but yet he shows no expression to any of us. He eats a little, drinks a little, and goes back to sleep. He did walk after supper tonight, so that was a big deal as we now know that he can do It!

I’m tired. I have more that I should write in today’s journal, but I’ll just have to touch on some highlights from the day. We had prayer and praise time after supper, and it was so encouraging to hear testimonies from the team members. Truth be told, I’m exhausted, and if I tried to give a testimony I would resolve into tears. This I know, since I tried! I do know that God gave me a very special gift when He provided the way for me to be on the team this year. I don’t take that opportunity lightly, and I am thankful from the bottom of my heart. The week isn’t over yet, but we are heading down the mountain tomorrow after the morning clinic. I’m excited to see what God will continue to do.

*Listening to the praises of the other team members
* Eby walking after supper
* God’s goodness in sparing Eby’s life
* Three of the men on the team are dads that have their grown children serving with them on the team. That’s exciting! It gives me a vision of what I can work towards and pray for in my own children.


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