“A Cup of Cold Water in My Name”

CONFIDENCE HEALTH CENTER IN HAITI

Last Thursday our daughter and son-in-law bought tickets for themselves and their youngest girl; they’re off to Haiti next month, Lord willing.

When we lived in Ontario we were good friends with the Fred P and Robert T families; our Michelle was best friends with Fred’s oldest girl, Candace.  Time went on and the children all grew up.  Then Robert’s son Keith married Fred’s Candace and later Fred’s son Anthony married Robert’s daughter Darla.  A real “family affair.” ☺

Robert & Sally have maintained connections with Haiti through the years, having been missionaries there in the 70s.  Robert especially, being a creole-speaking minister, has been back and forth many times for revival meetings and other church-related work.  Now their children have gotten involved in that mission, too; Anthony & Darla P were in Oriani – an isolated mountain village – as missionaries a couple of years back when the big earthquake struck.

(Actually, just before the quake our children were making plans to go there and help in some dam repair work, but the quake brought an end to those plans.  A few church brethren who did go early to get started with that project got in on digging folks out of the rubble instead.)

In the interval it was decided to set up a prenatal health clinic in one of the impoverished mountain villages of Haiti where infant mortality was extremely high and Keith & Candace T are involved with that.  Keith writes that in the few months before they went there, of the nine pregnancies not one resulted in a living baby!

So the Clinique Confiance en Dieu (Confidence in God) was built and Keith is the present administrator; he finds it a very demanding, challenging position.  He tells of doing a little survey in their community lately and finding that one-third of the babies don’t survive past age two.  Now they’re doing their best to provide information on infant care so this dismal statistic will be improved.

But once the clinic was established they found that most everyone around with medical needs comes to them for help or transportation to hospital.  This isn’t an outsiders’ mission; they work together with the Haitian church, seeking advice from the local ministry and occasionally channelling donated funds to some extremely desperate situations.

A nurse has been hired; Keith says she spends her days “stitching wounds, dealing with burns, diagnosing all kinds of normal and strange illnesses, doing prenatal classes, delivering babies, etc.”  An ambulance has been donated to take serious cases to hospitals in the city.  Now they are trying to locate a good, used ultrasound machine.

They’ve had some very badly burned children brought in, carried by a parent for several hours over the mountains, sometimes a few days after the injury when home remedies or witch doctors have failed to cure the problem.

He tells of a young father who came one day and asked them to visit his home because they had a new baby, so Keith & Candace walked over several hills to the 6’x11′ home – barely standing on the edge of a cliff.  The husband was 25; the wife was 20 and had just given birth to their third child.  Hurricane Isaac had recently swept over, taken the roof off and knocked one wall into the house so they stood under a leaky tarp while Keith told the story of Daniel in the lions’ den, how an angel had protected him.  Then he named the couple’s little boy Daniel, prayed that God would bless that little family, and encouraged them to come to the clinic for some health care.

So if you want to know what some Christians are doing to alleviate suffering in one of the poorest countries, their website is well worth reading: http://www.confidencehealthcenter.org

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2 thoughts on ““A Cup of Cold Water in My Name”

  1. Yes, I sure enjoyed reading the confidence health blog! Thanks for the extra background to help understand better how it all came about. Some boys from our congregation went last winter to help build the new clinic.

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