Monday, March 29, 2010

March Update

Dear friends and family,

I’m looking at my calendar realizing that March is almost over wondering where the past 3 months have gone. I had good intentions of writing monthly updates to all of you, but since the earthquake on January 12, life has been anything but normal here and finding the time and headspace to write has been very difficult.

First of all, I want to thank you for all of your love, support and prayers over the past few months. I know that my presence here would not be possible with out it. The weeks immediately following the earthquake were very draining emotionally, spiritually and physically and so I know that it was not my own strength that carried me through, but the prayers of others. 

The remainder of January and beginning of February were spent fielding emails and inquiries from friends and supporters of the clinic in Canada and the US as the clinic worked on a response to the earthquake. One of the first things the clinic decided to do, was offer free services the first 2 weeks after the earthquake. In that time, the clinic saw over 2,000 patients as people had already began to migrate back north from Port au Prince. Since then, the clinic has kept its fees reduced to 50% of what they were before the quake and we are still seeing great numbers of patients. 

The reality is that the earthquake did not just affect people living in Port au Prince. Everyone is affected and there is increased financial strain on everyone as they look for a way to survive in a country that was barely holding on before. People have to make decisions daily of how they will use the few resources they have – will they buy food for one meal that day or will they take their child to the doctor to receive treatment for sickness. It is for this reason that the clinic has kept its fees reduced for the time being.

Also, in the first trip that Dr. Manno made to Port au Prince after the earthquake, he identified a tent city in Fort National in a particularly poor area for the clinic to partner with and provide relief to. Since that time, the clinic has made several trips there to provide food, water filters, tarps, mobile clinics and build some permanent structures. This has been made possible with the funds so generously given through the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada and a partner organization of Eben-ezer Clinic called Geneva Global.

In mid-February, the first of many groups to come arrived.  Since then, we have hosted 27 different people in Dr. Manno’s house. People have been here to help with construction on the hospital and some have come as medical professionals to serve in the clinic here and with the mobile clinic in a community in Port au Prince. Much has been accomplished in that time – the interior and part of the exterior of the hospital have been painted, 2 rooms inside have been tiled, and the depot of medical supplies have been organized. Next week a group of 14 arrive and we hope to finish the tiling. Having groups here is a blessing as we provide opportunities for people to engage with and build relationships with our Haitian brothers and sisters and we can see the dream of the hospital become a reality for this community.

Some prayer requests:

  • Pray for Dr. Manno as he continues to serve at the clinic here in Haut Limbe and lead the response in Port au Prince. Pray for strength and guidance in making decisions.
  • Pray for the thousands of people that have migrated north to live with family here as they search for a way to provide for their families.
  • Pray for the staff of Eben-ezer Clinic as they continue to serve.
  • Pray for the Canadian/American groups that have visited and that will visit in the future that their time here may be a blessing to all involved and that relationships will continue to grow.
  • Pray for all those who are involved in hosting groups (Dr. Manno’s mom, cooks, cleaners, drivers and clinic staff) who work so hard to make our visitors feel welcome.
  • And finally, please continue to pray for strength and wisdom for me so that I can be effective as possible here.
Thanks again for all of your support.



NFTY said...

Hi Janelle,
My dearest friend is there at Dr. Manno's clinic with the Hope Church from Strathmore. Her name is Natasha BArron. If you see her would you mine giving her a hug and letting her know I am so proud of her and praying for her.
Thank you...and thank you for the work you have undertaken in Haiti, I cannot imagine the strength it has taken to be there this winter.

God Bless,
Nicole Skiftun

Janelle said...

Hey Nicole,

I gave Natasha a big hug for you and it made her day to get your message! I'm sure she'll have so much to tell you when she returns.

NFTY said...

Thank you sooo much! Keep up the good work, and love the blog. God Bless & Hugs,

Elsa said...

I think you need to do an April update:) Love you and have a great time away!