Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Haiti Update

Thank you to everyone here who have keep us covered in Prayer. If it were not for God we would not have been able to do so much. I also want to thank everyone who has donated time, money, and supplies. There has been so many fundraising activities held by people all over the country to show love to Haiti.

My first few weeks in Haiti were spent at St. Damien’s Children’s hospital. Putting together teams to come down and help at the hospital as well as the clinic. Then we went into post op mode, with the USNS Comfort, along with seeing 400 plus patients a day we started to take post op patients from the Comfort.

We were blessed with amazing medical professionals who came down, jumped in and got to work. So much to do in conditions that were very hard to deal with. But all of the teams did such a great job. Last week it was a relief to see the numbers each day go down as to the number of people who needed medical care.

The Haitian people are all suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. They are terrified to go inside. If they do then they can not sleep. With the rainy season coming now things will only get worse. We have had 2 more earthquakes, but you have not heard of them as Haiti is now old news…on to the Olympics and something to celebrate. For the Haitians they celebrate life every morning I would hear someone singing praises to God it was a wonderful way to wake up.

Every day some Haitian I did not know would come up to me and thank me for coming to their country to help. It means so much to them to see us trying to help. It brings up their spirits, and encourages them to go on each day.

Please continue to keep the Haitian people in your prayers. They had such a hard life before the earthquake now it is even more impossible. So many churches, schools, businesses and homes that have been lost. Everywhere you look there is devastation. Looking at the big picture is overwhelming. So as always we pray and grow where God opens doors. We have had many people who have contacted Angel Missions Haiti, who feel called to help in Haiti. We need to build schools, churches, orphanages as they guess that there are more than one million true orphans now in Haiti.

To do this we must purchase land, clear it and then build, not cheaply but build smart have engineers look at the build sights and advise so that if another earthquake even larger than the 7.1 hits Haiti again our new structures survive. Things in Haiti continue to get more expensive as things develop and the need for continued financial support is going to be critical.

God is great all the time,


Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13

The team that just came back from Haiti

Some pictures of the tent cities that are going up

Two pictures from around Haiti

Friday, February 12, 2010

Feb. 12

Blessings to all,

Walnes is letting me use his computer as mine does not want to work right.

I am sorry I have not been in better contact. But from limited electricity, to limited internet access to 12 hour days it has not been easy.

We have been able to help so many with all of your love offerings and prayers. We have over 100 displaced Haitians living right up from us and are providing them food and water. Everyone is to worried to go back into their house if they are still standing. The whole country is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress.

But the children who are also scared are now starting to smile. I was downtown Port au Prince this week to pick up patients and it was beyond words. Almost everything is down. Then you go past a small house still standing. The thought of so many buried where they were standing on Jan. 12 is real. So many that will never be accounted for. We pass a large building every day that pan caked down. Someone climbed up to a floor that I guess one of their loved ones worked and put a beautiful set of flowers on the ledge. It is a daily reminder so many are gone and may never be found.

We started to take children released from the comfort this week. Sunday three more will join us at St. Emmanuel's School where we have been doing a daily clinic. I had thought that by now the lines each day would be shorter but as of yet they are not. So many with headaches, stomachaches, wounds that have not been seen and now are infected. What ever we can not handle we transfer to a hospital. Dr Bob and his team arrived this week and jumped right in. They are working at General Hospital, helping us with Clinic and started a clinic where they are staying and seeing patients each day. Diane, Terry, Doug, Jaxs, Gemina have been real troupers sleeping on the floor, cold showers, small meals. They have been such a great help. We could not do as much as we have without all of the teams.

Ginny is great she is with Haitian Christian Outreach and carefully explains to each patient about the medications they are receiving. We have been blessed with many teams who came down and still want to come to Haiti. I ask for your patients as we get each of your trips scheduled. Please understand that working in Haiti is harder than ever. We must not over book people and we are now needing to space out teams over the next months so that we can continue to give medical care to so many that need it.

The need has not diminished the earthquake has just brought so much of it to the surface. Pastor Mac thinks we can be on schedule with the surgery center he arrives in Haiti on Feb. 23. Our opening date is still scheduled for April 26. With two new OR's to work in we will be able to help so many more children and adults. Please pray that we can stay on schedule, that all of the funds needed to help so many continue to come in.

I wish I could send you photos but the computer I am working on is not mine. Please know that we are safe, well and doing all we can to help the Haitian people. It is so hard to talk to Tom and the kids and imagine that they are having snow and all that cold weather when we have sweat running down our faces. I pray you are all safe and warm.

Sorry I am not much of a writer. all my love V

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Feb. 6

Hi well it has been very hard with no computer for 4 days. Walnes thinks he fixed it but who knows its haiti. I am taking today off trying to catch up on computer and we are just seeing so many patients each day that it is mind bogging.

Some about 1/4 have to come to have wound care dressing changes. Others are just now seeking care and have toes, fingers, hands, feet and legs that are now beyond help and must be amputated. Still others sought out care to begin with and were given wrong information about their condition and now it is also sometimes beyond treatment.

The Haitian people continue to show their love of God and all around them. I am strenghtened by their love of God and love of us. Daily people thank us with tears in their eyes for coming to help them and their country.

Sometimes all they need is a hug and someone to say that they care. They have all lost so much.

Ogine a little girl brought to Clinic at the begining of the week by her neighbor is just such a young child. She thinks she she is 13 we suspect younger. Her and her mother were outside of thier appartment when the quake started. Mom told her to say and ran into
the appartment to get her father and 5 brothers. Everything came down on them leaving her one of the true Orphans. The neighbors took her in for a few days but can not care for her as they have 6 of their own children. No work, no money for food. She is at the appartment with me now along with Geni.

Please pray for these children as we are seeing them daily. Trying to find family or friends to take them in is getting harder each day.

Vanessa A. Carpenter

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feb. 4 Update

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so sorry communication is very difficult and some days I am not up to writing.

The days are long and hot. We get to the clinic and see patients from early in the morning till the afternoon. Any patients needing transported to the Hospitals need to go with the driver or I have to go to be able to get them accepted. If not they are rejected. Makes for very long hot days.

Yesterday was one of those days where I saw so much that upset me. At one point I had to walk away we had not internet and I came down to try it again. And I saw on my computer a photo of the triplets. I cried and felt much better, I feel it was God showing me just why he has called me to work here. I needed that pick me up because we had a borrowed car and the team when home with the driver I and Diane took patients to the hospital to drop off. Got back to the clinic fine but then the car started acting up. On our way back up to the place we stay the car broke down. OK here we are two white women in the middle of Delmas with one Haitian who speaks next to no English. We prayed. God sent Haitian men who helped us to get the car off the road then they worked on it and were able to get it running for me. Then they got in the car and made sure we made it all the way back safe even walking us to the door. God took care of everything.

This morning I walked out to find little Geni walking with a man I remembered. Years ago, he had brought her to us with her Grandma and Mama to get her Cleft lip and palette fixed.  Sadly, Geni's family died in the earthquake and she no longer has anyone to care for her.  As you can see in the photos she is in shock, but was happy to see me and has clung to me since. I took a photo of the two of us that I will post.

Please be in prayer as Geni is the sixth child we have had brought to us who no longer has family. Some of the children are being taken care of by Haitian friends, others by their neighbors.  Angel Missions continues to do all we can to provide them food, water and funds to do so until I get this all figured out. Geni will be my shadow until I can arrange safe care for her here in Haiti.  There are many little ones like Geni who have been so traumatized by the earthquake and the chaos that has followed.  We are praying that the system of orphanages and NGO's here in Haiti will begin to work together to provide them with not just food & shelter but a sense of safety and love.

Today we received some food and we will receive more patients that need medical care. The team I have here are great.   Every day, we start out with scripture and prayer.  All that they are seeing here is  changing their lives as it is mine.

A Love Song for Haiti by Kirk Franklin & Friends

I added a music video in the left hand column for everyone to see.  It is a beautiful tribute to Haiti and truly made me cry.  Kirk Franklin and friends will hopeful inspire many to keep Haiti and her people in their thoughts & prayers.  Haiti is a country of strong, courageous, and generous people and so are we.  Our prayer is that together with the rest of the world, we can help them heal and rebuild.  Please keep our team members and all the other volunteers in your prayers as they do whatever they can to make life better for everyone they meet this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 3rd Update

We continue to be amazed and humbled by the kindness & generosity being shown to our teams on the ground in Haiti.  Without exception, the Haitian's who have met the team have all been so thankful of any help they have been given and are quick to share what they have with friends & neighbors.   Thanks to the many donations to our mission, we are able to help many.  While our main mission has always been working with children needing medical care both in Haiti and in the US, we have had to refocus for the short-term.  Angel Missions is in Haiti to help in any way we can and so we are currently  concentrating our efforts where we know we can make a real difference.

First, we are providing support, food and water to the remaining inhabitants in the area of our clinic, Delmas 91.  Vanessa is living at this clinic with team members.  I will try and get a photo of the clinic post-earthquake so you can see what it looks like.  Their being physically present at the clinic is important as many of our families know that is where to find Angel Missions.  It is our best chance of getting information on many of the children we have served in recent years.  It is also where many people know where to go to for help.  Having someone there will reassure them that we are in Haiti to help before, during and after this crisis.  When Vanessa first arrived in January, there were close to 300 people living in a field at the end of the block.  Weeks later, that number is down to 100 with many folks fleeing the city for the countryside.  Those that are left are still sleeping outside under tarps.  They are still terrified.  Food and water remains scarce but through contacts has managed to find enough to give everyone in the group one meal a day.  She has also had a truck bring in enough water for drinking and washing.   There is lots of food at the airport, but distribution is still bogged down.  Nothing in Haiti was easy before January 12th and now everything is that much harder.

Every day, families are bringing their children to the clinics and asking Angel Missions to take them.  Years ago whenVanessa started Three Angels Children's Relief with several other women, caring for these little ones was her primary concern.  However, she left that group three years ago to start Angel Missions and concentrate on arranging medical care for the many children in Haiti who desperately needed life-saving surgeries.  Many Haitians know her and know that she has helped others in the past when they could not care for their children.  Sadly, she has to tell them that we can't help this time.  She told me today there is such a huge need for someone to care for all the little ones who are alone or who are with families simply struggling to survive.  These families love their children and aren't necessarily relinquishing them...they are just begging for help.  They need food...shelter...water...and mostly time to get their lives back together.  Most of us will never understand what it is like to be in this type of situation.  We don't know the agony of holding a child that is truly starving to death or dying from an illness and have no way to save her.  Our experience has been that families do not place their children in orphanages out of convenience, but as a desperate attempt to save them.  Wouldn't we all do whatever it took to save our children?  Please pray that UNICEF and the other large political players in Haiti right now will stop the posturing and get to the business of saving children.  There are many orphanages and children's rescue missions that do this type of work and do it well.  Children need not be housed in "tent cities" because that is what one group deems safest.  Perhaps they should listen to the Haitian proverb that says "many hands lightens the work".

The second primary task for our teams is staffing daily medical clinics at St. Emmanuel's school (future site of the pediatric surgery center) and at our small clinic at Delmas 91.  They continue to see up to 400 people a day.  As many as 100 of those individuals have had no care and are in dire need of medical assistance.  They are doing mostly wound care at the clinics and trying hard to arrange care at the bigger clinics or the hospitals for those in more serious condition.  This week's team has been so thankful and excited that the patients who were treated by last week's team are doing wonderfully!  They are not seeing many infections and are just changing dressings as needed.  Sadly, one young woman came to the clinic yesterday who had not received any care since the earthquake.  Her foot was injured and now, weeks later, she will need to have a toe removed.  The team is working to find someone who will do the surgery and save her foot.  They are hopeful.

Vanessa did ask that I put out a request for someone who might help us get our surgery center operating room in working order.  This surgery center was not suppose to open for several more months, but there is equipment there already.  The building withstood the earthquake and we are hoping that we might be able to get at least a small part of the center up & running.  We do not currently have anyone that can look at what we already have and tell us if we can get it working or what we are missing.  Vanessa is hopeful that someone with that ability will contact us and help with this task.  It would be a tremendous blessing to have the ability to provide more care than we are currently able to.  If you can help or know someone who can, please contact Vanessa at!

We hope to have some photos to post soon.  Many thanks again to all who are joining us in this mission through prayer, donations and the medical professionals who are traveling to Haiti to work with us there.  Please keep them all in your prayers along with our Haitian volunteers...specifically the guards at St. Emmanuel's School.  Without all of you, Angel Missions could not be successful!