Last night as I was lying rolled up next to 5 other Haitian nurses in out tent, I began to think. Everyone else crashed from our long day, but I find it hard to sleep at night. Usually is the shaking ground and paranoia, mixed with the barking dogs or shouts of prasise/prayer to God that keep me awake. Last night I felt my mind clear and alert despite the long hours of work and exhuastion I had felt throughout the whole day. Around 10pm I heard that a few doctors were flying on a US aircraft back to the states today, and I asked God, "Is my work here done?"
Tim guided me through what to pray for. He said to ask God why he sent me here and if I had accomplished all that he wanted me to. I lay there on my back, in the dark of the tent and prayed to God asking him WHY he sent me here. It was clear to me and and my family that I was called to come to Haiti. Every door and barrier that stood in my way to come was pushed flat on it's face and the chain of events that led to me sitting in this chair right now in Haiti could be nothing other than the work of the Lord. After I asked God again and again, "Why did you send me here? What do you want me to do here?" the phrase "to bring heaven to earth" came into my mind. I shook it out, thinking it sounded a little cliche and maybe I just made that up.... but it wouldn't leave my thoughts. My memory brought me to a family I worked with two nights ago. A 14 year-old girl came in with diabetic ketoacidosis. She was completely out of it and we were fighting for her life. Before the night was over the girl died. I held her mom for over an hour... praying over her, kissing her, rubbing her back, jumbling out my creole to say I love you, I'm praying for you... GOD loves you.. and I'm sorry. I sat there with her in the tent... the dead body on the mattress next to her and I tried to absorb a little of her pain. I tried to imagine losing everything I owned... and then my daughter all in the course of a week. This isn't something that anyone chose or had a say in. They were victims of this disaster. Although this case of diabetes was a problem regardless of the earthquake... now there are no hospitals... so where can the people go? It kills me to see the kids who were crushed by falling bricks or houses... their faces will wear the scars of this battle forever.
What a terrifying experience. No one will enter their house... even if it is still standing. There is no telling when the next afershock will come and the house will crumble.
The nursing school is a haven for the hurt. The grounds of the school which used to be enclosed by a gate and included the school, dorms, Hilda's house and lots of open land has transformed into a hospital and a city of tents. There are doctors from all over the world here. The Japaneese brought some amazing equipment with them and have x-ray, ultrasound... and even air conditioning in their tents. The docs that are here are here for the right reasons and they are great to work with. I spend most of my time bandaging up bad wounds, giving antibiotic shots, assiting in procedures, and sitting in with the docs as they evaluate patients.
We have trucks going out into the small villages every day and picking up truckloads full of injured people who have just been waiting for help but had no way to find it. The work is still great here. The hospital is always full... we have 3 operating rooms which are busy most of the day, recovery rooms, wound care stations, and consulation. Babies have been born. My favorite baby name was Shirley Hilda. Named after nurse shirley and the dean of the school, Hilda Alcindor.
The orphanage is safe, but the kids are showing the wear and tear of sleeping outside. The water was tested and found to be contaminated with E.Coli and many kids became sick. They are now on antibiotics. JAs and Greg are making visits to some new properties to check out what's available. They need a new place to live....
We're working on getting Dan Sorenson down soon with supplies for them as it's not easy to get your hands on supplies here.
God is good and he is using people here to show his heart and his love to his hurting children.