The slight breeze from the movement of the car provided our only relief from the hot, humid air. We were pressed closely up against one another, ten people smashed into a small, dark-red Toyota SUV. The car hastily bounced along down the hole-filled dirt road as faces, animals, shops, trash, and other cars blurred by. Dark-skinned Caribbeans glanced at us with a look of interest, perhaps amusement, in their eyes as we fought to keep our car from careening into the other cars all over the road. It was all new to me, but it was just another day in Haiti.
Our Monday began with a delicious Haitian breakfast consisting of a variety of fruits, eggs, breakfast buns, and Haitian corn flakes. We shared a devotion from Acts 4:1-22, prayed, and then headed out to our first destination, a maternity hospital here in Port Au Prince. The maternity hospital was connected to one of our ministry partners, “Outside the Bowl.” There we got to see the food kitchen, equipped with massive slow-cookers, simple ingredients, and a room that was being used to sort beans. We were informed about the purpose and uses of the kitchen before heading into the hospital to pray for those inside.
The hospital was… eye-opening. While the patients did have IV’s, they did not have much of anything else, privacy included. The beds were only two to three feet apart, and there were about 75 total in the whole hospital. Many of the beds had blood on them, some fresh and some old. There was no security, so there were people that came into the hospital (men and women alike) purely to try and collect handouts, practically oblivious to the people around them. There was also no air conditioning, so only a few fans and windows (or, perhaps more fittingly, the places where bricks were absent) provided relief to the sick, to those in labor, and to the new mothers and babies.
Part of the hospital was used for women with illnesses of all sorts. The doctors there were Haitian-trained and seemed to know what they were doing, but their supplies were quite limited. It was apparently not uncommon to assign more than one person to a bed when the hospital was overloaded with people. The majority of them were there alone, dealing with often harsh illnesses with only the company of the doctors and the other patients. The majority of the hospital was for pregnant women and women who had just given birth. Most of these were also alone. I talked to many women here, perhaps 20 or 30, but I only noted one woman there with a man near her, her husband. Some of these women had experienced miscarriages and sat alone, left to carry the weight of their dead child in bitter silence. It was heartbreaking, and I came to the stark realization that prayer was the best and the only thing that we could offer many of the women. So that’s what we did. We prayed for them for several hours. We requested that God would change their lives, and we asked that God would allow their children to grow into leaders, servants, and most importantly into followers of Himself.
Lunch was served at the guesthouse, and we then preceded to go to the Benz, or the Child Hope’s boys home. There we met, served, and interacted with children from the local community that needed food. After playing games with the roughly one-hundred children from the community, “Outside the Bowl” provided a meal for the children (the meal that we had, in fact, seen prepared that very morning), and the children listened to an older Haitian teach a short lesson from the Bible in Creole. After the children left, we played with the Child Hope orphans for a while before heading back to the guesthouse.
We feasted with the Tugwells and the Bader family, and we relaxed and played games for the remainder of the night. I am realizing how grateful I am for what I have, and I am grateful for those who have given their lives to serve here in Haiti. I am grateful for our magnificent Father, the maker of all good things, and I know that he has not forgotten his children here in Haiti as he has not forgotten those of us who have been blessed with a large quantity of material blessings. I am also grateful for those of you who have provided an opportunity for us to be here in Haiti. Thank you for your obedience to the Lord in providing for us to come here. We eagerly covet your prayers, and we are grateful for the prayers that you have prayed so far. You can know with confidence that the Lord working here in Haiti in magnificent ways, and I am grateful for the opportunity to witness and to serve alongside my brothers and sisters here.
Written by Adam Yawn