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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Turning People Away - September 21

If only we had one more nurse, one more doctor, one more medical professional of any sort!

We saw 101 people today, which is less than yesterday. But because so many of them were children and took much more time, at the end of the day we had to send some of the sick away without having anyone provide care for them.

The medical clinic we set up today was high in the mountains. It was very beautiful, but very remote. As we did yesterday, today we set up the clinic at a church. On one side is a new school being built -- I met the teacher. He has 30 students and he hopes to see progress for his village. On the other side of the church is another new building -- a medical clinic.

But for now, all these people have are these mobile clinics. When was the last time one visited this community? About a year. When we left, it will be another year before any of them will have hope to see a doctor -- the new clinic is still months away.

If you ever thought of going to Haiti -- remember the need is very great. If you ever thought of sponsoring a doctor or nurse or other medical professional, it would be a great gift to the people of Haiti.

In Matthew's Gospel (Matt 9:37-38), Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

For those of you who are members of Good Shepherd, next time you hear us planning a trip to Haiti, or anywhere, remember how great the need is for your presence!

On another note, before breakfast this morning, Jean Marie took us on a tour of a nearby Voodoo Temple. It was very interesting! It was a long walk to the temple from the hospital in Leogane. We had to walk very quickly to get to the temple and back.

Located off the road, we walked along the river bank for quite a distance until we came to several trees that had colored bands painted on them. "This is a sign that the Voodoo Temple is nearby," Jean Marie told us. We then took a different path leading away from the river, coming to a concrete building that was colorfully decorated. There were elaborate and well-done paintings of St. Peter, the Devil, the Queen of the White Woman, the Queen of the Black Woman, the Snake, and Moses. As Jean Marie told us about the different aspects of Voodoo, he spoke very respectfully of that religion. From time to time he would say, "I myself do not believe in Voodoo, but if you were to come to the Temple, you would see amazing things."

For the entire time we were there, a Voodoo priestess kept a very close eye on all of us.

We went into the temple and were shown a steel post embeded in the ground, around which were the ashes of a fire. "The Voodoo Priestess will light the fire and the post will become red hot. A man will grab the post and not be burned. It is an amazing thing to see."

Jean Marie has said this phrase so often "amazing things," that when I had time this evening I looked the phrase up in the Bible on my Palm Pilot. The New International Version has one match for that phrase.

Joshua 3:5 -- "Joshua told the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.'"

I'm sure that is true for us. Tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among us.


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