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Thursday, September 23, 2004

We've Seen Some Amazing Things - September 23

One of our translators took us to a Voodoo Temple the other day and has often talked about Voodoo with us. "I personally do not believe in this Voodoo," he will often insist, but then he will go onto describe "the amazing things" one sees with Voodoo.

Seeing "amazing things" is a favorite phrase. He will talk about people who are set on fire but do not burn, or people who hold a red hot piece of metal but are not injured, or people who disappear and then reappear before your very eyes -- well, as he says: "amazing things."

We have seen amazing things here in Haiti.

Children with temperatures as high as 103 have been given medicine.

Adults have been treated for painful and lifethreatening ailments.

Children and adults have been given tooth brushes and have been taught how to use them.

Electrical work has been done at the hospital.

These are real, and they are amazing to see.

I invited you to ask questions and you have. I've had trouble with AOL, so I only have some of your questions. I will answer all of them when I'm back in the States. With the trouble I've had with AOL, I'm glad I set up this "web blog."

1. HOW CAN I BE INVITED TO JOIN A MISSION TEAM? I have received this question from more people than any other. You do not have to be invited. All you need to do is ask Ask NOW, and you are "on the list" for the next trip.

2. IF I GO, HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? I can't remember the exact amount, but it is about $800. Ask me personally when I return, or check out the Good Shepherd web page and look up the Mission Trips page under Missions. I THINK it is about $800 per person. That includes everything but what you might buy personally.

3. WHAT ARE THE RESTROOMS REALLY LIKE?? Think camping. Actually, it is better than that. At the hospital there are Western style, or American style toilets. If you were to come and work only at the hospital, that would not be a concern. On the mobile clinics, however, there have been outhouses -- however, I personally recommend a good tree.

4. WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE? It has been very good, and there has been enough variety that most people can find something they can eat. Lots of rice, bread, meats (chicken, goat or fish), salad, bananas and other fruit. Coca-Cola is imported straight from Mexico and as the commercials would say, "tastes refreshing!" Cooks prepare the meals for us, so our group does not have to do any kitchen work. We all brought food for the group to share. If you come, small packages of crackers are recommended -- a snack in the middle of the day while on the road has been most helpful!

5. WHAT ABOUT SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS? There are four guest rooms. Men sleep in one, women in another, and a married couple have taken up a third room. The fourth has been empty for most of the week. The beds are comfortable and we all sleep soundly. There are two bathrooms and rarely is there a line.

6. WHAT ABOUT LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES? Haitians speak Creole and or French. Some speak English. English is commonly spoken at the hospital. There are always translators with us when we leave the hospital.

7. WHAT SKILLS ARE NEEDED? Any! We think of this as a medical mission, but we talked tonight about doing a Vacation Bible School or music ministry here. The possibilities are endless. Think about your gifts, and if you want to go, we'll talk!

8. IS THE GROUP SAFE? Yes. Now -- having said that I would not want to mislead you. I think there is a degree of danger anywhere we go in this world. Haiti is more dangerous than many places in the world. You have to be careful, but we are in good hands here at the hospital. They serve us well as guides and drivers. As long as you are careful, and have a little elevated awareness and caution, you would probably not be in any grave danger here.

There is no danger to us from Hurricane Jeanne. The weather has been great for us. We know about the deaths of over 1,000 people only from the talk around the hospital and checking CNN web pages. We are also aware that the hospital here in Leogane has sent doctors and medical supplies to the region where the mudslides occurred. The area that people seem to be hearing about on CNN is far to the north of us. Think of what Atlanta would be like if Miami was hit by a hurricane -- that's about what it has been like for Leogane.


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