Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reaching out to help desperate children in Haiti

We received word today that there is a whole area near Jacmel (southeast Haiti) where children are starving. The Association or private children's organizations got wind of this and wants to intervene on the children's behalf. They asked all the organizations affiliated with them to help with gather supplies to take to the starving children and their families. We will be sending our vehicle and some staff to help with the endeavor. We would like to start a fund for this so we can help as many children as we can. There will be many medical expenses to help get them on their feet, as well as needing to provide them with healthy meals and vitamins. If you would like to help us help these children, please contact us at
Patrica Smith

Friday, December 5, 2008

Updates updates updates!

Richard continues to thrive and grow. His head is still, well, he's trying to grow into it! But, he's an extremely happy child with a ready smile for everyone.

Carlos is the oldest boy in the baby nursery. He is slowly healing from the infection he had when he came back to us in September. He is much more interactive now and is scooting around to play.

Kervens still loves to have all the attention on him. He is doing less crying now and beginning to play. He's has started to get quite fat and smiles a lot.

Kendy is rolling around the floor and becoming very interactive. He loves to be held and talked to and is learning to sleep at night.

Here's an update on Steeven. His skin is looking so much better and he is doing very well. He has a ready smile for us most of the time, and is beginning to reach for toys to play with. If you don't remember him, you can go back on the blog to June and read about him.

This is a project that we have going on right now. It is a wash house on the first floor and an apartment on the 2nd floor. This is a bucket brigade to pour the cement for the roof. It is very interesting to watch. The roof is done and now they are working on plastering the inside of the 2nd story. Once it's all done Lori is going to move in to the new space, anxiously awaiting for the time when it's ready!

It's time to put up the Christmas tree. This is the upstairs tree and all the kids came and stood around in awe as it came together, watching and wanting to help. We put one up downstairs too especially for the children to be able to help decorate. Each child got a chance to put something on the tree and they were so proud to be able to do that.

Yvenson is our preemie. He is 2 months old and weighs just a hair under 3lbs. He was enjoying his bath, sitting in a dipper we use to pour water on the other babies. In this picture, he had just been breastfed, as his mom comes everyday to feed and cuddle him, and had just drank himself full. He is now out of the incubator and in an infant bed beside Grandma's bed.

Our Newest Arrival

Her first bottle...she guzzled it!
Getting ready for her first bath here at HCH
Thinking about what she thinks of this new home....she arrived in all white clothing and Lori's camera flash was going crazy!

Chrisla came to us because her mother is very young and her father was shot in Port-au-Prince as an innocent bystander near Cite Soliel. Her mother has no parents, just brothers and sisters who are unable to help her with caring for a baby. Chrisla will be 2 months old the 11th of December. She was breastfed but seems to be making the adjustment well to a bottle. She smiles and is quite a content baby.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Update on everything happening here

Our local hospital which is just down the road from us has been closed for the past week due to some vagabonds entering the hospital and threw feces all over the hopsital and locked the doctors in their residence and threw fees all over their door.The reason for this was a political problem between the hospital and some staff that had been let go. All the patients had to be transferred to different places. The adult patients were sent to one of the doctors residences and our pediatrician who works there transferred all of his patients down here to the childrens home. We turned our schoolroomm into a clinic while his patients were here. We had 2 babies and three young boys over the course of a week. During this time, Melinda had left to go the states and so we suddenly had a clinic and no nurse. And so, Lori and I acted as nurses for that week. It seems like that we also have had a lot of sickness go through the house during this period of time. Earaches, malaria, lung infections, skin infections, repiratory problems,etc. During this time, a premature baby came to us and though we tried very hard, he was just too small and the mother was very uncooperative about getting medical treatment and thus delayed treatement by a day. Which in the life of a infant born almost 3 months early is very siginificant. We named him Nathan and it wasn't long before he was safe in the arms of Jesus.

Thankfully, things seem to have calmed down at this point. Our clinic is empty and our children seem to be recuperating well! The hospital is still closed and I am getting patients off and on needing medical care.

On Wednesday we got a little boy named Nadieu(we call him Jay for short). He is 21 months old. His mother died in May and he is quite small for his age and very undernourished. He could not stand or walk when he came, but within in a day of good nourishment he stood up and walked across the floor and has been walking all over ever since. He is being followed by our pediatrician and seems to be adjusting well to his environment. He loves to be held and cuddled and cries when he's put down.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An amazing experience

Janae and I just minutes after she was born

A week ago I had an amazing opportunity that in all my life I have never had before! Through a series of events I was able to go and watch a baby being born at our local hospital. Deanna, one of our volunteers, as well as Lori and I went up at the hospital at 6pm. The lady met us at the hospital and we stayed with her planning to watch her give a natural birth. By 12 midnight the doctor decided that she needed to have the baby by c-section. I asked if there would be any chance that we would be able to watch the c-section and he said, "YES"!!!
So we put on our surgery garb(that was the first time I'd worn pants in years!) and entered into the operating room. It was a thrilling event to watch that baby come out of her mother's stomach!! The baby and the mother are both doing fine.

Dr. Ulysse performed the c-section. We were all amazed at his obvious gifting in this area. As we watched him sew her stomach back together we were in awe of the skill he possesses!

Lori and Janae

Deanna and Janae

Cute as a button:Janae

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday

" I saw a little worm"
Last Saturday we had our August birthday party. Due to the flooding and Lori being gone and an influx of children coming in and a number of other things, we are a little behind on our birthday parties. So, November is our month for birthday parties, and so every Saturday we'll be having birthday parties until we get caught up!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Triplet Saga

Steeven babysitting Viventz and Paulentzska.
The triplets are starting to grow into their eyes and continue to keep us busy. They were able to go home for the weekend , and it was a good chance to for their family to get a taste of what life is going to be like(and gave us a nice quiet weekend!)!! They are gaining right along and we hope they likely go home next month to stay.

Valentska hanging out it a DOLL highchair...yep, she's still quite petite.

At 1:00am on October 23 Melinda woke me up saying "Mom, mom, we're getting a baby!" I got up and waited for the people to come up the steps with the baby. When they handed her to me I could feel the cold through her blankets and so we quickly took her to the warming table. Melinda listened to her heart and tried to resuscitate her, but she was just too far gone. From what we could gather, she had been born about 3months early and over an hour earlier, and there had been no-one at the hospital to provide the necessary care as the pediatrician was off duty. It took us while to let them in the gate as in Haiti you just don't open the door at 1 a.m. We held her funeral the next day.

She looked so perfect:another angel in God's hands

October 25 brought us another baby. Kervens(Kevin) came to us because his mom had been abandoned by her husband and has two other children, and that very day was being evicted from her home. She had tried everything to make ends meet but knew that her little boy needed care she could not provide. Though Kervens came with sores all over him and was quite dirty(the toothbrush above was this dirty after scrubbing just his scalp), it is very obvious that he was loved and was given a lot of attention. We are happy that we can care for these children of our community in such sad circumstances.


Jolanda came to us on October 10th from a family at the church we attend. They have a number of other children and they're economic situation is bad and they felt that they could not keep Jolanda. She was breastfeeding and is having a very hard adjustment to the change. She is 3 months old and other than having problems adjusting she is doing well.

GloryBed(quite the name, huh!?!?!?)
This little boy was sent down from the hospital the day he was born as he needed the benfit of our warming table. He them went home a couple days later, but returned the next day due to jaundice and fever. His mom is staying with us and caring for him while he undergoes bili reuben treatements and we monitor his fever.

This is GloryBed's umbilical cord. None of us had ever seen a previously tied off cord quite like it and so we just had to get a good photo. His umbilical cord has since been re-cut and re-tied.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Update on the Triplets

Three little screamers all in a row! Here is an update on our triplets. They are are coming along fine. They are gaining weight, though Valentzska is significantly behind her brother and sister. They will be staying with us for a period of time as their mother is not yet prepared to care for them. Paulentzska has on a dress that Lori bought and we all thought she looked like a little princess in it, and even found a pillow to match! Paulentzska

Flashback: One 24 hour Crisis:September 29

This day started out with the arrival of good friends baby. Negran was three years old and had been sick on and off since birth. He had had a fever for about a week and would not eat. He was brought to our home and in the picture above Melinda and Dr.Touissant were working together to try and find an IV site. Much to our sorrow this precious little boy died due to a fever of 108 degrees. We held a funeral for him that day and did our best to comfort the family.

While we were preparing for Negran's funeral another baby arrived. She was born with anacephilis, and literally had no skull. Her cerebrum was outside of her head and her body was terribly misproportioned. We knew that she did not have a chance at life, so Melinda cleaned her up and wrapped her up and sent her home to spend her short life with her family.

In the same 24 hour period, this little girl was brought to our door. She had a severe scalp infection that was putrid and parts of her scalp had rotted and were falling off. We managed to clean her up and she actually provided some comic-relief from the stressful last 24 hours when she called Melinda the devil!

She came back for several more days for follow-up treatments.

Friday, September 26, 2008

God's LITTLE miracles

Alyssa the day she arrived:July 16

Alyssa two months later!! Isn't God amazing!!

Meet the new Richard! He came to us last week and is doing great!

The town criers:The triplets are doing great, 2 are going home this week, the girl on the left is still quite fragile and will stay at HCH for a while longer!
Steeven arrived on June 30th weighing 9lbs at 16months of age. He came to us after the witch doctor gave up on him, and had a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual issues that required a lot of prayer and patience on our part.

Today: Steeven smiling! Isn't this a beautiful example of how God can take something so awful and hopeless and turn it into something so beautiful!!
Samuel is getting so big!

Our newest addition. This is Yvenson, a 31 weeker that arrived on Tuesday. He's obviously very fragile and underdeveloped, but seems to be doing alright at this point. Please pray for him and for us as we care for this precious little bundle.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where things are at

Our night up at the hospital

Contest: How many babies is Pat hiding under there?

Preparing supplies for neighbours who have lost everything

Dear friends:

Many are concerned about how we are doing after the hurricanes. Here is a brief account of the events that happened surrounding the rage of Ike.

The children's home was not flooded although the water came within 20 feet of our perimeter. Most of our neighbors that are on the side toward the river were completely flooded out with some of their homes being completely covered by water! No one was killed, thank the Lord but several were hurt and the terror was beyond anything I can explain as the flooding took place at 2 -3 am and many woke up to the water already high in their homes. One man tells of frantically looking for his two year old in the murky water, in the dark when she fell as they were trying to run. He did find her and was able to pull her out before she drownd.

We had to evacuate as the water kept rising and we felt it wasn't safe to keep the children in the home. At 2 am I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep but didn't realize why at that point. I sat and read a book and then I began to hear the noise from the rising river never dreaming that it would ever be able to come clear up to our neighborhood. Around 3 am I went down the hall and listened and I began to get concerned as it was obvious that the river was quickly reaching our neighborhood as it sounded like it was right outside our gate. I tried to call some of the neighbors to let them know that they needed to evacuate but the phone service was down and I couldn't get through. A few minutes later I hear screaming and lots of it. I knew immediately that some their homes had flooded. I called for our night staff and asked her to go downstairs and wake up the children and start carrying the toddlers upstairs (the babies live upstairs). I went and woke up our 2 volunteers and my mom. I don't think I have ever had an adrenaline rush as huge as that night. Our power was out and the stress was overwhelming as we ran room to room making sure we weren't leaving any little ones behind. As the ladies and I ran from one room to the next suddenly a group of young men from the area came bursting into the house screaming, "get the children, the river is coming." They helped us and within 5 minutes we had all the children safely upstairs. We went back down to get clothing etc.

In the meantime, Thym went to see if the road was still clear so we could evacuate and it was but by time we loaded 15 infants including the 3 premature babies and 25 children in the truck and were ready to leave, the road was covered high with water and the truck could not get through. We unloaded the children and decided to just keep everyone on the 2nd floor of the house and pray for God's mercy as we didn't know what else to do. Thym continued to look around the area to see what we could do to evacuate at least my mom and the children to the hospital up the hill to a safer place. After about an hour and a half he came home with a solution. The neighbors up the hill (so away from the river) had agreed to allow him to drive our truck through their gardens and out to the main road. Thym knew that our new truck would not make it as it lacks height and the engine is not powerful enough so he prayed a prayer and fired up the old Toyota. Within minutes we had my mom and most of the children in the truck. Thym made 2 more trips and got everyone to safety. I stayed behind to pack the necessary items, make arrangements for food, get bedding together and boil drinking water and sterilize enough bottles for all the babies (15) for 24 hours. One of the most amazing things about this part of the story is that the Toyota had not been used for several days because it was out of gas and we were not able to get any. The truck made 3 trips over off-road muddy terraine on E. Isn't God wonderful. His miracles never end.

The water never did reach the children's home. It did come within 20 feet on one side and several yards on another but it didn't come in. There were homes straight across from us that were completely flooded but the water never came in our gates. The local people say it was the work of the angel of the Lord. They say that God put his angels around our home and kept the water out. It is the only explanation really. We are grateful for His faithfulness and mercy.

We spent 1 day at the hospital and by then the water had gone down enough that there was no longer a risk and the rain had stopped and the road was clear. We were so grateful to the hospital for taking us in but keeping 40 children (premature infants to 12 years) and all their stuff in a 12x14 square is a difficult task. The children were so crowded that they could hardly sleep and kept rolling on top of each other as they were spread out all over the floor. At 4 am Monday, I woke up our oldest boy (12 years) and had him start helping me load the truck. We then woke up the 7 school age boys and we headed home with the first load of stuff. The children were so excited when they found out not only were they going home but they could have a bath (the local hospital has no water). One 6 year old boy bounced up and down and on the seat of the truck and said in a sing-song kind of voice: "We get to take a bath, we get to take a bath." By 6am all the children were home. They were so tired and worn out from the whole ordeal that all of them took a nap that afternoon.

The destruction caused by the flooding is wide spread here. The river flooded so badly and the current was so strong that it pulled up everything in its path including homes, heavy equipment from the UN base outside of our village and anything else in it's path. All this debri collected at the bridge on the main road between us and the local village, finally the bridge could not stand up to the pressure and was ripped out completely. With the bridge out the only way from here to there now is by a rough hand-made canoe. This means we have no way out in case of emergency between 5pm and 5am and we can no longer get in our vehicles and go to the village or to Port-au-Prince.

The past few days we have spent every minute we can trying to help those in need. Up in the village there are hundreds whose homes were destroyed by the river. On Tuesday the mayor asked us for help with clothing, blankets and whatever we could give. He said there were 25 naked babies at the shelter and he had nothing to give their parents to put on them. We went through our storage shed and sent several totes full of baby pajamas, blankets, and chidren's clothing across the river to them.

Wednesday and Thursday we went from home to home cleaning up piles of mud, scrubbing floors and walls and doing whatever needed to be done to help the people get back into their homes. All of the homes near us were able to be clean and can be repaired but many of those up in the village are completely destroyed.

Yesterday afternoon we delivered several plastic totes of children's clothing, blankets and shoes to our neighbors homes as many of them lost everything in the flood. We hope to be able to help them more in the coming weeks as the Lord provides. Hunger will become even more prevelent than before over the next several months as everyone in our area lost their gardens. Even the plantain trees were destroyed which means this storm will effect some for up to a year an half from now as plantain trees bear fruit in 12 to 18 months and plantains are a staple here.

Please pray for our community and Haiti as a nation as thousands are suffering the results of the last three hurricanes and many are homeless and hungry.

In His service,


PS: The titles of attachments explain the pictures

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The effects in Mirebalais of Hurricane Ike

Here are a few pictures of how Ike has devastated our area. We are safe and sound considering the circumstances, but our friends and neighbors have been terribly affected. More information will follow shortly, but we wanted everyone to see the reality our community is facing. Please continue to pray for HCH and our community and the country of Haiti.

Waterline high above this toddler bed

Haitian homes across the river destroyed by the water

The bridge is totally blown out causing a kind of island effect

The mud that is covering every square inch of our neighbourhood...the fields, in houses, stores, covering belongings and causing insect infestation