The past month has been a whirlwind for Matt and Sarah. Matt made several trips from Montrouis to Bombard (7+ hours each way!) to complete their transition. On the first trip in early February, Sarah drove a pickup with all three kids and a full load by herself. She handled the roads well and tackled them with confidence! Matt followed her with a van load of supplies and Bono, their 150lb Mastiff!
Matt's wasted no time helping Steve with improvements to the property. The first project they completed was the installation of the shop door. What a blessing it is to be able to use the shop to maintian our vehicles! Deli and Astrel were a big help. It was a great surprise to Steve when he pulled in the drive to see the shiny new door up in the place of old rotted plywood.
Shop door - before and after
The guys also painted the roof of the Leach's house in preparation for new solar panels.
Painting the roof
Ready for those panels
Sarah has been busy with Faith learning procedures at the hospital. She has worked with Faith on sonography cases. Sarah has also gotten to help with a couple of deliveries. During the second delivery, she was able to help the mother with techniques to finish strong and birth a beautiful little girl. Sarah has always dreamt of becoming a licensed nurse midwife, now she is getting plenty of practice!
The past couple of months has been very busy with consultations, mobile clinics and meetings. We have seen an increase of typhoid cases in the area over the last 6-12 months, including three of our workers getting sick. We have been busy with all phases of testing, treating and tracking. This increase in cases is partly due to an expansion over the last few years in the area we service along with an increase in the number of people traveling. We are fortunate this increase has not been similar for cholera, though the cholera cases have also been due to sick people traveling and spreading the disease. We have stepped up community education concerning handwashing and hygiene to help with the situation.
We have had numerous administration and finance meetings this past month with CDC, Gheskio, the Haitian health department (DSNO), Lab National of Haiti, ACF, ID, Adema and other organizations we partner with in nutrition, maternal–child health and the AIDS treatment program. It looks like alphabet soup sometimes. There are a lot of changes and decisions coming over the next year. Please pray with us as we transition to Matt and Sarah's responsibilities, including administration, finance, and nursing, as well as other regular needs such as ambulance service, sonography, x-rays, cast removal and finding the other staff needed to continue and grow the ministry here in Bombardopolis.
A picture of trust
Matt receives cast removal training from the expert
A couple weeks ago we had a surprise visit from a 2-year-old girl and her parents. She and her twin brother were born prematurely – she was 3 lbs. We took care of her in our house while her twin brother stayed with his mom in the little house until his sister had gained enough weight to go home. It was so fun to see how well she was doing and to hear that her brother is also doing well.
Betsy and Vita
Vita and Junior in January 2015
Faith's reflections on the same visit
This family was very grateful for the help we gave them Dec 2014 – Feb 2015. It was interesting that they had heard that Steve, Faith and Betsy will be leaving Haiti and came from 30 minutes away on a motorcycle to thank us again for helping with their baby over two years ago. This is one of the wonderful interactions we have shared in our time here. Praying with this family for their little one was a blessing then and now as we rejoiced in her growth.
- Pray for Matt, Sarah, Willow, Olive and Birch as they are visiting in the States
- Pray for rain – mangos are blooming in our area and we pray they get the rain needed to produce fruit
- Wisdom for coming changes
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