Monday, March 1, 2010

Miracles and Faith

Wednesday:
I went to bed last night with one simple prayer, 'God, please let me wake up'. In the morning, my prayer was just as simple, 'thank you God for another day.' There were no tremors throughout the night, although I did sit straight up in bed a few times in the middle of the night after I'd hear something and get braced. It makes it difficult to wake up feeling very rested. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for those that live here.

On our way to the hospital today, the road was blocked because of this huge crushed car in the middle. No one could get either direction and it was the only way to get in. It took about 20 people trying about everything they could do to move the car. A tow truck couldn't get it over and up the hill, people trying to lift the car didn't work, hooking up another SUV didn't work, and by the end it was quite humerous... almost like a cartoon. We ended up finding another way to get to the hospital.

At work today, I was back to working in the ER. We were back to doing a number of pretty intense dressing changes. I'm so glad that the medical community was able to get sedation meds in here right after the quake because there's no way some of these people would have ever been able to get their wound care without it. Some of their injuries are flat down to the bone, sometimes you get in there and big chunks of bone are completly missing.

One of our patients has a leg that received a major fracture. It was a complete break, leaving him with a triangular piece of bone missing, and the rest of the bone completely exposed. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like his body or the antibiotics are doing a very good job of kicking the infection. It's now starting to travel up his leg and ooze out of the superior pins on his external fixator. If that infection continues to travel upwards, then this man could get completely septic and die. Yesterday, it was recommended that he get his leg amputated. We explained this to the man and he was so heartbroken. He's a big strapping strong man who probably is used to providing for his family. An amputation will mean they will have to provide for him, and that he will have all sorts of frustrating obstacles in life. He decided that he wanted to speak with his family about the operation first. Before we left, we all joined hands around him and prayed that if God willed it, he would save this man's leg, take all infection away, and provide him with a miracle. And, if he should lose his leg, we prayed that God would give him the grace to get through his loss with peace and courage. It was a very touching moment, seeing a group of scientific logical thinking minds of doctors, anesthesiologists, and nurses turning to faith for this man's last hope.

When we got back to our compound tonight, I had a nice talk with my roomies about miracles and faith, and what all God is doing down here. It amazes me how I can be so steadfast, strong, and brave walking through destroyed homes, dead bodies, and such blatent tragedy. I can see all of that and maintain that wall around myself that allows me to not have to process it all at once and keep walking. But, when God comes into the picture and we start to pray, talk about faith, talk about how God really has this country in the palm of his hands, I just break. He penetrates right through that wall and just explodes my heart. It's kind of paradoxical because he makes me suddenly so weak to everything going on around me, but at the same time provides me with the incomprehensible strength to keep my head up, stay strong, and continue touching lives. I've never been one to need evidence to prove the existence of God, but just being down here alone and experiencing how something so intangible and invisible can pierce through a wall that even tragedy and disaster can't... is evidence enough for me for life.

As Josh and I were just chatting away, we started hearing this loud singing coming from down the street. We decided to go see what the kids were out singing. When we arrived, it was so precious. the kids were standing outside their tent city laughing and singing. I walked over to the kids and started to dance with them. Then, I got all the kids in a big congo line dancing down the street. Everybody was smiling, laughing, and the singing continued. Josh and I stayed down there with them for a good half hour before returning to the compound with big smiles. It was a good close to the day.

Thursday
Today at the hospital Joshua's mother who's been missing again for the last 4 days, was expected to be dropping by to take him, despite him not being ready to leave yet. It was as if Joshua knew that she was coming for him and that he was going to have to leave. He was clingy, would wrap his little arms around our necks and not let go. We brought a translator over to him and asked some questions about his living situation. Apparently, the mom rarely feeds him, she doesn't give him hugs, she hits him, he doesn't feel safe, and he doesn't want to go back with her. Unfortunately, there's so little we can do. However, if the mom will agree to it when she returns, we have a major orthopaedic surgeon coming in within a couple of weeks who could do the surgery to release the tendons in his legs from his Cerebral Palsy and help give him a chance to walk with assistance. Right now, he can't even stand up. By the end of the day, his mom had showed back up with a whole slew of guys. We explained that he wasn't ready to go yet because of his condition and the wound on his arm, and fortunately, she agreed to come back next week again.

Other stuff today, big Josh took off to the Dominican Republic this afternoon for a few days. He's going to go hang out with some guys at a mission down there doing food distrubution and construction. The change of pace should be nice for him. Mel from the hospital came and stayed here at the compound in his place for the night and we had fun. She brought a deck of cards and I got to play a game of rummy. It was a nice distraction from everything going on here. I so value the friendships I'm making down here. Mel and I talked about how we'd both love to see a real dramatic miracle happen, one where someone's fracture just instantly heals, or someone who can't walk just stands right up. We were talking about how do you know who would be the best person to see a miracle happen to? It seems silly to go so radical and pray for an amputee to get their arm back, but then if you shoot really low for someone with a sprained ankle, it could be just by their own willpower that they are walking and not by a miracle alone. It's an interesting thought, ya know, who qualifies for a good modern day miracle. In the end we decided that God's going to do what he wants to do no matter what, and when he sees it fit to provide healing he'll do it regardless of what we think. His power cannot be underestimated. Mel and I went to sleep deciding we'd just say a little prayer about who God would wish to see receive a miracle tomorrow, we let him do the picking, because it was going to be him that would do the healing.

Over dinner tonight, a woman came up to us and warned us about a bulletin she had just received on her phone about mudlides. The weather service is predicting 3 days of intense rain. That accompanied by loose gravel, rubble, and an already fragile earth could make a bad combination. The doctor with us said, we could be seeing a lot of patients if the rains pan out. These people in Haiti certainly don't need anymore trauma or loss in their lives. They've been stripped of enough already. Unfortunately though, the relentless rains are inevitable soon.

2 Comments:

At March 1, 2010 at 9:50 AM , Blogger thomas said...

I was inspired to here about your expectant faith, I hope God does many miricles there. I'm sure it would be encouraging in such sire times. Our group from the Moose Lake area will be there on Thur in Petitionville. Blessing to you and yours!

 
At March 1, 2010 at 5:32 PM , Anonymous Rod Moore said...

JB,
Am following your posts and enjoying them very much! You are experiencing such amazing things that you will never forget. Stay safe and hope to see you again soon.
Rod

 

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