Mobile Clinic for the Deaf
With each new team you never know what to expect. Questions always run though my mind when I meet a new team-why a person decided to come to Haiti, who has been on the mission field before, who has never been out of the US before; each team with different people and different backgrounds-yet they always seem to be a perfect fit. This team was no different, they were fun, took care of each other and welcomed Kyle and I into their group without question (even though they were from Alabama, I was honored to be a part of this group)!
Monday, of course there was a bit of confusion; the team was flexible and understanding and rolled with the punches. We blocked out all morning to set up for clinic, but finished in just under an hour; when patients showed up in the early morning everyone went with the flow and quickly found their niche. After seeing about 50 patients we headed for a quick tour of Port au Prince; from the Deaf Camp to the National Palace, up through Petion Ville and past President Martelly’s house. At the end of the day I think everyone was having a good time and feeling as though they were able to help in some way. Although some members of the team did not have medical background, it was clear everyone had something to offer; God used everyone in different ways sending them where they are needed.
Many members of the team had been attending Sign Language classes back in Montgomery and had some basics to start from. They were eager to learn more in order to communicate with the deaf with out a translator! It made me so happy to see them want to communicate with those they were serving, both deaf and hearing. Many of them were able to hold conversations by the end of the week! There was a clear difference between clinic days in which we served all deaf and those in which we did all hearing. The deaf sent community leaders from La Piste to help us control things at the church. It was great to see another way in which they come together as a community; they sure never cease to amaze me.
The entire week was a learning experience, but I think it went great! I am thankful the team was such an ‘awesome!’ group, they were a true blessing to the community they served here. Although plans changed a few times, trouble with the cars happened far too much and in general there was quite a bit of confusion, the team was adaptable and easy going. When we arrived at Las Piste on Wednesday many of them were recognized by those who they served over the last few days. It was a great way for the team to bond with community members and their families. I love walking around the camp and seeing all the different micro-enterprises and things happening. I am so proud of those at La Piste that have taken the initiative to do for themselves; those who are not going to sit around and wait for a hand out, but who believe in themselves and the possibilities of their future!
“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” -1 Peter 4:10