We are writing this with grateful hearts as we have completed our second day and it was a huge success. There are no words to express how blown away we are by the work that only our God could do.
Today we had a health fair at Fleri Bakery where we invited members of the elder program to come enjoy fresh baked pastries from the bakery where we spent the day doing a variety of things that we cannot do sometimes at all or as easily at home assessments. These things included creating cards, having their hands/feet washed, lotioned, nails clipped, etc. They also received medical assessments if they were not seen yesterday. Friends, this was AMAZING! Here are just some of our many praises that we want to share with you:
1. An abundance in numbers:
We had a larger turnout than expected! One of our team member's, Brian, went with one of our drivers on our tap-tap (our large vehicle) and picked up elders, all day long! This allowed for more people to attend than last year. Praise God!
2. Connection without communication.
Our team-member, Lori, was able to connect with our elders WITHOUT an interpreter for most of the day and managed to work alongside them to create beautiful cards. She never went without a crowded table or without a smile on her face. Praise God for human connection!
3. An abundance of assessments:
Our clinical staff completed no less than 30 medical assessments! Assessments are lengthy!! To get an idea of what an assessment looks like, picture going to a doctor but having to explain your whole life, your medications, your problems, etc. without any help from a fancy electronic medical record. Our goal is to assess for overall well-being...to name a few: vision, physical mobility, pain, living conditions, food intake, bowel and bladder issues, etc. The amount of questions we have is innumerable! And picture while trying to assess difficult problems such as medication management and you are going through an interpreter! Some of the words we use don't translate simply into Creole and this makes it even more difficult with our translators--who are phenomenal by the way. So to say that through the help of our interpreters we completed this many medical/physical assessments is an absolute miracle. Praise God!
4. Care through touch.
Our elders received nail care through hand and feet washing/applying lotion/nail clipping and painting nails for the women of course. Besides this being a helpful medical approach to keep hands/feet sanitary, it is something the elders (and ourselves) enjoy. The act of human touch with massage and cleaning is something that transcends countries. It is a humbling experience to attempt to scrub the years of dirt worn into skin and caked under nails. It is a moving experience to physically sit that close to someone who has likely not received this kind of connection before. And to do something that can be arduous and dirty while knowing that these nails will grow long and dirty again before we know it, is a pleasure to do. To serve just because Jesus asks is absolutely enough. He doesn't ask for clean nails for the rest of their lives, He's only asking for today. What a privilege.
The care for our elders continues as the majority of the team is still going over notes from the day and making plans for the future. The work never ends here in Haiti, and we are so grateful to serve in each and every moment.
Prayers for tomorrow as we do another day at Fleri, but this day with different intentions. We hope to have a day filled with worship through music and fellowship. Even though these elders live in the same tiny town of Titanyen, they can be isolated due to physical limitations and other obstacles as basic as ill-fitted shoes. To see their faces light up at spending time with one another is worth it's weight in gold. We look forward tomorrow with the hope and expectation that God will supercede our man-made plans.
We covet your prayers,
The Elder Team