Our Monday travels were a success! Eight of us arrived together and we picked up our two stragglers later! This night was all about preparation and team introductions as half our team is returning from last year and we have five new goers who joined us.
Tuesday we hit the ground running. Stuffed with fresh mango and hearty French toast we lathered up sunscreen, took a quick team picture, and we hit the road to Titanyen. Titanyen is the small city in which we will be doing the majority, but not all of our ministry. Here we have an established elder program with 35 elders who receive care from Healing Haiti and later in the week we will visit Cité Soleil where our elder program is expanding.
This mission trip is unique in that it’s designed to focus solely on the elders in a medical capacity. They currently receive visits from other teams throughout the year, however on this trip we do medical assessments to determine needs and how we can serve them best. Our team is comprised of nurses, pre-med students, social workers, physical/occupational therapists, and wonderful volunteers who are willing to fill in the gaps.
Yesterday (Tuesday) we broke into 2 teams and made visits to elders in their homes. This is a unique opportunity to meet them where they are at. It gives us a glimpse into their daily life and helps show us needs they made have. Sometimes the elders don’t even recognize their own needs due to the fact that they are used to the limited resources. An example of this in the US would be housing modifications for elders with limited mobility. Grab bars, smaller steps, commodes, tall toilets, etc. Our team watched and assessed as our elders navigated around their home. If you can picture it, the areas outside and around the home are not paved and they spend most of their time there due to the heat in their homes. The ground is filled with rocks and unsmooth terrain. This would be hard for anybody, let alone our elders with strokes and less mobility. Through our assessments we can provide resources such as above mentioned that can improve quality of life.
The rest of our week will look differently each day, but for now we feel success and confidence in what took place on our first day of home visits. Our team has felt extremely safe and we are thankful for this provision. Our Haitian translators are familiar faces as they worked with us last year. They make the language barrier feel very small and our protection very abundant.
We thank you for your continued prayers and support.