Our US team of 7, doctors: Joshua Gazzetta, Andy Owen, and Lily Trunk, (from Denver); paramedic: John Rougeux; support team: Marcia Gomulka and Rose Johnson; and coordinator: Helen Roenfeldt, left Ft. Lauderdale in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 24. Our flight was late out of Florida so our transportation was waiting anxiously when we arrived. Pastor Benoit was having vehicle problems so he had enlisted Joel and his vehicle from Jacmel. All the luggage, Smith Bazole and Brooklyn John fit into the Mazda truck, the team fit into the Patrol, and since so much paving has been done on National Route 1, our trip into Gonaives was under 3 hours and uneventful. We stayed at the Lutheran Church of Haiti’s Creole Star Guest House. What a tremendous blessing! It is out away from town a bit so it is quiet and spacious. Using the Guest House the cost saving was about $1,400 since meals are included.
The electricity and air conditioning worked well and the food was excellent. Brooklyn John is doing a good job of managing the Guest House and I think he will grow well into the position. He has a good grip on what needs to be done; he is open to suggestions, understands teamwork and has some very good ideas for growth.
Dr. Charles Evans, a local Haitian doctor, joined us for the four day clinic we held in Gonaives. The 5 medical personnel treated about 1,500 men, women and children. Any patients that needed follow-up or ongoing treatment were referred to Dr. Evans for further care. We are grateful for Dr. Evans desire to work with us and help us serve the people of Haiti. The team saw infections, wounds, fevers, malaria, worms, women’s health issues, STD’s, skin conditions, malnutrition and pneumonia. We carried $2,000 of OTC medications and baby formula with us and purchased a little over $1,000 of prescription drugs in Haiti.
On Sunday, the team attended church at a very crowded Faith Lutheran Church in Gonaives. Afterward the boys from the orphanage came to the guest house for a big lunch of spaghetti, hot dogs and Tampico (a favorite beverage of Haitian children). Afterwards we had several hours of soccer, coloring and games. The boys went home at sundown with a new soccer ball, coloring books, crayons, beanie babies, healthy snacks, linens and other extras.
On Friday morning Brooklyn John and I went out to Kayon, to the location that we are partnering with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Weston, Florida in building a school. We met with Pastor/Principal Sail (Sai –yay) and the construction manager and toured the area. The school will be four large rooms (each 6m x 6m) plus the Directors office. St. Paul, Weston is raising $4,000 for the foundation for the school. The Lutheran Church of Haiti will be supplying the block and sand. The community will supply workers to partner with the team from St. Paul/ Mission: Haiti. The St. Paul team will be going to Haiti June 25-July 2. Parents are very excited as this poor rural area has been without a school since the floods of 2008. The team will also be presenting a Vacation Bible School for the children of the area.
Special thanks go out to Haiti Lutheran Mission and Ministry Fund of California, Mr. Paul Klenner and the Southern District of the LCMS for their special support of this medical mission.
We thank each of you for your prayers and support. We praise God for all the work He allows is to do in Haiti. We thank Him for His protection, His healing Spirit and His perfect provision. We rejoice in the souls we see being added to the church in Haiti. To God be the glory.
Because of Christ
Helen M. Roenfeldt
Exec. Director, Mission: Haiti