Friday, July 31

I didn't always get it

I need to laugh today so I hope you'll laugh with me.

Several of my family, friends and even you readers have written me to say very kind things about me and the time I am spending here in Haiti. You say you envy my faith, and my willingness to sacrifice and serve others. Thank you so very much, but I am here to tell you that I, ehem, was not always this way (and by no means do I have it all together today) Let me illustrate...

I recently got in touch with one of my very favorite teachers, Mrs. Brooks, who taught me in first and fifth grade (thanks to the wonderful world of facebook!). She asked what I was up to these days and I told her that I recently graduated college and of my Haitian adventures, even sending her to this blog to catch up. She told me that she is now serving the Lord in children's ministry and that she was so glad to see that the Lord had called me to his work as well. Then she recounted this humiliating, but oh so very true story...

I can remember when you were in 1st grade. I was having you write a story about cleaning your room after you read the book: Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon.

You said, "Mrs. Brooks, I can't do that."
I said, "Sure you can, Caroline. You're a great writer."
You said, "No, I can't. I don't
clean my room at home - the maid does."

Ummm, clearly, I didn't always get it.

Why do I tell you this? It's because I am so very, ehem, humble, and have no problem telling you that I have never been a brat, and have never been selfish and I have never treated people unkindly and have certainly not at all had an issue with pride over the years.

False. I am telling you this lovely childhood anecdote (that I am sure my parents are so pleased for me to share) because I was reminded this week, thanks to Mrs. Brooks, that God is so good and He is the one who changes hearts. He loves me and forgives me even when I am still a selfish, prideful brat. He has made me see that this life is not about me at all, but about knowing Him, and showing other people His love. And not just other white-middle class people like me. He loved me first, therefore, that moves me to love other people. I still mess it up a lot, but that is why I am here in Haiti.

He is why I get it now.

If you haven't heard, Malorie died this morning. I was with her for a while before I went to bed last night and had seen she was taking a turn for the worse. I still had hope. I didn't want to wake up this morning to that. I didn't want to bathe and dress her cold body. I didn't want to put that sweet blue blanket over her. I didn't want to see that little white casket. Not today, not for Malorie. I wanted to hold her more, but instead Jesus holds her tonight. And she suffers no more. She hears the voice of many angels singing, Worthy is the Lamb.

I'll fall asleep tonight clinging to that. Hoping and longing for the day when I see Malorie again. When she will smile...I never saw her smile.

Thursday, July 30

How about a Miracle?

***Update: I just want to be clear about one thing. I don't believe that God NEEDS to perform miracles in order for us to believe that He exists. That's not faith. Hebrews 11:1 says "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of that which we cannot see." I just believe in a God that is so capable of performing miracles, and sometimes we get to be witness to that. Ok, just clarification :)

Original Post:

"Later, a few religion scholars and Pharisees got on him. "Teacher, we want to see your credentials. Give us some hard evidence that God is in this. How about a miracle?"
Matt 12:38

A lot of people are skeptical of God. It is hard to believe in something you cannot see. For thousands of years, people have argued against him because there is no proof. We are still doing it today, asking God to show us that He is in this with us...

Five-month-old Malorie was brought to us yesterday afternoon when her family noticed she didn't look good. Okay, not looking good is an understatement. Her abdomen was swollen, she had no blood in her eyes or nailbeds, she was breathing about 130 times a minute, her lips were grey, and her pupils were pinpoint. She did not appear to be dehydrated so the first thought was that she was bleeding somewhere in her abdomen, but as we listened and felt around, there was no fluid. She stops breathing. We shake her and she still won't breathe. Pray hard. Give her a "gentle" rub on the sternum and she catches her breath again, only to go back to breathing insanely fast and only when you are sitting her up holding her airway open. Ok so think fast, what is happening here? We ask the family what happened and they said that earlier in the morning she "did not have any spit so we gave her a tea to make her have spit in her mouth." Ok, what was in the tea? Mentions of raisins, some kind of boiled plant and possibly alcohol, but no one will really say. Hmmm...Ok so we are thinking franticly. Licia is holding her neck up and reminding her how to breathe every 30 secs or so. Allergic reaction? Is her airway closing? Can/should we give epi to this 5 month old? Heart rate is already in the 140s. Stick a finger down her throat and meet no resistance, but her tongue is pushed up to the top of her mouth. Hmm.. Pupils still pinpoint and non-reactive (indicates severe brain damage). Lips turning blue. Breath baby, breathe. Color is coming back. She has no muscle tone and does not react to any stimuli. Can we get out what is in her stomach? We tube her but nothing comes out besides a little mucous. Doesn't even gag. Lips turning blue. Breath baby, breathe. Pray hard for wisdom. Would she even survive the hour and half ride to town? Is there anything they can even do?

So we hold her and we pray. We trade off for the next 4 hours holding her neck up and seeing if we can get her to come back. Little by little she pinks up and breathes a little slower. Some of her reflexes started coming back and by 8:00 last night she was taking a bottle and fell asleep in my arms.

How about a Miracle?

She still doesn't look great but we'll pray for continued healing. If she lives or dies, it was still a miracle. We have no idea how long she went without oxygen and how much of the brain damage is reversible. Children often recover better than adults from anoxic injuries so we have hope. Will you pray with us for Malorie?

Wednesday, July 29

Big Day

We are wiped out! If you follow me on Twitter you know that this little one stopped breathing on us several times today after some sort of poisoning. She is now sleeping in my arms. All the juicy details to come tomorrow! Pray for Malorie that she continues to recover through the night!

Tuesday, July 28

Heavier Heart

Blanco died at 4:30 this morning. We got word yesterday that he had a fever and was on an IV. His death certificate said he died of Cardiac/Resp Arrest. His body was brought back here and when we saw his wounds, it looked like the swelling around his mouth and neck was probably the cause. We'll never really know.

Lori bathed him and dressed him up and wrapped him in this sweet baby blanket. I held his precious hand and thanked Jesus that he was no longer in pain.

Pray for his Mom who spent the last 5 days with him at the hospital and went home without her son today.

Monday, July 27

Peanut Butter That is Changing the World

And I'm not talking about your Mamma's favorite, Jif. I am talking about Medika Mamba. Watch this video.

RHFH was hooked up with Medika Mamba and we are feeding it to the malnourished children in the Rescue Center. And can I tell you something? It works! No wait...I'll just show you

This is Giliane. Click here and read her whole story first.

This is her the first week she was back here. She doesn't look that malnourished right? That is because she is so bad that she has Kwashiorkor and is swollen essentially from TOTAL ORGAN FAILURE. Do you get how bad that is? She was put on the peanut butter.

Here she is week 2. The swelling has gone down as her body is trying to reverse the damage. This part is very dangerous and many kids die from dehydration

This was last week, week 3 on the peanut butter. PRAISE JESUS!

This little girl has totally captured my heart. She is on the road to
recovery but still has a way to go. I held her for a long time last night and prayed for her. I sang songs to her and rocked her and told her how much Jesus loves her. I have the worst voice in the world but I didn't care. I want her to live so bad it hurts.

Every night one of us measures out the right amount of peanut butter (based on height and weight) and the kids eat it throughout the day.

If you are moved by what is happening here and want to help, here is how you can. First, you can pray. Pray like crazy for the starving kids of Haiti. Secondly, you can give. Tara Livesay (whose blog you should totally read) is running a marathon and raising money for Medika Mamba. Look on the top left corner of her blog and read her story and if you are able to donate, please consider it. Children are living because of this stuff.

This baby died in the middle of the night last night. He was only 6 months old and had Kwashiorkor. It was too late. I just want to scream and cry at the same time.

It's not too late for them. All four of these kiddos are on the peanut butter and are gaining little by little each week.

Will you help us change the world?

Saturday, July 25

Where no white man has been before

I can hardly begin to explain to you what I experienced yesterday. This might not make any sense at all but I am going to try.

Ok so the Haitian government is building a road through the mountains to connect two of the main highways in the country. We live closer to the beginning of the road. Mr. Zach got a new truck yeserday and it is a super awesome utility vehicle (they don't even make it in the States) so we wanted to take the new truck as far as we could. We drove for an hour and half up into the mountains and we finally found the end of the road.

The views were unreal. I know it might be hard for you to believe this, but in places, Haiti is so gorgeous. I have been to the Rocky Mountains (even in Canada) countless times and spent a week in the Grand Canyon last year, but today was really different for me. You could see forever and there was just one mountain after the other. The thing is, we were the only car on this road and you feel like you are in a completely uncharted territory, then literally out of the bushes runs a group of half naked kids who live with their families an 8, 10, or 14 hour walk from any sign of civilization. It was bizarre. There appears to be no water source, no market. Nothing. We would pass people in our truck who were walking up these mountains and probably had been all day. 6 year olds carrying jugs of water. A pregnant women with a 25 lb sack of rice on her head. I felt like a speck of worthlessness on this earth. My life is so easy.

Before this road was built in the last few months, there were only footpaths in these mountains. So besides the few small villagers tucked away here and there, very few people have probably been up there. Who knows if many white people have?

As we are approaching the end of the roadwork we saw a group of very old buildings from a distance. When we got down there, we found a path and hiked a little ways up, only to discover it was a fort! None of the villagers around could tell us anything about it, but we know Haiti fought for it's independence around 200 years ago so they could be that old. They were so awesome.

It was peaceful, and quiet, you could just sense that this place was untouched. Everywhere you could see looked like a place where man has not invaded and destroyed. At first I felt sorry for them but then I grew jealous of these mountain people whose life is so organic and no polluted by man's progress. It was like traveling back in time. They have nothing but they need nothing.

You are probably thinking okay Caroline, what is in the water you are drinking down there? But seriously, it is very hard for me to put into words how I felt yesterday. I just wanted to take a million pictures with my mind, but even those couldn't explain.

Why don't you just come see for yourself?

On a completely different note, I did something so incredibly out of character today. I RODE ON THE BACK OF A MOTORCYCLE. I have had the mom gene in me my whole life (example: I used to yell at all the other kids to stop running around the pool for fear of someone splitting their head open) but for some reason today I had a momentary lapse of judgement. We were on our way back from church and Mr. Zach had a meeting in another town so the choices were to stay in the car and wait or ride a moto back home. Guess I just really wanted to come home and read my book this afternoon. Oh and I was wearing a skirt. And it started raining. Good times in Haiti :)

Thursday, July 23

Heavy Heart

My heart has been heavy all day. All of our hearts have. A baby named Blanco was brought to us with a severe burn. His mother and a friend walked 5-6 hours after their house burned down in the wee hours this morning to see if we could help. There were no adults in the house, only children and when the thatch roof caught fire, the kids ran out but the baby was left inside. The debris from the roof was falling on him. Everything in the house was lost. They are so poor and have no money that they brought down a sack of beans, hoping to sell them so they could do something for the baby. I could hardly keep from sobbing in front of them.

He was already cold by the time they got here. After seeing the severity of the burn, we had to send them to town. We tried to hydrate the baby and sent them with extra water, and clothes to stay overnight. The second hospital they went to accepted him and said they would keep him for a while. Really not sure if he will make it, the burn is so bad and is in such a dangerous place around the neck. You can see in the pictures that they really dark places are completely fried and are essentially burned fat. It feels like rubber and would never heal on it's own without a skin graft.

Please pray with us for Blanco.

Jesus, heal this sweet baby.

Wednesday, July 22


What is the most common way infectious diseases are spread among children?

Congratulations, you passed.

Tuesday, July 21

To be made well

***Warning I had an awesome day in the clinic. Translation: Pictures are not for those with a weak stomach***

So I have thought for a while now that I was never really interested in being an ER nurse, and now I am almost positive I am not. At least not in the States. Chest pain and asthma attacks would be so boring compared to what walked (or hobbled) through our gate today!

Ok so this happened on Friday. Story isn't clear at all, but sounds like the guy ticked somebody off and they took a machete to his arm. His friends carried him down the mountain on a bed but before he came in the gate, Lori took one look at it and saw that both bones and several nerves were severed. She sent him straight to town. It's Tuesday and now it looks like this. It is rotten and infected and smells awesome. You can see in the picture that if you lift the upper arm, the lower half just dangles. Um broken. So in the middle of kind of cleaning it up and stabilizing his two halves of an arm, someone came in and said they caught the guy who did it to him and he needed to go to the next town over and take care of it. Lori told him that he needed to demand that they pay for his medical care and go to a place that can surgically repair it.

Look who else came in this morning...the kiddo with the skull fracture!!! They found a place to take him on Saturday but they just sewed him up. So frustrating. Really confused as to why a place who can actually repair this did not. But I am still praising the Lord that he is okay for now!!!!

This guy walked in with gauze and scotch tape around his leg. Big surprise underneath. I might have made a face. He cut his leg on a rock in June and was treating with some powders and cream. Interesting idea. This is what we have now. Again, infected, rotten and smelling awesome.

This is the burn I posted last week. It's starting to heal well, looking forward to seeing more progress

This was an abscess that basically made a crater in this girl's leg

This kiddo was cut by a rock.

I know some of you are thinking, why in the world are you posting these pictures? One reason is because I want you to see the excitement of what is going on here and how much I am learning. But mostly, I show you these pictures because I am going to be here long enough to see these wounds heal. And that is the whole reason that this clinic exists. So God can use us to heal people. You can stand up on a pulpit and preach the Gospel all day and some people will hear the truth and their lives will be changed. But for many people, simply hearing that God loves them and wants to change their life does nothing for them until they can see it. Physically touching someone, making them well and getting the chance to share why you care about them is the Gospel too. Sounds crazy right? Well we got the idea from someone else.

"While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live" And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I will be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said "Go away, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping" And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose."
Matthew 9:18-25

Monday, July 20


Remember no lips guy? This is his daughter. She is in the RC being treated for malnutrition. I love this photo because she has the just-woke-up-from-a-nap puffy eyes! Isn't she incredibly beautiful??? They all are.

Sunday, July 19

How I deal with it

People here drive motorcycles as if they were on a video game. Most of them are young males.

Scene yesterday morning: Head on collision motorcycle accident. Thankfully both wearing helmets. Helmets cut both of their heads really bad. One guy complains of knee pain. I roll up his pants and see an old wound. I joke that it was from his last motorcycle accident. No joke.

Lori: When are you going to learn to slow down on that thing?
Young, hot-shot kid: But riding it is soooooo sweet. I have just started getting cut up.

Awesome. Not looking forward to the next time I see him.

This guy was cut somehow by a rock. The cut wasn't too bad, but he did cut a vein which I thought was pretty cool. It is the dark worm-like thing in the middle of the cut. You can see how it already had clotted off at the end. Isn't the human body just so cool???

And just as we were about to go up for dinner last night, this little boy was brought in with what we heard was a bad cut from a rock. The story was never exactly cleared up but somehow someone was aiming for a dog and this kid was caught in the crossfire. We brought him in and did neuro checks (looking to see if he was having symptoms of a brain injury, pupils, speech etc.) The head bleeds a lot so it took a while to get in there and see how bad it really was. We shaved his head around the cut, anticipating sutures. However, it was much deeper than we thought and as we felt it around it became clear that his skull was fractured. Give dexamethasone (steroid to decrease brain swelling). Big needle. Kid jumps and pulls the needle out as I am giving it to him. Awesome, let's try this again. He hates me, but he is awake!

Ok so here is where it gets sticky, we can't do anything for a skull fracture besides sew him up. But the chance of infection or severe brain swelling is really high. Brain could be bleeding already. Alternative is to send him into town. Problem is, Doctors without Borders will not see a patient who has already been seen somewhere else. We shaved his head. Dangit. Ok so what about General Hospital? Never once when Lori has sent a skull fracture into town has it been fixed. Child still laying on the table. Dad does not understand why we cannot do anything.

In her infinite wisdom, Lori decides not to waste anymore time and sent them into town. Tell them to go and they hang around outside for a while. Explain the urgency, they still don't leave. Breaks our hearts but we give it up to the Lord and beg him for that child's healing. Haven't heard anything today. Still praying. Will you pray with me?

I know that probably seems very confusing, and of course I cannot explain all of the reasons for the way things are here. But this is how I deal with it. I have to know and believe that God is in control and he loves these people more than I ever could. Lori and Licia have an incredible amount of experience and they love the Lord and love the people of Haiti. They will do everything possible to care for them, but they do have limits. There are situations and things they have seen that all the equipment, money and resources in the world could not help.

The sermon at church this morning was on the importance of walking close with God because he is going to call us to do crazy things that don't make sense to the world. It is not our job to do God's work. We are just supposed to be obedient when He wants to use us to do His work. He gifts us with abilities and he calls us to go to people and places but He is the one saves. It's not on us. I have to believe that because there are days when the needs are so overwhelming and the hurts we face in this world are unbearable.

Days before Jesus died on the cross for me and for you and for sick kids in Haiti, he said this.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But TAKE HEART for I have overcome the world." John 16:33

This is how I deal with it.

Saturday, July 18

Second Saturday

This is my second Saturday here! It's already going by so fast. Today we had a few exciting things come through the clinic involving motorcycle accidents and rock throwing. Juicy details to come tomorrow for all the medical people. God also gave us rain this afternoon which has cooled things down around here! PTL! I am really looking forward to church tomorrow morning and pray that you can connect with God tomorrow too. It's the only way I can make it through these days! Please continue to pray for the things listed below, I believe in a God who is capable of anything!

For those of you who have told me you only like the posts with pictures (ehem Karlie)...enjoy :)

Also, several of you have left comments on the blog with different questions, unfortunately I can't reply back through the comments so please leave me your email address or shoot me an email at and I'd be glad to answer anything!

Health Center of the Grace of the Good Samaritan

Thursday, July 16

Please pray

There has been a lot going on here at RHFH this week and we could definitely use your prayers.

- Click here and read about the child who was abandoned outside the gate.

- There is a nasty bug going around causing severe vomiting and diarrhea amongst the children in the Rescue Center. Several kids have fevers over 104. Normally it would be bad, but for a weak, malnourised, already sick child, it can be deadly.

- I caught the nasty bug. Or the bug caught me. Either way, I have been out of commission the past two days and have felt worthless. I am definitely on the uphill side but would ask you for quick healing and return of strength and energy.

- Today Licia had 3 severely dehydrated kids and only 2 bottles of IV fluids left. Mr. Zach was able to get 5 more bottles this afternoon but that is all there is now for everyone in the clinic and RC. Pray that God would provide more bottles of fluid!

- Thanks for praying for Loner! He was accepted to a place that takes care of premature babies. Please pray for the care he will get and pray that he survives.

- Pray for rest and renewed strength for Lori and Licia. They work so hard and there is always more to do.

Here are some more pictures from this beautiful place

This is a kitchen

This lady is making the food for all the kids in the RC. yummy!

This is Denny. He has lived at the RC for a long time. He has hydrocephaly and had a shunt placed a while back. He does very well and has no mental deficits! He needs a family...

These are several of the babies in the RC. Pray for them tonight!

Some of the kids laid down in the tall grass while we were walking

This picture does no justice to how stinken cute this kid is. His name is David, he was run over by a motorcycle last Thursday and broke his arm and was cut up on his face. He came back this week to be checked on!

Jesus said
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light"
Matthew 11: 28-30