The summer months are here and this means an increase in the mission teams available to come to Haiti to serve. Schools are out, vacations are planned around a mission trip, and now Love A Child is blessed by so many diverse and wonderful servants willing to sacrifice leisure time and money to serve the people of Haiti.
University of Wyoming Christian Athletic Association – students, coaches and chaplains from the University of Wyoming helping to do construction clean up at one of our construction sites.
We were so blessed to have the wonderful Dr. Sunnuck and his dental team come and work three long days to see about 100 dental patients. Here you see Dr. Sunnuck and his dental assistant, Jane working on our little patient. Adieula is the 14 year old girl who has made a miraculous turn around by finally getting on the insulin she needs, and getting into our malnutrition program.
We also helped bring to completion our Malnutrition Center (with the help of our good friend and Stuart Congregational Church member, Paul Piatti). Paul has a wonderful spirit of joy in all that he does, and has a wonderful eye for detail work which helped put the finishing touches on the brand new Malnutrition Center.
We had the dedication on the center two weeks ago, and the Co-founders of Love A Child, Pastor Bobby and Sherry Burnett were on hand to pray and help cut the ribbon. The children had been going through their weighing in and receiving their food outside under a tree for 8 weeks as the center was being built, not very confidential for the parents struggling to help their children progress in the program. The new building provided dignity to the children and the families. Malnutrition can be looked at by some as a badge of dishonor, and the parents try very hard to show they can care for the children they bring into the world, but for some it is more than they can do. Our partnership with Feed My Starving Children has been such a blessing to the people.
Completed, by this writing, will be the meat processing plant, where a pristine environment will render clean kill, and fresh meat for the people in the village. When we first arrived in Haiti we were surprised at the unsanitary conditions under which meat is kept before it is purchased; flies, roaches, and whatever else crawling on the meat for hours while the seller waited for the meat to be purchased. There is no wondering why so many Haitians refuse to eat meat and the rampant anemia which plaques the country because of a lack of protein. This is the way Haitians usually buy their meat before the completion of the meat processing plant in the new market place built in partnership with Jentezen Franklin’s Kingdom Connection Ministries and Love A Child.
Now the Haitians can purchase meat in a more sanitary environment. Here Ken inspecting the meat processing plant before it opens.
A clean temperature controlled facility to process the meat for selling.
This is Madame Louige, and she was struck with an illness called Lupus Erythema. One of the symptoms is a butterfly rash which comes across the face. If she had come to our clinic for a diagnosis we could have referred her on to a specialist, and even help defray the costs through our Benevolence Fund, but instead she took the advice of from uneducated family members and went to the witch doctor in her village. He burned her face with something, and now she is scarred for life. Her husband has left her with three small children. We have gotten her to a specialist for medication, started her family in the feeding program and helped her with various treatments.
Meet Nelson, he was involved in a bad motorcycle accident 2 years ago, and his case was mishandled from the beginning. After his last surgery the doctor never told him when he could walk on his leg again, so for 2 years he hobbled around on crutches not putting any weight on his leg or foot. When I met him I tried to find an orthopedic team coming to Haiti to evaluate his condition. They found no damage to the leg that would keep him from walking on it. They started him in physical therapy and with the exception of a 3 inch difference in his 2 legs, and an added lift on his shoe this young man is happy to be on his “own 2 feet” again. We are grateful for a medical resource community here among the American missionaries that keep us informed of teams coming in from all parts of the world. The one Nelson saw was a Canadian team.
Last of all I wanted to close with this short story. One of the stories I had always heard, but never believed was the fact that the people of Haiti, especially the children will eat mud and dirt if nothing else is available. Mother’s will make a mixture of mud and feed it to their hungry children, and so the children will see the ground as a source of food. It is even a known fact that some; usually pregnant women, children or the very anemic will actually crave this mud because of a condition called, Pica. Pica is the action of eating nonfood type things because of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. It is also a culturally accepted practice to bring good luck.
Bobby and Sherry visited a village to investigate this town because it made literally tens of thousands of these mud cookies, and in fact were keeping their children from school to help the village make and sell these cookies made with a little butter, salt and a special ground rock. This cookie is sold to the poorest of the poor for supplementing their diets, and cost as little as a penny a cookie.
So we see that it is not only providing food, but teaching the culture that some of the harmful practices of eating certain types of things, and treating illnesses with more modern medicines is a key to healthier living.
We were hoping to be home for the 4th of July, but the schedule would not allow it. We had church dedications, food distributions, and a mobile medical clinic, all which was previously planned, and Love A Child would not be able to do very easily without our help. This is a sacrifice we were willing to make to continue the good work of Love A Child, and to honor a great and awesome God who has been so faithful to our calling. The LORD has allowed us to be an integral part of this blessed organization which has many reaching and healing hands.
This month alone we have built a school, a church, gave out tens of thousands of meals to children in our malnutrition program seen 2,500 patients in the clinic, helped over 60 organizations distribute food to their areas, and successfully resourced 2 open heart surgeries for 2 very young babies. We are continuing to praise God for His faithfulness, and to feel blessed in every way.
We are also very blessed to have your prayers and support. We realize every day the importance of the people who support us in these ways .
We will be home later this month and look forward to seeing some of you then.
May God bless you to be a blessing to others,
Barbara and Ken MacMannis
The past month the LORD has certainly put us to the test. With 4 missionaries from Love A Child leaving the field to return home to their country, we have been working hard to maintain the ministry. We are so grateful for the words of encouragement from Bobby and Sherry Burnette, the Co-Directors of Love A Child, and we have been strengthened to do all the work needed to continue the ministry here in Fond Parisien, Haiti
Ken has had to take a leadership role as General Operations Coordinator, and with simultaneous construction project going on, our agricultural director in the states preparing his family of 7 for the move to the mission field, and the day to day things which happen on the campus with 100 + employees, he has certainly shown Love A Child he has what it takes to be a great team player.
Ken is overseeing the final construction of the new slaughter house in Miracle Market Place. This will allow people to bring their animals for slaughter, and to sell the meat in a safer way – minus dirt and flies, for one example. It will also provide the local people with a way to purchase meat on a regular basis. Few people have refrigeration, so finding meat to buy daily can be difficult, and decreases the chance for them to get the much needed daily protein.
Of course, my favorite construction is the brand new Malnutrition Center. For three years the Malnutrition Center has been meeting in a tent, so the new center will give us a cleaner place to treat the children.
Love A Child gets about 2-3 containers delivered each week and this means Ken is overseeing the delivery, and distribution of the many items coming in including the food for our feeding programs. Thanks to the blessing of Feed My Starving Children we give away over 10,000 cases of food each month.
Again, we would like to thank you, our church family, and our supporters for helping us in our ministry here in Haiti.
Barbara and Ken MacMannis
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Jesus Healing Center Reaches Out
This month the Jesus Healing Center was able to reach out in more ways than I could have imagined. The clinic is known throughout the area for offering the most adequate care, and many travel for hours to reach the clinic early to be seen by our nurturing medical staff.
This month we were amazed at just how far we are able to extend the hand of hope as we were visited over and over by people who had heard the stories of others who were helped, and even from the voice of the LORD. Please take the time and read about a few of the people the Jesus Healing Center helped.
“I call out to the LORD and He answers me from His holy mountain” Psalm 3:4
It was early on a Friday morning, and the security guard brought Marceline to my office. He did not know what to do with her because she had come to the clinic, but had no complaints of illness.
She told me, “I woke up this morning, I was cold and hungry, my children are all sick. My husband is dead, and I have sold everything I own; plates and cups spoons and clothes to feed my children. I didn’t know what to do so I prayed to God, and he told me to come to this place today.”
We were able to give her hope by telling her she could bring her children to the clinic for free medical attention and vitamins. We would get them registered in our malnutrition clinic which will provide food for all of them. We prayed together, and she left that day feeling filled with a new hope, a living tangible hope.
Every day as I watch the streams of people arriving at the clinic, and the faces of the patients as they wait to see the doctor, I try to imagine what it would be like to live the lives many of the poor in Haiti live. Not knowing where the next meal will come from or if it will come. How frightening it is to be sick or have a loved one sick and no immediate attention. Watching in helplessness as your child lies lifeless with a high fever and nothing to do, but offer a tepid bath.
Then we truly realize the importance of the Jesus Healing Center, because for many this clinic is all they have helping them survive the many illnesses which surround their daily lives because of unclean water, sanitation problems, and poor diets.
Meet Achile and her Mother, Isoimene
“You are my strength, I sing to you: you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalm 59:17
She arrived at the clinic carrying her child. Her child looked to be about 10 years old, she was so sick she could not walk, and so thin and frail she was immediately sent to our emergency room.
After interviewing this distraught mother we found her child, Achile was actually 14 years old and suffering from Juvenile Diabetes, the most serious kind which means she needs Insulin to survive. The mother lived way up in the mountains and it had taken her 3 hours to get to the clinic using several different Tap Taps (buses). The mother was exhausted carrying and holding her daughter. Achile was almost unresponsive and had a blood sugar of over 400 (normal is between 80 and 120).
Her mother said, “I have nowhere else to go, I have been to every clinic in the area and no one can help. Please take my daughter for your own.”
I was disturbed the mother would say such a thing, but then realized she thought that if I took her as my own daughter I would be able to help her. The mother was losing hope.
We started an intravenous feeding to revive her, gave her Insulin, and sent for some food. In 1 hour she was sitting up smiling.
She left the clinic that day weak, but able to walk with the help of her mother.
With each visit to the clinic Achile looked and felt better. Her mother’s smile grew bigger with each visit, as she realized her prayers had been answered.
This was only the beginning. How can we sustain someone who lives so far away with a medication which needs refrigeration? The idea was we needed to get chemical cold packs, and that combined with cool mountain water would keep the Insulin viable for at least a month.
By her third visit to the clinic the difference was like night and day. She walked in a confident young lady, and the smile on her mothers’ face said it all.
The Jesus Healing Center is able to do these things and sustain chronically ill patients because of support of all our ministry partners. Whether you support Love A Child, Missionaries or the many partners who assist us, you are being the hands and feet of Jesus, as the people are served, and glory given to the LORD by those same people. I can’t count all the times patients raise their hands and say, “Thank you Jesus”. It is our answered prayer that praise is given to the LORD.
The Jesus Healing center is more than just the medical care, we have established monthly clinics for expectant mothers.
We have two weekly clinics for nutrition education helping to combat the malnutrition which continues to plague the nation.
We have daily vaccinations clinics. The many contagious, and life threatening diseases are much easier to control with the right care. Many would suffer the painful death of Tetanus if it were not for the availability of the community to receive vaccinations through the Jesus Healing Center.
The Jesus Healing Center has been the host for emergency vaccination clinics when Diphtheria was threatening our area. Working hand and hand with the local health agency to put down the threat of yet another highly contagious and painful disease.
The Jesus Healing Center has hosted various dental teams which not only assist with dental health, but teach dental hygiene. The people of Haiti suffer from many diseases which stem from poor dental hygiene and either a lack of dental help or unaffordable dental help. The Jesus Healing center is able to host various dental teams with great dental unit, caring dentist and hygienist coming to our center several times a year.
“And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
The center has been the model for other clinics looking to establish in other areas of Haiti. It is blessed to have your support which enables us to give the type of quality of care the people of Haiti need. We reach out to them in the name of Jesus, and give them the best care we can offer.
The ties of the Jesus Healing Center to the community and the whole area run very deep and strong. They know by our name we are focused on the love of Jesus, the mercy of Jesus and the actions of Jesus. They know in their hearts we do all we possibly can do to help them.
We know the importance of helping our patients know Jesus, “The Great Physician” and Savior, before the doctor’s start seeing them, but equally important is that our staff is completely focused on Jesus. While the patients sing and pray in the waiting area our staff meets in the emergency room and prays for them, and for ourselves. Knowing we all need His strength for the actions we are called to do.
January 2015 at the Jesus healing Center - 2055 patients received consultation
February 2015 we received 1506 patients at the clinic.
The Jesus Healing Center reaches out to care for the whole family through Consultation, Community Health and our well planned Referral System for those who need extended care.
One of the highlights for us this past February was the mobile medical clinic we brought to Peyi Pouri. The name of this village means “decayed homeland”, and although I don’t know the reasons behind such a sad name for a village I can tell you the people of the village were so happy, grateful and gracious while we were there seeing to their needs.
Peyi Pouri is at the very top of a mountain which overlooks the campus of Love A Child. In fact, we could see all the landmarks of the LAC campus from where we were camped for the 4 days in the village.
The road to the village was long and treacherous. It took us about 90 minutes of constant 10-25% grade uphill to reach the village. Once in the village we parked the vehicles and the people helped us to carry the supplies another 100 yds. up a steep incline where there was no road for the trucks.
There is a lot of work setting up a mobile medical clinic, and we went straight to it, so the clinic took its first patients by 10am. We saw over 500 people that day alone.
That night, tired from the trip, and the day’s work I was in my tent and in my sleeping bag by 7pm. A few minutes later I was awoken by the sound of singing. Our tents were set up near the clinic which was being housed by the skeleton of a church. I call it a skeleton, because the church had no roof, floor or walls, but inside, sitting on old wooden benches, in the damp, cold (yes, cold – 50 degrees) night air were men, women and children having church. I went to sleep listening to their wonderful praises to the LORD. They thanked Him for our coming to help them. It was a humbling experience.
The next morning as I arose to sunrise, and the smell of coffee brewing. I was thinking nothing could have touched my heart more than the special music the night before, but I was in for another surprise. As I stood in the door way of the little make shift kitchen and drank my coffee I could see all the little hills and vistas surrounding me. In the distance were 5-6 goat paths, and they were lined with people coming to the clinic. It was barely 6am. Adults carrying babies and young children, and all in their Sunday best clothes. That day we saw over 700 people.
I should not have been surprised that most of the people were anemic, and when I spoke to them about nutrition I found most had a diet of rice, and a corn meal type grain – no meat. I should have also not been surprised that most people over the age of 40 years of age would have high blood pressure, very high blood pressure. It is because they eat a certain type of soup when there is no food, it is called, “Salt Soup”. It is hot water with salt added. That is all, just salt.
The last day of the clinic was the hardest because the line never seem to get shorter. As the time to close registration came there were still 100 people waiting. Thankfully Bobby and Sherry are always prepared, and handed out “Family Packs”, these are bags with hygiene products, and some over the counter medicines. Our Haitian doctor went over each of the 10 products describing what they were for and how to use them. Each person sat quietly and intently listening to the instructions, asking questions, and at the end thanking Love A Child for helping them in some way. That final day we saw 800 people.
The next morning we left early for the trip down the mountain. We stopped several times waiting for the sun to dry the gravel and rock on the road so we would not slip off the road. All of us were tired, but a good kind of tired. My eyes were opened to the vastness of poverty in the places we don’t see. How could I have guessed that way up on top of that mountain over 2,000 people would make an appearance? Those were the ones who could come, and the following week at the Jesus Healing Center I was surprised to hear about those who did not make it to the clinic, the reasons why, and the story they told about why they were making the trip down to us now, and on their own.
The higher we climbed the cooler it got. I was not prepared with just a thin hoodie.
Our vehicles passing by are a curiosity to these boys as few travel up this steep mountain.
A closer look revealed these boys were wearing clothes which were wrong gender, boots with so many cuts in the soles his feet were actually exposed to the sharp rocks on the road.
When I was down at the campus looking up to the mountains we were about to visit I wondered if we would experience being in the clouds. Like the ones I see hanging over the mountains in the early morning and late afternoon. I got my answer – we were!
The people of the village help to carry the medical supplies up the final steep incline to get to the clinic site.
When the thick clouds rolled in the temperatures dipped about 20 degrees. I wondered how the people who lived in the little mud huts faired. Then realized that is probably why they were all presenting with coughs and colds.
I rose in the morning to witness the many people walking down the goat paths to our clinic. If you are able to enlarge this picture you will see them coming from the next mountain on the little paths.
This sweet grandmother brought her little granddaughter to the clinic. Don’t let the chubby face fool you. The little girl is suffering from a form of malnutrition which forces the body fluids to the face, belly and extremities. It is called Kwashikor, and the children have an extreme lack of protein which many at this village did. I gave the grandmother instructions to come down the to the malnutrition center so she can get free food for the family. The grandmother had a Casting Crowns t-shirt on – I love it!
Soon it was time to close up the clinic and head back down the mountain.
Philemon was our driver, and I was so happy, as he is the best driver we have at Love A Child.