As the clock struck midnight last night it meant 2 things… The first thing it meant was that I turned my pager off, bringing an end to my career of over 16 years with the Reed City Fire Department. The second thing it means is there is only 9 days until I will be in Haiti!! It feels like I still have 1000 things to do before I go. My “to do” list seem to only get longer and never shorter. I guess when it’s time to leave for the airport on the 8th the lists will be done even if everything is not crossed off. The last week was very busy and the reality of my retirement from EMS on the 23rd hasn’t really set in as I haven’t had time to set down and think about it.
The last 2 Sundays (the 23rd in Midland and the 30th in Reed City) were such a blessing as both the church I grew up in and my church here each had times of commissioning me as I prepare to make the move to Haiti to serve as God directs. It was a blessing to have an opportunity to say good bye to friends as well as the many words of encouragement from so many.
The details have been finalized for me to stay and work at Christian Light School as I get started in Haiti! I am looking forward to the opportunity to open the clinic and to work with the children in the school and surrounding community. The Haitians have a proverb “Sak vid pa Pampe” – An empty sack can’t stand. That is why the school provides almost 700 meals a day. The students can’t learn if they are too hungry to concentrate. This theory goes all the way down to the baby feeders in the ravine who feed the babies so that they will have enough nutrition for proper development so they can excel in school when there older. So, providing good medical care will now be another means of filling that sack for over 350 kids so that they can get the most from their education. This is the best way to bring them out of poverty and give them a hope for a better and brighter future.
I am currently working a plan to head out on the southern peninsula of Haiti on November 16th with a team doing medical relief work in some of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew. I will give you more details on this once I have them. It is my hope that we can make a life changing difference in the lives of the people that we encounter, not only in immediate medical needs but also by providing hope that someone cares for them and their needs after the devastating event.
I want to give you a quick financial update. I am pleased to announce that we have reached the monthly support mark set for my anticipated monthly expenses in Haiti! Thank-You to those of you who were willing to come along side and partner with me for Kelby’s Kids! We are off to a great start but we have only covered my sustainability in Haiti, which is a very important part of this ministry. No Kelby… No Kelby’s Kids… Now we need to continue moving forward to ensure medical effectiveness. Medical supply and medication costs add up quickly and when a clinic serves several hundred patients they can go out the door even quicker. I received an order of medical supplies today of some things I thought would be difficult to obtain in Haiti. It was $200 worth of medical supplies, $190 of which are disposable/single use supplies. Those supplies all fit into a single Walmart type shopping bag. So, it will take an ongoing, monthly medical budget, to maintain the needed items for the clinic to operate effectively. I have done some street clinics and there is no worse feeling that knowing what a patient needs but not having access to it. Not being able to take care of a simple problem because of not enough IV fluids or not enough antibiotics can get very discouraging.
It’s still a little surreal to think that I am now completely unemployed and without any form of income. I also don’t think it has set in that I have ended my career of over 25 years in Public Safety. I am looking forward, with excitement, to getting to Haiti and being able to serve with my skills but in just a little different capacity than I am used to here. I am truly blessed and humbled that this is all possible because or your generosity and support. Together we will make a life changing difference in the lives of many kids!!
Until No Child Dies,