In the aftermath of hurricane Matthew -- a local church response.

Patients in line

Saturday morning, October 29, 5 o'clock, 36 members of the First Baptist Church of Pernier, in four vehicles, took the Route National 2, toward Les Cayes, deep in the Hurricane Matthew devastated south side of Haiti. Of the vehicles, two trucks were filled with food, water, clothes, hygienic items, etc., one mini bus carried 18 members, and a pickup truck had its back loaded with boxes of medications and medical supplies.

Getting to Nationale 2 took us almost an hour, as we had to go from the north side of Port-au-Prince to the south side, although traffic was light, even at Carrefour. Right after Petit-Goave, a fine but steady rain made the road slippery and forced the vehicles to slow down.

Around 10 am, we reached Cavaillon, which some of us thought of being our final destination. In fact, we needed to go to a village called Labiche, where we would set up the mobile clinic. It took us half an hour, on dirt and mud roads, to get to the church where we would launch our activity.

A tall gate opened up its panels to let us inside a large compound consisted of the church, a school, a library, and the pastor's house. The church stood tall, but roofless, thanks to the violent winds of the hurricane.

After a brief presentation and a short prayer, without thinking about eating, though it was already lunch time, we started planning the clinic. Four classrooms turned to 2 exam rooms, a pharmacy, and a nursing station, were prepared for us by the church. After a few minutes of deciding on the right way to get patients from point A to point Z, we started the clinic, with in mind that we only had two to three hours to see about two hundred patients. With three pharmacists, four nurses, and three physicians, we had more than enough clinicians to answer the call.

While the clinic was going on, the evangelizing team went to the hills with one of the trucks. The roads were so steep and slippery that they had to leave the truck in a safe spot and trust their feet to get to the remote areas. Many villagers told them that it was the first time they had received any aid since the hurricane. It does take an extra effort, which few helpers consent to do, to serve people living in hard to reach villages.

After seeing over one hundred patients, and providing them with necessary medications, we had to stop, in order for the logistic team to distribute the goods and gifts sent by the members of First Baptist Church of Pernier. Soon, smiling children and adults walked away with bags of food or bundle of clothes and other items.

All in all, it was a great day. We had brought much needed relief to our fellow countrymen and women.

Around six o'clock, as the evening started to spread its dark veil over Cavaillon, we took the road back, tired but glowing in the fact that we had shared the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us with our brothers and sisters of the South.

Publié le: 11/2/2016 9:54:01 PM