Mayhem and Miracles
Once again, in the last weeks Haiti has been in the news for all the wrong reasons! Proposed Government fuel increases of between 38-51% lead to widespread protests across the country. Outside our partner hospital, some mini road blocks were erected (as pictured below), though further towards town there were more extreme reactions with burning tyres and scenes that reflected the most intense activities of Port-au-Prince.
There is a back story to these scenes though for a population still struggling in extreme poverty. In many ways the fuel announcement was the straw that broken the Camels back, a physical manifestation of on-going frustration by many who feel let down and abused by national and international politics, businesses, corruption, aid and on-going living standards hard to imagine for most of us. The fuel plans were subsequently postponed, the Prime Minister was forced to step down and for now, things have returned to normal. Yet amidst this all, the hospital remained open with our ambulance navigating road blocks to ferry staff and patients to the hospital. As always, we're grateful for our team, particularly our Ambulance drivers who take risks and put others before themselves.
These protests came at a poignant time, as we came to the end of a painstaking few months agreeing the hospitals new budget, impacted by the broader national issues. Inflation and taxes rising whilst international support diminishes. The costs of running a hospital go up, the support to do so goes down. Yet, as our Finance team have shared, 'this isn't the case of the hospital being like an un-well child, its more a case of it being a healthy, growing teenager who needs more food.' Patient numbers have doubled in the last five years from about 10,000 a year to over 20,000. You can see the challenge. Yet, whilst we were unable to fulfil all the hopes of the Haiti staff in this budget, we were humbled by their commitment and unity in agreeing to it.
But life in Haiti is hard, you have one success and along comes another challenge. Take for example last weeks big news, where a tree fell on top of the hospital cafe that provides a vital service to staff and patients. It's now out of use, so another fundraising challenge to get that back up and running starts. Please consider making a donation if you can to that. DONATE NOW
Then, amidst this all, we awoke this morning to a powerful story from Rob, an A&E Nurse from the UK with us in Haiti,
'Today we had a near tragedy and a miracle. The 6 year old child of the hospitals Head Nurse fell a long way and hit their head. They were rushed unconscious to our Emergency Department last night and told that they were in a coma. The child had a head injury and was having seizures and then stopped breathing. The A&E team gave her CPR and successfully resuscitated her and gave her medications to stop the seizures. They thought she was going to die. Her mum went to the chapel in the hospital here during the night and prayed. Other senior staff were praying too. The Head Administrator had a picture in her mind of someone dead coming back to life while praying and had 2 Cor 1:9-11 come to mind. After a night of prayer the child had come out of the coma! At lunchtime today she was walking around, eating and playing! Her mum is amazed and we are too. This is medically not normal!'
Out of the mayhem comes a miracle, an example of Gods faithfulness at a challenging time for the hospital and country. We give thanks for our Emergency staff for responding so professionally, to Rob and others who've gone to Haiti to carry out training which saves lives, for all the staff for faithfully praying, and of course as our Haiti team said 'to a God that hears us when we cry in the night!' There have been many tears in Haiti these last few weeks. Whether through the national protests, or on a smaller scale by our own team struggling with budgets and day to day life. Yet through it all, there is always hope. There is always the chance for miracles in the mayhem.