return to home page
return to newsletters main page
May 2009
Dear Friends in Christ,
Going back to Haiti after being away for 12 years was an exciting and encouraging trip for me. Traveling up the mountain where we used to live was different, yet very familiar. I had driven that road many times when we lived there in 1995-1997, and now I was returning for a visit and to assist a medical team. Praise the Lord!!
Micah, Brigitta, and I arrived in Port-au-Prince and stayed in Lussade's home for 2 nights. His wife prepared a beautiful meal of beans, rice, fried plantains, and goat. Everything was delicious. For dessert Lussade bought a cake that said "Happy Mother's Day" which was a sweet surprise for me. We attended John Fritz's church on Sunday morning. The music was beautiful. I felt that I had been ushered into the Heavenlies, praising Jesus with Shelby right there with me. The next morning we joined our team for a quick in-country flight to Cayes. From Cayes we drove to Joli-Guilbert which is 30-35 miles away. Because of the rough terrain, it took us about 5 hours to get there. Once there, we stayed at a missionary friend's compound. We're grateful to David Bustin for his hospitality.
Early the next morning our team drove to Pelah where a crowd of Haitians were waiting to be seen. During the week Micah enjoyed working in wound care. I worked in the pharmacy. Brigitta helped with distributing worming medicine and assisted in the pharmacy as well. We had some medical professionals on our team: Dr. Anwar Gerges, Laura Birdy, Daniel Grady, and Jeremy Day. Also joining us were 2 Haitian doctors and Judy Foster, an American nurse who lives in Cayes. During the week we saw a variety of medical situations. One man had a big gash in his head from a machete accident. Another had a badly deformed foot that he has dealt with since being burned as a young child. We saw a sad situation involving a woman with a very large tumor in her jaw. We treated many cases of scabies. Most of these problems would be handled differently in the states, but these people don't have the medical options that we do.
Friday afternoon after the clinic had ended, some of the younger members from our team went on a hike with a Haitian interpreter. Eventually they came to a hut that had a very bad smell. Inside they found a woman lying on the ground who had a burned arm that was badly infected and full of maggots. The group talked to her husband and decided to carry her to the medical clinic. They took down a door, laid her on it, and carried her to the clinic. Dr. Gerges and Daniel Grady cleaned the woman's wounds and wrapped her in sheets. Laura helped them insert an I.V., while her husband fed the lady water and applesauce. It was obvious that she was dehydrated and had not eaten in a while. The team gathered around and Dan Grady led us in a prayer for her spiritual and physical condition. The 2 Haitian doctors, Dr. Williams and Dr. Moses, took her to Cayes right away to amputate her arm that evening. Although it was sad she lost her arm, this woman probably would not have lived had she not received this medical attention soon. We pray that she is doing well physically, but more importantly that she comes to know Jesus Christ.
Returning to Port-au-Prince, we had time to visit Pastor Marc and his family at their home in Carfour (kar foo). Seeing them was such a blessing. His home is very small, he uses the larger room for the school and on Sundays it is the church. His grown children are the school teachers. The school has about 65 children who attend regularly.
Toward the end of our trip Pastor Petty Noelle and his wife came to Lussade's home to visit with us. His school has about 150 students attending regularly. I was amazed that between the two pastors they didn't ask our help for their many needs. They did however share a need for the school children to be seen by a doctor. We hope we can have the children checked sometime this winter. Both pastors expressed their appreciation for the food that is provided daily by you for the school children.
The trip ended too quickly. I didn't do everything I hoped to, but Lord willing there will be other opportunities to go back. I was blessed in many ways. I'm grateful to those of you who prayed for my family and the team as we were in Haiti. I thank the Lord for bringing together a great group of people who were very encouraging and for His presence each day. ~Debbi
We hope to include more testimonies of the Haiti trip in our newsletter next month.
A few days after returning home to San Antonio, Debbi, Micah, and Gita joined Ken and Kenny in Nava. Ken and Kenny had been working on the Ranch of Faith while the rest were in Haiti. We were happy to have the family together again. In spite of some rainy days (which was a blessing), we were grateful to complete the roof of the caretaker's house.
We delivered more sewing and craft supplies to Lety. The Dorcas House ministry is still booming. The work that the Lord is doing through Lety and the girls is very encou-raging. Debbi and Gita had fun taking Sister Paulina shopping for the John 3:16 Feeding Program which has about 35 children attending regularly. We are so grateful for your continued support of this ministry to the children as they are being fed both spiritually and physically.
Sister Fini and Pastor Santos wanted to have a meal with our family, so one of the days while working at the Ranch of Faith they brought lunch to us. They expressed what a blessing it is to have our newsletters translated into Spanish. A big thank you to Alfredo and Carmen Torres and Jorge and Pam Rodriguez, 2 families who have offered their help in translating. They also shared an interesting story. The night before, a woman had come to our gate asking for money to take her son to Piedras Negras for medical help. Many people with needs come to our gate and we always refer them to Pastor Santos. If it is a legitimate request, we will try to help. Kenny sent this woman down the street where Pastor Santos was having a Tuesday night service at the church. She listened to the sermon as she waited to speak with him. The Lord spoke to her during the service and she gave her heart to Christ. Glory to Jesus!! When the service ended she told the church of her need and they gave her fuel money to take her son to Piedras Negras. Her son has epileptic seizures and her husband is an alcoholic. She takes her son to a free clinic in Piedras for medical care occasionally. This time she didn't have the money for transportation. Praise the Lord, He provided!!
We thank the Lord for giving our family the opportunity to be in Haiti and Mexico this month. Being in both places makes us grateful to the Lord for His goodness and blessings over our lives. May each of you know the depth of His love for you and walk closely with Jesus Christ as He directs your life each day.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family
There were more beautiful pictures and stories than we could ever print in a newsletter. For more go to the OSM web site and click on 'Current News'.
~Praise and Prayer Requests~
We praise the Lord that He allowed us to put a roof on the caretaker's house. Some of the money came in for this project, but not all of it. If you would prayerfully consider contributing toward this home, we would be very grateful. We will need more funds to finish the construction.
There were many possibilities for injury in our travels and work this month. Praise the Lord for His hand of protection over our family. We ask that He continue to keep us in His care.
While in Haiti, a few members of our team were blessed to stay in Lussade's home with him and his family. They definitely have the gift of hospitality. For several years Lussade has worked towards adding another story to his home. The second floor would add 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms for guests. For future teams this could be a tremendous blessing. If anyone would like to help with this project, the cost will be about $3,500.
The Haiti team is trying to help Lauret come to the states for medical attention. She is a 38 year old woman who has a large tumor on her jaw. There is no medical help for her in Haiti. All of the medical care to be done here must be scheduled in advance before paperwork can begin in Haiti. This will facilitate her travel to the United States. There are many details that need to be worked out. Please pray for Lauret and this situation.