Sunday, July 21, 2013

God's Faithfulness and the Power of Prayer

It was about eight o’clock  Friday night, July 12th, when we heard a thump and Abby screaming. The kids had been playing outside with some of the Haitian children and Caleb had accidentally been pushed off the side of 4 concrete steps. He had fallen on his head. Danny ran down the steps and picked him up. He was crying & whimpering and in obvious pain. We checked him and found a goose egg and applied ice and gave him Ibuprofen. He was so sleepy and seemed to be doing ok so we let him fall asleep. Suddenly his eyes popped wide open, his pupils were huge and dilated and he was very confused. He was not able to answer basic questions and acted like he did not know us. We were very scared and decided to call Bro. Vaughn. We had the kids run and get our Haitian friend, Escotte. I explained to Bro. Vaughn what had happened and asked him to tell Escotte in creole that we needed to get him to a hospital. Bro. Vaughn was able to explain everything to Escotte and we quickly got Caleb ready to go. By this time, he had grown limp, pale and had thrown up once. He shut his eyes and was in a lethargic state. I talked with Bro. Vaughn for a short while after letting him know how scared we were and asking him to please pray that things looked really bad. He kept reassuring me that they would be praying and that we needed to calm down and pray too. Our older kids were very upset and we were all crying and praying out loud for God to touch our Caleb. Danny took Caleb to the court yard and a couple of the boys who live here with our missionary host and friend, Don Mobley, tried to start a couple motorcycles they have here. Don was gone for the week end and had taken his truck. They would not start and so they went out in the street and flagged down some taxi motorbikes. Danny jumped on one with Caleb while the boys jumped on another one. They raced off to a hospital about 2-3 miles away from us.
  In the meantime, I gathered Becca, Ben and Abby around me and we prayed hard that God would clear the way for them to get to the hospital for traffic is terrible here in the day and night. We prayed for their to be a good doctor who would know what to do for Caleb. Our Haitian friends were holding their own prayer meeting down in the courtyard too. I put out an emergency prayer request on Face book and people began to respond and say that they were praying. Many of you reading this touched Heaven for us for God's touch on Caleb! Within minutes of their prayers going up, we began to feel them! God gave me such a calmness in the midst of this terrible storm! Shortly, I was able to hear from Danny via someone’s cell phone that Caleb was still out of it and that the Dr. had only checked his pulse and temp and wanted to keep him overnight for observation. We were concerned with this and thought he should have a cat scan done immediately. Escotte was in the process of checking him into the hospital and was going to ask for a cat scan. I was talking to Danny when the cell went dead. Thankfully we had power for a short while and our laptops were fully charged so that I could stay on FB and talk with Daryl Hobbs, who is a missionary nurse practitioner and good friend.  She was able to help me stay calm while giving medical advice. A little while later, I heard back from Danny only to find out that they were now at a different hospital. The boys felt that it was too expensive to stay there and so they paid for the care he had received , hired more motorcycles and went to a clinic. The first thing Danny said was that Caleb was AWAKE, was asking to come home and knew his name, age and other basic questions! Danny said that he felt he was doing good and he thought he could come home. The Dr. at the second clinic checked him out, gave him ibuprofen and sent him home with instructions to get a cat scan the next day.
I cannot explain the RELIEF and rejoicing that we all felt when they came back and Caleb looked completely back to himself! We were so happy and praising God for His touch!
   Escotte came up to our house and asked if they could come and pray around Caleb. We agreed and several of our Haitian friends came and surrounded his bed. They began by singing 'Trust & Obey' in creole. At first I thought it was an inappropriate song but then God showed me that it was perfect. God asked our family to 'trust and obey' Him to come here to Haiti and now He was asking us to 'trust and obey' Him once more to take care of Caleb. By this time, it was nearly midnight and Caleb had fallen asleep. As they sang the precious words to the hymn, tears began to roll down my cheeks and God's calming presence began to settle around us. We all prayed after the song, they in creole and us in English. God met with us! There were many tears and hugs as we thanked God for His touch and asked for His continued healing on our little guy. After we finished praying they all stood for a while just gazing down at him as he slept. My eyes strayed above his head to a picture that is hanging there and suddenly I realized that it was a beautiful picture of Jesus. At that moment I knew that God truly was watching over Caleb and God had just shown me a tangible reminder! Needless to say, we watched him closely throughout the night and even had him sleep in our bed as his room seems a little far away! He slept thru the night and woke up asking to play my tablet. I gave it to him and he played it just fine with no problems at all. He got up and walked, talked, ate and was doing wonderful!
   The next day after going to 2 different places, we were able to get a cat scan done. The results took 4 days to come back. We received them in French and the only word we could understand was ‘mass’. We were worried that he had a tumor. After having the scan translated, we found out that it said there was possible swelling and that a contrast scan needed to be done to rule out a tumor. That same day we discovered a bump on his head that was dime sized when we found it and by the afternoon it was the size of a quarter. We put ice on it and gave him ibuprofen and it went down. We were very concerned and wondered if we should take him to a hospital that night. Because of how dangerous it is to travel here at night and not knowing if the hospital would even be open, we prayerfully decided to wait until the next morning. Daryl had given us the name of a lady Dr. that she had went to when she lived here. This lady had studied in the States for 9 years and spoke English fluently. She also founded a very nice hospital in Port-Au-Prince and so we went to her hospital. We asked people to pray for God to work it out for us to get answers and for things to go smoothly. He definitely went before us! We mentioned Daryl Bradbury and Frank Vaughn and she ushered us right into her office. She gave Caleb an examination and then took us to her head Pediatrician. She took us thru a crowded waiting room right to her. The Pediatrician examined Caleb and was concerned that he had a bump a week after falling. She wrote out an order for another cat scan. Then this sweet lady called ahead and set up an appt. for us at the lab.and then refused any money for her time and care. I hugged her with tears in my eyes, so thankful for her direct attention and concern.
  We took Caleb to a lab. and once again we were ushered right in past a crowded room of people. We had a short wait before they did the scan. The radiologist came out and talked with us and let us know that he had studied in the States for 14 yrs. and that he would take care of us. He did a wonderful job. After doing the scan, he came out and talked with me. He said he was confused because he was looking for a tumor but there was no tumor. He reported there was no bleeding, no clots, no cracks in his skull. He did say that there is something going on but he did not know what. He recommended we get a neuro-radiologist’s opinion in the States. He informed us that he is the top radiologist in Haiti and there are no neuro-radiologists here. He was confused about the bump but said it appeared to be on the outside of his skull and that he did not feel that Caleb is in any immediate danger.
   We praise God for His touch as Caleb has healed from his fall and has no complications from it. We feel that God allowed this to show us that he needs further medical attention. We do not know what is going on with him. We have some suspicions but nothing has been confirmed. Please pray for us as we will be sending the cd to get another opinion. Pray for us as we have many decisions to be made. Pray for Caleb's healing if it is God's will. Above all, pray for God’s will and leading. Thank-you! We could not be here with out your prayers!
    Looking back on this traumatic night, we can see that God's provision and protection were evident. If Caleb had fallen just an hour earlier there would not have been any of the boys home to help us get him to a hospital. They all had left for several hours that day and had JUST returned right before the accident. We had short amounts of power insuring that our laptops were fully charged. I had a good enough internet connection to stay on FB and talk with good friends who helped me stay calm and I was able to put out the emergency prayer request. God helped them to get safely to the hospital and clinic despite the heavy, crazy traffic here! And God taught us in a REAl way what it means to rely ONLY on Him! We felt so helpless and the only thing we could do was PRAY! We were at the mercy of the Haitians with our broken creole. We are so thankful for our Haitian Christian friends here! They were there when we needed them! And YOU all were faithful to help us pray! God is so good! Please feel free to leave a comment letting us know if you were praying that night or if you just want to let us know you read this story of God's Touch on our Caleb!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Celebrating independence Day in Haiti and Caleb turns five!

 We were blessed to have two July 4th picnics with our American and Haitian friends. July 3rd we enjoyed a supper of hotdogs, homemade baked beans, potato salad and pasta salad. Later we had brownies and homemade ice cream with pop and ice! Those are rare treats here! Our ice cream did not set up because we did not buy enough ice but we thoroughly enjoyed ice cream soup ;o) our missionary friends to the island of LaGonave were visiting, Yben and Laura Dalla and her sister, Tiffany, who flew in for a visit from the States.

Celebrating the 4th

Our yummy meal. The' hotdog buns' are actually a type of bread here.
We had a fun time visiting with each other and then the next morning we took Yben, Laura, and Tiffany to the boat docks so they could go home to the island of La Gonave. After telling them goodbye we drove another hour to the village of La Croix. Our friends, Elwood and Anita Martin are missionaries there and we enjoyed visiting and staying overnight with them. Anita does a wonderful job of running a clinic there and it was interesting to see where she sees the patients. The Martin's fixed us delicious hamburgers on the grill, coleslaw, fresh veggies and Doritos..yummy! We have missed Doritos! Then we enjoyed Anita's wonderful homemade brownies :o)  It was a nice relaxing visit and we all enjoyed getting away from the noisy, busy city of Carrefoure. Thank-you soo much Martin's for hosting us in your lovely home! We really appreciated everything!

Enjoying our cook-out

Mrs. Anita had a willing helper with the dishes.

Our happy group with Reggie, their dog.

Elwood & Anita Martin

Reggie and Caleb hanging out

Abby by a huge tree in the front yard of the compound.
Next big celebration was Mr. Caleb turning five. He requested pancakes for his breakfast. I have learned how to make them from scratch and the syrup too so we enjoyed pancakes. Later in the day we made a big cake with Abby & Caleb's help. He wanted a jungle theme cake so using what we could find such as Abby's Pet Shop's and some very cute palm trees that Ben made out of straws and construction paper we were able to deliver a jungle cake! We were quite happy with how it turned out and so was he :o) We made homemade chocolate ice cream and invited Don and 9 of his boys over for a fun birthday party. We brought some decorations from the States and Caleb's siblings had fun putting up crepe paper and making the kitchen look festive. Everyone enjoyed the cake and ice cream and then we passed out some glow sticks we had left over. Then everyone went outside and had fun tossing glow sticks. It was a fun night! You can visit our Face book page for lots more pics.
Checking out his jungle cake.

The finished product!

Party guests playing with the glow sticks

Happy Birthday Mr. Caleb!