More Reports on Our Response to Haiti

Published by: Sam Crabtree
January 20, 2010

Update on January 19 Information-Gathering Meeting:

Last night, 65 people from Bethlehem attended a meeting at the Downtown Campus to hear updates and pray for Haiti. More than half expressed an interest in serving on a team to respond to the disaster as it becomes feasible. Those who are interested in updates on potential teams and Bethlehem’s response to Haiti can send their names to and be added to a Haiti disaster response e-mail list.

From the Global Diaconate:

The Global Diaconate, on behalf of Bethlehem Baptist Church, has voted to send an additional $2,000 for relief for Haiti, this time via the Iglesia Bautista de la Gracia (IBG) church in Santiago, Dominican Republic, toward the purchase of 25,000 bottles of water. The bottles have Scripture verses in Spanish and Creole from John 4:13-14 printed on them: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” (Visit the IBG Haiti Fund on Facebook.) See report on the Global Diaconate's initial response to the earthquake in Haiti.

Report on a Bethlehem Family Adopting Haitian Children:

Pray for Dawn and Lee Shelton who are in the process of adopting two children from Haiti: Patricia (9) and Philippe (8). The Sheltons are packed and on notice that they could be called to leave for Florida at any time to receive their children. They have more information on their blog.

From our Global Partner, Dr. Steve Nelson who serves with HCJB Global in Ecuador, currently working with Samaritan’s Purse in Haiti:

We are running out of diesel and instruments and clean sheets so I'll take advantage of at least a partial slowdown to fill you in:

Arrived at Haiti Baptist Mission Friday (1/15) morning around 3:00 ... brief greeting and prayer from the exhausted folks who were overseeing the Mission until we arrived. Then we waded into the foray ... with hundreds of people in the corridors since the beds were long ago full, mostly with people who needed urgent surgery.

There are so many limiting factors for how much surgery you can do ... but [our team] managed to get about 10 cases in before quitting at midnight. Unfortunately, the fastest ones are often the most urgent ... amputations. With six hours sleep, we had a full day and did about 15 surgeries. We non-surgical types were trying to triage the cases that were most likely to get complicated if left longer ... Sepsis, infected compound fractures, and little kids made up our priority list. We had 15 cases on Saturday ... still finishing after midnight—and more complicated cases that second day.

Now we’re short on everything ... diesel for the electric plant to keep the operating room going, cast material, surgical supplies for "fixing" fractures, food, water .... everything except patients who continue to come in. We’re changing the surgery list for the day as more advanced cases come in. But ... praise the Lord ... people are trickling out, too—a miracle in itself. I have asked almost all my patients that look like they could go home soon, “Do you have a home to return to?” So far, I’ve had a 100% "no" response. Some have relatives who lived higher up in the hills, but many of the ones who could go home would eventually need surgery, and getting back and forth would be so difficult.

One of the hardest moments was being called to take a picture of a little girl who looked to be 10 years old. She had just died ... we didn't even know she was in the hospital. I suppose the docs who were here before us knew she wouldn't make it so put us to work on the ones who could. The woman who translated for me whispered into my ear ... “This is the sixth of their nine children who has died from this earthquake. They just want a picture.” Heartache and tragedy are soooo relative.

One patient was a 2-year-old with a large wound to her left leg and complete fragmented bones ... tibia and fibula ... and lots of infection in wound. The doc wasn't sure what he would find, so decided to clean the wound under an anesthesia called Ketalar, which leaves kids looking like they are sort of awake but not feeling anything. Cleaning the wound and finding such an important injury put her first on the schedule today ... she will be next in when the "lights go on." Then we all heard her start singing ... first in sort of a low voice and later, stronger ... and it seemed happier!! It was in Creole so of course none of us Spanish and English speakers could know what she was saying ... but a translator brightened up nearby and said, she is singing, "I am saved, I am saved, I am saved ..."

Please pray about all this. The system here when it works is slow and downloading lots of encouraging remarks—although a blessing—would slow things down further. Thanks ahead of time for even unspoken support. Everybody loves to be prayed for, and that's sure true of the Haitians. (I just now heard the plant go on ... back to work.)

Love, Steve
Please pray for all.




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