Friday, July 21, 2017

Fetchin' the Well Rig

We can't say enough to express our gratitude for all the prayers that were lifted up on Barry's behalf yesterday. The journey to Southern Haiti to get the well-drilling rig was nothing short of an adventure, and we know that it was the hand of God watching over him and the two others involved that allowed them to arrive back at home safely.

Barry, Rameau, and Ocean started their trip in Rameau's truck at 5:00am yesterday morning, already tired from a less-than-restful night of sleep.  The drive to Petit-Goave took three hours, then there were two hours of treacherous mountain road to climb. When they reached the mission where the rig was located, they were a little caught off guard by the condition of the equipment. It was parked several years ago, and hasn't moved or even been started in quite some time.  When they turned the ignition key, nothing happened.  The possibility was considered that maybe it wasn't in the Lord's plans to bring the rig down, but after five hours of vigorous repairs, both the water truck and the driller were up and running. At 2:00pm they started the hazardous journey back down the mountain trail. There were several times when Barry could tell that many people were praying for him, Rameau, and Ocean. 

The old trucks barely had sufficient power to make it up the steep inclines, and more than once they began to roll backward. There were places where, if they looked out the window to check where the tires were rolling, they couldn't see the ground they were driving on, but only a downward fall for thousands of feet.

There were two flat tires, one of which was slashed when they got down the mountain and reached Petit Goave. Thankfully, they were equipped with extra tires that happened to be the ones needing replaced. Dusk was settling in and they still had several hours of traveling to do, but no lights worked on the equipment. This caused another several hour delay, as they worked in the dark to get some LED lights wired up. They knew the road going through Port au Prince was very dangerous, people being shot and robbed at night. Barry thought the Lord was closing the police eyes because they rolled through several checkpoints with no stops. But in Port,  a group of about 10 fully armed police with face masks stopped them, they demanded them to pull over and began the harassment. Barry told them what was going on, and asked them if they would just let them go and maybe even assist them through the bad area. They laughed at him and insisted on giving him a 10,000 goud ticket for no license plate lights on the trucks. Barry said, "Ok, if that is what you have to do." The chief reaponded with a question. "What do you want to do?" Barry said he wanted to go home, but he was the one with the gun so he had the final say. Ocean had had enough and told them what he thought about them, so after giving Ocean a ticket and letting Barry go, they were back on the road. Ocean wanted to take a long detour around this dangerous area but Barry insisted they just drive through, remembering God is in control. As soon as they entered this bad Zone, the rig died, once again, so they began cleaning filters and got it back running. The next day they were talking and realized that God had taken away all fear while in that zone, even forgetting about it while the machine was there stalled. Praise the Lord!

 When they were 30 minutes from home, the well-driller quit again. Barry got out to go talk to Rameau about what they'd do next, and he was already sleeping behind the wheel of his stopped truck. They decided to leave it there in Titanyan, in front of the police station, for the rest of the night. At 3:00am, 22 hours after he left, Barry pulled back in the gate of the mission, driving the water truck.

They returned to Titanyan the next morning to get the rig running again and bring it the rest of the way home.

The only thing lost through the whole ordeal was the a cooler (otherwise known as an ice chest ☺), which was stolen from the back of Rameau's truck. Material possessions are replaceable, but praise be to God that everyone was kept safe. The group at the mission that had the rig expressed their doubts that the trip could even be done, but here it all sits, right in the front yard of the mission house. 

Now, we wait for the next phase of actually operating it and seeing if we can't get a well drilled. :)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"If they can save thee in the time of thy trouble"

There are a lot of people packed into this small country.   Lots of people means lots of accidents. Lots of accidents call for lots of medical attention.  However, there are not a lot of doctors and nurses to even begin meeting all the needs that coming pouring into the hospitals all day long. They are understaffed, underpaid, and swarmed with people who are desperate for help. Mothers carry the limp bodies of their young children.  Victims of road accidents limp in with broken limbs and road burns. Whether it's terminal illness, severe burns, or just a belly ache, you have to just wait your turn in line.  Barry has been seeing first hand just what is going on, and not going on, in several different hospitals.  Just in the past week, he's been asked to help three different men in great need of medical aid.

One young man was in a tragic motorcycle accident and is unable to walk. Barry drove him all over Port-Au-prince to various hospitals, multiple times, to do several different scans and tests.  The machines work half the time, at best. When they finally got some results, the doctors said he's too badly injured and will never walk again.

Another very young man, whom Barry first drove to pick up in an isolated mountain village,  is seeking help for a large lump that seems to be overtaking his back, almost making him look like an old man. After the same story of running here and there, waiting in line, pleading for doctors, old, broken machines, more testing, more scans, they discovered he has severe, incurable scoliosis. It likely won't kill ho, but his spine is curving and will continue to do so until he dies.

These two boys are actually cousins, and the one in the motorcycle accident was already at the hospital trying to get help when Barry first took the boy with scoliosis. However, since he had no money for medical care, it was not possible for him to get any help.  There are so, so many needs, and so many people without money, that the hospitals can't and won't do a thing to help until they see proof that the patient can pay. If a mother has a baby in need of a life- saving operation, for example, but she can't pay, they will let the baby die unless she comes up with the money.

The third man, at the other end of the age spectrum, was also in the mountain. At 86 years old, he was planting beans on the mountainside and took a fall. Again Barry drove up the mountain, but the village where the man lives is an hour walk from the road. He was carried from the village on a make-shift stretcher and put in the truck to be taken down the mountain to the hospital.  The second trip there, last week, they learned from x-ray results that his leg is badly broken. After more than a week in the hospital, nothing had been done to help correct his leg, but they finally put it into a cast on Tuesday.  Nobody's really sure if the bone was set back in place or not before the cast was put on.

Unfortunately, many accident victims don't end up in the hospital. The severity of the crashes that take place on Route National 1 are sobering, as one can see the way the vehicles look while they remain on the roadsides for days, months, or years after the incident, that no one could have survived.  When there are not ambulances as we know them racing to the scene to help, passersby may even witness the gruesome scene before any bodies are removed.  It is often a public taxi involved in these horrific crashes, which means many lives are lost at once. For example, last week Barry and pastor gBazalet wher heading home one day when they came up on an accident involving a bus(in Haiti there called 'killer buses because there loaded down with people and supplies and they drive very fast and don't stop for much), Barry usually doesn't stop at accidents but this one was fresh and it looked like they needed help. The bus was on its side and there were people underneath of it, they tried to pull the bus back upright using a large box truck, the bus was raised about 5 feet, the bodies did not
look to be in good shape, Barry suspected they were already dead, but then the ropes broke and
the bus came crashing down. It was hard for Barry to witness the results of the impact. There were no survivors under the bus.

Another two men were shot in the field directly behind the mission house on Wednesday morning as a result of a land dispute. Life is only hanging by a thread, in the hands of a mighty, powerful God, and no hospital, no matter how advanced, can help when the time is up. There are millions still here, but, oh, that we would cry out for these souls before they pass into eternity! That they would find the true, unchanging, life-saving Jesus!

But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
Jeremiah 2:28