Monday, May 4, 2009


The last two days of my trip were spent working on the birthing center. here is a picture of the progress as well as a shot of one of the new OR's. soon the new birthing center will be able to be used. it was really hard for me to leave. i have made some incredible friends that have become like family. the little boy in my hands is baby standley, the first preemie i worked with. he is over 6lbs now. absolutely amazing. saying goodbye was so hard. everyone kept asking me when i'm coming back. and if i'm returning with melissa in 6 weeks. i sure would love to. i was on standby from port-au-prince to miami. and really worried i wasn't going to make it with the teams. i was terrified i was going to get left in haiti by myself. but i made it on. once in miami, we ate lunch and i headed to my gate. i was supposed to leave at 6:30. but, my plane was delayed until 8:20. my connecting flight in atlanta left at 9:30. knowing i wasn't going to make it in time, i called my cousin meggie to see if i could stay with her in atlanta. it worked perfectly. i arrived in indy at about 10 sunday morning. it was good to be home, but almost surreal. entering the house and my bedroom, it felt like someone else's. i have homes in two places. my heart is as much in haiti as it is in indiana. i would not take back this last two and a half months for the world. i have learned so much and made life long friends. i could not have done any of this though, without the help of all of you. i cannot possibly put into words the appreciation i have for the support i have recieved. you are all amazing. and i love you very much. your prayers and contributions have been felt and appreciated. i have loved everyone's encouragement through my blogs and e-mails. as i wrap up my final blog, i want to try to express the gratitude i have for all of my friends and family. i could not have done any of this without the friends and family God has truly blessed me with. you have all blessed me and as a result, i was able to work to bless the haitian people. thank you thank you thank you. and may God greatly bless you. with love,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2:00 am monday i hear "annie, annie get up. they are doing an emergency c-section and melissa needs you" now rather or not she needed me i seriously doubt, but she knew i wanted to see a section before i left. the baby was coming down breech with one foot in the birth canal and the other tucked at its chin. but everything ended just fine. mom and baby are now healthy. later that same day, melanie, a future staff member, and a small group went to the jail. she goes about every other day to minister with the inmates and pray with them. she also brings them food. normally there are around 6 inmates at one time. there were 13 that day. and they all stay in one cell about 12'x12'. pretty crazy. so we prayed with them and gave them food. all the guards we talked to spoke english and were christians. it was pretty cool. i haven't been spending much time in recovery because i'm trying to move into the new birthing center but it is a slow process. we started painting yesterday. about half of the building is already painted. yesterday i was hanging out in recovery just to see if they needed any help. one of the guys here this week said he wanted to see a birth. i had been in maternity shortly before and knew there was a mom in labor so i went with him to watch. (at this point i have given up on the posibility of delivering a baby myself its just not going to happen.) we hung out for a while. but the mom ended up needed a c-section. i wanted to see one. and now i had seen two in 48 hours. melissa didn't love this. she hates doing sections here. but now i have seen one. i honestly much prefer vaginal births. but now i know that. it has been a good learning experience. it is crazy to think that i go home in 4 days. i have made so many good friends. i am really sad to be going. i have had to start saying goodbyes already and i don't love it. i'm not ready to go. i am but, i'm not all at the same time. everyone keepsp asking me when i'm coming back to see them (haitians) and i hate not having an answer for them. but i sure look forward to when i can come stay with them again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a whirlwind of a few days. I went to see Anderson on Fri. morning. I was so excited to see him. I brought him and his sister Allyn peanut butter. Sure made me popular fast. We walked across the street to sonlight ministries. This is the all English speaking school. It was very impressive. Most of the teachers don't speak Creole and if the kids are caught speaking Creole in school more than 5 times, they get kicked out. It's pretty intense. Leaving Anderson was hard. I took him with us for the tour because I wanted to spend as much time as I could with him. He started to cry when we left. So sweet but so sad. I'm not sure that I will see him again. Later that afternoon, I got a phone call from Michael saying a friend of his had died in a car accident. He was 19. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair. That evening a 15 yr. old patient went into respitory distress and siezed throughout the night. When she went down, I lost it. All of the deaths I have seen up to this point and the hurt and devestation had finally caught up with me. I cried from places I haven't felt in a long time. I just needed to grieve for everything. I had held it in and it was time to let it all go. Yesterday, the patient was about the same, still ventilated and siezing some. Today, I woke up and got ready to go to church. I wanted to check the recovery room before I went. But I never made it to church. I spent the morning in recovery. This afternoon, the patient was taken off the ventilator. It was so hard to watch the family sit there as we all stood around. It's so weird to me. In my CNA class I learned how to care for the dying. However, it was all intended to be for elderly. However, this 15 yr. old girl is the oldest patient I have seen die. Life is not fair sometimes. I don't understand how wicked, sinful people live long lives but this precious girl was taken. Her mom told Mellisa, the girls time here was better because of the care the Americans gave her. And now she is walking and running with Jesus. (she had surgery on her hamstrings because she was unable to walk.) I found a verse yesterday in Psalm 90- Teach us how short our lives really are so we may be wise. This verse spoke to me. This childs life was so short. Michael Benya's was short to. And even mine could be short. I need to be wise in how I spend it, so as to have no regrets and to reach the greatest amount of people.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ok well I thought I should blog before everyone freaks that I haven't in a while. I knew this would be a crazy couple weeks. And so far it has been. It was good to have the break in Beauchamp for a few days. We have been sorting and moving stuff like mad. We are in the new OR!!! Major accomplishment. The scrub room and autoclaves are not in yet but everything else is functional. The first day the team did 17 major surgeries and about 9 minor. That is crazy. They are getting so much done. I have been working on moving and sorting things for new maternity. When we finally get time, we will move in. We had a going away party for Matt and Becca Jump the other night. we had bacon cheesburgers and home made ice cream. Needless to say, I have been quite uncomfortable since then. My body is not used to that food. I am going to have to wean myself back to real food when I get home. Yesterday, I spent some time in the minor room, observing mostly and helping where I could. I was scheduled to work the night shift in recovery. I wasn't sure how that would go but it was pretty good. The team works in surgery until really late at night. last night they brought the last patient out around 11:30. The guy had surgery on a hand that he had broken 8 tendons in. It was a rough surgery but when the guy started to come to, we all had to sit back and laugh. He kept looking at his hand and saying woah, each time he "rediscovered" he had had an operation. And he kept saying he was hungry. Which he probably was since he hadn't eaten all day in preparation for the surgery. But all the family members of other patients and the three of us working down there got a good laugh at his expense for nearly 40 min. I saw him this morning and told him he made us all laugh last night. He just smiled. By now I'm sure he is feeling a little pain. We all settled down and got everything under control around 1 am. I fell asleep until 6 when our shift was over. I am doing laundry for Miss Maureen since she is gone now. So I stayed up long enough to do that and then went back to bed. Melissa and Becca aren't feeling good now. Sometimes teams bring bugs in, but we might all be sick from eating foreign food. I'm not sure what is on the agenda for this afternoon for me. I have to work the night shift again tonight, so I will probably just take it easy and do little stuff to keep occupied. I am planning a visit to go see Anderson on Fri. I am excited.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sponsorship details

A few people had asked me what all a sponsorship entails and here is what the website says regarding our programs. I hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

The nutrition program for children was started many years ago and is for children ranging in age from about one to four years old who have been identified as being in at least second degree malnutrition.
They come to the mission five days a week and receive breakfast and lunch each day. They also receive medical care at the pediatric clinic and their mothers receive lessons on nutrition, hygiene, childcare, etc. The program director leads devotions each day and visiting Americans often have teaching and craft times with both the children and their mothers. The children “graduate” from this program, usually at age four, and then go into our education program.
To see the changes in these little ones as they go from being malnourished and lethargic to happy and healthy is always a great joy. Many of the families who become involved in the nutrition program are not Christians and it is our hope and prayer that through the meeting of the children’s physical needs lives are touched and changed for Christ.
This program is funded through sponsorship of the children. The total cost for sponsorship is $50 a month, but there is also an option of doing a half-sponsorship at $25 a month.
If you would like to sponsor one of these specific children please contact Mary Beth Winkler at or 502-695-7870. If you would like to sponsor a child but want us to pick the person you can let Mary Beth know that as well.
Items that can be collected for this program are:

* Peanut butter
* Medical items such as:
o Children’s tylenol
o Children’s cough and cold medicines
o Antibiotic cream
o Anti-fungal cream
o Children’s vitamins
o 4 x 4 gauze pads

Gran Moun is the Creole phrase for “old people”. We began a feeding program for the elderly in 1999 as so many of the people in our area were struggling to obtain food. These is no social security or welfare system in Haiti, so if you are elderly and don’t have children willing and able to provide for you life can be very difficult.
Not long after beginning the feeding program we saw that there was also a need for housing for many of these people, so we began to make plans for a home. We purchased land adjacent to the mission campus and -- thanks to the help of many faithful friends -- the home opened in February 2005. It has room for approximately 40 residents. The home is beautiful and the people are all thrilled to be living there. For many, if not all of them, it is probably the nicest place they have ever lived. And the best thing is that to date all of the residents who were not Christians when they moved in have become Christians and so have the guarantee of the best place imaginable to spend eternity.
Our goal at the mission has always been to bring the hope of Jesus to the Haitian people through our various programs and ministries. We are so thankful for this special ministry and the opportunities it brings.
There is a sponsorship program to help fund the home. The sponsorship money pays for all their meals, medical care, clothing, and other necessary items. We don’t like to think about this but it will also pay one day for funeral and burial expenses which we know is something we will have to face when working with an elderly population. We only take people into the home who are generally in good health, but we know that in the future we will have to deal with illness and death.
The total monthly sponsorship cost is $75. However, there are also options of doing a half sponsorship at $37.50 a month or a one third sponsorship at $25 a month. Persons needing sponsors and the amount of sponsorship money they need (some are already partially sponsored) are noted below. If you would like to sponsor one of these senior saints please contact Mary Beth Winkler at or 502-695-7870. If you would like to sponsor somebody but want us to pick the person, you can let Mary Beth know that as well.
Items that can be collected for the elderly are:
* Shoes (new or gently worn)
* Hygiene items such as soap, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes
* Medical items such as tylenol, ibuprofen and multi-vitamins

Heaven’s Waiting Room opened in 2001 and is our residential facility for children with special needs.They have a variety of physical and mental challenges such as cerebral palsy, autism, vision and hearing problems, seizure disorders, etc. These are very special children who have often been pushed aside in Haiti as parents have not had the knowledge or resources to best provide for their needs.
The children in this program receive 24 hours a day care, medical care, physical therapy and meals. The facility is staffed by Haitian women who provide for the daily needs of the children. Physical therapy is provided by Haitian staff who have been trained by American therapists who have spent time in Haiti and worked with the children.
The total cost for sponsoring a child in Heaven’s Waiting Center is $300 but people can sponsor at any level in $50 increments ($50, $100, etc.). If you are interested in sponsoring a child in this program please contact Mary Beth Winkler at 502-695-7870 or
Items that can be collected for Heaven’s Waiting Room include:
* Cloth diapers
* Rubber pants
* Diaper pins
* Wet wipes
* Baby lotion and powder
* Soap
* Shampoo
* Vaseline
* Children’s clothing (new or gently worn in all sizes)

Our mission has six schools: St. Louis-du-Nord, Port-de-Paix, Anse-a-Fleur, LaCroix, LaPointe, and the Far West. These are primary schools with classes for children from pre-school to the sixth grade. The school in St. Louis-du-Nord also has a class for deaf children. We have approximately 1500 children enrolled in the schools, which are staffed by Haitian teachers.
Illiteracy has always been a problem in Haiti and one of our main goals in starting schools was that children would be able to read and study God’s Word. There is no regular school system in Haiti, and missions provide the majority of education.
In the past the children at most of our schools have had to pay some fees to help offset expenses but, beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, all of our schools are completely free. In addition to schooling, the children receive a meal at least three days a week.
Our schools are funded through a sponsorship program which is $25 a month. See pictures on this page of some children who need sponsored. If you would like to sponsor a specific child, please contact Mary Beth Winkler at or 502-695-7870. If you would like to sponsor a child, but want us to pick one, you can also contact Mary Beth about that.
Items that can be collected for school children include:

* Tennis shoes (new or gently worn)
* School supplies such as book bags, spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, etc.

These are a few of our programs. We also have the baby orphanage on campus as well as the large orphanage in the Far West. Both of which operate through sponsorships. I hope you find this helpful. I will be glad to help in anyway I can.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We made it back from Beau Champ yesterday afternoon. We made really good time, about 2 1/2 hours. It was a good restful day. We spent much of it lounging and napping. After the couple weeks we have had we needed it. On the way out, we dropped Anderson off in Port-de-Paix. He had a sister, Alynn, at the orphanage with him. It made me feel better to leave him there. At first he was kind of hesitant to go but soon he found the kids he knew and was fine. On our way back, we checked on him again to make sure he was fine. He gave us all kisses on the cheek. He was doing great. It was kind of nice to sleep in my bed without someone waking me up at 5AM to potty. :) But I will miss that snuggly little guy. I have had a couple of people ask me what all is involved in sponsoring a child and I am working on getting that info. and when I do I will post it for you all. Today we spent much of the day working in the new O.R. to get ready for the team. It is still such a mess but we are SLOWLY making progress. I saw two deliveries today. Both are good sized Haitian babies and doing well. Kenderson, the little boy from Passe Cabois (not spelled right- pronounced pass-cat-a-bwa) is in our baby orphanage now. He got really sick about a week ago but seems to be doing great now. He is eating everything he can get in his mouth and has gained over 3lbs. In the two weeks that Anderson was here, he gained almost 5. That kid ate peanut butter like it was going out of style. The pictures on this update are random ones, with no particular purpose. But everyone talks of enjoying pictures so I try to update them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

this is going to be a short blog, but i just wanted to let you all know that i am heading out west for a while. i may not be back until friday. i am taking my ipod so i may be able to blog a little bit but probably not too much. So dont' worry when you don't hear from me. here are some updated pictures of anderson. he is playing doctor i think. he is going back to the orphanage tom. which i am growing thankful for because he is becoming more than i can handle. the other girl is allyn. she was back today and looks great. she is goin gto be in our nutrition program. and will soon be in need of a sponsor. any takers? she is doing great. and was so sweet today. i was glad to see her.