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Communiqué #059


to the PEOPLE of HAITI

March 1, 2009

Mark down this historical fact! Les Cayes Haiti had two and one half FULL days of electricity, with NO power outages! I cannot tell you how weird that seems. Day or night we could turn on a light switch and actually have lights!!! The fans lazily whirred continuously. My little dorm-size refrigerator consistently kept drinking water ice cold! Wow! The simple pleasures in life! When Day #3 arrived, I realized I had been over optimistic about the possible longevity of this power gold mine. We have a new electric company and I guess they just wanted to give us a little present on their first few days of operation. Oh well! It was nice while it lasted! It just may be another 3 years until we have around-the-clock power again! “Count your short-term blessings Mommy Nora!”

This week I have been working on getting all the heights and weights of the children in the orphanage. You never saw such an excited bunch of kids fighting over who got to stand on the “balance” next. I had to be sure that ten little feet did not climb on all at once so that I could get an accurate reading! I actually needed this information for a medication that we will be giving the children, but while I am at it, curiosity has me researching how their heights and weights compare to children living in the states!

Since the dawn of the new year, we have been blessed with four mission teams! This week there is a short break between teams, with a team arriving in early March! My time spent between teams has been filled with sick children. I have spent hours at the hospital as an advocate for the young mothers who would be virtually ignored while trying to get medical care for their babies. A combination of underpaid, understaffed and overworked staff and medical supplies in short supply leave the staff struggling to save the critically ill, while putting the not-so-critically ill children on the back burner. For one of the babies, her teenage mother came

crying to my door late one night. IV fluids had been given to her baby, but when the staff found she had no money, they ripped the IV out of the baby’s arm. A visit from me the next day resulted in the bill being paid and discovering a prescription that had been left for almost two days on the second baby’s clip chart. After discovering the prescription, while insisting that the second baby needed medication for her fever, I proceeded to three different pharmacies before finding all of the medications that were needed. These were not the only needs of the families. I soon discovered that one mother and child had gone two days without eating. They had no money for that either! (The hospital does not supply food to its patients nor to the mothers who stay with them.) When the time came for the baby to be discharged, once again, there was no money for the taxi ride home! Each night, I would go home with a heavy heart wondering how in the world these families survived! No wonder these babies get sick with diarrhea, fever and vomiting when all they eat is soda crackers and all they drink is unclean water! The parents’ physical state is not much better. They, too, are terribly thin with gaunt eyes and a hunger in their bellies!

One of the pastors visiting us from the United States had a discussion with a group of Haitian lay pastors about what Heaven will be like. One of the questions got him (and me)

to thinking! The question was “Will there be food in Heaven?” For a people who never have enough food to eat, Heaven would most certainly be a place to look forward to if abundant food was going to be there! How unlike a question about Heaven that an American might pose! Our priorities seem to be quite different! We might be wondering if our pets will be in Heaven! What an interesting contrast! Think on that for a bit!

Another event got me to thinking. Mardi Gras has just ended with all of its colorful costumes, face masks, dancing and satanic worship. It is an activity that Christians in Haiti do not attend. I recently heard that on the day after Mardi Gras (Ash Wednesday) all the costumes and masks are burned up in a fire ceremony to symbolize the burning up on one’s sins. Hmmm! Isn’t that somewhat like hell, where sinners will be thrown? The Christian can celebrate that their sins were “burned up” long ago on the cross of Jesus! The Passion season will not leave us at a low point of destruction, but rather a high point of victory over sin and death on Easter morn!

Please continue to pray for those still trapped in the grips of Satan. His chains are not only tight around Haiti, but they are also tight in many other parts of the world! Pray that the chains of the devil will be broken apart by the saving grace of God!

Nora Léon

Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time ………….

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