Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Beyond my Comfort Zone"

By Keith Stevens - At the end of each day on the mission field in Haiti the team goes around and shares "one word" that describes their day.  For me it was tough enough putting my experience into words alone, let alone selecting just one.  Saville was just 37, and the nurse told me all then men in that room were "hard cases."  Saville was no exception - as he lay in his make-shift bed with many other patients in the Home for The Sick and Dying Adults in Haiti.  His leg was hugely swollen, his skin dried out like alligator skin, and his hands were wrinkled.  It was our job as missionaries to rub lotion on these sick and dying adults, touch their skin, message lotion into their legs and arms and backs, and ease their pain.  And so there I was, tending to this dying man - putting lotion on his dry and dying body.  Putting lotion on his largely bloated leg.  Would this be the last time someone ever came to see him?  Was this the last time he would be cared for?  These questions raced through my mind as I found myself being stretched beyond what I was used to.  I couldn't help but think of the power of touch. The power of looking into another human beings eyes and communicating warmth and care.  The power of a smile and kind word even in another language.  The power of the tone of your voice.  And so in the Bible Jesus touched a leper. He held his hand.  He touched his legs and maybe his feet.  Nobody touched the lepers at that time for they were unclean.  That story raced through my mind as I knew that Saville was a "hard case" because he has HIV Aids.  My word for the day was "stretched".  I was "stretched" beyond my comfort zone - to care for someone that I am sure Jesus would care for if He was here today.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A few pics


From Teri Hanson - My Word for Today - PEACE. From our 6am Worship service at a large Haiti Church to massaging aloe lotion onto arms, legs, backs, chests, hands of girls & women at The Hospital for Sick and Dying Adults and Children to the Haiti General "Hospital", Peace reigns in the hearts of these Children of God. You might call it resignation...I feel it in my aching heart as Peace. Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ spoke the words to His Disciples in John 14:27, "PEACE I leave with you; my PEACE I give you." He does not lie! In ALL circumstances we have His PEACE. These lovely sick & dying people are true inspirations of this Peace. I am humbled. I never ever want to forget this tough lesson Jesus pressed into my soul today. God is SO good! XO Minnesota


Part of my day today included putting lotion on men at the Death and Dying Hospital: legs, chests, backs. They are at this place to die. We had to wear masks and gloves. They have tuberculosis, AIDS, failing organs, pneumonia, etc. One of the men I spent time with had an open wound on his leg with bugs in it. We brought the hands and feet of Jesus to these guys. I am undeserving.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A few pics from Thursday!

The Bravest Boy in the World

By Keith Stevens:  Today, as  I walked through the Home for The Sick and Dying Children of Haiti, "Sister M" pulled me aside and asked me if I was comfortable holding babies. I said I was and she said, "go and bring me the baby in crib #15."  He had to be about 16 months old, and was clearly dehydrated and lacking nutrition. I could feel every bone in his ribcage poking my hand as I picked him up. His body was pretty lifeless, and his arms were small and his dark skin was dry and wrinkled, hanging off of his small frame.  "Sister M" was the nurse and asked me to place the child on the examining table and to hold him steady as she would then prepare his tiny little hand to insert an I. V.  And so here I was, in the Home for the Sick and Dying Children of Haiti.  I can't stand needles, I always look the other way when I get a shot, and now it was my job to hold this child as the needle was inserted into this little one's vein. I said, "Lord, what do I do, what do I say to this little one?"  I wished his mom could have been there to hold his hand.. or his dad.. but it was me that God chose for this time and place. I thought about his parents and felt sad that the boy was all alone. So I held that little boy's tiny hand in mine, and told him, "You are so brave."  (That's what my mom would tell me when I was little and receiving a shot from the doctor.)  And as the needle pricked his skin, his beautiful dark eyes widened so big, and one large tear  rolled quickly down his left check and he cried so loud.  But I found myself taking on the role of caretaker and quickly comforting him and I let him know that I was there, and that he was the bravest boy in the world.  With that he settled down and the IV was connected, and the reversal of dehydration began.  As life was pumped into this little boy's vein's, I prayed over this boy and told him that God has a plan for his life, and for God to use him in a special way.  I thanked "Sister M" for all she does and told her that I have great respect for what she does every day.  She pointed up and said "it is all glory to God."  She then took and the I.V. pole, and asked me to follow her with the little boy in my arms.  She brought me to the lobby and asked me to place him in the arms of his mother, who had been there, watching me hold her child from a distance,
 the entire time. An hour later, in the lobby the boy was full of life in his mother's arms.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Water Delivery - Tent City

By Keith Stevens.
  She had to be no more than 12 years old.  And as the water truck backed up, she was one of the people lined up with her empty large white bucket for fresh water.  We had arrived in another one of the "Tent Cities" where people live so close together in poverty, in make-shift tents with narrow muddy pathways that wander throughout the tent city. No sanitation. Little food and no fresh water. This young 12 year old girl's beautiful dark skin made her bright aqua shirt stand out all the more and made her more visible in the crowd as she stood in the hot sun with her empty bucket...inching her way up to the hose with fresh water.  Her 5 gallon bucket when filled with water would have been too much to carry on her own... and I looked down and grabbed the handle and offered to carry it to her tent. She led the way.. back through the muddy dirt pathways, past kids and crying babies, through the mud. I switched hands to carry the bucket as it got heavier. After a long walk we arrived at her tent and she showed me where to place the water.  I smiled ..she said "merci" and I walked back to the water truck.  I continued to help filling buckets for other people. about a half hour later I noticed that same young 12 year old girl looking all around with another empty bucket.  She was in line but seemed to be searching for someone.  When I caught her eye she smiled from ear to ear...  she was looking for me.  for me to come and help her again.  I gladly did.  This time as she led me again through the mud pathways back to her tent, she smiled and talked to a friend along the way and spoke in Creole as if to say "He's carrying water for ME".  I arrived  at her tent, I smiled, she did too, this time she looked at me, not as a stranger, but as a friend. Then she turned and said to me in Creole...I'm so happy you came to bring me water. My guide had interpreted for me.  She said again. I'm so happy.  My guide said "she's really happy!!" We smiled again I waved goodbye.. and passed a couple of kids along the way who shouted "hey you". 
While riding back to our missionary house in Haiti, hand painted inside the bus are the words of Jesus... "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink".  It all made perfect sense.