God is our strong refuge; he is truly our helper in times of trouble. For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes, and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, Psalm 46:1-2

Pou chèf sanba yo. Se yon chante pitit Kore yo pou yo chante tou dousman. Se Bondye ki tout pwoteksyon nou, se li menm ki tout fòs nou. Li toujou pare pou ban nou sekou lè nou anba tray. Psalm 46:1-2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

For more videos and pictures, go to JoAnn's website (linked on the side) or {http://athousandwords.smugmug.com/JoAnn/haiti/12033790_HAhax#860347531_HDgMy}

Haiti Reflections

(back: Andy, JoAnn, Don, Tammy, Lee, Caroline, Dawn, Kim)
{front: Marlene, Ellen}

There is something so exciting about going on a short-term trip.
A new place: Haiti.
A mission: to help.
A week: enable change.
Packing your bags you feel so stressed--do I need that shirt? Did I pack my toothpaste? Do I really need to bring a headlamp? And then you go out and buy some extra things: granola bars, some throw away towelettes, a journal, a new camera battery. And then you lay in bed and think: "Is this really a good idea? What if something happens? What if I get malaria?"

Somehow with our many questions, we convince ourselves that this is a trip we can do. That God can use us, his people, for some display of his glory.

What everyone always comes back saying is that the trip was more changing to the goer than the people we go to. I think that's the way it's supposed to be. The kingdom serving each other and being blessed. Even with the lack of sleep and surprises of new friends, language barriers, food confusion and travel weariness; we are blessed. I was blessed to be part of a medical team, even though I am not medical. We were able to do various things in the hospital: check blood pressure, take temperatures, hold babies, organize shelves, wash hair, rehab, give a new pair of crutches, and jump rope with children.

Is there hope for Haiti? With the thousands of organizations all pooling their money and time, I hope so. What we saw there was broken homes and broken families. Mothers who lost children and children who lost mothers. We handed out milk to children in a camp
and it was so exciting to be part of the hands that give daily bread. To see the children coming unhindered and realizing that the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" is more beautiful in that moment than ever before.

What did we realize in Haiti? That there are a ton of problems. The roads are atrocious, which makes travel difficult. The infrastructure is non-existent. The corruption is prevalent and prevents a lot of good works from reaching their destination. That the church has an opportunity to be a witness in this tragedy. What is the church? It's people partnering with Haitians to make a difference. It's trips going to Haiti and growing a love in their hearts for a people that were once strangers, but now have names: Kervens, Gregorie, Juanito, Bob, Max.... It is a time for us to figure out long-term strategies for what will help people find employment and build homes for themselves and have hope for a healthy baby who will grow up educated.

The Haitians are a singing people. They love to sing. When the earthquake hit, we were told there were songs of mourning being sung in the street. They sing to the radio. They sing in the hospital. I think they sing because it's hopeful and beautiful in the midst of so many things that aren't.

I loved being in Haiti. There are so many thoughts to share. Sorry this is so scattered.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Photos from another team!!!!

Hey all!
Hopefully JoAnn will start blogging the experiences of another team just returning. I know that there are lots of people who want to hear about whats going on there and we all have people we think about and pray about daily.

Thanks JoAnn for going and thanks for sharing the photos!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday March 28th - Haiti Night @ Elmbrook!!!

Haiti ... Sunday - March 28 - 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm - Elmbrook Chapel ... all are invited to a Haiti Night .... to increase your understanding of the current situation in Haiti and to learn of Elmbrook's commitment to Haiti. Let an incredible slide show from the two teams we have sent touch your heart!

Also - we continue to dialog with Samaritan's Purse as to any long term commitment in Haiti for Elmbrook. The situation remains desperate and at this time, only medical people are on the ground. They have asked that God's people pray for SP ... i.e. how, when or even if, non medical teams should be sent to Haiti.

New Orleans - with the 2 year commitment to help SP rebuild the 9th ward in New Orleans, we would love to fill up every team.

MEN are still needed for 3 teams:

April 18-25, 2010 (team meeting is March 28) - Robin/Pam Knoll-Team Leaders
May 9-16, 2010 - Don Reichle - Team Leader
June 20-27, 2010 - Sue Bruk - Team Leader

Contact Mary Ann Lee at mlee@elmbrook.org if you are interested in any of these teams

Pam Knoll and Mary Ann Lee

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Non-Medical SEND Teams forming!!!

Hello Everyone:

Mary Ann Lee wants you to know that two non-medical teams to Haiti are forming. The first is scheduled for June 14 through 20. The second one has not been firmed up, as yet, but will be some time in October. If you are interested in either of these teams, please contact Mary Ann at mlee@elmbrook.org.

The team will be serving in Haiti with Mission Discovery. The focus will be clearing debris/sorting materials/working with children. This will be a SEND team which means SEND training is required. It will have a project code so that tax deductible donations wil be accepted. Strong emotional stability is required as this is still a disaster area. We will need strong backs for the difficult work and strong hearts and minds for dealing with traumatized children. The cost is expected to be approximately $1,000 including flight/food/housing/transportation. If that changes, we will let the people know who have expressed interest in these teams.

Wishing you God's peace,

Joline McCord

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday, 1st Day Home

I miss the team already (although I can think of a lot of other things I don't miss). I'm going to start posting photos and adding blog updates to some logistical things for future teams to read about. I'm trying to answer questions and collect better photos then mine from other team members so I'll keep updating the blog as questions come in. Again, thanks for all of the prayers, support and all of the work done behind the scenes! There is an amazing need for support down there and a whole lot of people praying for help to come from somewhere. Ellen just shot me a text that she got a good night sleep so she's ready to go back. I think I'm going to need a couple more nights before I'm ready.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back in the US and safe

I just talked to Marc. The team is safely back in Florida waiting to catch a flight to O'Hare.

Traffic in Port au Prince is... challanging

So we all get up around 5am to get ready for the bus ride to the airport. Except for Ernie who got up around 3am to administer anesthesia for an emergency c-section. We knew it would take hours to get to the airport and the traffic is absolutely horrible. Fridays are even worse and we just couldn't be late for our flights. Its a good thing we left early. Our bus crash is better described as a fender bender but it was all the excitement we could stand, with a loud bang! Lots of screeching tires followed by several minutes of trying to get the bus and the SUV separated. Then we had to get the bus driver and the SUV driver separated. No one got hurt and all the damage to the bus was cosmetic. What a way to end the week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday- Last Full Work Day!!!!

Crazy busy day! Really just like all of 'em. Except this time half the team got to leave the hospital after lunch to go to a local orphanage. The hospital has been trying to place some orphans living on site and today they got a local pastor who runs an orphanage to agree to meet with us. It turns out it was a trick. They were way over any reasonable capacity and couldn't ever take any more children, but he wanted us there to talk about his needs!!! It was just what we had been waiting for!!!! I raced back to the hospital and we grabbed all of our uneaten food, medical supplies, toys, and some "extra" vaccines. 7 of us went back and vaccinated children who stood very quietly and willingly let themselves be stuck in the arm in exchange for some beanie babies, toys, and a bunch of other kid stuff that somehow got into our bags that were only supposed to be loaded with lifesaving medical supplies and foodstuffs. Several hours later there we so many smiles on the faces of these newly vaccinated children. The only smiles bigger then the kids were of course ours. We are beat down tired, emotionally exhausted and smelling worse than any human should but we were all just elated! It was awesome and uplifting and just too cool to put into words. You will just have to wait to see the photos, but trust me, it was exactly as you probably image it. The kids were so cute and happy and just wanting to high-five or smile and laugh and play with their new toys while the adults started preparing their first meal of the day. We owe a huge thanks to all of you who forced those stuffed animals on us, they had no place on this medical trip; right up until today when we needed them just as badly as those kids.

The Supreme Master Ching Hai is still Cooking!

This is a very complicated organization...

I'm going to give them all due respect for the work they are doing feeding people and working their tails off. The vegan life-style is one I don't understand but I won't make fun of their choice. Their worship of a person is obviously quite contrary to the bible and can't be reconciled with the truth, but their good works down there and their honest and sincere compassion are without equal. Again, I mean no disrespect, and I truly appreciate and thank Master Ching Hai for the food and compassion. Thank you for the food, and thank you for continuing to feed the orphanage for as long as you possibly can.

Follow the link if you choose, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction... (Mark, I have no words)


Maison d'Accueil... Rev. Jean Daniel

More about the two orphanages we visited. Rev Jean Daniel is caring for the kids and its working! They got fed, they got vaccinated, they got some medical supplies, and they got Beanie Babies!!! On Sunday, Ryan and Ashley are planning on going to Rev Daniel's boys orphanage for more of the same. The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association delivered more food and is promising to keep it up. I'll work on explaining the vegan disaster relief team later but they are getting food to the kids so they're okay by me. Here are some more of the kids photos.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day... Wed?

We lost a tuff one last night. There have been fatalities, and everyone accepts that, but we had an ICU patient that had been fighting for 8 days. Around the clock care for a 20 year old with his family by his side and his passing is a mixed blessing, but its tuff on the staff. We are all talking and crying together but this one is still hard. "Buddy" won't be the last one this week, but the team was fully invested in him. His medical visa never came, and it probably wouldn't have mattered anyhow. We have to accept Gods will for "Buddy," it will just take time. Yesterday was such a great day... lets hope for another one of those tomorrow. We covet your prayers! It'll be easy to bury ourselves in work... its gonna be hard to come home.

Visited Tent City - left in a hurry!

Kim and I needed a break from the hospital so we got Craig from one of the clean water disaster relief organizations (global medic) to take us up to the tent city. Its only a block away from the hospital and is estimated to have 20,000 refugees living their. No one ever calls them refugees, I haven't heard that word used once and it doesn't even sound right typing it, but I'm trying to accurately describe the living conditions. This tent city is located on the Adventist University campus and is absolutely huge. We spent a few minutes looking at the awesome water facilities being installed by Craig's crew then we walked toward the exit before breaking all the rules and handing out beanie babies and fruit snacks inside the tent city. THIS SHOULD NOT BE DONE! There are 20,000 people here without much. A few people handing out stuff without an orderly plan could lead to a disaster. We just walked into a group of little kids and tried to empty our bags in a few seconds. Within a minute we were overrun by teenagers and adults trying to get whatever we had to give and we were hot footn' it to the exit. Again, this wasn't a good idea, giving toys, etc. needs to be done by a local group in a controlled setting (like an orphanage). The good feeling of helping others wouldn't last too long if little kids ended up getting hurt in a melee. We were smart enough not to do it by the hospital and mess up the medical work happening there, but even doing it in the camp may have made things tough for the next foreigners walking into the camp... they may now think we all have beanie babies!

How was the drinking water?

Good, the five gallon water bottles were plentiful. There was plenty of travelers sickness going around. Almost everyone had their moments, but for the most part the hospital was able to generate and bottle clean drinking water. The showers were hit or miss because the water pressure was inconsisitant. There were three French firefighter/EMTs who were tired of MRE's and vegan food, so they went out one night looking for a restrauant. They found a local restaruant and decieded it would be a good idea to try the crabs. I don't think they will recommend Haitian seafood again. I think they all recovered after a day or two but a little common sence should be enough to keep everyone safe here. In the heat you need to be drinking consistantly and a water bottle hanging from the belt with powdered gator aid or something similar worked pretty well.

Where are we sleeping?

The entire team is staying at the Hospital. This was a practical decision as the roads are really ruff, traffic is horrible, and the only open hotel is a hard walk by day, and not a good idea at night. Future teams may stay at the hotel and use a tap-tap (private cab) or one of the hospital drivers but that's an added cost and strain on the few hospital drivers there. Dr. Cababa and Dr. Neilson never did make it thought the night without being awakeing for an emergency surgery or consultation. That means that staying at the hospital did translate into fulfilling a constant need, but burn-out was real close for some after only a week; and the hospital really needs all the room they can get for patients. We slept on army cots in the hallways and up on the roof. The heat and humidity was horrific (especially for us from Wisconsin) but the roof was a little cooler and really wasn't too bad except when it rained and we either dove into a bakeing tent or moved under the rain fly.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 2....

Stopped raining and the sun is out! Its drying up and thats a huge answer to prayer, thanks to all of you that asked for that one! And thanks God for granting that! Antother tuff day with hard stories and lots of opportunities to care for people but Dr. Nielsen just told us about his little one year old patient that is doing really well after fluid had to be drained from around the lung, he had been here for a couple of days with a fever and shortness of breath. Dr. Cababa and Diane helped on a surgery where a 8 year old girl had a kitchen accident. She was seriously cut in the hand and the surgical team was able to insure all nerves and ligaments will be fully functional and the wound was cleaned well from the inside to stop the infection that had already set in. Diane has finished organizing all of the sutures in the OR and the 3rd anesthesia machine is now running (after Ernie fixed it) so 3 ORs are now up and running!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 1... photos soon!

It hot here! The people and the country are beautiful, but the city is a mess. The staff here is amaizing. Its amaizing how much they are getting done with how little they have. There are local Hatians working with foreign doctors, working with people from who knows where speaking who know what language. These patients are so calm and so gratefull for the medical assistance and food. Seeing the city in the dark last night after the melee at the airport was a little overwhelming and everyone was very quiet when we arrived. The excitement of finally getting here and the emotional release of just getting on the ground was instantly overcome by an incredible sence of awe at the conditions these people are living in. Then we met the patients at the hospital and they are instantly smileing and gratious... its amaizing. Only God can provivde for these people, working alone we are so small and insignifcant.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ReCellular Comes Through!!!

This very cool company has dontated two unlocked phones, chargers, and spare batteries to the team!!! Thanks so much! I did promise to hold a phone collection for them when we get back, but I don't think anyone will mind doing a little phone recycling for the cause. Follow the link to read more about their phones for Haiti project and their support of the Red Cross... and now the Cure/Elmbrook/Team lacrosse medical mission!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Prayer Requests

There is a tab on top of the main page that lists different pages, please make sure you read the team covenant and check the prayer request page often... post as much as you want!!! Lets also start a page for people to thank. I know we won't catch them all, but there are so many people helping behind the scenes, donating items, packing things, lets at least try to give them some credit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Packing Lists - 1 Week to go!!!

Okay Team, time to get your packing lists up! Lets put our heads together and make sure we have everything covered. Please comment or call me with ideas and send me your lists and I'll assign a bag number. Label your bag with the number and the luggage tags coming you to in the mail this week from Cure. We are going lighten the food lists which gives us more room for medical supplies. Even if we don't use them at HAH hospital we'll get them where they can be used. I'm going to call everyone this weekend and we can go over each persons needs and hopes for the team. Thanks for all the prayers, keep it up!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Team Meeting This Sunday!!! (last Sunday)

TEAM 1 has a meeting this Sunday... 1p-2:30p room d270. Some of the La Crosse folks will be dialing in for phone conference, but everyone else should be there for... prayer, getting to know ya', time of prayer, packing plans, prayer, supplies lists, prayer, other items, prayer, and we'll probably close with some prayer.

Please bring copies of your tickets, cure apps (if you haven't already sent copies) copies of medical licenses, etc etc etc. And some prayer requests, (we'll make time)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Best intentions can lead to hours and hours of sorting wasted clothing!


Although this story is a little mean spirited... anyone that spent time sorting wet clothing donated after Katrina knows what the author meant to say!

This is a photo of 2005 TEAM 1 from Pine Miss. trying to save some of the mountains of clothing donated then largely wasted; because there was no way to distribute it effeciently.

All Questions are Open for Comments

Please click on the comments link to read or add your thoughts to any question. You may add a profile as "anaymous" but please add your name in your post somewhere.

Questions for those returning from Haiti

Hi, Tim Neeck here, I'll be Marc's technical person for this Mission.

Several questions came in the form of an email that need answering by those who've just returned from Haiti. The following posts are those questions, one by one. There are questions on the next page, so please hit Older Posts when you get to the bottom of page one to see the remaining questions and answers.

Please help the team by answering these question.


Question - cellular coverage

Is there cell phone service?

Question - electrical outlet type

Are there outlets to recharge a camera battery or cell phone? If so, is an adapter needed?

Question - international teams

What will be our ability to communicate with teams from other countries? (You mentioned Korea and Sweden.) Do we assume they speak English?

Question - mosqito netting

When we go, will we need to bring mosquito netting?

Question - surgical supplies

Do they have hats, masks, and sterile gloves?

Question - Instrument availability and sterilization

Are there sterilization capabilities for the instruments? Do they even have instruments?

Question - nursing assignments

Being an O.R. nurse, do I assume I will be in the O.R., or is that assigned after we get there and assess the situation?

Question - What are the bathroom facilities?

What are the bathroom facilities; are they at the hospital or close to it?

Medical Supply Lists

I've had a bunch of people ask me what they can send with us. I promise to post a list of needed items asap. I've forwarded the request to some of the medical team and asked for a very specific list of medical equipement and supplies. If you check out the hospital blogsite it sure looks like the needs are great. Our next meeting on Feb 14th will include very specific packing instructions and food lists but we are all going to have to share the duty of carrying supplies because each of us has 140 lbs avaible and the medical gear has to be the priority. More to follow!!! Please keep in prayer!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tickets in Hand

Okay all, tickets are purchased and mine are non-refundable so this thing is locked in (God Willing)! I've actually given this blog address out so I need to put some info out here. I'm going to try to get a hold of the entire team and get their bios up here for all to see. I'd like to get photos up too so I can start trying to learn team member names before we leave. I'm also going to put up a listing of my expenses and the donations that I've received just for some transparency. Yesterday a woman who I've never met gave Janet $20.

We need to get the medical team members list of their supply needs and we really need to start planning some food ideas. My family is going to start eating some simple rice and bean dishes next week so I can see what we can do to make them more interesting. I'll let you know how that goes.

I'm working with a phone company to try to get some europen phones donated but we will still need to purchase sim cards with air time in Haiti. That sounds weird and I'm going to keep trying to figure it out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some of the details are coming together

It looks like the dates are set... February 26th through March 5th. I know Joline and Mary Ann are hard at work getting all of the details nailed down with the good folks at Cure International. We should be getting the airline reservations done in the next couple of days. I'm going to try to get this blog going and make up a mission statement; some stated purpose for the team and I to focus on... maybe a bible verse?