Erin and the rest of MTW’s 14-person Disaster Response team received a great blessing yesterday. A team of 30 medical professionals, from the 7th Day Adventist Church, joined their efforts in the hospital. This provides an incredible release of pressure and stress for the team. Both teams agreed to coordinate their efforts. This benefits the Haitians and the relief workers. Because of this Erin and the others are no longer working 16-hour shifts. Everyone is now working eight hours at a time. Erin is working midnight to 8:00am each day.
Erin and the rest of the night shift have been moved to an indoor, air-conditioned sleeping room. A guard was even posted at their door to keep things quiet. The showers are now working and food is plentiful. The team is getting one hot meal a day and has access to lots of snacks and MREs. All these things make for happy helpers. What a difference a day makes.
There are few intact medical facilities in Port au Prince and most medical aide workers in Haiti are lacking the medical supplies they are accustomed to. MTW’s team is no different. However, Erin reports that the ingenuity and adaptability of their team is amazing. This resourcefulness has helped lift the spirits of the team. They are improvising and thinking out of the box to make their limited medical supplies work. They are like the MacGyvers of aide work. It is amazing what surgeries you can get done with chewing gum, a paper clip and a ball point pen (don’t worry, just a joke).
The team is in high spirits and healthy. Everyone is stressed and physically exhausted, but doing well. Nobody is sick.
Even with all the high spirits, they are still in post-earthquake Haiti, and reality frequently brings them back to earth. Erin reports that two babies died last night. The team has saved hundreds and helped thousands, but those two lost babies still weigh heavily on their hearts.
Today the team is sending a group of four to evaluate the city of Gonaives. Gonaives is four hours to the north and is the home of MTW Pastor and Haitian national Esaie. Esaie’s church, family and ministry are located in Gonaives. There are reports that Gonaives has increased in population by more than 100,000 people in the past two weeks. Government relocated refugees and family members are exausting the resources of this community. Esaie reports that there are few aide workers in Gonaives.
The second MTW Disaster Response team is scheduled to fly in Saturday and the first team is scheduled to depart on the same day. Erin and two others will stay on and serve with the second team.
Prayer needs: 1) Pray for the heavy hearts of the team as they grieve the loss of patients. 2) Pray for the safe travel for the four person team traveling to Gonaives, and pray for their wisdom. 3) Pray that the team maintains great cohesiveness and high spirits.