International Ministries

Note from Steve James

January 25, 2010 Journal
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Dear Friends and Family,
            Thank you for all the love, prayers and support you have showered to all of us in Haiti at this time. I, with our medical team of six, returned last night from Port-au-Prince to the UCNH campus, our home in North Haiti. I had felt Jesus asking me to organize a medical response team to go to the earthquake area and felt Him lead us step by step to where He wanted us to go. Coming back from a national pastor’s conference in Florida where I had shared on the ministry of the church to people either with or at risk for HIV, we learned of the earthquake in Haiti. We were to return to Haiti in 2 days. I prayed and asked Jesus, “How can Nancy and I, as two people be of any help in such an overwhelming disaster?”  What came to my mind in response was the 5 loaves and 2 fishes in the Bible. “Go. Start. I will lead and multiply.” Key people began to contact us. Nancy and I returned to north Haiti on 1/14. Our medical team drove to Port-au-Prince the next day with Nancy staying in our home at the university to be the communication liaison for us with all of you. We drove around P-au-P, helping those who had come down with us in the truck to find lost relatives as we handed out water to thirsty people. We started working medically on 1/16 at the Haiti Health Ministries Christianville Clinic, outside of Port-au-Prince, 4 to 5 miles from the epicenter. Christianville missionary doctor Jim Wilkens and his wife Sandy and their staff had worked 30 hours non-stop through the night of the earthquake giving primary medical care to hundreds of injured people that appeared in the front yard. They were still recovering when we arrived four days later. Their homes and the clinic were destroyed. Our medical team consisted of family physician volunteer Dr. Arch Woodard, Haitian nurse, Cherlie Desir, Bruderhof volunteer Roy Durgin, driver and mechanic, Miller Jean-Jacques, and me. We took over care of the wounded that continued to come every day, freeing Dr. Jim and his staff to organize, salvage and move medical supplies and equipment out of the damaged clinic and set up a makeshift clinic in a nearby undamaged school building. We cared for the wounded under the trees the first three days. We were averaging over 5 after-shocks per day. The shocks were continuing to bring down buildings and crack roads even as we left. So many have lost so much. Yet only in the wisdom of God and the love of Jesus can glimpses of meaning be found in the midst of all this suffering. We felt the power of the tiny acts of Jesus’ love coming through all of us, sometimes even so small as a smile, or a touch on the shoulder, a brief prayer, a word of encouragement, in the midst of such pain and grief, especially through those who have suffered so greatly, revealed to us the great power of Jesus to heal. Working as a team, with every injured one who came to us, we felt the presence and person of Jesus in each suffering one. The wounded and grieving ones ministered to us as they shared their faith, their suffering and their gratitude, while we set their broken bones, cleaned and bandaged their wounds, gave medicines to relieve their pain, prayed with them, sang with them, encouraged them, in some we helped introduce them to Jesus and His salvation life for them. Together our faith in our healing and loving Lord grew deeper. We were so inspired to see so many Haitian people including doctors and nurses sacrificially helping their brothers and sisters with so little resources available. We left the disaster area 8 days later, encouraged to see the outpouring of help from the world. As the physical wounds are healing, we now enter the time for the second wave of servanthood in Christ, the wave of Jesus healing the emotional cries and wounds, which run deep and long, as this wave seeks to find shelter, clothing, food, safe water and sanitation, as well as ongoing medical care for the needs of broken communities.
            May the Lord bless each of you. Keep the love and prayers coming for all our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
All our love in Jesus,
Steve for Nancy and the team