20 YEARS IN HAITI!

Posted: September 15, 2009 in Uncategorized
Twenty years ago we arrived 
at the Port-au-Prince airport with our two children, 25 suitcases and a
collie.  The children have now grown up and live in Florida and the dog
has gone to doggie heaven.  But John and I are still here.  We’ve
picked up a few other dogs along the way (to say the least).
I have
loved Haiti, hated Haiti and have walked somewhere in between at
times.  Today I really loved it!  As if on cue, to celebrate the
anniversary, one of our sweet pregnant ladies showed up in labor this
morning.  John called me and said "you have a lady here in distress!" 
I had been out on my morning run.  I jumped on a tap tap and called
Sarah, a midwife friend, who was glad to come and lead this team.  I
called Tara and her gang.  Paige the doula, Vivien the EMT, and Tara
the record keeper all arrived in seconds.  Mom insisted on the
squatting birth which we had just taught about on Thursday.  Without
much fanfare but plenty of help and coaches Sophia popped out and
joined the celebration!  The placenta was more stubborn but eventually
made it’s exit – job well done!
Paige clamped and cut the cord.  Tara, at mom’s insistence, named the baby.  She chose Sophia.
What a day!  When we drove mom home neighbors and the baby’s siblings came running to greet her.  Success! 
Birth
is just part of the women’s program.  Our aim is to support and empower
the whole woman through her pregnancy and the first year of the child’s
life.  The power of the gospel, education and a safe birth are part of
the goals.

What a way to celebrate our 20th year.  We have figured out a few things about Haiti during these 20 years.  The
biggest thing is that Haiti is still a mystery to us.  We know so little. 
John
fits here.  I don’t think he fits in America anymore.  He’s kind of
eccentric.  I do know that I could not be here without him.   Under
that scruffy beard and old clothes lies real wisdom that I daily depend
on.  I admire him but I don’t want to be like him.  I take a shower
daily – he takes one occasionally.
Over the years, all 20 of them,
we’ve seen a lot.  Coup-de-tats, uprisings, political changes,
kidnappings, robberies, lots of shooting.  It isn’t hard to stay during
those times.  We just stay.  We’ve always had orphans that depended on
us, workers that had to be paid, stuff to do.  You think when there are
burning tires down the street John would leave?  Not a chance!
These days are quieter.  Heat, humidity, mosquitoes, daily black outs, traffic jams that resemble a bowl of
spaghetti are daily life.   Yet we love Haiti.  Life is hard here.  But we get to do things that matter. 
Today
that mom could have easily birthed at home.  She really didn’t need
us.  The placenta wasn’t coming out and her sister tried to pull the
cord.  That can be deadly!!!!  A little ignorance and this new baby
could have been an orphan.  We explained that it is harmful to pull out
placentas and Sarah guarded it safely to delivery.  That is what made a
life and death difference today. 
Every day we get to do things
that matter and hopefully further the kingdom of God.   There were many
days I wanted to give up and leave Haiti and go home.  I’m glad we
never did because we are home!

Beth McHoul

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Comments
  1. Unknown says:

    Beth – that is beautiful… just like you!- Pat

  2. Kristen says:

    BETH!! What an amazing way to spend your anniversary! Bringing a new child into the world is such a blessing. I bet it meant so much to you. Congrats to you and to the new mom.

  3. Tara says:

    I love you both so much. Thank you for being inspirational to all of us rookies without a clue.tara

  4. Jessica says:

    What a beautiful story. You two are truly an inspiration. You are so right that while you could live somewhere else, you are instead living every day for something that really matters! What a blessing to those around you!

  5. Lois says:

    beth – your post brought tears to my eyes.. I am so amazed watching God work through you and John. Massive PRAISES RAISED for the first birth of many. What a fantastic tale… new life, even 20 years into it all… isn\’t that just like Him.

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