Friday, March 26, 2010

Letter to an amputee child in Haiti is doing a spotlight on the amputees in Haiti. They have a special section of their website where they are following the stories of amputees in Haiti as they seek treatment and get their first prosthetic limbs.

A reporter contacted us last week and asked if Elias would be interested in writing a letter to a 4-year-old boy who is getting his first prosthetic leg this week. I sat down with Elias and showed him pictures of Schneily and asked if he could tell me a few things to write in a letter to him.

Elias said some of the sweetest things, all with no prompting from me.

His letter is on the msnbc website today: Dear Schneily, I'll be your friend

It warms my heart to know that Elias was an encouragement to this family who is enduring so much right now!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pictures from Haiti Trip

Chase was fortunate to have a professional photographer (Kevin Morrison) in his group in Haiti. He took some great shots of Mission of Hope and the neighborhoods around Port Au Prince. Most pictures are labeled briefly underneath.

Picture of Mission of Hope with ocean in background

The people streamed in each morning to go to the clinic when the gates opened.

Waiting in line for the clinic

External Fixator (prevents amputation)

Presidential Palace

Tent City

Street in Port Au Prince

Lots of garbage and skinny dogs

Monument in city with humvee driving in front

Chase has been incredibly busy with getting all the details together for his next trip to Haiti. They are putting together an entire clinic, including construction to build out the clinic, purchasing and shipping all the equipment and supplies, filling out government forms, lining up volunteer staffing, and much more... all in just a few weeks time!

His team will leave next week to set up the clinic over the weekend, and then Chase will start seeing the first patients the following Monday. There are a million details that have to coordinate perfectly for that plan to be successful, so he appreciates your prayers!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Haiti Update #3

Chase is home! He had a phenomenal, life-changing trip and said he'd turn around and go back tomorrow if he could. He came back to a house full of out-of-town guests and then is back to work today. He hasn't really had a chance to even unpack his bag, but will hopefully catch his breath in the next day or two and then post some stories himself to the blog along with some pictures.

His last day in Haiti he sent me two pictures and a funny story that I'll post below...

This tent city sprung up in the days following the earthquake. Haitians that lost their homes or who are afraid of being inside because of the aftershocks fled the neighborhoods and came into this flat area and staked out places to live. Homes are constructed by pushing four sticks into the ground, then covering them with a sheet or blanket. Lucky ones have found tarps to place over the sheet. The rainy season starts in a just a couple weeks which is a huge cause of concern for the several hundred Haitians living in these tent cities.

This picture is the hospital at Mission of Hope being built on to existing clinic. The bottom layer is done. Red doors will be entrance to prosthetics clinic. Lots of turkeys and goats around with an occasional donkey.

One funny story: I was down by the clinic and heard what sounded like a woman wailing/screaming like she was in severe pain and anguish. My thoughts were filled with the images of legs being amped or bones being set. Wounds being cleaned/debreded. Oh what must be happening to this poor soul...

It was a goat. A darn old goat with what seemed like a case of heartbreak.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chase in Haiti- Update #2

I had one quick conversation with Chase yesterday (in the middle of coaching Elias in his T-Ball practice). He said that things are going really well. His biggest impression is Mission of Hope and the amazing things they are doing in Haiti. Even more, the amazing vision they have for the future.

Chase spent a lot of time yesterday sorting supplies and food from containers. It was mind-numbing work, but desperately needed. Three more 18-wheelers with containers were arriving last night, and two more today. While many organizations are not able to get their supplies out of the port, Mission of Hope has access to one just five minutes away from their facility. So, supplies come through in a quick, steady stream and they are able to get them distributed to the people and organizations that need them most.

The morning started out heavy with a woman dying in the clinic. Death is such a part of life there. As he watched a line of 150-200 people line up at the clinic as the sun was rising, they spontaneously burst into song, then into prayer with one another. God is redeeming the Haitian people and it has been amazing to witness that in person.

He plans to evaluate amputees today and possibly work in another clinic. I don't know much other than that.

Thanks for your prayers everyone!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chase in Haiti- Update #1

Chase is in Haiti! A few weeks ago he connected with a group of medical professionals and other Christians here in Austin who have been involved in helping the Haitians since the day after the earthquake.

Chase was asked to help establish a prosthetic clinic in Haiti and he jumped at the chance! There was an extra spot on a private jet so he left for Haiti on Tuesday morning. He only found out about the trip three days ahead of time, so his mind was a bit of a whirlwind as he tried to make plans and gather his thoughts and things before leaving. He was so thankful that his boss let him go on such short notice.

Today was his first full day in Haiti. We finally had a successful phone connection this evening so he talked as fast as he could before the phone went dead. These are the basic details of his time so far....

He is working with a ministry called Mission of Hope that has been in Haiti since 1998. Located about eight miles north of Port Au Prince, MOH is in a strategic location and is doing incredible things. Chase said they are feeding up to 400,000 people a day! They have 18-wheelers coming in delivering much-needed supplies that are then used by MOH or distributed throughout Haiti. They also have a church, school, orphanage, clinic and are building a hospital. Chase and others will be setting up the prosthetic clinic in the basement of this hospital.

Chase went around Port Au Prince today and said that people are slowly getting back to living life again. Vendors are out selling their wares in the streets and cleanup is beginning. There are piles of rubble everywhere, but some buildings are left standing and operating once again.

He passed by a white-looking field about an acre in size. He was told that it is a sulfur mine area but has now become a dump for an estimated 80,000 bodies. The bodies were dumped there in hopes that the sulfur would cover the stench of the decay. Horrible. Just horrible.

Part of the amazing timing of this trip which seemed random but was certainly ordained by God is that Chase was able to take part in a very important meeting today with all the international players involved in medical and prosthetic care in Haiti. He said it was like the UN- people from all over the world from various organizations and the UN, WHO, IRC, USAID, Handicap International, etc. It was a very serious meeting for people to report who they are and what their intentions are in Haiti.

Chase was third in line to stand up and speak, and he said he was nervous but just prayed for the right words to communicate. He was relieved that no one drilled him with questions like they did with the others and he credits that to the solid reputation that Mission of Hope has in Haiti. He had several people come up and talk to him afterwards and was invited to a second meeting tomorrow for prosthetists to go over more technical details of prosthetic care there.

He also spent time playing with kids in the orphanage today and can't wait to go back and play more tomorrow.

Chase feels amazing favor from the Lord and miraculous provision. Thank you for your prayers!

He ended the call by saying, "My life will never be the same... and neither will yours!" Looks like we have some new adventures ahead and I can't wait!

I'll post more as I hear from him. He's been trying to send pictures so hopefully I can post them soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Our family had the special opportunity to be featured in an adoption special that was aired on the local ABC affiliate on Christmas Eve. I wish we could link to the whole show here because it was heart-warming to see families and children from all walks of life who were brought together through adoption.

The team that came out to film our family were so talented and did a great job at editing a couple hours of footage into a three minute feature. Of course it's a little weird to watch ourselves on TV. But this is God's story, not our own, and we hope that people who watched were encouraged by our experience with adoption.