Bon Jour from Haiti,
Today we completed our second day of eye clinic at HELP (Haitian Education & Leadership Program). We gave 151 people eye exams today, 70 people eye exams yesterday, for a total of 221 people we served in two days, most of whom also received eye glasses. Below is a picture of what our day looked like.
Several HELP students helped us with the eye clinic as interpreters and organizing the registration / check in process. Below is our full team. We all worked together for two days to make the eye clinic work well.
Below is a close look at the tools we brought that enable us to bring a whole optometry office with us to Haiti.
One of the HELP students who received an exam and a pair of glasses is Nephtaly. He knew me and introduced himself to me to my surprise. He helped with last July’s HTF VBS in Jacmel and he got to know Pastor Rhonda and Alex Bouvier. He loved the VBS experience which was his first experience of being with Americans. Before that experience he was suspicious of Americans, but he shared with me that Pastor Rhonda, Alex, and all the Sheridan and HTF volunteers opened his eyes and heart. Now he feels friendship with Americans, and he continues to stay in touch with Alex. Nephtaly received glasses from us today, but he received vision last July thanks to the faithful work of Pastor Rhonda, Alex, Sheridan, and HTF. God is opening his eyes, mind, and heart through the HELP program to shape him into a leader that will inspire vision and hope in Haiti.
All work and no play makes for dull work. Dr Pfeil had quite a difficult time figuring out this gecko’s prescription. If you look closely on the chair you can see a little yellow gecko.
Maya is our leader during our week in Haiti. For the eye clinic the past two days he interpreted for Dr Pfeil. Maya eats with us and travels with us so we have already grown close. Tonight at dinner, Maya, shared his personal story with us. He was separated from his family at a young age. He lived with a different family but was treated differently than the other kids. He was part of a system of child slavery in Haiti called restavek. He lived in this for 6 years until finally he ran away and had to live in the street. One day a man named Michael found Maya in a detention center and invited him to be a part of a family called St Joes Home for Boys. Maya grow up in this family, went to school, and was surrounded with love and faith. Today, Maya is a leader in the St Joe’s organization and is on staff with HTF. In Maya’s story I hear Jesus’ story because God raised them both up into new and better life out of death. Maya’s story gives me hope for Haiti and hope for all of our lives because God does God’s best work when life does it’s worst. The cross opens my eyes and heart to see hope in the midst of great poverty in Haiti. Resurrection is happening in Haiti, in Maya, in me, and in you.