Mission Moments: Haiti
Medical mission: Visible to God
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Dr. Jimy, serving with Climbing For Christ’s New Generation, addresses the many people treated during a medical mission to Majon, Haiti. (Photos by C4CNG)
Haiti appears on the radar of the world’s conscience only when massive tragedy forces people to look. A hurricane. A presidential assassination. An earthquake. Bad accidents result in rubber necking.
However, when aid does rush in, the people in the mountains where we have served for more than 15 years, remain invisible.
“Even if there were no earthquakes,” Climbing For Christ’s New Generation leader Gilbert Lindor said, “no one would think of them.”
Even if the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti’s southwest peninsula had been in the heart of the Chaine de la Selle mountains, Gilbert said people “would not be receiving any medical attention if C4CNG would not go there.”
There is a reason why we say Climbing For Christ will GO where others won’t.
Last week, C4CNG conducted a medical mission to the mountain villages of Kalimet and Majon. Gilbert led 11 others, including three doctors from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he is in medical school. Kalimet and Majon are two of the villages where Climbing For Christ supports schools, giving education to hundreds of children who otherwise would not receive it.
“In Kalimet, people were very happy to receive our work teams,” Gilbert said. “They came in large numbers to wait for us. Everyone considered our presence there a miracle.”
Most had never seen a doctor. Those who had told horror stories, like the teacher in Majon who said there was a group of doctors who went there. “They took a lot of money and did not treat me as a person.”
The C4CNG team treated more than 250 people in Kalimet on Aug. 27 and another 175 in Majon on Aug. 28. They dispensed medicines, conducted workshops, and distributed clothing. God provided $4,200 USD through Climbing For Christ for medicines and to help the team travel.
“Eighty-five percent of the community suffered from fever, another 70 percent with muscle and abdominal pain, and the vast majority of children suffer from parasitic diseases and dermatitis,” Gilbert reported. These were the same things Dr. Steve Quakenbush, a long-time Climbing For Christ Board member from Canon City, CO, treated during the medical missions we conducted in Gentilhomme and Malasi from 2008 to 2013.
Roads less traveled (above): the medical transport for C4CNG’s team climbs the hill leading to Kalimet. Below, Frandy Saintilme treats a patient’s wound.
“Our doctors traveled to Kalimet for the first time,” Gilbert said about Dr. Niyose Accilien, Dr. Jimy Franzt Perin, and Dr. Berdgy Lafontune. “They were very motivated to give quality service to the patients.
“None of us had the desire to eat because the need of our patients took away the desire to eat. We all spent the day consulting and delivering medicines and clothes. By the grace of God, we had enough medicines for each family.”
In fact, there was medicine left over – enough that Gilbert has asked to plan an outreach in Malasi.
“All the patients went home satisfied,” Gilbert added.
C4C’s New Generation also felt fulfilled by the five-day trip into the hard-to-reach parts of Haiti’s mountains.
Dr. Berdgy, who has participated in medical operations with other NGOs, said: “I really believe that this has impacted me the most. I am living what I have seen on television.” Things he saw on TV of faraway people and places. Now he looked into the eyes of real people in places he did not know existed; people and places found only on God’s radar.