Thursday, August 12, 2010

Julie's Medical Mission to Haiti

Several months following the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in January, many people in Haiti who had sustained physical injuries were in desperate need of rehabilitation therapy. From June 26th to July 3rd of this year, I joined a Medical Ministry International (MMI) medical mission team to Port-au-Prince to help meet some of this need.

Those with complex fractures, amputations, spinal cord injuries and many other injuries needed therapy to regain function and mobility. In response, MMI organized their first Haiti project that focused specifically on Physical Therapy. Once there, we partnered with several other organizations, including Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and Handicap International (HI), which were already working there to fill this huge need.


Before the trip I was concerned that going to Haiti on a small team of six volunteers, of which only three were therapists, we would have limited ability to help. However, my concerns were alleviated when I was informed that we would be partnering with CBM and HI to assist them during a shortage of available physical therapists. God's timing is amazing!


CBM and HI had established several physical therapy tent clinics around the city and also had therapists working one of the private hospitals. I was privileged to have the opportunity to work at each tent clinic as well as the hospital setting.


The heat was, at times, unbearable. It was 38C in the tents and treating patient after patient in that heat was exhausting but it was a very gratifying and enriching experience. What I found most rewarding was educating the patients and teaching the Haitian Rehab Techs who, despite having minimal training, were eager to acquire as much knowledge and skills as we were able to impart to them.


God graciously taught me many things on this mission trip. He gently helped me overcome many personal fears and insecurities, by simply facing them with the belief and trust that He would be with me through them all. I have gained a much broader perspective on the plight of the poor and what is really needed to make a difference in their lives and in their future.


I now see the immense value of teaching and the lasting impact that it has in changing the plight of not only individuals, but also communities and even entire nations. God has now placed in me a desire to teach and I prayerfully look forward to where He would have me serve Him next.


Thank you for your encouragement and support. Right click here and select Open In A New Tab to see my trip video without leaving this page.