The first time that I saw Rickel, I immediately knew that he needed to be in the malnutrition program. Though he’s eight years old, he could easily classify as a five-year-old by size. There are several dead giveaways for malnourished kids, and he had almost all of them. Along with being small in general, his skin was discolored, as well as his hair, and his cheeks were swollen, indicating a severe protein deficiency. I immediately asked for a weight on him, and he was about 30lbs. Even though he was technically too old for the program, I admitted him anyway. About two weeks later, Rickel and his mom showed up with another child, and it was obvious that he was severely malnourished too. Rickel’s older brother is ten and weighs about 45lbs. I admitted him into the program also, hoping for the best. It took us a while to get them on a food regimen that worked for the both of them. There were a few weeks where they didn’t want to eat all of their Mamba (we persuaded them to finish it all the next week with lollipops, haven’t had a problem since) but now they are settling in and steadily gaining weight. Sometimes it’s easy to forget where the kids started, so this week Makayla pulled up pictures of the brothers when they first started the program. The picture on the left is Rickel, and on the right is Enisten and their mom. While their progress isn’t as fast as some of our younger kids, we can already tell a difference not only in their weight, but also in their attitudes! They went from shy and sad, to outgoing and joyous! They actually run up and greet us with hugs when we arrive to clinic in the mornings. We are so thankful that God brought them to us. Please pray that God will heal their bodies and continue to reveal himself to them as we pour into them! – Meredith
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Time of Change
Twelve months into to Haiti, Meredith began a malnutrition clinic. When she shared her dream with me, I told her I would support her and walk this step of faith with her. On our first furlough, she came back with $200 for the clinic. After returning to Haiti that fall, another missionary supported her dream with $500 and told her to watch God multiply it. And multiply, He did. When we went to purchase our first ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF), we had enough to buy 10 cases. Each case treats about 1 child. When we arrived, they were having a buy one get one free sale and we walked out of the compound with 20 cases! I remember Meredith asking me what would she do when the 20 cases were gone and I told her that if this is what God has called her to and if He wanted her to continue doing it that He would provide. There have been weeks where we have given out our last formula or RUTF and before the next week God has ALWAYS provided. Last Christmas, a private school of about 200 students raised almost $11,000 for the malnutrition clinic. And so this ministry continues because of a girl’s willingness to step out in faith and God’s faithfulness.
Meredith and Makayla will be leaving Haiti the end of this year to attend college; we know this is a ministry that God wants us to continue. He has been faithful in providing in many ways; however, I feel more medical knowledge for myself would be helpful. So in October, I plan to attend an Equipped class in Marion, NC for missionaries who live in remote places. This is a two week intensive medical class that deals with specific issues pertaining to the area that we are in. We’re praying for another medical personnel that may want to join us in our work with the clinic; however, for now my next step is with this class. A gentlemen with our sending agency took it upon himself to raise the $1100 for the class, so in October, I’ll head for the states.
The girls leaving for the states brings about a lot of change for us. We’ll be empty nesters and we’ll miss them greatly, but I’m excited to see what God will do in their lives. Meredith will continue her degree in Nursing and Makayla is searching for what God is calling her to. I’m incredibly proud of both of them! Please pray for the girls and us as we transition to a new normal for all of us. Continue to pray for wisdom and provision.-Gwyn
The end of August we took a group of missionaries and a few natives to an island off of Haiti for a medical mission trip. Our five hour road trip took us to Port Salute and then a short boat ride over to Ile-a’-Vache where we ministered to about 150 people. This trip began with travel issues trying to get out of Port-Au-Prince, but we didn’t let that stop us. The boat ride also posed threats with an oncoming storm but God protected us. Many seeds were planted and hopefully a relationship started with this community. – Gwyn
This summer Renovation Church came and blessed us in many ways. Through them Spectra partnered with our malnutrition clinic and they sent 150 breast pumps. These pumps bless moms here in many ways. We encourage breastfeeding to all of our moms. Sometimes a manual breast pump helps when a premature baby is born and he is too weak to breastfeed or a baby dies and it helps a mom slow down her milk flow so her milk can dry up. Other times a mom may have to be in the hospital or she may have to take medicines that she can’t breastfeed for a time. These pumps give our moms options that they would not have had. We thank you Spectra for this generous donation. – Gwyn