Who do you see working?Rich Stigall
Two months ago, at Village de Vie (Philadelphia), I just happened to meet “Addy,” a precious, six-year old who lives with her mom in Gonaives, Haiti. I was there with Les Prouty, John Keane, and the Haiti Orphan Project team, visiting the children and meeting with the leadership at Philadelphia. Addy was visiting her uncle, the man God has put in charge there.
Addy’s story is sobering which makes her smile even sweeter. In April, she had the first seizure of many. As a result her face is now twisted. She suffers headaches. She has very limited mobility in her right arm and leg. She needed assistance to stand. To make matters worse, each subsequent seizure increased the symptoms.
My heart broke but what could we do? GO Project isn’t a medical ministry. We prayed over Abigail. Ten minutes later it seemed like a good idea to text a college friend, John Childs (CEO of Evidence in Motion). John lives in Texas, but is involved with missionary Physical Therapy work on the southern coast of Haiti. It’s on the other side of the country, but why not try? John quickly replied.
While he had never been to Gonaives, he had a friend, Justin Dunaway, who is the Clinical Director of Phoenix Rising for Haiti. In October, they were coming to Port-du-Paix to operate a week-long clinic just four hours north of Gonaives. A few e-mails later, with the assistance of Amy Tenpenny at GO Haiti, we had documented basic case history, and Abigail had an appointment to be evaluated by leading U.S. medical professionals.
Last night, we received this e-mail from Morgan Denny who serves with Phoenix Rising:
We were able to see and treat Addy last week during our time in Haiti. She is a very sweet gal with some very serious symptoms. The information I was able to glean from her mother via translators was that her seizures were more frequent…but have seemed to decrease somewhat over the past few weeks…Addy demonstrated both increased tone and lack of control and strength of her right side, and to a lesser degree her left, as well as changed cognitive and mental awareness via report of Mom. We were able to fit Abigail with an AFO (ankle foot orthosis) in order to decrease the effects of her calf tone during weight bearing, increase her stability during gait, and potentially decrease any tissue shortening that may occur. The most advantageous thing we were able to accomplish was to connect her and Mom with a specialty seizure doctor coming to town in the next few weeks. He/she will be providing medical evaluations in order to prescribe the appropriate seizure medications needed to control her seizures and, with luck, may allow Abigail a full physical and cognitive recovery.
The contact Morgan was able to make is Autumn Marshall, who runs rehab in an orphanage at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. Autumn met and worked with Addy and will serve as the contact for the seizure team.
Who do you see working?
If you see Trace with GO Project, Les and John with Haiti Orphan Project, John with Evidence in Motion, Amy with GO Haiti, Justin and Morgan with Phoenix Rising, or Autumn with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, you are missing it. Who could bring all of this together? Only JESUS. The One who made Addy, who loves her enough to die for her, who sees her struggle, who is with her in her pain, who hears the prayers of her mother, and who is bringing together her brothers and sisters from around the world to love her in tangible ways. There is more work to do. It is GOD’s work, (we’ve simply been invited in), and we know He is faithful to finish what He starts (Phil 1:6). Thank you, Lord, for what You have done, what You are doing, and what You will do!
How about you? Do you want in? If so, please pray with us for Addy, for her mom, and for God’s family that we will all continue to say, “YES!” to His invitation to join our Father in His business of loving His kids!