McMinn Medical Team—A Team of Eight Ladies
February 19-26, 2016 this team of eight set off on a mission to Jacmel to screen, assess and treat the school children in the Church schools sponsored by Children’s Hope. Seven of these members are affiliated with Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, AL with the eight member a Shelby County resident who works with one of the local physicians. God truly blessed this team of eight, a team who felt as if not only on a mission trip but a group on a spiritual retreat week.
With arrival on Friday the team hit the ground running. This was easy due to the preparation and organization prior to our arrival, by Allison and Scott Payne and Karen and Jon Mouer. These four were invaluable to the team and were a joy to get to know. Also our team grew, as Sarah McCrory (CH Alabama Staff) met us in Miami and served four days with the team. Sarah soon became known as “Lady Sarah” to our team as she was first called the lady by a team member who did not know her name.
During the week, 1000 students, parents and teachers were served, with 32 accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior.
We served in the following schools. Pastor Nicholas which included a long ride up the mountain to Cap Rouge on Saturday. We were greeted with Nicholas smiling from ear to ear, the students and their moms, and the teachers. Such a joy to see God working as Nicholas has returned to his home in the mountains. After the clinic the Haitian women had prepare a meal and we all sampled the local cuisine.
Sunday was spent worshiping at Pastor Bichotte’s Church. We arrived in time for Sunday school and then worship. James Paul did a great job interpreting, thus the Lord was speaking to my heart during this worship. As customary I was called to the front to introduce the team. God had placed the Fruit of the Spirit on my heart for this week in Jacmel, and I read Galatians 5:22-23. Pastor Bichotte played “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”, at which time the team all came to the front of the church as we sang in worship.
Sunday afternoon consisted of time playing with the children at the orphanage. This is always such a fun time as we see how the children are growing.
Last year, I met Maria Atkinson, at Church on the Beach. At that time Maria shared how God was calling her to work with women in Haiti who have been oppressed by tragedy, sexual trafficking, and misfortune. I follow her blog and God placed on my heart to pay her a visit. Scott kindly drove the team to Jasper House. We spent time with Maria as she shared her story, her mission and how God is working. In a year Jasper House Haiti is bring wellness and restoration to women of Haiti. Maria has had eight ladies through her program. This time with Maria was so empowering to our team. All of us were blessed to hear. Check out Maria at jasperhousehaiti.org. God sent us to Maria as we were called to encourage her work in Jacmel and at the same time Maria spoke directly to our hearts!
Monday through Thursday were busy. This team is not afraid of hard work serving the Lord. Monday was at Pastor Marc’s school in Bossier. This church school always brings happiness to me serving on the mountain top.
Tuesday we served at Pastor Bichotte’s school. This was our first day of seeing 200 plus. There was a moment of doubt as we realized we would be seeing the same amount Wednesday and Thursday. We were renewed in strength knowing our Strength come from the Joy of the Lord. We also worshipped with the children at the orphanage.
Wednesday was like being back at home as were with Pastor Paul, where we saw 260. Yes the Lord renewed our strength, like eagles we soared, giving God all of the glory.
Thursday we served at two locations. Pastor Davidson in the morning and Pastor Edume in the afternoon.
Our clinics consisted of registration, height and weight, three treatment stations, evangelism and pharmacy. This team worked so well with all of the interpreters. None of the work could have been done without the tireless work of the interpreters.
This trip I did not work medical, but evangelism. God paired me with Anus who loves the Lord and evangelism. Again our theme was the Fruit of the Spirit. Anus and I concentrated on joy and self-control. He and I blended so well. By the end of the week, Anus was interpreting as I was speaking and we were just like one.
The students are so hungry for the word of God. I know just like the farmers on the mountains, I was called to start tilling their hearts, planting seeds, watering as the word of God was shared. I am so humbled that God used me in this way and I was able to pray for and offer the right hand of Christian fellowship to my new brothers and sisters in Christ.
All of the students were given a banana or fig, as called in Haiti, by their Pastor. This Banana Ministry is sponsored by Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church in Brevard, NC and by my church Montevallo First United Methodist. This ministry is a gift from God as those back home can join in, it blessed the local Haitian women at the market, and because a dollar bought more bananas this trip, the extra money was given to Nicholas for feeding his students.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 8:13-14 “The importance of striking a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be your need.” I am always blessed by the Haitians unconditional love, hospitality, and their moment by moment faith in the Lord. Surely their strength comes from the joy of the Lord. Praise God for whom all blessings flow.