Haiti (MNN) — From Haiti with Love is the only free burn clinic in the country, and Haiti desperately needs it. Last Thursday, a fire burned an orphanage in Haiti, killing 15 children. Not only was the orphanage unprepared for the fire (the living conditions were cramped and dirty, and candles were used for lighting), but firefighters took 90 minutes to respond. When they did arrive, they lacked the equipment necessary to save any of the children, such as bottled oxygen.
This tragedy only highlights the danger posed to Haitian citizens by fire and burning, and ongoing unrest in this poverty-stricken country doesn’t help.
Eve DeHart from For Haiti with Love points out that every burn is unique, and that many burns result from people falling off overcrowded motorcycles (these vehicles are used as taxis.) Others result from house fires. Children are often burned from falling or reaching into pots of cooking food.
Because burn victims need bandage changes, the small clinic treated almost 600 people by themselves in January. “So for a relatively small organization, that’s a lot of gloves. That’s a lot of bandages. That’s a lot of tape. That’s a lot of masks. That’s a lot of burn cream. That’s a lot of antibiotic cream for the cuts.”
And the work is directly saving lives. DeHart says, “With the living conditions down there, burns open your body to outside germs and possible infections. And the more the burn, of course, the more the exposure and the more likely it is that without treatment it would be fatal.”
“So, there are a lot of people leaving the clinic when they’re well who acknowledge, “Thank you for everything, you saved my life.’”
DeHart says one trouble facing the clinic is that pharmaceutical companies don’t typically give donations to small organizations. Instead, they give to very large organizations. “That’s the way the pharmaceutical [companies] handles [it]. They don’t dole out little bits anymore. And by little bit, so I would be talking [roughly] 5000 tubes, but still that is small when you’re thinking of filling a container. And that’s the only way they want to donate it. And the expiration date wouldn’t allow us to take it even if we had the [storage space].”
Healing and the Gospel intersect
While the patients are being treated, they want to talk about something to distract them from the pain. Workers at the clinic often share the Gospel with them.
“And that is the best topic for keeping their mind off of what is happening to them. And particularly if it happens to be self-inflicted injuries, by someone who was involved in Voodoo. Because it’s very easy to talk about a loving Lord who does not require you to do those things to show your faithfulness to Him. So it’s probably the most relaxed, the most concentrated focus you could get . . . for sharing the gospel because you literally have their undivided attention when they’re on the table.”
Because DeHart can’t foresee how many people the clinic will be treating, she asks for prayer that the money for supplies will stay available. The clinic tries to treat anyone who shows up with an injury, and DeHart doesn’t want to turn anyone away. “Because they don’t have anywhere else to go. The hospitals wrapped them in dry gauze and sent them to us.”
Pray also for the staff and patients at For Haiti With Love, that the healing would thrive, and that many would come to know the great Healer. Consider giving to support the ministry and the work God has given them to do.
Header image courtesy of Pexels.