Hopping over to Haiti
On Monday, Jamie and I are traveling, sans kiddos, to Haiti for 5 days! You may wonder, Haiti– why Haiti? In truth… it’s a good excuse to have some much needed time away from our tribe of little
crazies, er… kids. The first time ever actually…in over 7 years! But really, there’s an even better reason why we’re traveling to Haiti– to visit the Heartline Maternity Center. This awesome maternity center has been a model that I’ve been following since long before we opened the Sarobidy Maternity Center.
I was first introduced to the amazing work of Heartline through a blog that a friend of ours shared on facebook in January 2012. As I read this blog, tears were streaming down my face and I sensed God clearly say, “this… this is it!” I started emailing Heartline and asking questions about how they do what they do. You can imagine my total surprise when the founder and director of Heartline, Beth McHoul, walked into my 6-day midwifery board exam study retreat in Idaho in August 2012! She was preparing to take her board exams as well and so for the next 6 days we studied together, we talked together, we drank coffee together and we cried together. There was a lot of internal chuckling as I marveled at how God had orchestrated all these events!
Beth and Heartline have continued to pour themselves out for the work of the Sarobidy Maternity Center, sharing all their powerpoint education presentations for our use and sharing tips along the way. I’m a visual learner and so the need to see the inner workings of the Heartline Maternity Center was a no-brainer for me and really, Haiti is just a hop away from the USA in comparison to Madagascar– so as you can see, this is the time to do so! We’re super excited as our future teammates, Neal and Danielle Carlstrom, are also joining us on this trip. Danielle is currently training to be a midwife so for her to see the work of Heartline first-hand is fantastic!
With all that said, the real reason I wrote this post was to share that original blog post written by Beth McHoul– that one that had me in tears, sobbing really, with the conviction that this was how God was going to be moving in Madagascar.
So without further adieu, here’s the short article. Get the kleenex ready.
A Newborn: From the Dirt Road to the Warm Hands of Heartline (by Beth McHoul)
Nothing is boring in Haiti, there is so much to see, so much to experience. When you live in Haiti you go to bed really tired and when you wake up you have no idea how the day will go. The best laid plans are foiled at any moment.
Today was one of little plans gone awry for bigger things. Friday’s are for Family Planning and Bible Study. Never is it just planning and Bible Study. A baby is sick, a mother needs to talk. A teen has a problem. Pregnancy tests bring joy and sadness. A disappointing conversation today brought the news that one of our sewing center young ladies is pregnant for the third time. She is young, she is alone, she gave one child for adoption already and she was just getting on her feet. A bad choice with long reaching consequences. Another child to raise on her own. Thank the Lord He sees beyond our mistakes and makes a way for us. A precious little person loved and cherished by God.
As we were finishing up our work Cherline, the maternity center housekeeper, came rushing in to tell us a baby was born in the dirt outside by the Harbor House. Melissa, Dr. Jen and I grabbed gloves and out the gate we ran. Sure enough there was a squatting mom, a pool of blood, a blue baby lying in the dirt with the cord hanging between mom’s legs. The placenta had not yet been delivered.
The baby was half in the dirt and half on an old tee shirt and blanket just as dirty as the ground. Mom was a tiny lady, clearly not sure of what had just happened. She didn’t know she was in labor.
Melissa and I held up mom and Dr Jen held baby with the cord hanging between us we walked/ran back to the maternity center with blood dripping along behind us. A comedy to any passersby.
In we rushed and did the things that we do for every woman and baby. A delivered placenta, vitals taken, baby cleaned and warmed, mom fed and hydrated. A whirlwind of activity not planned for the day. A stranger swept off the dirt road and brought into our haven of rest. Roseline is not in our program, she is not one of our ladies, she is an interruption, a God intended interruption that makes claim that babies shouldn’t be born in the dirt and their moms should be taken care of.
There is something about babies born in humble circumstances. Babies that go from the warm, protected womb to the cold ground. Babies that aren’t delivered into warm hands but onto a hard earth with dirty rags.
These babies remind us of Jesus. They remind us that He interrupts our day with bigger plans. He bursts onto the scene and if we respond He has something wonderful for us.
Something wonderful did happen today. We got to minister to a young mom who needed care, a baby who needed a better welcome to life outside the womb. We got to break the rules and take a “walk in”. We got to act a little like Jesus today to a baby who was born like He was ~ in humble circumstances.
He’s a God of interruptions, a God who loves the poor, cares for those who have made wrong choices and wants to redeem situations.