By the Numbers

9,719,932 Estimated population

30 Seconds of the earthquake that killed 316,000

7.0 Magnitude earthquake that injured 300,000 and made 1,000,000 homeless

9% Unemployment in the United States of America

80% Unemployment in Haiti

$1.75 Minimum daily wage from 1989 until May 2009

$5.50 Currently minimum daily wage

1,051 of 82,017 Patients served at the Mobile Medical Clinics from May 15-21, 2011

4 People who started following Christ Jesus this week

775 NC Baptist volunteers to date who have served the Haitian people

1 Foundation for a home poured

2 Sets of concrete walls erected for permanent homes

2 Roofs completed

5 Doors installed, thus completing the homes

Thanks to those who prayed, supported, financed, read this blog, and served during this mission experience

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Day 5: Inspiration from Jenell Gillespie

I never envisioned traveling to a different country by the age of twenty-two. I thank God and mama Mari (Wiles) for this great opportunity. Being in Haiti this week has really been an eye-opener to everything I have been afforded and take for granted daily.

Starting off on Monday and meeting the construction team I could already tell that they were a humble team and will be fun to work with. As others worked on the roof of a home I felt so out of place, but after seeing some kids and sharing candy with them I think I found my calling. After taking a lunch break and going back to the site, while the men were hard at work; Craig, Leah, Cady, Mama Mari, and I headed to an orphanage to play with the kids.

Passing out candy and stuffed turtles, telling them Bible stories by a translator, teaching them songs, and having them sing to us made me so happy. After playing soccer (or to them, football) and Frisbee was such a joyous time changing the lives of the children with just spending time with them and letting them play. Being in construction for day two I felt so much more helpful. As we began with an assembly line of bricks while singing a Zulu song from the Instruments of Praise Gospel Choir repertoire, “Bona Kala.”  Later on in the day, I sifted rocks out of the dirt to help with the mortar mixture.  Another one of my favorite memories that warms my heart is playing with kids in the village and hearing the voices of the children utter the only English words they know, “Hey you” – it never gets old.

I wanted to try something new so I moved to the medical team for the rest of week. Going up to the mountains and seeing the beautiful scenery was an immediate perk of serving in the mobile clinics.  I started on Flag Day and got to see the Haitians take pride in their country, celebrating with parades and music. At first I struggled in the pharmacy because I couldn’t read what the doctors wrote on the prescriptions, but by day two I got the hang of things. The last day of the medical clinic was non-stop, on my feet work, but as I filled and passed out every prescription with a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I was rewarded with the thank yous of the patients with a smile on their face in return.

What was my mission in Haiti?? It’s simple to spread the love of God.  I no longer see Haiti or America but my brothers and sisters in Christ. I will never forget the smiles on the faces of the orphans that got stuffed animals, cookies, and candy. I will never forget as we rode by and the stares we got but also hearing the kids say “You, you” or “Ball.” I will never forget Haiti, a country that is now a part of my life.  I am so thankful I had the opportunity to come. Haiti will forever be in my thoughts, memories, dreams, and prayers!

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Appreciation by Austin Tallant

Appreciate the moment.  That is one of the most important symbolic and literal things that I have learned over this past week in Haiti.  In fact, if I had to pick a word for my experience here it would be that overused word: appreciate.  Countless times I have heard the phrase “appreciate it” or “appreciate ya” but it’s often said with little meaning and no feeling, it’s merely a reaction.

What do we really appreciate? I try my best to realize and appreciate the things with which I have been blessed and the opportunities that God has places in front of me.  God placing me in Haiti has been one of these times.  It makes you appreciate the little things in life.  The will of the Haitian people will absolutely, positively blow you away.  They work with so much joy in the hot sun with little to no water and still have a smile on their face.  Never will I be the same after this week; I will always appreciate the things that I have been blessed with.

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Contemplations from Cady Dice

My first mission trip with Chowan University has been quite an experience.  Months before, I was beyond excited to be going.  When I got on the plane for Port-au-Prince, however, I was terrified. When we landed, I felt a little better.  As I settled in and eventually adjusted to the extreme heat, I knew I was supposed to be here.  I signed up to do construction, which was a bit of a challenge, especially when I became the only female still doing construction.  My tasks were to fill the spaces between cinder blocks with mortar, and shovel dirt into a sieve to be mixed into the mortar. I also did little favors for the others like grabbing their water bottle or bringing them a sweat rag.  Whenever I sat down, I observed the surroundings: there were goats everywhere, dogs here and there, horses and donkeys were used for transportation, chickens and roosters were clucking nonstop, and I only saw three cats the whole time I was there.

I don’t have the research to back this up, but I noticed that those who had accepted Jesus into their life were much friendlier than those who hadn’t.  I thought to myself, if Haiti, “a disaster that had one,” can bond together by the love of Christ, why can’t America?  Sure, Americans have patriotism, but Haitians work together every day to triumph over this natural disaster.  If Americans have a lot of patriotism by supporting our troops, can they put that much effort into bonding together through Christ?  It’s certainly possible.

On those days where I was the only female at the construction site, the men had no problem letting me do the same things they were doing: I lifted and transported cinder blocks and gravel used to build a foundation.  Even though I could only carry one block at a time, the Haitian men were still impressed that I was able to lift them.  Many of them even told me “bon bibit,” meaning good muscles.  I would like to believe that they were loving their fellow (wo)man just as Jesus commanded.  Let’s all use our good muscles to love God by serving humanity!

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Day 4: Mobile Medical Musings from Christina Joe

Born with Sickle Cell Anemia, I have sat in many emergency rooms. I recall often getting irritated when my name wasn’t called with thirty minutes of me sitting in the waiting room. I am now humbled.

Here in Haiti I serve with a mobile medical team of two Haitian doctors, two translators and a nurse who is also apart of our team 74. Since day one of being here in Haiti, we have traveled to different locations to set up a “hospital” like environment. Not in a nice sanitized building like we find on almost every corner in the U.S., but in places like a run-down building with half of its ceiling missing, destroyed from the earthquake; in the pews of an outdoor church; in a small hut on the side of a mountain carpeted by the waterless dirt. But in whatever location about 200 men, women, and children come pouring in daily, waiting for their opportunity to be seen.

Many them, starting their journey to the hospital the night before, some walking for almost five hours to be seen for a total of 15-30 minutes from the first service rendered to leaving the clinic’s pharmacy. Most of the patients are already there for hours when we arrive around 8:00 a.m. The Haitians sit, stand, and squat for hours in line; some aren’t even seen until the early afternoon.

It was my job to take their temperatures and weight; I was amazed at how so many of these people of God had never seen a thermometer as they looked at me in confusion as I attempted to bring it to their mouths. But after their long, hot, draining wait and after having their temperatures, weight, and blood pressure taken, they finally get to see the doctor and get much needed medicines right after.

Sadly, after hours of waiting, not all the patients will be seen because of time. Their names are taken, and put on a list to be the first seen next week, when the doctors return.

I am now humbled.

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Meet Team 74 “Faith”

Since the Baptist Men have been in Haiti, there have been 73 teams before us that have spent at least a week on mission. The average team size is 6 per week; however, our group totals 18 and includes students, staff, and alumni from Chowan University, a member of the Aulander Baptist Church in the West Chowan Baptist Association, and the Central Baptist Church in Wendell, NC.

As you pray for us today, please pray for each of us by name.

From Chowan University:

  • Rev. Mari Wiles
  • Leah Lambson, ‘10
  • Coach Tim Place
  • Cady Dice, Exercise Science
  • Christina Joe, ‘11
  • Austin Tallant, Sports Management
  • Jenell Gillespie, ‘11
  • Tonya Sinclair, Psychology
  • Dr. David Jordan, ‘83
  • Rev. Craig Janney, ‘04

From Aulander Baptist Church:

  • Elton Jones

From Central Baptist Church:

  • Wayne Hare
  • Craig Glowgower
  • Melissa Glowgower
  • Herb Roy
  • Eric Roy
  • Amanda Roy

Summer Missionary:

  • Asher Jackson, whose 20th birthday is today!

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Day 2: Thoughts from Tonya Sinclair

I came to Haiti fully intending to be part of the team that is building houses, but somehow ended up working in the clinics instead. For two days we have loaded into a van every morning and took our clinic on the road. Today we were working in a church.  After the earthquake, the Baptist Men funded the rebuilding of the church in which we served. We set up while one of the doctors gave a short medical lesson to the people who had come.

After we finished the lesson I was assigned the task of weighing the babies and taking their temperature. As you might remember for your childhood most children do not like having anything to do with a doctor so I was not a real popular person. Once I finished with all the children, I started with the adults. Most of them had no clue how to properly stand on a scale or what I needed them to do when I was taking their temperature.

When everyone had been checked in I went to the “pharmacy” to help fill prescriptions. The pharmacy consists of three tables that have bags full of different medicines. The visiting teams have donated some of the medicines, and others have been purchased here in Haiti. (Thank you to all of those who donated something – it is very needed and used.) During the day we also hand out clothes, glasses, and shoes at the pharmacy. The first day of working in the pharmacy was extremely difficult, mostly because we couldn’t read the doctors handwriting.

Thankfully today we were able to see everyone who came to the clinic and pack up a little early. Tomorrow the clinics will travel to the mountains where I have heard that we will get a little relief from the heat.

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