Thursday, June 25, 2009

Haiti Mini OpenMRS Conference

It was a pleasure to be able to coordinate and host the OpenMRS Mini Implementers Conference. We had representatives of various organizations who are currently using OpenMRS or in the process of implementing this hospital medical record system, designed for the developing world. We all learned a lot from each other.

James Presenting at the Conference.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oasis of Faith Women's Conference

I have safely returned from the Oasis of Faith Women’s conference. The conference was quite fulfilling! The Spirit of God really came down and ministered through the visiting ladies. I translated for the whole conference, all sessions! One testimony in particular, given by a team member, of how they had been raped as a child, and abused by their husband, and other trials in life was particularly identified with by the Haitian ladies. I even saw some of them with tears in their eyes as the story unfolded, which was the first time I had ever seen a Haitian cry other than in death. Several of the ladies shared how they were in similar situations, and we had a special time of prayer for them. After the time of sorrow and pain, there was a time of celebration in worship, full of joy! We enjoyed teaching the women some new worship songs too.

James translating for Karen at the Women's Conference

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night we showed films as part of the evening services. Some people accepted Christ after the services!

Sunday was most exciting for the group and I. We got up early and drove to Dubreuil, a section of Grand Riviere du Nord. We parked the truck, and waded across the river; then hiked up to where the church is. We had a meaningful service including special singing by the group.

After church I had a meeting with the church leaders in preparation for the upcoming construction team. We discussed construction, how and where to get materials and tools, where the team would stay, what they would eat, who would prepare the food, and how they can prepare it safely for "whites" to eat. I also measured the church to verify how out of level and how out of square it was!

Then we had coffee and bread, and drank coconuts. It was wonderful.

Then we drove over to Milot and negotiated the price to drive up to see the Citadel. This is a giant mountaintop fortress built in case the French ever returned. When we had nearly reached the top, it started to rain. We continued to press forward and made it to the Citadel dripping wet. We had a quick tour of the Citadel, including a wild worship time in the echoey chambers. One of the team members saw how I and another Haitian were shivering, and was afraid of hyperthermia. They took measures to warm us up, like forming a group huddle, etc. When it was time to head down the mountain, we took off running in a downpour. The three of us were side-by-side, and another team member latched on behind us trusting anywhere we would go they would be safe. When we got to the bottom of the hill, we sat in the truck (the 4 of us) and stayed warm while we waited for the others to walk down. It was a wonderful fun time, even considering the rain, or perhaps caused by the rain!

The following day, we went to Labadi (actually Belly Beach) which is right next door because a cruise ship was going to be there that day, and the price would be inflated. We had the resort to ourselves. We had a good time of swimming, fellowship, talking business, and worshiping together.