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Mission Trip Blog

Learn about the journeys of Westminster’s various mission trip teams.

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  1. Mission Trip Blog : October 2, 2018

    Blog post by Andy Dunk

    A few of our awesome Haitian translators

    Bonswa from Port-Au-Prince! Tuesday was a great day in clinic. The team worked as a wel- oiled machine with a day’s experience under our belts. In fact, we were efficient enough that we finished early and wished we had requested a few more patients for the day.

    At the end of clinic each evening, our lead translator asks how many patients our team would like to see the next day. Patients walk to clinic in the early morning hours, lining up as early as 5:00am. The clinic then gives out tickets for visits for the day. When 125 tickets (or whatever number we choose) have been given out, the line is cut off. Patients then wait outside the clinic in the hot Haitian sun until their turn to be seen. The system works well, and there’s no need to cut off the line while there are still people waiting. But, it can be challenging to estimate how many patients we can adequately care for in a given day since the type and acuity of illness is so variable.

    Our devotion on Sunday evening before the start of clinic centered around Matthew 22:35-40 – the commandments to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor. I have been thinking this week about how broadly we can define “neighbor.” I feel privileged to serve with my neighbors from WPC and those from Topsail, NC and Rochester, NY.  I feel privileged to serve with our neighbors who are our translators, many of whom worked with us last year and greeted us with warm smiles and big hugs. I feel privileged to serve our Haitian patients, who face so many challenges and live in such a different world than me, but who laugh at the same jokes, who cry when their children are in pain, and who are comforted by a doctor’s reassurance and a nurse’s care.

    We look forward to another busy day tomorrow. Please keep us and the people of Cité Soleil in your prayers.

    Much love,

  2. Mission Trip Blog : September 30, 2018 – From the Haiti Medical Mission Team

    Our Team, ready for church

    Blog post written by Pat Gunter

    Travel went well yesterday, and the Haiti medical team arrived safely with the usual mountain of luggage. Our tap taps were waiting to take us, first to the grocery to get our food for lunches, and then on to the hotel to get settled in.

    We started today by attending worship services at two of the three Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM) churches. In both churches, they asked us to stand and be recognized; they then thanked us for coming to help and asked God to bless us.

    After lunch we changed our clothes and headed to the clinic to do set up and orientation. That took all afternoon, but I think we are ready for the line of patients that will be waiting for us tomorrow morning. The four newcomers to our team are anxious to get going and figure out how to treat the patients here. Give them a half-hour tomorrow, and they will be old pros.

    Happy birthday, Woody!

    After dinner, we celebrated Woody’s birthday with a wonderful cake provided by the hotel where we stay. He said that birthdays are not so special anymore, but that this is one he will remember.

    Tomorrow, we will head to the clinic bright and early to start our work. Please pray for us that we will do great work for our God. More to come tomorrow……..

  3. Mission Trip Blog : October 1, 2018

    Blog post by Carol Mansfield


    Catching a ride to work on the tap-tap

    Today was our first day in the clinic. We left the hotel at 7:15am and drove through the crazy Port-au-Prince traffic to Cite Soleil. The team is a combination of people who have been before and people who have not, but it didn’t take long for us all to fall into a good rhythm. We saw about 100 patients – from babies to folks in their 80s – with a wide range of complaints from minor to serious. Malnutrition, air pollution, and a lack of sanitation take a toll on health.


    Debriefing at the end of the day, we planned for a few changes tomorrow morning. With five doctors, we need more nurses in triage at the beginning of the day and more help in the pharmacy as the day goes on.


    Our devotion tonight included the passage from 1 Corinthians that we are one body with many parts – and that is what we were.

  4. Mission Trip Blog : Friday: On the Home Stretch

    Blog post written by Dorene Palermo.

    By now we are getting a little tired of being HOT! Our showers are a blessing, but the effect only lasts so long.

    Today we are targeting only 100 medical patients, but Joe has a full set of dental patients, maybe 10-15? He is upstairs and we don’t really see much of him. Even his waiting line is upstairs and out of sight. However, EVERYONE downstairs knew exactly when he got a compressor that worked! After days and days and failed repair attempt after failed repair attempt, on the last day we rented a compressor ($65 for the day) that arrived at about 11 am.

    Joe conveniently had the noisy device positioned outside so the noise was not in his work area. Unfortunately (and unintended he assures the medical guys) the compressor was just outside the open windows of the doctors and sounded like full-fledged construction 3 feet away. Needless to say it is hard to use a stethoscope on a construction site!

    We were fortunate that the morning went more quickly than the past couple of days. In the relative peace, Kay was able to begin the inventory of the treatment room, to speed the final work when we are done. We had done more than 60 by lunch time which was certainly fortuitous because on this our last day, everyone brought in their leftover “fixin’s” for lunches. The pharmacy team made PB&J sandwiches before the prescriptions from the first patients arrived. We got cold drinks for all the team and the translators, and we all took a lunch break on the benches in the sanctuary together. The remaining cookies, nuts, etc. were distributed to the Haitians after we ate, and it was like a miniature “feeding the 5000” only it was only 25 or 26 folks. There was more than enough for all!

  5. Mission Trip Blog : Thursday: School Day

    Blog post written by Dorene Palermo.

    Time moves faster as each day goes by!

    The routine in the clinic moved things along quickly, even though our medical team had more “serious” patients than any trip before. Unfortunately our poor dentist Joe never got a compressor that worked until noon on Friday. We joked that his having to treat his patients with totally inadequate equipment was almost like pulling teeth (OK, I’m sorry for that!). Nevertheless he did manage to extract more than 100 teeth during the week, as well as train four different people as his assistant. And we never saw Joe without a smile!

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