Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gramothe Clinic Waiting Area under construction!

Here it is, the foundation of the long awaited Gramothe Medical Clinic Waiting Area!
This is a project that is expected to be completed quickly.
It will provide clinic patience a place to sit comfortably, out of the weather, while they wait for their turn to enter the clinic. This will also provide a nice opportunity to effectively teach to a captive audience!
For those of you who have visited &/or worked at the Gramothe Medical Clinic, the new waiting area is located at the northeast corner of the existing clinic.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This morning after breakfast, Stephen & I (Beth) headed for the MTM Laboule Children's Home. I can always count on Stephen to help me there. He loves going to play & interact with the children.
On the way we stopped at the grocery store to purchase a few cases of supplies that were needed at the home as well as some lunch items to treat the children with.
I worked through the noon hour reorganizing, inventorying & restocking items that the children needed: warm/winter clothes, shoes, bed sheets, blankets & some other items.
In the backyard there was some soccer going on...

& shortly before our departure, Stephen & some of the older girls made turkey & cheese sandwiches for all the children, serving them with chips, juice & yogurt for dessert. The only one missing...
was Melynda, she was getting her hair done!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sheila Estiven ~10/21/08-11/21/08~

At exactly 1 month old today, little Sheila Estiven went to be with the Lord, her Maker.
Please continue in prayer that her parents would have a peace in their spirit and rest in the arms of their Comforter.
May God be glorified by the life if this little one that he released onto this earth for a short time.


Nearly 2 weeks ago Sheila was taken to the hospital by her parents. All this time she has laid in a hospital bed receiving I.V. fluids, doctors telling the parents nothing, a common scenario here. Nursing weakly at her mothers' breast, she has shown slight improvement, but most recently has begun to deteriorate.
Yesterday the parents allowed Willem to provide transportation to have the baby taken to a reputable, newly built Catholic children's hospital, Little Brothers Little Sisters. Today the doctor told the parents that their infant needed to be taken to General Hospital to have surgery. In Haiti, when a medical professional tells you this, it means you are going to General Hospital to die. That is the reputation of that hospital.
Sheila's parents decided to take their baby girl home.
That is what we have.
Please continue to pray with us that God will be glorified through this situation. MTM will provide as much medical support as possible to this family & the Gramothe church & village people will be there to support also. We know that God can bring this child back to a full life & we will all do our best to help her to live.
Thank you for your continued prayer support.
Praise the Lord!

Monday, November 17, 2008


This morning we are waiting to hear how deep the drillers have gone & just how much further they need to go before hitting water.
As you can see, they are working!
This has been a VERY exciting event in the village of Dumay.


Thank you for all the prayers for Baby Sheila. Please continue.
I wish we could give a full account of what Sheila is being treated for, unfortunately, few questions are asked between doctor & patient in Haiti. I keep asking from where we are at, but there is just not much information to gain except that Baby Sheila is improving while she remains in the hospital.
For this we say, "PRAISE THE LORD!".

Friday, November 14, 2008


Out of great concern for Baby Sheila (10-22-08), Mme. Stephen took her to the hospital last night. Doctors who examinded the tiny infant decided right away to keep her at the hospital for observation along with giving I.V. solution.
Sheila has not been thriving. She has refused to nurse and is crying all the time. Mme. Stephen is very worried because this is how she has lost 3 other babies in the past.
Please pray for Baby Sheila & her family.

Pictures taken 11-10-08

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Following are 2 articles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Nine injured in second Haiti school collapse
Jonathan M. Katz / Associated Press

A school partially collapsed in the Haitian capital on Wednesday, injuring nine people less than a week after the collapse of another school. Portions of the Grace Divine school in Port-au-Prince came crashing down while class was in session. As word of the incident spread, crowds of anxious parents descended along with ambulances and crews from the collapse of the College La Promesse in nearby Petionville. Two Grace Divine students were hospitalized with severe injuries while seven people outside the school suffered minor injuries, said Edouard Ernseau, a city building inspector. No one was trapped inside. The cause of the incident was unknown, though Ernseau said recent heavy rains may have weakened the two-story concrete structure. On Saturday, Haitian President Rene Preval said poor construction, including a lack of steel reinforcement, was to blame for the collapse of College La Promesse the day before. He warned that many other buildings throughout Haiti are in danger of failing and he called for greater oversight.
Another Haiti school collapses:
reports November 12, 2008,

A school in central Port-au-Prince has partly collapsed leaving seven people injured, police said, five days after a school in the capital's suburbs caved in.Police said students at the Grace Divine school were out in the recreation yard when the cave-in occurred at the small school.Chunks of the school's walls were scattered on the ground, its concrete roof was sagging, and there were clear cracks in the remaining walls, at AFP reporter witnessed.Rescuers backed up by foreign teams in the country to help with the earlier school collapse arrived quickly at the scene to help clear the debris.About 100 students aged five to 12 normally attend Grace Divine, according to people in the area.The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear, but it came after heavy rains late Tuesday soaked the capital of one of the world's poorest countries.It also comes in the wake of several hurricanes which battered the country over the summer."It is a problem of urban development in general," Minister of Education Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre told AFP at the Grace Divine school site.Huge crowds of family members and onlookers rushed to the site at the news of the collapse, as Haiti was still reeling from the disaster at the La Promesse school in Petion-ville, a hillside shantytown outside Port-au-Prince, last Friday.

Monday, November 10, 2008


One of the most important elements missing for the MTM school in Dumay is clean, safe, accessible WATER.
There is a river nearby, but it is very labor intensive to fetch & filter enough water to provide for the school & the local villagers on a consist ant basis.
Two years ago MTM located a driller that reassured us they could find water on the property but said that their drilling rig could not cross the river because of flooding.
Last week, the long awaited rig forged the river & is now set up to drill.
MTM has witnessed what clean, accessible water can do in a village & those of you who've traveled to the village of Gramothe know about it too!
Last week MTM had $5,000 to start drilling thanks to a couple folks who have given generously. Today, the balance was paid by another very generous friend of MTM!
Praise the Lord!


Backing up a bit, 2 weeks ago friends from Terre Haute, IN came to visit the village of Gramothe on a special mission.
Pastor Mark has been here several times before teaching leaders in the Gramothe church. This time he came with friends to be a part of an ordination service with 4 of the deacons in the church.
After services, communion was shared and a special water baptism service followed. 9 servants of the Lord Jesus Christ made their outward stand of faith by being baptised in the water source high above the village that was once used by voodoo priests.
Praise God this mountain is being reclaimed for Christ daily!

Praying over the deacons.

Who's this?!
Please keep these warriors in prayer!


The week started off quick for these 3 guys from B.C., Canada. The week has passed too quickly!
We are grateful for our friend, Ron Ediger, that is always eager to share MTM with friends & family. This trip Ron came with friends, Frank & Halmit, & together they built 24 desk/bench sets for the Gramothe High School as well as making repairs on several other sets that needed their attention.
Thanks guys, we look forward to your return!

A full crowd for Sunday morning services. The overflow area was...overflowing!

Students attending the MTM Gramothe school are required to come to church each Sunday.
This has been a huge evangelism tool to families of the students as the students often come with parents or other family members.
Each student is given a laminated I.D. card with their name & grade at the beginning of the school year. They really like having this card to carry.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Rescue efforts continue in the school that collapsed Friday morning.
The school is located at the end of a road that starts out as paved, nearly two lanes eventually narrowing down to an unpaved foot path. This is what has made the rescue efforts so difficult.
MTM was able to donate supplies from the Gramothe Medical Clinic to rescuers (face masks, eye protection, bandaging materials, rehydration supplies, eye drops, pain relievers..) & will continue to help however we can.
The pastor who owns & built the school has been arrested & they are trying to charge him with manslaughter, but who is really to blame? A pastor creating a place for children to go to school, or a government with little to no enforced building codes that can easily be paid off for the right price?
Your continued prayers are necessary!

Willem with a few of the supplies that MTM gathered for rescuers.

This is the stopped tractor trailer that lost its brakes, carrying the backhoe. Notice the mangled cars on the left.

These 4 cars were towed to the Petionville police station. They were a few of the cars that were in the way of the run away tractor trailer Friday night.

~Sorry for the bad pics, we are having difficulty with our camera! If anyone knows what the problem could be (horizontal lines in the pictures), please write me!~

Friday, November 7, 2008


We have received about 2 dozen emails this afternoon, all very similar...
"We just saw on the news...", "..what about the boy's school?", "...where is it at?"

This is a great tragedy & my stomach knotted as I watched in the news cast on American T.V. the young students being pulled from the rummage covered in concrete dust & blood, arms outstretched, face turned upward. Without hearing it, I heard the familiar Haitian cry, "Amway! Amway!". They struggle for a better life & the privilege of going to school is such an honor; an opportunity.

To answer a few questions quickly, simply put, Petionville is between us & Port au Prince. Stephen & David's school is below Petionville & was unaffected by the incident.

A short while ago we received a phone call that a local phone company was trying to rally rescue supplies & could we give. As Stephen, Ron & I rode up to the Gramothe medical clinic on the ATV's, I busied my mind thinking of what I'd need to grab in record time & where I'd go to find it. As we traveled quickly back down the mountain with 3 overflowing backpacks & a big suitcase full of bandaging materials, exam gloves, protective eye wear, face masks, eye drops, bags of i.v. solution, Tylenol, antibiotic cream & just about anything else I thought usable, all I could think of was, "I wish we could have carried more". I know what we sent was helpful, but it's overwhelming to think about.

After we rushed into the gate we placed the bags in the car & Willem was off to meet the person that would take the supplies to the scene of the collapsed school. Since arriving on the scene, Willem has called, reporting another tragedy. A trailer loaded with supplies coming into the area lost it's brakes & ran into a crowd of people, killing many & injuring others.

If you're up for it, below are 3 articles that are quite accurate. I will try to keep everyone posted on further news.
Please pray for the injured & for the families of those who have passed. Please pray for those helping with the rescue efforts. Thank you in advance.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CNN) -- At least 50 people have died in a school collapse in in Petionville, near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, officials said Friday night.

Haitians try to help victims at a school that collapsed Friday in Petionville, near Port-au-Prince.
At least 100 people have been injured, the Haitian Civil Protection Bureau said. The death toll is expected to rise.
Officials said the school could have held as many as 700 people when the collapse occurred at 10 a.m. (10 a.m. ET) Some students were in class while others were in a playground, Haitian media reported.
"We are looking at major casualties here," Claudon said.
He said dozens of students appeared to be trapped inside but couldn't give an exact number. However, he said it was a typical school day and the building had been crowded.
Most of the students at the College La Promesse Evangelique range in age from 10 to 20, he said, but there are younger ones as well. Haitian press reports said the school has kindergarten, primary and secondary students.
President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis toured the disaster area.
"I heard and saw with my own eyes children appealing for help," Preval was quoted as saying on the French language www.haitipressnetwork.com.
"We are taking all necessary steps," Pierre-Louis said. " The government has mobilized to save those who can be saved."
Preval asked residents to stay away from the area so police and rescue officials could do their work unimpeded.
Michaele Gedeon, president of Haiti's Red Cross, said she heard the voices of distraught children as rescuers tried to calm them while she was on the phone attempting to coordinate emergency rescue efforts. Watch as the Red Cross official describes the scene »
"On the phone, you can hear so many children, you know, crying, crying and saying, 'this one is dead,' 'that one is dead,' " she said.
Claudon said hundreds of bystanders and rescue workers were digging through the rubble, but "what we need right now is heavy search-and-rescue equipment."
Claudon later said, "local authorities are doing their best."
Fifty to 60 patients, 30 of them severely injured, were taken to Trinite Hospital in Port-au-Prince, said Isabelle Mouniaman Nara, the head of mission in the capital for Medecins sans Frontieres.
Another 150 patients were treated elsewhere, Nara said Friday night.
The situation at Trinite "is under control right now," she said.
Trinite is the only hospital open in Port-au-Prince, the group said. The other two -- General Hospital and Hospital de la Paix -- are closed by strikes.
The school is in an extremely poor part of town, and the roads are nearly impassable, local journalist Clarens Renois said.
A United Nations helicopter was unable to land, Renois said.
"The school is poorly built," said Amelia Shaw, a journalist with United Nations TV who visited the scene.
Renois described the building as "not quite solid" with "weak construction."
The school consisted of two floors with an addition built in the rear over a 200-foot ravine, Shaw said by telephone. The steep hillside, she said, is covered with shanty-like housing on both sides.
The disaster occurred when the second floor crumbled onto the first, Shaw said.
U.S. Ambassador Janet Sanderson expressed her condolences in a note,
Death toll in Haiti school collapse rises to 30
Jonathan M. Katz, Associated Press Writer –
31 mins ago AP –
People help a person out from under the rubble of a school after it collapsed in Petionville, Haiti, …
PETIONVILLE, Haiti (AP) — A hillside school where roughly 500 students usually crowded into several floors collapsed during classes on Friday, killing at least 30 people and injuring many more. Rescuers used bare hands to pull bleeding students from the wreckage.
More children were believed buried in the rubble of the concrete building, and the death toll was likely to go higher, Yphosiane Vil, an civil protection official, told The Associated Press at the scene.
Neighbors suspected the building was poorly rebuilt after it partially collapsed eight years ago, said Jimmy Germain, a French teacher at the school. He said people who lived just downhill abandoned their land out of fear that the building would tumble onto them, and that the school's owner tried to buy up their vacated properties.
The concrete building's third story was still under construction, and Petionville Mayor Claire Lydie Parent told the AP she suspects a structural defect caused the collapse, not the recent rains.
Police commissioner Francene Moreau says the minister who runs the church-operated school could face criminal charges.
Parent said roughly 500 students from kindergarten through high school attend the school, College La Promesse, in the hills above Port-au-Prince. She did not know how many were inside when it collapsed late Friday morning.
The aid group Doctors Without Borders pulled out 85 people, half with life-threatening injuries, said Max Cosci, director of the group's Belgian contingent in Haiti.
Volunteers arrived with shovels and axes and said they would try to deliver water to others trapped inside.
A swelling crowd erupted with wails and prayers as the injured were carried away and emergency vehicles raced up a winding hill to the school.
"My child, my child!" one mother yelled.
"There are no words for this," the mayor said as the search for survivors intensified.
Haitian President Rene Preval visited the scene to offer his sympathy, and asked onlookers to come down from surrounding buildings that engineers feared might have been destablized by the collapse.
United Nations peacekeepers and Haitian police tried to clear a path for three battalions of military engineers from Brazil, Chile and Ecuador to assist in the rescue.
The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, was sending two helicopters to help, Dominican health minister Bautista Rojas said. France's foreign minister Bernard Kouchner promised to send a rescue team as soon possible.
U.N. military commander Maj. Gen. Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz had to walk uphill to get through the crowd.
"This is going to be an all-day affair," Red Cross official Matt Marek said.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been struggling to recover from widespread riots over rising food prices, a string of hurricanes and tropical storms that killed nearly 800 people.
The U.N. peacekeepers were sent to Haiti following the bloody ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 and have improved security by fighting gangs and training local police.
Twenty killed in Haiti school collapse
Published: Nov. 7, 2008 at 7:53 PM

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- At least 50 were killed -- including children -- when a school collapsed Friday in an affluent neighborhood outside the Haitian capital, Haitian officials said.
An earlier count of 20 fatalities rose to 50 as rescue personnel worked into the night to search the rubble, Red Cross officials told CNN. Officials said as many as 700 people may have been in the school when it collapsed at 10 a.m. EST, CNN reported.
Those killed when the Promesse College Evangelique school collapsed included students, teachers and neighbors from the Petionville neighborhood, police said.
Poor construction was blamed for the building's collapse, The Miami Herald reported in its online edition.
© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


At MTM in Haiti, we hope to expose our missions teams to as much as possible.
Yep, that includes adventurous trips across the river to get to the MTM Dumay school.

(remember the pig carrier?!)

Another part of what we do is to make sure all of our visitors are comfortable, cared for & have good food to eat! We try to provide some creature comforts to make coming to a "3rd world country" a little easier. Nothing like a hot shower after a long day's work, internet connectivity to your favorite hometown..

(see anyone you know?)

...or a comfy bed to sleep in safe from creatures that like to "sing" in your ears!

(is that the ladies' room?!)
How great to bring your family to the mission field & have an evening chat with your dad,

or to watch your son nurture relationships with friends!

(WOW!...stand back!)

So, whether at the work site...

..or at the mission house...

...regardless of the talent or the age, there is always work to do!

MTM also partners with other organizations in Haiti to accomplish it's goal.

We were happy to have this young man & his sister (not pictured) work with our recent medical team, as interpreters, to earn required community service hours for their school.

The nurse at Stephen & David's school came up the mountain to stay the night so she could be at the clinic with doctors and nurses for the day. This is her way of continuing her education in Haiti & MTM was happy to provide her the opportunity to be with those we know are some of the best!
(Thanks Miquette, for helping Stephen to be successful with his weekly Bible verse!)

What did you eat today?

This last week we've been hosting a very special team. This team was diverse in every way, including their medical & surgical talents. MTM, the village of Gramothe as well as folks from up to 6 hours walking distance are grateful.
Iowa, Arizona & Indiana, you know who you are. There are no words to say how grateful we are for you giving of your time, talents & finances that it took for you to be here & to bring precious medical supplies with you.
With all the talents gathered in the mountain clinic of Gramothe, none can cure hunger. Our last 3 medical teams (June, September & October) have seen hunger & desperation like never before.
Most mountain folk, though poor through the eyes of westerners & some other Haitians, are actually better off. They are usually able to grow enough crops & have pasture land for their animals so that they have something to eat. With recent food prices increasing coupled with harsh rains that have washed away farmlands, not much remains.
The father pictured below walked over 4 hours to find help for his young daughter of 2 years weighing in at 16 lbs. His complaint was that scabies were all over his children & that this daughter could not walk. When asked what kind of food she was eating, he said there was no food to eat. Though this might be an exaggeration, it's most likely not by much at all. The father himself looks thin, but is obviously still proud of his family.

MTM is always open for donations that you would feel led to give. Any amount is usable towards helping the Haitian people to help themselves to a better life. Check out our website or ask someone who has been here on a missions trip to find out the many ways that MTM is ministering Christ to Haiti.
You may go to our website & give, or send a check or money order to our Danville, Indiana address.
Thank you for your prayers of strength & for your partnership.

Dumay School...

Schools in Haiti were finally allowed by the government to open their doors to students on October 6th. I cannot tell you how children on the streets dressed in starched, bright uniforms on their way to school beaming with delight! As I drove I watched them bounce to their tap-tap or walk their path with no sight of dread for how they would get to school, just excitement that they were going!
One very important element of the education of children attending the MTM schools is the hot, nutritious lunch they receive at noon each school day. With the tremendous increase in food prices all around the world, but immensely more in Haiti, MTM is extremely blessed to have a Canadian based organization temporarily raising funds to help offset expenses for the lunch program in Dumay that our student sponsorship monies are not able to cover at this time.
Some recent work on our finances reveal that only 1/3 of our students have sponsors that are faithfully paying their commitment. This is the money that is used to pay our Haitian staff, feed our students, provide books & materials as well as health care.
FACT: MTM is operating 2 Pre-K through 6th grade schools plus a high school (through grade 10). MTM employees & pays, on time each month, 85 locals as teachers, janitors, cooks and assistants. Each student (& employee) at both schools receive a hot lunch each school day, receive needed medical care & are equipped with tools necessary to do their jobs & to be educated.
If you are a sponsor that is maintaining your commitment, THANK YOU!
If you are a sponsor that has fallen behind in your sponsorship, contact us today.
If you are not a sponsor & would like to be, sign up at our website (http://www.mtmhaiti.com/) NOW!

Thank you, Rice Raisers, for your partnership!
Another group that has been drawn to the area of Dumay is Surrey Alliance Church in Surrey, BC, Canada. They brought us a team in August that did work projects at the school in Dumay.
How blessed the preschool children were to walk into their classrooms this fall! The teachers feel like they're in heaven teaching! Everyone is happy, happy, happy!
Thank you, Surrey Alliance, for brightening these children's lives!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Our very own over 40, over zealous, over achieving Willem Charles recently recieved a life changing procedure by visiting doctors from the Dubuque, Iowa & Terre Haute, Indiana areas.

After a little attention, everything was fine. Our fearless leader is now "back at it"!

Meet Sheila!

Sheila is now 3 days old & continues to do well. Her mother, Mme. Stephen, also continues to do well in her recovery.
Now, I'm not sure of the exact spelling of her name. In Haiti there is a brand of rice called, "Shella", pronouced the same, but I can't say she looks like a grain of rice so we'll have to wait to hear more about this!
Until then you can be sure that this little one will be called,
"Ti-Sheilla", "Ti" meaning little.
For the record, someone may recognize the chick blanket in this picture & the yellow cap in a previous picture. These were brought to the MTM Gramothe Clinic by visiting PNP, Cindy Read. Thank you to those who put these birthing kits together!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

She's arrived!

MTM's very own master chef of the school kitchen, Mme. Stephen, gave birth to a little girl, Tuesday, October 21st at about 8 p.m.!
Both mom & baby are doing very well. Dr. Marcia, Dr. Joe & Dr. Tammy are here this week holding clinic. When the phone call came that Mme. Stephen's water had broke, they rushed up the mountain, arriving just after the home birth had occured.
Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Arrivals!

Finally out of Haitian customs is this Ford Excursion, purchased for MTM to help move in-coming teams from the airport to the mountain. The last MTM team arrived to the PAP airport, in the rain, & drove to the mountain, in the rain. Yes, that means all of the people & the luggage were soaked by the time they arrived. The Excursion can shuttle 10 people plus carry ons, & best of all for us, it's diesel! A big, big thanks to all of those in Iowa that helped with this purchase, customs & the process of it all from start to finish!

Tightly packed away in the Excursion was this brand new sound system. Thank you to those in Terre Haute who provided this badly needed, valuable piece of equipment to the church of Gramothe.
Matt has an enthusiastic student as Stephen is detirmined to be the new sound man!

Now here's a good lookin' sound man who is ready to be in control!
Thanks Matt for all your help!

Church in Gramothe will never be the same!

Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Toilet Photos!

Ok, look closely as these may be the last of the Gramothe School Toilet photos that you get to see for a long time!
The "doors" (shower curtains-thanks to Molly & her wonderful mother!) are up & the facilities have had 2 days of initiation by students & staff :)

Students are thrilled & just can't believe that someone would be in there having a "b.m." & noone knows (ha! the blessing of a personal window-exhaust!)!

Enjoy the following pics & hey, thanks for letting us share!
Primary school girls trying out the new sink.

High school girl checking out the new flush toilet.

Some of the high school guys get a tip from Willem of where not to aim :)

Just a cute bunch of guys getting a handwashing lesson.