HFI Reservist Uses Medical Training in Haiti

December 20, 2011

nHope Force Reservist Glenda Alexander recently returned from her second deployment to Haiti, a nation still recovering from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck almost two years ago. The three Reservists on this deployment joined forces with the field team to deliver Christmas gift bags to those benefitting from HFI?s Child Sponsorship Program. Glenda and another Reservist were also able to put their expertise into action by providing medical treatment at a local clinic.

Glenda served as a chaplain on her first deployment to Haiti right after the earthquake in 2010. Seeing how valuable medical training was in post-disaster situations convinced her to become certified as an Emergency Medical Technician upon her return. Glenda graduated from her EMT program in early December and deployed to Haiti only two days later.

?On this deployment, I worked in a local clinic triaging patients and caring for their everyday needs,? Glenda said. ?As I stood in the clinic, I just smiled ? only a week earlier I had graduated from EMT school. Once again I was amazed by God's timing. I am so honored that the Lord chose me to stand in the gap.?

In addition to providing medical services, Glenda and the other Reservists delivered and distributed Christmas gift bags for children in the Child Sponsorship Program. All of the sponsored children and many of their siblings zreceived gift bags, which contained smalls toys and hygiene items. About half of the children were sent gift bags directly from their sponsors. Because of additional cash donations, the field team was able to purchase gifts for those children whose sponsors could not send gift bags. These gifts were purchased in Haiti to benefit the local economy. Click here for the photos from Haiti.

Some children received letters from their sponsors with their gift bags, and all were encouraged to write thank-you letters in response. Hope Force Reservist Francine O?Connor facilitated gift-bag assembly in the US and translated the letters between sponsors and children.

?When I was translating the responses from the children, I was deeply moved because the gifts were clearly such a huge blessing for them,? Francine said. ?Their gratitude was expressed over and over. I was also really touched by the thought and care sponsors put into packing the gift bags. Some of them had their own children pick out the gifts with them, which is a wonderful learning experience.?

Before the gift bag distribution, the team of Reservists collaborated with the field team to share a Christmas presentation with the people of Sous Savanne. The team sang a few carols, told the story of Jesus?s life and then handed out the gift bags.

?Having been to Haiti before, I knew that it would be incredible,? Glenda said. ?However, the Lord always has more in store for us than we can ever imagine. I feel so honored to have been part of delivering all the Christmas packages and to have been there to see the children?s faces. Those are the priceless encounters that can never be measured in monetary value.?

We have identified dates in 2012 for community health and related outreaches to the village of Sous Savanne and the surrounding regions of Leogane and Gressier. The community health aspect will include health teachings and consultations. Other projects could include helping with building houses, painting, ministry in schools and assisting in the community.

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