Albright Church

Service Time

Sundays: 10:00am

Service Information

Begin, Belong, Become

Phone: 204-334-5873    Email: info@albrightchurch.com

3400 DeVries Ave, East St. Paul, MB - View Map

This week we get to hear a little bit more about this past summer’s Haiti trip from Laurie Nemez.  As she reflects on the teams’ final evening, we will hear about how our ongoing partnership continues to have ripple effects in our lives, and the lives of our friends that we are partnering with. 


On our last evening in Gens de Nantes, our team (including Marilyn McIlroy) had the opportunity to sit down and visit for a couple of hours with Pastor and Madame Andre, and Portelus (the new Lab Technician at the clinic supported by our sponsorship). It was such a blessing and a mutual encouragement to be able to have this discussion with them about the community, the school, and the challenges and blessings they have experienced and are experiencing. Portelus, although he had only been working in the community for a little under 3 months, was clearly so happy to be working at the clinic in Gens de Nantes! He told us that he loves working there because the community is very peaceful, and Pastor and Madame Andre are like a father and a mother to him. I was so touched to hear him express his 

love and appreciation for them, and to witness Pastor and Madame Andre’s joyful laughter in response! This led to the rest of us joining in the laughter and talking about how we are all part of God’s family – as brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Portelus also told us that he was very happy that the Canadians had come to Haiti to help them, to encourage them, and to support the clinic and staff. He expressed his thankfulness for Albright Church, and asked us to come back again. Pastor Andre shared that the English teaching teams and classes are a huge benefit to the community. He also said he wants us to come again and hopes that we can stay longer next time! How encouraging this was for us to hear!

 

I am so thankful to God and to Albright Church for the opportunity to serve the community of Gens de Nantes, and I am extremely blessed to have the privilege of getting to know our friends there. We have been able to see how God is at work in this community and how He continues to use our partnership to bless and encourage them in their work, their studies, and their faith! Thank-you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for our Haitian brothers and sisters!


Obviously, there is much more that could be said by each of the team members then has been included in these reflection blogs. If you have been tracking with these blogs, we would encourage you to consider joining us on September 30 at our Hearts for Haiti dessert evening. We will have an opportunity to hear more from the team members about how our ongoing efforts to bring English language training for a short period of time have long lasting effects in the community! 

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As we continue to hear back from this years' Haiti team, we will be hearing a little more from Rob Runtz on some of the interactions that he was able to have with four young men. What a blessing it is to hear about the testimonies of these men.  God is at work in the lives of those in the community of Gens de Nantes.

 

 

Rob’s Reflection Blog

 

Looking back on this most recent trip to Gens de Nantes, a few differences between this trip and my previous two trips stand out.  For the first time in my experience, the team faced some challenges during our travel to and from Haiti.  Yet through all of that, we knew that God was with us, and that He was guiding our journey.

 

Haiti in July is quite different from Haiti in March.  The most obvious difference of course is that the temperature and humidity are significantly higher.  Because of this unique difference, we had multiple opportunities to experience Haiti Thunderstorms, something that I had not experienced in previous trips.  It was a delight for us to see the local kids playing and dancing in the torrential downpour.

 

It was very good to see familiar faces from previous trips, and to renew acquaintance with people we had met on past trips. While we did not have as many opportunities on this trip to make use of our knowledge of the Creole language, it was still fun to try to communicate with the locals in their own language.

 

For me, the highlight of the trip was that I had the incredible privilege and blessing of being able to work individually with four young men to help them write their testimonies, and to help them prepare to present their stories as part of the graduation celebration. It was truly inspiring to hear how one young man narrowly escaped death in the 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince, and how another young man was able to find forgiveness for his birth father, because of the relationship that he has with his heavenly Father.  What was even more amazing for me was that these young men not only did their presentations in English, but with short notice they then presented their testimony in Creole, translating on the spot.

 

The future of Haiti is with their young people.  It was a blessing to get to know some of the young men and women of Gens de Nantes, and to know that God continues to shape and mold young lives that have great potential to be the future leadership of this community.

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As we continue to hear back from this years' Haiti team, we will be hearing a little more from Lorna Woroniak on some of the interactions that she was able to have with students in her English Language class. We are excited to hear from Lorna how many of the students she worked with are setting goals for their future, please pray for these students this week as we continue to seek God to build up future leaders within the community of Gens de Nantes.

 

 

Lorna's Blog post reflection:

 

I was excited and blessed for this opportunity to return to the community of Gens de Nantes, Haiti for my fourth visit, and my second time serving on an English Teaching Team. 

 

As I prepared for the trip I was looking forward to renewing acquaintances with those I had met on previous visits, and especially eager to see some of the students I had met in 2016.  I wondered how they had been developing in their English studies as well as how they were getting on in life.   I also anticipated meeting new students who were anxious to learn English.

 

God provided me with lots of opportunities, in various ways, to renew friendships and make new acquaintances. One unique way was through the Dialogue Journals that we teachers exchanged with our students.  Each teacher was assigned several students to ‘dialogue’ with during the span of our teaching time in Haiti.

 

These Dialogue Journals allowed us to communicate on a personal level with our individual student and ask questions about their life, family, and plans for the future. They in turn would write their replies to our questions and ask some questions of their own.  Each journal entry was translated from English to Kreyol and vice versa.  This task kept our translator, Willy, very busy but it meant that the messages could be read and understood in the language each one was most comfortable with. Another benefit to having the messages written in both languages is that it would become a good practice aid for the students to keep. 

 

On our first day of class one student showed up with her journal from last year clutched in her hand. We were so touched to see that she had kept it safe and that it was valuable to her.  Another student was so anxious about their journal they came prepared with a list of 51 words that they wanted translated into English just so they could practice them with a friend!

 

These journal conversations were such a valuable tool for getting to know each student as an individual and understanding how I could pray for them, both as their teacher and after I returned home.  Many students expressed their deep desire to learn, and have set goals for their future.  Their messages often included words of thanks and appreciation to us for coming to help them learn.  My journal responses provided encouragement for them to follow their dreams and to always listen for God’s voice and direction in their lives.   He has plans for them!  He is their friend and can always be trusted. 

 

Each of the students now has their Dialogue Journal to keep and to reflect on.  I have the gift of being able to pray for them to affect change in their community and country, and for God to guide them in their future goals to become doctors, nurses, agronomists, lab technicians and evangelists.  These students are the future of Haiti! 

 

I am thankful to God that I had the opportunity to make a small investment in that future.

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As our Haiti Team returned this year, the leadership of our Haiti Partnership has been blessed and encouraged by their reports. We were also encouraged to receive a request from the team members to share more of their personal experiences through the blog. For the next several weeks, we will post reflections from each team member regarding a specific experience they went through. Some of these posts may be a little longer than the posts we received from the team during their time in Haiti, but we encourage you to take time to read and engage with the exciting news remembering that each one of us can have an active role in our Haiti Partnership through our prayers, our praise to God, and our continued support and interest in God’s active work through the church in Gens de Nantes.

 

 

Lindsey’s Blog post reflection:

 

I continued to learn that prayer is powerful and God is a faithful, miracle working God. God has shown me that the seeds that have been planted and watered over the years are producing an abundant harvest for His Kingdom in and around Gens de Nantes. God also taught me the importance of friendship, encouragement and perseverance! 

 

I didn’t worship at the Gens de Nantes (GdN) AEM church on Sunday morning as I had the opportunity and blessing to travel to Marionette, a small community up in the hills a half hour motorbike ride north-east of GdN. My morning in Marionette was one of the highlights of my trip to Haiti this year. Seeing God’s beautiful creation - the green hills and mountain vistas was awe-inspiring! However, the people of Marionette and the support and encouragement of the GdN AEM Church youth and young adults was even more awe-inspiring!

 

The church in Marionette is relatively new. This small yet thriving congregation was started only 2 months ago by a man who came to Christ from watching The Jesus Film. There are now approximately 40 people who gather on Sunday mornings to learn, worship and pray together. They meet in and around a small wooden shack that can seat up to 30 people on rows of plastic chairs. Others gather outside and sit in the shade of a large mango tree. It was an encouragement and blessing to witness a group of young people from the GdN AEM church loaded down with sound equipment, guitars and a small generator on motorbikes travelling to Marionette to bless and encourage this new congregation. Each Sunday morning different groups of young people and lay leaders travel to Marionette to lead, serve, and bless this new church. They linger after the worship service to fellowship together and build relationships that will last for all eternity. Just as we have gone out in faithful obedience to bless and serve the church in GdN, that congregation is now too going out, blessing and serving others. 

 

I was also encouraged to hear about the Marionette community prayer meetings. The week before they had 60 in attendance. This small congregation was challenged to double that number and hoped to see 120 people join to pray on the following Wednesday. We heard testimonies of the power of prayer - miraculous healings and God’s work in and around the community. One elderly gentleman had been afflicted by mental illness for many years, he has been healed after he met Jesus and is now fully alert and in his right mind.

 

Another man who shared how he always knew there was a God, and recognized the creator by all the beauty he saw around him, yet his life was empty and unfulfilled. He had a gambling addiction, a very common problem in Haiti. After this man submitted his life to Jesus his addiction is completely gone! He now fills his time worshipping God and serving the church. He is praying that his extended family will also come to know the Lord in a real and personal way.

 

The Scripture lesson that Sunday morning was based on 1Thessalonians 5:12-24, a good reminder to “Be joyful always; pray continuously; and give thanks in all circumstances”. We, along with our Haitian brothers and sisters, have much to be joyful about - even in the midst of troubles and heartache. We have much to pray about and be thankful for. The church in GdN and Marionette are alive and well. They are doing the work of discipleship - they are going out in faithful obedience witnessing, praying and doing the work of the church. God is being glorified and His Kingdom is coming as we pray! There is much we can learn from their faith and obedience - prayer is powerful, there is always hope, seeds that are planted are being watered and producing an abundant harvest – may I never forget my day and the lessons learned in Marionette!

 

I’m so thankful for all the prayers and support we received during our time preparing and serving in Haiti. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Gens de Nantes and surrounding area and for our on-going partnership there. God is at work and lives are being changed!

 

Praise God!

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We did most of the packing and inventory count last evening. We met with Pastor and Madame Andre for a debrief session. It was so good to share with them again.

 

We are planning to get away by 10:30 am to have time for lunch and catch our flight in good time. The taxi does not sound so good so we are praying for it to get us to Cap Hatian in good time.

 

We made it to the airport, went through security and boarded only to hear the announcement that there are electrical problems with the plane . . . and so our plans changed. We were able to find lodging for the night and were glad for a snack and and early bedtime.

 

In early morning, we were at the airport along with 200 of our closest friends and that's when the airport's power went out. As we waited to board our flight we checked flight connections in Miami. And now we are on our way, off to Miami. When we'll actually get to Winnipeg . . . well, keep praying for  the remainder of our flights. Perhaps we'll see you Sunday morning!!

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(My apologizies for this one being out of order)

 

Today was the final day of teaching, and our afternoon sessions. Following classes we prepared for graduation, organized the hostess gifts to share with those who served us while we were here, and now we are ready for Haitian Soup Joumou! 

 

It is still very humid and rained once again, we hope it will cool down for sleeping.

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The team was up early and off to the church to prepare for the Graduation Ceremony. The celebration was awesome. It is such a blessing to worship together and hear the testimonies!!

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We had another good day of classes and large group times. We taught our clinic students as well in the afternoon. Herlynda became one of my (Laurie) afternoon students on Saturday . . . such a bright and joyful young woman!

 

We were blessed by a beautiful rainbow after yet another thunderstorm this evening. A wonderful reminder of God’s promises to us. Looking forward to another slippery, muddy, walk to class in the morning. Water everywhere except in the rooftop holding tank! Thankful for Zoe who hauled pails for us.

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On Saturday we had a great morning of teaching and learning. Our students are working very hard . . .from 8:30 to 12:45 in the heat!

 

All is well on this relaxing Saturday afternoon. We are sitting on the porch waiting out another thunderstorm, playing games and practicing English with a few students and young boys from the neighborhood.  A few of us will go by motorbike in the morning to visit a house church.

 

We had an awesome worship time this Sunday. Marilyn and I (Lindsey) went to Marionette on motorbikes. We heard wonderful stories of God at work in a new church community. Rob, Lorna and Laurie shared greetings from Albright to the AEM church in Gens de Nantes.

 

We did a jungle walk to video the Guest House property in preparation for building the property enclosure. Now we need to prep lessons for Monday morning.

 

Later, Lorna and I (Lindsey) walked up to visit our elderly Grandma, she had a stroke earlier in the year but is doing well under the circumstances, such a blessing to see and hear her amazing faith and testimony. What an encouragement for us to be faithful prayer warriors. Lots of God moments today.

 

Lolance has the generator in many pieces. It has not been working well at all even after “maintenance” with the parts we brought. He leant us his generator for last evening. Hopefully he will be able to get ours working well again.

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We have had a very full and busy day. Our class sizes are growing each day, a true blessing to meet each student. Many of the grade nine students were writing exams this week and missed the first few days. The level 1 class is now up to 12 and the level 2 has 10. We will teach tomorrow but our numbers will be down again as not everyone is able to attend on Saturday. We are pleased that the students are very receptive to not only the English classes but also the bible lessons that we are leading.

 

We were asked to stop by the clinic after our long morning of teaching. Nurse Kathleen and the other clinic staff planned, prepared and hosted a celebration lunch to honor Ms. Marilyn. Many speeches, hugs, kisses and prayers! Marilyn was presented with a commemorative plaque. Our team and Albright church were also recognized and thanked for our years of support and encouragement. 

 

After prepping our lessons and doing journals and conversation circles we were looking forward to a relaxing evening but the clinic staff stopped by for an evening visit, much fellowship and laughter ensued; so different from our first visit many years ago. Such a blessing that long term relationships are being built.

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We just finished an amazing supper of fish and chips, rice and fresh avocado. The cooks are doing an amazing job as usual. They have been baking cakes and cookies for our snack at school each day. We are truly blessed.

 

Gary, a resident of Gens de Nantes who is studying nursing, is here working in the clinic for a few days.  When he graduates in September he will be here full-time. I (Lindsey) told him how excited his Canadian friends who met him 5 years ago will be to know he has done so well. He will be a great addition and asset to the clinic staff; such a gentle, compassionate spirit.

 

The team are well, and are coping well with the heat and very full days. Thanks to everyone for praying!!

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Great first day of classes, not many students arrived but we carried on with our lessons as planned. Lorna and I, (Lindsey) are teaching together, we reviewed 'families' which help us to get to know our students better. We had an awesome worship time together in both languages. We had prayed that the right students would be in the right classes to facilitate English lessons but also relationships.

 

We just finished lunch and are taking a short break before preparing for tomorrow.  Later in the afternoon the 4 of us met for individualized lessons with 5 of the clinic staff including Dr. Emmanuel and Portelus, the new lab tech. They had wanted to participate in our classes but are unable to because they are working most of the day. These keeners range in English ability from very beginner to fairly fluent. We hope to do this each afternoon, Lord willing.

 

I (Laurie) felt extremely privileged to talk with Kathleen the midwife at length about her job (which she LOVES) and her future husband. It was a very sweet and memorable conversation! What a lovely young woman.

 

It is hot and humid here as expected and we are doing well. Our highlight from yesterday was watching the children sing and dance with exuberant joy in the torrential downpour!!

 

 

The cooks are preparing treats for the students - a chocolate cake for tomorrow!! 

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We've settled in and have organized all of our supplies on those wonderful shelves! We plan to meet this afternoon with our brand new students who've never been in our classes before to confirm class placement. Willy is here with us to translate for the team, it is so good to see him again!

 

It is great to see the new outbuildings for the medical staff and a fresh coat of paint on the buildings at the guesthouse property. This morning Lindsey led us in an encouraging devotional and reviewed our mission, vision and goals. We are feeling blessed to be here with our friends in Gens de Nantes.

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We are so thankful for the prayers of our church family and our friends! We have felt them carry us through to our safe arrival in Cap Haitian and smooth processing through the airport here. Not a single bag was inspected and there were no issues!

We had a joyful reunion with Pastor Andre, who was waiting with an air conditioned van and strong Haitian men to load our bags in and on top of it. We arrived safely in Gens de Nantes a little after 7:30 pm just before dark. 

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     We are looking forward to this upcoming Sunday morning, as we commission those travelling to Gens de Nantes, Haiti on July 2 to continue in partnership with our Hatian church family. Through commissioning, we commit this team to the work that God will do through each one, and we are reminded that we too have a role to play in living on mission right where we are.

 

All of us are being sent by Jesus to bless others and to invite them to follow Him!

 

 

                                                            

 Lorna Woroniak    Rob Runtz    Lindsey Runtz    Laurie Nemez

 

     This team will be primarily focused on teaching English within the AEM school and continuing to build strong relationships with the leadership of the church, as well as in the community. We are so glad that we can continue to be a source of encouragement within the community of Gens de Nantes as they take ongoing steps towards development in their community, giving all praise to Jesus!

 

     Continue to check this blog to see more updates as the team heads out from Winnipeg and as they send news from in country.

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It was so amazing to celebrate the baptisms of four of our young adults: Jerry Ezekwem, Matt Goings, Jen Jablonski, and Steven Michael Gagne, Sunday morning, June 4. We had a great time of celebration as we heard testimony from each one of how they had begun a journey with Jesus, accepted His grace in their lives, and continue to desire to become more like Jesus every day.

 

It was so encouraging for us as a church to share in this time together and it has been great to hear how many others were encouraged through the testimony of these four.

 

God continues to be good to us, even through times of struggle and doubt, He is our ever present hope in times of trouble. God remains faithful.

 

Sunday, June 11, we have the joy of meeting our candidate for the position of Associate Pastor of Discipleship, Nathan Kinsey. We are looking forward to meeting him and his family and encourage you to join us for a time of connecting following the service!

 

We continue to thank God for all the ways He continues to prove Himself faithful as we prepare to join together again this Sunday to worship, to praise, and to continue on the journey of learning to follow Jesus more and more every day.

 

Hope to see you on Sunday!

Pastor Nathan

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From Cap Haitien, through Miami to Toronto, and then home to Winnipeg the team traveled their last three flights.  Sharing their last meal together as a team, this once in a lifetime opportunity to be together in this time and space, bound together by their common experiences. 

Winging their way gave them opportunity to think, consider, discuss, and process the experiences and adventures that now lay in the distance behind them. Will they be forever changed? What will happen to those in Gens de Nantes who are suffering?  Will the English lessons be remembered?  These and many more thoughts tumbled in their minds as they transitioned to thinking about home, and their family, church, and loved ones.  

And then, there they were, their families and friends, standing by the Hug Rug, wearing, smiles, grins and warm jackets, sharing greetings, welcome banners and hugs. It's good to be home!

To hear more stories, join us at Heart for Haiti on April 23 at 6:30pm as they share from their heart to yours!

Please see Upcoming Events for more information on Hears for Haiti.

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Day 7

Thank you Lord, you hear our prayers. Thank you for wisdom, peace, and unity. Amen. The Maternity bed is now assembled, and there were smiles all around.  McGyver demonstrated how the bed works for us. 

As you know Stephen’s hope has been to help Dr. Emmanuel to grow in his medical knowledge. Well today he asked to learn more about reflexes so they began a teaching session before clinic and they started checking normal reflexes.  Stephen was hoping God would provide someone with abnormal reflexes and in walked a man who had had a stroke in the past.  They were able to examine him and learn.  He was a leader in a nearby church and was pleased that "the Spirit of God" had led him to the clinic and they were able to improve his stroke prevention care as well.

They also saw a 5 year old boy named Joseph with advanced retinoblastoma in both eyes with spread.  He is in a Christian family.  He has seen all kinds of doctors and mission surgeons but his disease is too advanced for any kind of treatment.  Some of the team prayed for him and gave some meagre anti pain meds and a small bear. 

One of the tests that they use a lot in Gens de Nantes looking for typhoid fever is really quite a useless one which is resulting in antibiotic overuse and likely the development of resistant organisms in the community.  Stephen hopes to be able to start a discussion about this next week.

Please pray for little Joseph. There are many children like him in Haiti.  Pray for Dr. Emmanuel, Se Kettley and Paste Andre that they will have wisdom and knowledge and physical strength to run the clinic and provide compassionate care for their community and that Jesus would be seen through them.

 

Day 8

Everyone had a great day.

Classes went well, and gearing up for lesson six and graduation tomorrow.  Rob and Eric just back after showing the Jesus film to a very full house (at the church).  Praise the Lord  for multiple gifts and ability's all working well together to the Glory of God.  

The heat has been oppressive, very humid today, with lots of mosquitos this evening.  

Jenn has had many requests for contact information. She has been a star this week, such a great attitude and always excited about each new experience.  Eric still on critter control. He was in the ceiling of depot today spreading mothballs. Marilyn K worked in clinic, organizing and cleaning, a never ending job.  They are going to have morning clinic to follow up on some patients they saw during the week.  The team is still waiting for the new maternity bed to be baptized!  

Today was day five in the clinic.  It was a quieter day today and Stephen and Dr. Emmanuel were able to discuss "appendicitis". This seemed to be a new subject for Dr. Emmanuel and he was very keen to learn what to look for in the patient's history and physical exam.  They also discussed more about heart failure and some more specific findings. He was interested in learning more about heart murmurs. Dr. Emmanuel is curious and conscientious and hopefully he can find the resources to continue to learn and grow in his knowledge and understanding of medicine. He is very good with patients and has a professional attitude which will be very good for the clinic.

Hypertension is a common problem in Haiti and with poor compliance secondary to a lack of resources and education heart failure can be the end result. A lady they saw earlier this week came in for reassessment of her blood pressure and it was gratifying that her new meds were helping and she will be seen again next week for more adjustments.

Their young mother with hypertension and heart failure wasn't doing much better so they gave her some iv diuretic and increased her heart meds and prayed for her. They will see her again next week.

Marilyn was helping out in the clinic this morning doing a dressing on a five year old girl who almost chopped her thumb off with a machete.  It's looking good but there was no way she was going to let them take out her sutures today.

Stephen is having a very good experience here.  He hoped to provide teaching and mentoring and that is happening and that the clinic will benefit from that.

Thank you for your prayers and support. God has never forgotten Gens de Nantes and He is still supporting and providing for them.

  

Day 9

Psam 71:3 ~ Lord be our rock and refuge to which we can always go.

Easter blessings to our Albright family.  Greetings from Pastor Andre and all our friends in Gens de Nantes.  Praising the Lord for the living hope we have in Jesus. Praise the Lord for God moments today.

The team is so thankful this morning for the ladies who are hauling their water as the guest house water was not running this morning.   Praise the Lord for running water and it all had to do with a shoe, another awesome God story to share when the team gets home.

Wonderful grad celebration this morning and so exciting for the team to see how much the students have learned in such a short period of time. The words of appreciation spoken and written are a true inspiration, and worth all the time, effort and preparation. Stephen and Marilyn followed up with a few clients in the clinic. Eric continues to amaze the team with his joyful servant’s heart; he is working as a cobbler making aloft for a shoe for a fellow who broke his femur 8 months ago. Pray that his fellow will recognize the need to work and not use his limp as an excuse not to work.  

Marilyn and Eric are off to Ouanaminthe in the morning for church.  The rest of the team will stay in Gens de Nantes and worship with our church family there.

Saturday's clinic is meant to be only for emergencies so it wasn't very busy.  They saw an 8 year old girl with a fever that turned out to be malaria.  The clinic has a simple rapid test that requires only a few drops of blood and she was sent home with her medications and a teddy.

Elainise is the young woman with heart failure, she looks much better than yesterday.  She lost a lot of swelling and was able to sleep lying flat for a change and her blood pressure was down to normal.  She was very happy about her improvement, as were all in the clinic!

A 60 year old farmer came to the clinic with a complaint of back pain. He has quite significant scoliosis and deserves to retire but he has no choice but to go back to his heavy manual labour. No disability payments for him.  Only a few weeks of Acetaminophen.

The common thread running through all these clinic updates is the presence of advanced and essentially barely treatable disease, in children and adults. They have no choice but to suffer with their problems.  Pain management is limited to short courses and NSAIDS and Acetaminophen.

Psychiatric care is also highly deficient in Haiti. The team brought some psychiatric meds with them for Marilyn M to use but otherwise the meds are nearly totally unavailable.  Yesterday Stephen saw a 5 year old boy with a pretty severe social phobia. The poor fellow was beside himself with anxiety.  He has been unable to attend church or school and his current behaviour doesn't bode well.  Perhaps "immersion therapy" will help but Stephen can see it’s going to be awful for the poor little guy.  Even if they had some meds he could use he would run out soon enough and be back in the same place.

  

Day 10

He is risen, He is risen indeed!  What a blessing for the team to celebrate the resurrection with our Haitian Friends at an awesome Easter Worship service.  They send many thanks to all their family and friends for their cards, pictures, Easter greetings. Much laughter and tears of joy, especially from the little Easter Bunny Autumn.

The cooks had prepared a Haitian Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings to celebrate Easter. The cooks had really out done themselves.

The team had a very full evening with so many blessings and memories!

After the teams awesome feast, they tried to walk off the few extra carbs and walked up past the town square and visited our dear elderly lady.  She was overjoyed to see them and she is doing well, continuing to sing God's praises. She asked after Kallen and was thrilled to see his picture with pregnant Melissa.  They sang a few choruses with her and prayed for her and her family before moving on to Elizanne's home.  Elizanne was very gracious and hospitable, apologized that her husband wasn't there to greet the team as he is in the DR. She gave them a tour of her new home.  The team sang and prayed for them and their new home, trusting the Lord for many blessings.  Then the Easter Concert at the church!  A picture truly is worth a thousand words. An awesome celebration of the resurrection and hope we have in JESUS. 

  

Day 11

FAT encore! The teams plans are not always Gods plans.

Today was a very busy and full day in the clinic and a tragic one at that.

Nucola, a previously healthy 17 year old boy who was brought to the clinic at 9:00 am. The clinic staff quickly realized that he has diabetic ketoacidosis and was in a semi-coma from that.  They gave him iv fluid and sent Elamine to Ouanaminthe to buy insulin. The family spent everything they could scrape together for one vial.  They gave him over 50 units of insulin and were not able to lower his glucose to a level that the glucometer could register. They then decided to send him by Ambulance to Ouanaminthe for what it's worth. Even if they are able to turn things around there the family cannot afford the cost of managing the Type 1 Diabetes for the long term.  Please pray for Nucola. (He is a believer.)  Doctors here would never treat Nucola like this here in Canada, as this is treatable here in a Canadian ER.

The clinic staff saw an emaciated elderly man with a long history of smoking. The list of possible causes includes cancer, malnutrition or chronic liver or kidney disease. Dr. Emmanuel is frustrated that the simple lab here is only set for so few problems.

They also saw quite a few little kids with coughs and colds and very low weights for the kids ages. There were patients with anxiety, young woman with menstrual cramps and people with vague abdominal pain. So there were lots of typical Canadian family practice patients. Of course though the clinic had to check for worms, parasites, malaria and typhoid.

There are so many issues in Haiti with health care to ponder and great wisdom will be needed to know best to help out there and what God is teaching them as individuals and a church.

Blessed Assurance . . . The team just finished singing, praying and chatting about their day. Today they talked about it being a good day for "being", not only doing. God allowed them to see and experience so much. Opportunities to follow Jesus, sharing pain, loss, and sorrow through touch, singing and assurance of ongoing prayers.

Eric finished his list and then some and the team had a barn raising to install the shelving today. Jen finished the photo list and then some. Lorna and Rob completed the inventory and Eric is working on the tool inventory.  Laurie and Marilyn prepared all the hostess gifts and cards. Rob working as a techno geek for Marilyn M. Lorna doing the finances. So much for just being, they are all busy doing. What an awesome team the Lord put together for His Glory. 

Thank you for all your prayers. 

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Day 1 and 2

Early Friday morning, March 18, the Albright Haiti team of 8 departed Winnipeg to make their way to Gens De Nantes, Haiti. After connecting in Montreal and overnighting in Miami the team touched down in Cap Haitien Saturday morning and made their way through security to meet up with Marilyn McIlroy. 

They enjoyed the ride from Cap Haitien to Gens de Nantes in an air conditioned bus, snacking on crackers and cold soda. After stopping in Ouanaminthe, so Eric could check out the local hardware store for supplies, they carried on until they arrived at the Guest House in Gens de Nantes.

The guesthouse staff and clinic leadership had prepared for the teams arrival by scrubbing the house, making beds, washing the mosquito nets, planning menus, purchasing food and snacks, and made other preparations for their ministry there. So, after so much preparation, it was no surprise that the team arrived to a wonderfully dinner prepared just for them. 

Saturday, March 29, after dinner the team settled in to do the initial tasks of unpacking suitcases and supplies, hanging mosquito nets, and then discussing the unfolding plans for their time there. Although their travels went well they looked forward to a good night sleep.

 

Day 3 ~ March 20

Chita tande mache we!! (Haitian Creole) = Proverb of the Day!! (English)

This is the day that the Lord has made and we are rejoicing and will be glad in it!!!

After a good sleep for most of the team, they shared breakfast together enjoying the good food and extra good coffee. Eric (McGyver) caught a mouse the evening before so the guesthouse was one resident short that morning, much to everyone's relief. Before walking to the Palm Sunday service they had devotions and a time of prayer.

An awesome time of worship was followed by a time of greeting friends and familiar faces, practising creole along the way. Their day was spent playing and reading with the children, troubleshooting and fixing the clinic fridge and listening to their translator Guy, who is new to the team and to the community of Gens de Nantes, share his testimony and joy at being with the team. 

They shared a well prepared dinner and then debriefed at the end of day sharing highs and lows; it was a productive yet relaxing day. There was great joy for the team members who first met Elizanne in 2014 and met her again. There was great disappointment for some students in the community who were turned down from attending the English classes due to class size and other criteria.

 

Day 4 ~ March 21

There was much to do as the Haiti team got into full swing. The Haitian proverb of the day, Bitay Fe w avanse - stumbling moves you forward, has never been truer. At least that's what it felt like for Eric Handyman McGyver, who trapped mice, obliterated an ant infestation, finally found the ever so important Dewalt charger, and attempted to work on plumbing at the Medical Staff house with Haitian handyman Lolance. The HOT weather provided an extra challenge.

The English class moved forward with Laurie and Jen teaching in the morning. Even the afternoon class, with Rob and Lorna, moved forward despite the delay as the clinic staff found it hard to leave their tasks there. In due time they made their way and the class carried on. 

The Health Team moved forward today, the first day in the clinic for Stephen and Marilyn working with the new Gens de Nantes doctor, Emmanuel. Marilyn spent her day putting together iv bag setups in the clinic so everything is in one place when someone needs an urgent iv, and organizing meds for the pharmacy. She provided a finger dressing for a young woman with an infection and generally delighted in reacquainting with staff and being back in the clinic.

Presented with three cases of severe Congestive Heart Failure, Stephen relied on his clinical skills and best judgement as there are no options for advanced investigations or management. He was able to show Dr. Emmanuel some physical findings in patients with Advanced heart failure. Two of the patients were young, 40 and 25 and only one was able to receive treatment. With no medical treatment to offer the other they prayed with him to turn to God and seek Him for salvation and eternal healing. Other patients attended the clinic and received care.

The evening meal of pizza, fries and salad, was a welcome reprieve from the tasks of the day. In the evening Lindsey visited with Dr. Emmanuel to get to know him a bit better and learn his story. The children who dropped by the Guesthouse grounds enjoyed seeing Evan's creative book on life in Canada. The teachers spent time preparing for the next day and Lorna and Marilyn McIlroy worked on the team's finances. The team is doing well, they are being Flexible, Adaptable, and Teachable!! 

 

Day 5 ~ March 22

Lindsey did inventory at the clinic which is an ongoing process. Eric and Lolance had a successful shopping trip and returned safe and sound. The two Marilyn's and Lindsey were on motorbikes to a vaccine clinic that morning. 

Supper was delicious, rice, beans, goat and beets. They all had a good day, busy with various tasks. English classes are going well. Dr. St. Hillaire is speaking a little English at supper, a good opportunity for him to practice. On their walk about with the community health avant Sante they visited 5 newborns who received the bcg vaccine.

Day 2 in the clinic. Dr. St. Hillaire is apparently very appreciative for the opportunity to learn more in depth about some of the patients they are seeing together and Stephen is enjoying the teaching component very much. Stephen is able to free Dr. St. Hillaire up in the afternoon so he can attend the English language classes. He is very attentive and patient with his patients in the clinic.

They saw a very beautiful two month old girl this morning. Big inquisitive eyes filled with life and beautiful features but she's going to die soon. She has some kind of congenital thoracic problem and has had noisy breathing from birth. There is an obvious rib cage problem but the family have been told after they've spent too much money that "there's no problem". Gens de Nantes is in reality the end of the line as far as health care is concerned for the people here. If the clinic here can't provide the care the great majority have no option available to them so they will die of disease we can usually forestall or cure in Winnipeg.

It is hard to tell people there is nothing further they can do, knowing that in Canada we would never have to say that to someone in their situation.

 

Day 6 ~ March 23

Praise the Lord! So many blessings and answers to prayer, God is Good. So good to hear the hubbub of preparing for another day. Laughter and singing inside and out.

So day three in the clinic was really busy for every. There was a prenatal and vaccination clinic in addition to the usual medical clinic. Marilyn K and Lindsey watched a delivery, tiny baby boy. Then worked as a team in prenatal Clinic assessed about 20 pregnant moms, including a mother working on her 11th baby! They did brief abdominal exams and used the Doppler machine to check on the babies heart rates. 

Dr. Emmanuel and Stephen had a teaching time on the physical signs of heart failure and the second patient of the morning had all the physical findings. Since there are no diagnostic modalities it is critical to have good clinical exam skills. It was so neat that God placed the curiosity to know about CHF in Dr. Emmanuel's mind and a patient in the clinic to help solidify that knowledge. There were numerous kids with intestinal parasites (giardia, worms and salmonella). These are such a problem there as the water is not treated. They saw a young woman with very enlarged lymph nodes in her neck and sent a swab to look for tuberculosis and started her on treatment as they await the results. She has already lost a lot of weight. (She looks like Elizanne from last visit but this lady's teeth are pretty normal.) Dr. Emmanuel said that in the Haitian Medical System physicians will get no organized continuing medical education once they graduate. There is no official way to keep up with the latest advancements other than decrees from the department of health. Medical Journals are relatively expensive and for the most part irrelevant in a resource poor health care system. So it's a great thing that Stephen can help him out like this.

Eric got the cement finished, and assembled a new maternity bed and fix some drawers at the Clinic. Laurie and Jenn were brought to tears by a student praying blessings upon them this morning. The teachers are planning to do 6th lesson on Saturday with graduation as school starts on Monday. Bon Bagay! (Good Stuff)

The team had a delicious fish and chip dinner and enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship around the table. Eric built an aid for the shorter members of the team, full story and pictures to follow!! Stephen and Jenn so blessed to have an affirmation of purpose. Laurie and Jen skipped with the kids in the sunshine and heat, awesome to hear the laughter and joy. For their daily devotions they have been discussing the names and characteristics of Jesus. Today: Jesus our strength. They are all working in the joy of the Lord. They have been laughing and sharing tears of joy together.

 

Thank you to all the family and friends for all their prayers!

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Youth Summer Camp – Echo Lake 2015

On July 3rd Albright Youth filled a bus with 19 students, 2 leaders, and our incredible bus driver Marty Ryan, and took off west to the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan.  Excitement was evident for our destination of the beloved Echo Lake Bible Camp. Before we left we invited the parents and staff to join us in a time of prayer. With the covering of Christ on our group we left excited to see how God would reveal himself yet again to our group at camp. With a six hour one way trip, Friday was a travel day in preparation for a busy work day on Saturday.

 

For the past two years our group has arrived at camp two days early so that 

we can put some good ‘sweat equity’ into the camp and help out where needed. This year our group was given the task to do some preventative maintenance at the beach, so that high waters wouldn’t cause havoc in the spring. When I heard the task that was saved for us I chuckled, thinking, ‘there was no way we were going to be able to accomplish what the camp manager, James, had hoped’, but our group was up for the task. They were eager to pick up a shovel, pull weeds, haul rocks and whatever else needed doing.  Even though a downpour made us take an early break, many were back out working as soon as the rain let up.

 

Here was the task at hand. Along the entire beach (about 50-70 feet) we 

needed to carve out the land so that we  had a flat foundation to place the retaining wall. Secondly, we needed to place pre-made cages along that foundation and then fill them with big rocks. This would have been much easier if the rocks had been conveniently located, but that was not so much the case. We took what rocks we could from the nearby beach but, after those rocks were all used up, our group then had to go into the water, feel for large rocks with their feet, pick that rock up and either throw it to the dry shore, or carry them in. This was not an easy job and took hundreds of rocks to fill up all those cages. Lastly, when the cages were full we spread out about eight yards of sand onto the beach so it could be enjoyed with a bit more comfort. Finally the task was complete! 

 

Our Albright Youth did that job proud! After nearly seven hours of hard labour, infused with many laughs and outstanding teamwork, the task was completed just in time for dinner. No longer will the high waters wash away the land by the beach. Because of this work the survival of the camp’s beach will live on for many years to come.

 

So, what would motivate this group of young people to do this type of work?

  1. Young people love to work hard together to induce positive change.
  2. Young people have experienced God’s life changing presence at this camp so, when given the opportunity to do some hard work to help further ministry of the camp, the ask is easy and the task becomes easily enjoyed.
  3. When you get incredible youth together the hard work asked of them is an opportunity to create memories together.
  4. This group is amazing!

 

I am very proud to have such an amazing group of young people who bonded together to do what I thought was laughable just a few hours earlier. They put in incredibly hard work and I don’t remember once hearing any controversy. I was so blessed to be in the midst of such people.

 

 

Echo Lake named the beach ‘Albright Beach’, at least for this summer, and they were ecstatic to see what had been done. In the end, we were happy to do it and every single person there knows that Echo will continue to be a place where life transformation happens because Jesus is leading the way.

 

Written by: Russ Klassen, Youth Director of Albright Church

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