Tuesday, October 26, 2004

 

Find a way to help

This is a great article, full of hope. But, like I said, where will the violence actually end? And as Americans, what should we be doing to help? Because there is absolutely no question in my mind that we must help. We are one of the wealthiest nations on this planet, and people are starving while we grow fat on fast-food burgers. The article below shows what every true Christian could do to help--even a monetary donation to organizations like UNICEF would help. The United Nations isn't our enemy, no matter what Dubya says, and they are trying almost single-handedly to pull Haiti back from the brink of destruction. Get involved, if not in Haiti then pick a country, because there are plenty that need your help (including the homeless in our own country). Ethiopia is still starving, despite Bob Geldof's efforts 20 years ago this year, for instance. Get involved--as a human being, how can you not?

Merciful Mission In Haiti
By JOSH POLTILOVE jpoltilove@tampatrib.com
Published: Oct 23, 2004

PALMA CEIA - In one of the poorest villages in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, there's no electricity and no running water.

Many homes are built with mud and sticks, their tin roofs tied down with twine.
There are hundreds of faces in the village hospital, a simple block structure that serves as a clinic.

But the Rev. John DeBevoise, pastor of Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, said their plight doesn't shatter the spirit of the roughly 35,000 people in and near Mombin Crochu, Haiti. They still smile. They still laugh. They still love.

Several South Tampa residents, including DeBevoise and some of his parishioners, spent nine days in Mombin Crochu in September to help in the clinic.

"When we go, people live who would die otherwise,'' DeBevoise said.

The 10-member crew included a surgeon, a cardiologist and an X-ray technician. Eight had been to the village before and knew to bring hiking boots and other practical items.

They treated patients from early morning until dark.

"It's terribly rewarding to go there and see the thanks on the faces of the people,'' said Charlie Stevens, a 75-year-old member of Palma Ceia Presbyterian who has traveled to Haiti 15 times to help.

The church sent two groups to Haiti this year, two last year and one the year before. For about 10 years, it has sponsored missions ranging from providing medical care to digging wells.
A medical trip scheduled for November was postponed because the U.S. government is advising against travel to Haiti due to concerns about violence.

Tim Lorenzen, an ophthalmologist from Palma Ceia who planned to go on next month's trip, said he likely will go when those concerns diminish. Lorenzen said no ophthalmologist has been to the village in two years.

"We're not going there for vacation,'' he said. "We're going there to help the people.''

The clinic generally has three physicians present--a veteran doctor and two recent medical school graduates. It is operated by the Medical Benevolence Foundation, a private foundation affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA.

This year, DeBevoise said, the clinic might have a surgeon present a total of two weeks. With so many people requiring surgery and such antiquated equipment available, surgeons must be discerning about who they treat.

DeBevoise said every time he leaves Mombin Crochu he feels tremendous gratitude for living in the United States.

"It's fairly medieval,'' he said.

For information or to make a donation, call Palma Ceia Presbyterian at
(813) 253-6047, Ext. 227, or visit the Web at http://www.unicef.org/.
Reporter Josh Poltilove can be reached at (813) 835-2105

http://southtampa.tbo.com/southtampa/MGBMH21XM0E.html



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