501(c)3 Non-Profit empowering the poor in Haiti

Belly Blows and Belly Aches

Today was one of those long and dramatic Haiti days. Our ladies were beading today and Beatrice informed me that after her husband beat her daughter unconscious last week and had tried to stab her this week, that she was finally leaving him. Whew… if that wasn’t heavy enough, she informed me that there was a pregnant teenager that she had been taking care of in the midst of her own personal tragedies. She wanted to know if the girl could help make beads. I invited the girl in and got her started doing some paper beads. This girl, whose name is Ketia, is 18 years old and homeless. Her mother and father kicked her out when they found out she was pregnant and the boyfriend pleaded for an abortion. He eventually turned violent and just today I was told that he had yelled at her for not having enough food and punched her in the stomach.
I had her lay down and felt her belly. No movement. I felt and pushed and prodded.. knowing that at six months along, I should be able to jostle the baby awake and at least feel something. I asked the mother if she had been feeling the baby move. She shook her head. She didn’t know she was supposed to be feeling anything yet.
So, I will wait until first thing next week and ask my dear friends at Heartline Ministries if maybe I could bring her over and borrow one of their midwives for an exam and a fetal heart rate monitor. I anticipate the worst but hope for the best.
In the meantime, one of our other ladies, Rose, who is rolling beads with a baby at her breast and an eleven year old daughter helping her out is sitting quietly. I had recently given some tylenol to the baby who has had a fever and the squirts for several days now. Towards the end of the day, her daughter Diana pipes up and asks me… do I have medicine for a belly ache?
I said.. well yes I do… where does your belly hurt? She points right to the center. I asked a few more questions without any real leads as to what might be ailing her until I just asked point blank… do you know why your belly is hurting you? Yes, she says…. because I haven’t eaten in two days. Ughhhh. My heart thuds on the floor again. Well.. then I have just the right medicine.. how about some food!!!! A peanut butter sandwhich later and her belly was feeling much better. I guess it is no surprise really that our grocery bill tends to be one of our biggest expenses. I can’t remember the last time we had less than a dozen at our dinner table. And I know that if we don’t feed them, they won’t eat. What a blessing to be able to invite these precious ones to the table. When we say our mealtime prayers, there is much more meaning behind the thanks we give when we know very well that it is purely a gift from HIM that we have food at all.

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