Laura, our missionary, shares the story of this medical miracle:
Nieka, who was four years old at the time, was playing with her cousins in a tree that had been cut down or had fallen down. With the way the tree was lying on the ground, they were kind of high in the air. There were six children in all. One of the older children starting shaking the tree with all of the little children on it, and they all fell out and landed on Nieka. She was crying a little and her arm hurt, so they had her arm tied in a cloth and brought her to me.
When I untied the cloth, my stomach turned. I didn’t know elbows could look like that. I thought it was just dislocated, but I didn’t want to touch it in case it was something worse. I wanted to take her the hospital (really, just a clinic) in Anse-a-Galets, the port city of our island. I prayed that maybe there would be someone there to help her.
While we were waiting for the motorcycle to pick us up for the ride to the clinic, Nieka’s aunt came and picked her up because she didn’t want to wait. She wanted to take her to someone who claims they know how to set bones back in place. (They really don’t. I have seen what happens to the children they have “helped” and it’s not good.)
When I heard this, I sent my wonderful Esther to run after them and bring Nieka back to me. She was able to catch up with them (she is very fast) and told Nieka’s aunt that I would take her to the hospital. We had the money to pay for the motorcycle and the clinic visit thanks to our wonderful supporters.
God laid it on my heart to take her. It was a very strong feeling that I needed to do this. It was the same feeling I had when the Lord told me to look for the pregnant woman who I’d thought had gone to the hospital like I told her to but didn’t. God sent me to the exact place that she was so I could help her (read that story here). That was exactly how I felt about little Nieka.
People kept telling me I didn’t have to make the trip right away. It takes about an hour and a half to get there by motorcycle, and it was a Sunday, when the clinic would be closed. But I just couldn’t shake the need to go. It was not right to send her to some person who was just going to yank on her poor little arm and cause her more pain and maybe even create a bigger problem.
It was 4:30 by the time the motorcycle got to us. As we prepared to leave, I was a little concerned about my communication and comprehension with the Creole language at that time (I’m much more fluent now), but I trusted God that all would be fine. I wrapped Nieka’s arm in an Ace bandage and off we went.
When we got to the clinic, the gate was closed (remember, it was Sunday). But I just knocked on the gate, and someone let me in right away. I started talking in Creole as if it were my native language. I told them exactly what happened and why I was the one to bring her. (Her mother died and her father is in the Dominican Republic.)
They sat us down and said that they didn’t have anyone to help her. I asked if anything could be done, and another nurse heard me and said that a white doctor just arrived the evening before, and she saw him in church that morning. My spirits just soared at this. I knew this doctor had to be a Christian on mission to help the Haitians. They said he would be at the clinic in the morning, and I could come back at 8 am.
I told them we had traveled by motorcycle a very long way, and that we couldn’t come back in the morning. Now, I have met many missionary doctors, and I know that, like most doctors, they are ALWAYS ready to help when it is needed. So I asked the nurses if there was any way to contact this doctor and ask him to please come now to help Nieka, who was in a lot of pain. Their hearts softened, and they went to find him.
This doctor arrived quickly, along with four American nurses. From that point on I spoke in English to them and Creole to everyone around me. I was translating! (And remember, I was not yet fluent in Creole. It was a miracle that I was able to translate in this way.) The doctor looked at her arm and felt around like he really knew what he was doing. I just had a strange feeling that he was special, so I asked him what type of doctor he was. Lo and behold, he was an orthopedic doctor and this was RIGHT up his alley! Can you believe it?!
He determined that Nieka’s arm was broken, and that is why the elbow was out of place. Now, I need you all to really understand how miraculous this is. First, without our help, she would have been taken to someone who would have pulled and yanked on the broken arm and probably caused her to lose the use of her arm for the rest of her life. Second, the people in our village do not have the money to take a motorcycle to the hospital or to pay the doctors. Third, there usually isn’t a doctor there who can handle setting broken bones, and they would have had to go to Port au Prince – a trip that is completely out of the question, financially speaking.
So the fact that we went on a Sunday (Jesus did heal many on the Sabbath), it was evening when we arrived AND there was an American specialist in orthopedic medicine? That really is quite a wonderful miracle! He was even able to give her “sleepy” meds so she didn’t feel a thing when he reset her arm. We returned to my home, and I cared for her until she was alert, helped manage her pain with children’s pain reliever and sent her back to her family. I also made sure she had her follow-up visit to remove the cast several weeks later. She’s as good as new today!
In the United States, it’s easy for us to go to the emergency room when a child breaks a bone. Here, there is no such thing, and we must rely on the Lord’s miraculous provision through donors like you. To God be ALL the glory for this and many other medical miracles that we have seen in our ministry to this village.