Pierre had been sick for at least a week and a half, and he had not been able to urinate at all for a week. His entire body was swollen and even red in some areas. He was having trouble breathing and was getting nosebleeds. He was in terrible pain and could only sit in his chair. He couldn’t even lay down to sleep.
Pierre had not been to see a doctor. Aside from the financial and logistical challenges of traveling to the clinic in Anse-a-Galets, his family believed he had been cursed by a voodoo priest or witch doctor. They believed it was a sickness that hospitals couldn’t help. For us, this is very difficult to understand, but for them it is their way of life. Yes, sometimes voodoo is the cause of some strange things, but most of the time illnesses are just illnesses with simple fixes.
Pierre’s brother wanted a voodoo priest to come and try to heal him. Pierre did not want this, but being as sick as he was could not fight with his brother about it. So the witch doctor came but was unable to heal him. The witch doctor wanted to rub some kind of stuff on him that he said would heal him, but Pierre refused. After this many friends and family began to come and visit him to say their goodbyes, and his brother had even put a deposit down with the local carpenter to begin making his coffin. They were just ready to let him die instead of taking him to the hospital.
Pierre is not yet a baptized believer but he does attend our church almost every Sunday and even attends Sunday school. He is a very good and kind man who is always there to lend a helping hand. And we wanted to help him.
We knew going to the hospital would be his best chance. We knew that money would be an issue for them and offered to pay for the transportation and hospital cost. A motorcycle would be less expensive, but Pierre was too sick and in too much pain to ride a motorcycle. So we called our driver to take his truck to get him very early in the morning. It had rained the night before, so we were worried that the roads might be impassable, but our driver was able to pick Pierre up at 5 am, and they arrived at the hospital at 7:30 am.
Pierre was seen by the American missionary doctor who lives and works there. Pierre’s condition was very serious. His prostate was enlarged and had blocked the flow of urine; once the bladder was overfilled, it dropped and made it impossible for him to urinate. He would have died had he not gone to the hospital. He had a catheter put in and very quickly had more urine drained out than the doctor had ever seen in his entire career. He could breathe better almost immediately, and the nosebleeds stopped. He was finally able to lay down and get some much needed rest.
After just a few days, Pierre was able to return home, riding up the mountain on a motorcycle with his catheter still in (can you imagine that?). He went back to the clinic two weeks later for a follow-up visit to have the catheter removed. Now he is praising God and telling everyone who can’t believe that he isn’t dead that God’s grace and mercy saved his life!
Pierre’s story is a good example of the mental mindset that entraps Haitians with these voodoo beliefs. This is what we are up against when sharing the love and light of Jesus Christ. Well, Christ’s love ALWAYS shines brighter than voodoo, and we serve a God of miracles! There were so many moving parts that had to work out just perfectly in order to even get Pierre to the hospital, and God made it all possible. It is a miracle that he made it to the hospital before his bladder burst, and it is a miracle that the hospital had just started getting medication for prostate issues.
So many common illnesses are so easily cured by the doctors that God has sent to Haiti to help the people. But these same illnesses will kill if left untreated. This is why Ybene and I put some of our own personal money aside to help people get medical attention. The Lord put that on our hearts years ago. Our long-term goal is to have enough ministry funds to help anyone who needs it.
It cost just over $600 to help Pierre. For many, this may not seem like a lot of money. For our ministry, it is. In fact, this was the most expensive medical emergency we have handled to date, and this amount would have been impossible for Pierre’s family to pay.
Pierre’s life is worth so much more than $600, and his eternal life is priceless. Not only was his physical life saved, but also his soul was saved. He had so many amazing people praying for him.