ApexChurch and Haiti

Hello Apex Family,

Below is an excerpt from the GLOW Newsletter that tells more of the story that I shared at our Christmas Gathering yesterday. It was very humbling for us to be in Haiti with Phil and to witness the overwhelming need there - but also inspiring to see the powerful presence of our God there. A presence that He allows us to intimately share in when we stop to see what He is up to as we commit to being used. Apex has already been able to send some financial support to aid in this child's recovery, and there is so much more that can be done to tangibly feed, educate, and care for God's people there. We are a church that can help do this very thing - especially given the way we are organized and operate. Let it be known if you want more information, if your family and/or House Church would like to sponsor a child or send funds toward Haiti, if you have any questions about any of the outreach/serving that our community is doing, and especially if you know of any particular needs or serving opportunities that we could partner in - here or abroad.


Divine Appointments

Phil Snyder - www.glowmi.org

Divine appointments are not unusual in Haiti. In fact they are so common that I refuse to adhere to any hard schedules. People who have repeatedly been to Haiti with me often joke about how I don’t know what we’re going to be doing until we’re actually doing it. I always have a number of things in mind of course, but I refuse to be anything but 100% flexible. In my opinion it is that flexibility which leads us into some of the most interesting situations.

One such divine appointment happened to us last month as we were touring Haiti with a group from Las Vegas. I had plans to go to Gadere that day but at the last minute Mr. Feronnel advised me that because of the mud we probably would not make it so I changed plans. Instead of getting an early 7 a.m. start we shared a leisurely morning together, had breakfast, then left the hotel late to go and see what we would see.

It was about 8:30 in the morning as we drove towards Grande Godet. About 1 mile before the school something very unusual came out of the brush on the side of the road. It was a small group of people pushing a wheelbarrow. Seeing somebody pushing a wheelbarrow is not unusual, to see human legs hanging out the front of the wheelbarrow is. I hit the brakes on the Ford Ranger and backed up to take a closer look. There was a young man lying in the wheelbarrow! The boy was about 16 years old, he had a plaster cast around his thigh, above his knee and below his hip. He was obviously in very much pain. I questioned the people with him to learn that he had been involved in a hit-and-run accident nearly one month ago. He had been to the hospital in St. Marc and from there was sent to the hospital in Port au Prince where the doctors put this flimsy cast on his leg and sent him home. The boy was from a very poor family of course, and they had no money for follow-up medical care. It was obvious to me that this boy was on his way to becoming permanently handicapped or perhaps even dead for lack of treatment for a broken femur.

I’ve had opportunities to intervene in the healthcare of many such people, people suffering from inadequate healthcare on the slow road of suffering and death. I’ve learned one important lesson from my many encounters with those who are suffering, that lesson is: don’t waste even one minute. I drove the extra mile to Grande Gode school and picked up Pastor Damil. I brought him back to the scene in order to confirm my personal evaluation that this boy needed help and he needed it now.

We are fortunate to know Dr. Duverseau, an orthopedic surgeon in Port-au-Prince, and we put a call into him right away. This was Thursday, November 12, an appointment was scheduled for Saturday.

The doctor confirmed the seriousness of the boy’s condition and recommended him for surgery as soon as possible. There were some phone calls back and forth trying to establish costs for the surgery which would include putting a metal rod in the boy’s bone and who would perform the surgery. Medical care can be very scary in Haiti and I did not want to send this boy to the butchers. The doctor put my mind at ease confirming that he would do the surgery himself but he couldn’t give me even a ballpark figure on what the costs might be.

I stared at the ceiling in bed that night struggling with the value of one’s health. But as far as my own convictions ran it was a no-brainer, it didn’t matter how much it cost, I couldn’t possibly walk away. But still I had to struggle with the difficulties we face in this dampened economy, wondering if we will even make our school budgets next month. The Las Vegas group who had met the boy with me were already back home by now. I e-mailed them and told them what we were facing, asking them if they would back me up. They were unanimously in agreement to go forward with the surgery.

Recently, these last couple of days, I’ve been getting e-mails from Haiti with reports and pictures confirming that the surgery went well and that the boy, Rene St Jean, has an excellent chance for a full recovery. We’ll continue to look out for him, keeping him in Port-au-Prince with my goddaughter Dina who will feed him, see that he gets to his doctor’s appointment twice a week and gets the medications that he has to have to the fight infection and pain. He’s not all the way out the woods yet but he’s got everything working in his favor thanks to divine appointments and people who care.

With all that could be reported on this month I chose to share this story with you. I would not be in Haiti if it were not for your generous support and encouragement. Behind this boy’s story is 1000 more stories, many we will never hear because our intervention displaced the tragedy. Be encouraged by this as you celebrate the holidays with your families and friends. This is your joy as well as mine!

Mark Your Calendar - “I Survived”

A personal account of the Phil Snyder December 2005 kidnapping

will air on the BIO Channel Sunday, January 17th 9 p.m. ET

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