Thursday, January 27, 2011

El Higuero Medical Clinic

This morning I headed over to Brother Darren's house to pick him up for a medical clinic that we were going to hold in El Higuero.  Just before I arrived at his house, he called my cell phone and told me that he was not going to be able to make due to the fact that he was feeling very sick.  He has a bad cough, fever and did not get much sleep last night.

Myself, along with Elisabeth, Mary, Jonathan, Pastor Nathan, and Max (a young man from Germany) headed out to El Higuero.  I had taken some books along with my bible thinking that I would have time to study today while the medical clinic was going on, boy was I wrong.  When we arrived myself and Elisabeth tried to get the school set up for the clinic.  The medical group did not arrive till around 11:30am and I ended up being the go between the Dominicans and themMedical group.  Little did they know that I can not really speak spanish yet.  I had the pleasure of handing out the numbers to the Dominicans!  We made up little tickets with numbers on them all the way up to 100.  Let's just say it was like I was handing out dollar bills!  I'm very thankful that Elisabeth and Mary went along.  They did a great job translating and helping out with the clinic.  The doctors were able to see over 125 people today in about 5 hours.  Below are some pictures from today:
People waiting to be seen by the doctors.

Jonathan and I working door patrol.  Making sure only those with tickets come inside.

A little baby girl, who came in towards the end that had a bad infection in her lower lip.

After we were done with the clinic, we went into a poorer part of the town to hand out some bags of chips and some coloring pencils to the children.  This baby boy had worms in his stomach that makes it bloat.

This is the our group that went to help the doctors.  From left to right: Jonathan, myself, Pastor Nathan, Max, Elisabeth Truel, and Mary Truel

One of the homes that the people live in.

A young girl in El Higuero.
The little girl with her grandmother.

Elisabeth with one of the nurses.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Medical Clinic in La Lanza

There was only supposed to be 12-14 in the group.  LOL..There was close to 30 people.
This is a home in one of the Bateys.  The outer building is the kitchen!
Today, Brother Darren and I picked up a group of doctors and headed up to La Lanza.  They held a medical clinic and were able to see many patients.  They originally told us there was only going to be a group of about 12 to 14 people, but when we met there were close to 30 people to help! The group was made up of 4 doctors, several nurses, pharmacists, and translators. Thank the Lord that the bus driver was willing to try to take his bus up the mountain to help transport everyone.  Otherwise, it would have left two trucks to haul all the people, medicine and supplies.  Thankfully, we all made it safely up without any problems.
Part of the group that came to help with the Medical Clinic.

While the doctors were working away, Brother Darren and I went to the bateys to tell the people about the medical clinic.
The truck definitely got a work out today, traveling all over the place!  At one point we had over 25 people in the truck while traveling up the mountain!  Thank the Lord for 4-wheel drive, as it came in handy today.

We also went to pick up a blind man that needed to see a doctor and I got to do some mud riding to get to his house.  Thank you again to all who give to the Lord to make this possible.  Please pray that I will put every dollar that is given right were the Lord wants it.
Bro. Darren directing the troops!

It has been put on our hearts to try to feed some of these children that are up in these mountains.  The Haitian kids have next to nothing and its about the same with many of the Dominican children.  Someone has already donated large bags of rice and beans and now we are looking into obtaining something to cook large amounts at once.  Brother Darren has a contact in North Carolina with a company that makes a cooker that would be perfect for what we are trying to do.  I'm going to try to contact  them to see what they can provide at a good price.  If you think of it, please make this a matter of prayer.  Eventually, we would like to purcahse some land in that area where we can put up some kind of structure to hold Bible lessons and other projects.  Please pray that the Lord's will be done with all of this.  There is much work that can be done in this area.  I will try to keep you all updated on our progress.
A Brother and Sister in the Lord.  The Sister has just had a baby and had an infection.  She had surgery this past week and in Polo and need a ride back to La Lanza.

Bro. Darren and I going out to the Bateys in the mountains to let them know about the medical clinic.

A couple of kids who wanted a ride back to their home.
This is a picture of the Haitians working on coffee beans.  This is future Starbucks coffee (LOL)!!  It all starts with the naked kid! Just kidding about it being future Starbucks coffee, however the coffee grown here in Polo is sold and marketed in the United States by high-end, organic coffee companies. 

I'm a school truck driver now!  There are probably 15 to 20 kids in the back of the truck.  As the Dominicans say, "How many can you fit?  Always one more!"

A boy, and I believe, his grandfather waiting to see the doctors.

A brother from the Haitian church in La Lanza with his children.

A young girl with her baby.  I think she is around 15 years old.

This is the head of a doll on a fence post in front of a house.  They believe that this will keep evil spirits away.  We ended up taking an elderly man from this residence to the clinic.  When I drove him back home they removed the doll's head from the post.  Pray that we will have an opportunity to share the gospel with him and his family soon.

As Brother Darren and I went down the side of the mountain we let everyone know that there was a free medical clinic in La Lanza.  As we came back up the mountain we picked up over 25 people and fit them in our truck.  Thank the Lord for 4-wheel drive.  The truck did a wonderful job hauling all of these people to the clinic.  Most of these people live on the side of the mountain in glorified card board box homes (they are made of wood not card board).
This is Pastor Nathan holding a little girl that went to the Medical Clinic.

This couple with a little girl passed us while we were going down the mountain.  They have to walk about 2 miles to the bottom of the mountain to get their water from a river.  This little girl was a little sweety.
This is a picture of the blind man and his son that we transported up to the medical clinic.  Above is a picture of his home and family.  The man to my left is his son.  His home is in the middle of no were and I thought that might truck was going to get stuck in the mud as I went down the trail to his home, but thank the Lord we made it there and back.  The doctor that he saw at the clinic said that he had a stroke last year and that is what caused him to lose his eye sight.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!

Brother Chris and Family

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bateys (Bah-Tays) in La Lanza

A boy getting some water.
Hello again from the Dominican Republic.  This past weekend was a busy one.  My family and I went down to Barahona to try and go shopping and the place was deserted.  It is usually a very busy place, I call it the motorcycle capital of the world.  There are bikes all over the place and they drive like maniacs.  We learned that there was a festival going on this weekend and everybody had closed there shops down early, so we were unable to go shopping.  So we had to settle for some food from Carlitos.  If anybody comes down to visit we will try to treat you to some freshly made empanadas.  They also have some good fruit milkshakes.  So we ate and then headed back to the house.  The next day we tried to go down there again to try and get some groceries.  This time the store was open!

Elisabeth Truel with a baby in a Batay

On Sunday, Brother Darren, Pastor Nathan, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Brother Sean and his wife Jen, Benjamin, Joseph, Levi and I went up to La Lanza to preach.  We also were going to notify the people in the area that we are going to be bringing some doctors up on Tuesday.  We ended up preaching in one of the Bateys (a small group of huts/houses that are together were the Haitians live).
Below are some pictures that I took a couple of weeks ago, this is also were we preached yesterday.  Please pray that the language will come quickly in order to try and reach these people with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There are many Bateys with many Haitians in the Dominican Republic.  Two weeks ago I was able to preach and Bro. Darren interpreted for me.  This definitely was an experience, but the Lord gave grace and help! 

Please pray, as tomorrow we will be traveling back to La Lanza to open up another medical clinic for the people.  We are also going to try and see some of the people that we saw last week.

A little girl with some other babies in a Batay.

Picture from the truck
Little girl with her father in a Batey.  Most of these kids have very little clothing and it is nothing uncommon to see them walking around naked.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A few pictures from the Medical Clinics

I have been meaning to post some pictures from the two medical clinics that we helped with last week. 

Brother Billy working on a young man's hand that had a bad infection.

A cute little girl, who smiled when I was going to take her picture.
These two pictures are of a little Haitian girl that is going to be seen by the medical personnel and the other picture is of Bro. Darren and Pastor Nathan, they are talking with some Haitian women who want to be seen.  Two brothers came from the States, Bro. Tim and Bro. Billy, to hold clinics for the Haitians up in the They were able to see quite a few patients during their stay.   Lord willing, they'd like to continue visiting to hold more clinics in the near future. mountains.  The Lord allowed the truck to run well and make it up and down the mountains to get the medical team and the translators back and forth.     

This is Bro. Darren and Pastor Nathan talking with some Haitian women who came to the clinic.  Most of them were there for their children to be seen.
This is another child that was able to be seen. 

This little boy was happy to receive a piece of candy after he and his siblings were seen.

As I close this up, please keep a mother and her children in prayer.  We believe that they may have TB and the mother has it the worse.  I think she is very young in age and has 2 children, both daughters.  We are going to try and go up there (La Lanza) next Tuesday with another group of doctors that will be in town.  Please pray that her and her children will receive the treatments they need.

In Christ Jesus Our Lord,
Bro. Chris

Thank the Lord for his goodness!

Bro. Darren and I were heading back from the capital last night and my stomach began to feel very sick.  I was driving and we were in between the small towns of Bani and Azua.  I really didn't want to stop along the side of the road to use the bathroom, due to the safety issues of both the roadways and I don't know what could be in the woods at night.  Thank the Lord we were able to make it into Azua and they had a bathroom that actually had a toilet seat and some running water in the sink.  I'm also glad that we had a roll of toilet paper in the truck.  I am truly thankful that the Lord provided this place.  I'm glad that the Lord knows all of our needs and helps us even in the small things.

Well I was able to pick up my paperwork for my truck in Santiago and the vehicle is now in my name, Praise the Lord!  These types of things can take a lot of time to get done and some money, but the Lord took care of it all.  Please pray, as the Truels are still trying to get there paperwork situated with their vehicle.  The vehicle I bought, even though it was privately owned, still had a bank note.  When I went to buy the vehicle the dealership that held the title was able to do all of the paperwork.  Bro. Truel's vehicle was also bought from a private individual and did not have any bank note on it.  So Bro. Darren had to hire a lawyer to work on getting all of the paperwork situated with the government.  Its not as easy as the states, there is no Dominican Department of Motor Vehicles office that you can go to and have all of your paperwork done.  Please pray that they will be able to get all of there paperwork done as soon as possible.

We got home last night and I'm glad to be back with my family.  I don't like to travel around and be away from my family, but the Lord takes care and watches over us!  If anyone reads this today, also keep the Truels in prayer as they are traveling back to the capital today to drop Timothy and Sarah off at the Airport.  I believe there flight is around 4:30pm and they will be getting into Charlotte around 12:00am.  Pray that all goes well for them on their journey back home and that the Truels have safe traveling mercies.

One more thing, we had a little visitor in our bathroom last night (LOL)!!!  I was going to go take a shower when I noticed something on the floor near our toilet.  It was a scorpion that had made its way onto our bathroom floor.  I'm glad and thankful that I had the lights on and could see this little critter.  It would have been bad news if I, Melanie or one of the kids had stepped on him.  Again, the Lord knows and sees all!

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday."
Psalm 91:1-6

We have to believe these words and trust our Lord that He will take care of us!  Sometimes though, it is easier said than done!  Love you all!

Thank you again for your prayers and support!
Bro. Chris

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back in Santiago

I pray all of you are doing well!  Today Bro. Darren and I had to go into the capital to get some paperwork done for his daughter, who will be leaving the country in two days.  We had to go by the Immigration office and get some paperwork authorized to allow her to fly out with her brother.  Sarah Truel was born in the Dominican Republic and has to have a letter showing that her parents are allowing her to fly back to the states.  The government down here considers her a Dominican as well as an American.  Thank the Lord we were able to get all of the needful paperwork done. 

I was also able to get my Tourist Visa extended for 3 more months.  We found out the other day that when your tourist visa runs out (you get only 30 days from the time of your arrival) you are not allowed to drive.  So for the past 2 weeks I have no been driving illegally (Praise to the Lord for his protection and guidance).  Thank the Lord that we were also able to take care of this issue.  It used to be no problem to drive here in the D.R., but the government has changed some of the laws lately.  We also found out that the price for staying over your tourist visa will not be that bad.  We have to pay for the amount of time that we stay over our tourist visa, when we go to fly back to the states.  There is a bracket that shows you how much you have to pay on how many months/years that you stay over your initial 30 days. Over the next year I may try and start to work on getting my residency, but it still may be cheaper to just pay for the amount of time that we stay over.  When we fly back to the states (Lord willing) and then come back down here it starts all over.  This probably is confusing you all, so I'll stop writing about that all now.  There are so many things here that are confusing and it is hard to explain them on a blog.  Plus, I'm no Journalist nor English major! The Lord knows all that is going on and I'm glad that He is in control of everything! Amen!

Timothy Truel is also doing better!  His knee is still has some swelling, but he is able to get around now.  I took him down to the "hospital" in Barahona and they took one x-ray of his knee.  It didn't appear to have any fractures.  Timothy flies back to the states with his sister on Thursday and may see a doctor in the states if it still is not all the way back to normal.

The last 2 weeks have been very busy.  Last week we had two medical personal in from the states.  We were able to go to two towns and hold a clinic.  One (La Lanza) was further up in the mountains and the other (El Higuero) was on the other side of the mountain down near the coast.  They were able to see around 100 patients in the three days that they had the clinics.  Thank the Lord for the work and the help that they were able to bring to the Dominicans and Haitians.  The truck that our church helped us purchase down here came in handy these three days.  The roads down here are very bad and it helps to have a 4-wheeled drive vehicle.  We were able to transport these two medical personal, plus others who were also helping.  I just want to say a personal thank you to all who have given and helped us so far.  May the Lord bless you greatly.  The need down here is great, just as it is in most of the world.  There is a lot of work to be done and not much time left.  Please pray that we will always do what the Lord wants in our lives and I'll pray the same for you!

Love and miss you all dearly!

In Christ Jesus Our Lord and Saviour!
Bro. Chris and Family

Friday, January 14, 2011

A quick post....


Just a quick post to ask you to pray for Timothy Truel.  Last night he was in a motorcycle accident and it appears that he may have broken his knee cap.   Bro. Truel had to take the two brothers that were visiting back to the capital, because they are flying out today.  I may have to Timothy to the small clinic that is here to see if they can give him any pain medication.  Timothy and his sister Sarah are to fly back to the states next Friday, so I don't know what they are going to do now.  I think Bro. Truel said that he has to wait till he can get back to the states in order for his knee to be fixed.  Just keep the whole thing in prayer.

Another couple prayer requests....  It appears there is something wrong with the pump that brings the water into the house, so right now we do not have any running water.   Thankfully we do have some water in soda bottles for hand washing and sponge baths. 

There is also a honeybee hive in the wall of our bedroom.  We noticed hundreds of bees yesterday outside near the top of our roof.  The are going in there and then down the inside of the wall.  Thankfully only one of the children have gotten stung so far.  They come into the house through the wall, so they are often all over our beds and floors.  Apparently the hive was removed and robbed once, but they really must like this house.

Please pray that we will be able to get both of these situations taken care of here in the near future. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Update on Kristina

Hello Brethren,

Here is an update on Kristina.  Praise the Lord in heaven for all of his goodness toward us!  It looks like she is doing a lot better now.  Thank you to all who prayed for her!

Dear Friends
Today, Larysa and Kristina went to the ear doctor today and gave hear a clean bill of health. The infection is now gone and our baby girl is now being back to her old self. In fact, I think she is even more alive and developed than that of before. We are just praising God for Him extending His mercy towards us as a family. We both believe we both were going to lose our girl. But God! and the by the prayers of His people He hearkened, to you and your petitions.
On behalf of my family, I would like to say thank you for all of you that have prayed, written to us personally and even offering of helps in many aspects. We are touched and cannot thank you enough for your love. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for each of you. I have prayed for you.
And now, we continue marching on for the Lord. Please continue to remember us, as we do you. We would love to have fellow laborers here in this needy field of Russia. We are praying for you to come!
May the good Lord richly bless you.
In Christ,
Jon Zwingel and Family.
PS: picture attached from two days ago in church at a Christmas service (Russian).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Lord provided a Vehicle...

Thank the Lord we were able to purchase a vehicle last week in the city of Santiago.  Santiago is about 5 hours away from Polo, and is in the upper part of the country.  We went up there to look for a vehicle and found one.  There is a small town named Moca near Santiago, that is supposed to be the place to buy a new or used car.  We went into Moca and found a man that was selling his truck personally.  While Brother Darren and I were test driving this vehicle, Timothy, was standing by the van till we came back.  While we were gone, Timothy noticed a truck driving by that was also for sale.  He went out into the roadway to flag it down.  The driver stated that yes this vehicle was also for sale.  We ended up buying this one because it had all that we were looking for (4x4, diesel, with a manual transmission).  It's amazing how the Lord worked this all out.  We spent the next day working on all of the paperwork and still have to go back in 2 weeks to pick up our new tag and title.  Thank the Lord that there was a place there that could do all of the paperwork for us.  We also were able to purchase some temporary insurance from the same place.  Please pray that we will be able to find some coverage at a reasonable price.

This past Saturday I was able to take the truck up to a village named La Lanza.  La Lanza is further up in the mountains and you have to take a dirt road to get there.  There are some places on this road that are very steep and sometimes you have to put your vehicle into 4 wheel drive.  When it rains the road becomes impassible.  While we were driving up, Pastor Nathans son, noticed that we were missing a lug nut off of one of our tires.  I then went around and checked the rest of the tires and noticed that we were missing a total of 4 lug nuts.  One tire had 2 missing along with the studs that keep them on.  Thank the Lord that the tire didn't fall off while we were going up these hills.  The Lord truly watches over us!

The truck is now in the shop to get the studs fixed on the tires.  We are also having another problem with it, as it don't want to start up in the morning time (when the engine is cold).  I looked up some information on the internet and found out that this type of truck has this problem.  Please pray that the mechanics down here will be able to get it fixed.

Well I must be going for now.  By the way we now have the internet, Thank the Lord!  The connection is still to slow to be able to make phone calls with Skype, but we can chat back in forth if you are online.