Hi everyone! My name is Jaclin Iodence and I am the Rehab Tech Manager here at TBTW. I moved here about a year ago with my husband Tyler, from Las Vegas, Nevada. We moved so that he could attend Campbell’s Medical School. We had an opportunity to serve on a medical mission trip through Campbell and recently visited Haiti during his spring break. It was my first mission trip, but it was Tyler’s third. I’m here today to tell you a little about my life changing trip to Haiti!
Arriving in Haiti
Upon arriving in Haiti Saturday night, we hopped a bus and traveled to the south side of the island to a town called Les Cayes. It was a grueling 4.5 hours on crowded roads, but let me tell you…it was SO worth it! We stayed at a place called the Hosanna House, specifically built for missionary groups to stay at while serving the people of Haiti. We instantly rushed to bed because the next day, we attended church at 6:00 am! In Haiti, everything starts REALLY EARLY in the morning to beat the heat.
Attending church in a foreign country was a first for me, but not for Tyler. We had no idea what they were singing or what they were saying, but we did know that they were head over heels in love with Jesus. They may not have power in their homes, or running water, but they had Jesus. And that is enough for them. After sharing smiles and handshakes with dozens of people from the church, we headed back to the Hosanna House to start organizing the pharmacy for the clinics we stared the next day.
On Monday, our day stared again bright and early at 6:00 am. We traveled around the bottom side of the island about two hours away to a church to host our clinic in. It had no roof, a few doorways, and a stage. This was enough for us to work in! We threw up tarps for shade coverage and blocked many of the doorways, as the people of the community were already filing in to be seen for medical care. We set up a triage station, where the medical students worked to take blood pressures, temperatures, weight, height, and chief complaints from patients. There were then seen by the student doctors. Several board certified doctors were nearby for questions and confirmations for the correct prescriptions for patients.
This is where I saw Tyler really shine for the first time. For the past two years, I have seen Tyler put in countless hours of studying and lose many hours of sleep stressing over medical school. But the only thing I’ve ever seen benefit from all of this were his grades so far. He was doing physical exams on dozen of infants, adults, and seniors. He was then able to diagnose several complaints and even knew what kind of drug to prescribe them! To say I felt like a proud wife was an understatement. I saw his dream coming to life, right in front of my eyes. I saw Tyler’s passion pouring into these patients. I’m normally a basket case of emotions, so you can bet there were tears shed throughout the week.
Being from Campbell, the student doctors were encouraged to take a spiritual history and even pray for their patients. It almost seemed like the patients were more excited to be prayed for than to be receiving medication for their illnesses. From there, we sent them to the pharmacy to receive their prescriptions and directions on how to take them. Then came the women’s ministry station!
Women’s Ministry Station
In many third world countries, women are incredibly under-served, disrespected, and more prone to violence based only on their gender. Only women worked at this station, including me. We had water basins set up with soap and towels, and there we washed their feet. In the bible, the book of John tells us the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”
This exemplifies the spirit of humble servanthood that believers are to show to one another. The women came pouring into our station, SO excited to have their feet washed! We even added a fresh coat of polish for those women who could hide their toes in their shoes! (Haitian women are not allowed to paint their nails). Our translator, Merline, did a beautiful job ministering to the women and getting the connected to the local churches. We had several women who were believers of Jesus as their Savior. But we also had women who didn’t believe, or had fallen away from their faith. I had prayed for every single woman who came through the station that week, and although it was only a few minutes of meeting them, they left feeling full from the gospel and knew that they were fearfully and wonderfully made by our Lord.
After the women’s station, we had a prayer station. This was led by a Godly man named Reese. A 91 year old man, from Cambridge, Maryland! He fought in WW2 and set off to travel the world, ministering to as many people as he could, ever since. He told us that when the time comes when the Lord decides to call him home, Reese wanted to be out serving God’s people. What a God fearing man he is. I’ll tell you. I have never met a man like Reese. A man who can endure an entire day of travel, grueling tropical temperatures and long hard days at 91 years old and not complain once, is a true servant. Reese prayed healing over many of the patients. He would use olive oil to anoint the areas of pain while deep in prayer. A few of the people who visited his station left without any pain once Reese was done praying! It was something incredibly beautiful to see, I’ll tell you that much! Tyler spent some time with Reese at his station, and he even prayed over Tyler and his journey through medical school. That was a gift to witness as well!
When I wasn’t working at the women’s station, I helped out with the kids! Duh, typical Jaclin running off to play with the babies and kids. We had no translators working with the kids, because they were all being utilized in the clinic. So, since I only knew how to ask someone’s name in Creole, i got creative. Many of the kids were begging for just an ounce of attention, and of course, they got it from me! I ended up playing a tickle game with a couple of young children, which quickly escalated to around thirty! We got in trouble because we were giggling and screaming too loud next to triage, so we moved to the beach to play. There we ended up playing a version of Simon says. The kids would copy everything I did, so it was a perfect and easy game to play with a language barrier. And boy, did it seem like they were the happiest kids in the world. The older kids that were playing soccer actually got jealous of all the fun we were having and wanted to join in! We had SO much fun!
The rest of our days that we held clinics looked about the same. There was one day that we didn’t have transportation to a clinic location, so we took a taxi. Only, it wasn’t a typical taxi like the ones in America. It was a small pickup truck with two benches in the back, covered with colorful tops. It was called a “tap-tap”. No seat belts, no doors, and no rules for the driver as he weaved in and out of traffic! It was a fun experience, and we of course, loved every minute of the unexpected adventure!
We can’t wait to goon our next mission trip together and be the hands and feet of Jesus once again.
Tyler & Jaclin