08 Jul

At the end of my evening med rounds, Tori came down and very calmly asked me to come look at Roseline. She said her breathing had gotten worse and by the time I arrived upstairs, she was already gone.

The girls and I get attached to all our admits. They are our tiny roommates, our midnight companions, our joy and our frustration as we try to nurse them back to health. Roseline was our most recent, a 4 month old girl with hydrocephalus who was living with her aunt because her mom had passed away. She was perfect. Her favorite sleeping position was what I liked to call “the cherub,” a perfect little flying angel, a sweet little version of a valentine’s day cupid. Carla took her to Port Au Prince last week for her pre-op workup and she was supposed to return this coming week to see if the visiting surgeon could operate. In the states, she never would’ve gone this long without surgical intervention.

Roseline 2

From her conception to the moment she joined her creator, I refuse to consider the “what ifs”…

Roseline 3

But I also can’t keep doing this. I know, I know, God will never give us more than we can handle, or some placating thought like that. But Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time and season for everything. I believe God has been preparing me for a new season, and that it is to be a season of restoration. Restoration should not be read “laziness”, “complacency”, or “selfishness”. God still calls us to serve the widows and the orphans, to proclaim His name in all the corners of the earth, and to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. But restoration also does not mean keep doing the same thing in the same situation in your same brokenness. Lives and deaths like Roseline’s do not get any easier, they just keep breaking my heart. The Cholera still haunts me almost daily. The burden of this many lives has weighed too heavily on my shoulders for the last 21 months and I don’t believe God intends for me to keep feeling this way.

So what does this actually mean?

We have been praying and talking with the on-site Field Director for the last several weeks about what this actually means.  Wilson and I still feel called to serve the people of Haiti together and, for this season, to keep doing so at Children of the Promise.  So in two and a half weeks, my role at COTP will be changing.  My primary responsibilities will no longer be as nurse at COTP.  First, I believe God will use this time to restore my heart and mind, to give me new life and new strength. Wilson and I agree that stepping down as a nurse will give us the time and energy to spend on the foundations of our marriage. I am also excited about the time this change will afford me in taking on new projects that I’ve been thinking about. These have not yet been set in stone, but are some of the possibilities. One focus may be to strengthen the partnerships we have with other organizations in Haiti and to build new connections that can better serve the people here. I may also have a schedule of certain kids that require special one-on-one attention for physical therapy or behavioral issues. I would like to do more work out in the community assessing needs and providing care and to do some research, including the possibility of a job-creation program for parents who cannot afford to care for their children. I would like to look into some projects that would both save COTP money and benefit our kiddos, like making our own baby food and diaper wipes.

I have always said that the best feeling in the world is knowing I am right where God wants me to be.  Working as a nurse here is not that place in this season of my life.  My heart is too broken and my mind is too worn.  Please pray with Wilson and I as we will soon begin this season of restoration and change.  Pray that God will show us just how we are to be serving Him at COTP, that we are laying the building blocks of a God-centered marriage, and that we continue to praise Him whatever may come.  If you have been or are thinking about supporting us financially, we are so grateful for your partnership.  The need here is great and we would like to ask that you continue to support us during this new season of service.


Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Life in Haiti, Sheila


7 responses to “Worn

  1. Kris Thede

    July 8, 2013 at 8:03 am

    As you know my friend I too have placed my medical training on a back burner during this season of my life. It is an adjustment so if you ever want to chat [phone, e-mail or in person] please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m praying for your transition, COTP and for a new medical person to help out. Chin up! Courage.

  2. Donna

    July 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

    My Dear Shelia,

    We believe you have given your whole heart serving in Haiti. God has an awesome future for you and Wilson. Both of you are in our hearts and prayers.

    Much Love,

    Donna & Rex

  3. Susie Townsend

    July 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Praying for you as you heal and restore. Blessings on your marriage.

  4. Melissa Johnson

    July 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    My heart goes out to you, Sheila. I’m excited though to see where God will lead you and COTP during this time of transition. His plans are perfect. We will be praying for you and can’t wait to be serving with you soon!

  5. Candis R Gould

    July 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Sheila,

    You don’t know me yet, but I’m coming to volunteer in November this year with my parents, Rex and Donna. I would love to help you create and make baby food. Is there anything I can bring with me? Does COTP have a blender? If you need one, I can bring you one or two. I hope my husband and I get the opportunity to meet you and your husband. Blessings to you, Candis Gould

  6. Candis R Gould

    July 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I will research homemade baby wipes!


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