By STAN BUCKLEY
Helping the whole person in Haiti
At But God Ministries (BGM), we consider education, nutrition and medical care to be part of the health and wellness of the whole person. For example, education is necessary so that people can know the proper food to eat and the proper way to keep their homes in good sanitary condition. Proper nutrition is essential for a person to become strong and healthy and to keep from getting sick. Medical care is necessary for those times when a person becomes sick.
Our Ridgeland-based organization places a special emphasis on the physical health and wellness of people. In Haiti, we have two medical clinics and one Inpatient Malnutrition Center. At these locations, we see some of the poorest and sickest people in the world.
Our second annual Food for Life event on July 30 will be used to fund our Malnutrition Center in Haiti and our two medical clinics in Haiti. In a short period of time, our Malnutrition Center has treated more than 200 children for up to seven weeks at a time. These children come to us severely malnourished and in need of more care than an outpatient facility can provide. We provide round-the-clock care with our full-time nurses and nannies. In addition, we have a Haitian pediatrician who checks on the patients every week.
The patients at our Malnutrition Center are usually between a few months and 9 years old. We give them proper nutrition as well as a great deal of love and kindness. In addition, we have a room where the mothers can stay. These mothers take classes where they are taught proper ways to care for their children. Often when the mother and child first arrive, they are not bonding well. After a few days or weeks, they are inseparable.
We have a full-time Canadian nurse named Jaimie who lives at the Malnutrition Center and gives oversight to this ministry. Jaimie was born in Haiti 24 years ago. Her mom died a short while after giving birth. Jaimie’s father already had one other child, and now his wife was dead. He decided to allow a Canadian missionary couple to adopt Jaimie. As a result, Jaimie grew up in Canada and graduated from nursing school there.
A few years ago, Jaimie became more curious about her birth parents and was able to meet her Haitian family members. Then she moved to Haiti to use her nursing background to help the people of her original country. After living and working in Haiti for a number of months, Jaimie was ready to make a move, and she came to work at BGM.
An added bonus of the Malnutrition Center is that 15 Haitian people have full-time jobs, including nurses, nannies, cooks, cleaning personnel and security guards.
Our two medical clinics in Haiti treat thousands of patients who would otherwise not have access to medical care. Our full-time Haitian doctors and nurses treat the patients. The lab at one of the clinics is able to test patients’ blood and confirm the diagnoses of the doctors. The technicians in our two pharmacies dispense the needed medicine. Our full-time American Nurse Practitioner missionary, Tony West, gives oversight to our clinics in Haiti.
At our two medical clinics, we treat patients for a variety of sicknesses and accidents including: hypertension, diabetes, STDs, parasites, respiratory illnesses, burns, coughs, colds and fractures. In addition, we often host dental clinics where we perform countless extractions.
Some patients will walk five or six hours from high in the mountains to come to our clinics. Often, patients arrive outside the clinic at 3 in the morning to secure a place in line.
Whenever we have visiting American medical teams, we conduct mobile medical clinics in which we travel to remote locations and set up a temporary medical clinic in a village church. Thereafter, we treat patients all day long and then travel to a different remote village the next day.
Starting in June, we will start a mobile medical unit high in the mountains of Haiti near the border with the Dominican Republic. We have hired a full-time Haitian doctor, Haitian nurse, and Haitian assistant. This mobile medical unit will travel to four villages each week to provide much needed medical care as well as the good news of the gospel.
To purchase a ticket to the Food for Life event on July 30 or to make a donation to the medical work in Haiti, please visit butgodministries.com/food-for-life.
Stan Buckley is the founder and executive director of But God Ministries (BGM), with operations in Haiti and the Mississippi Delta. He is also a former attorney and the former senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Jackson. Stan has been married to Jewell since 1989, and they have twin sons (1993) and a daughter (1996).