Locals lend expertise to Haiti

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ —  Dr. Chuck Borum and retired nurse Judy Moody have seen change while being changed in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

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Borum, a Natchez medical doctor, and Moody recently returned from a mission trip to the country with other local medical professionals, and, though the need is still great, the duo reports seeing improvements.

Moody’s first trip to Haiti was six years ago.

“The first year I went was the year after the (2010) earthquake,” Moody said. “There were eight-foot-by-eight-foot tents that these people were provided, it was wall-to-wall, no latrine facilities, nothing. This year, there were no more of those.”

Borum spent his time on this year’s trip working with a team of doctors who treated 521 Haitians at Cite Soleil, a Haitian clinic in Port-au-Prince sponsored by Haiti Outreach Ministries. Borum also went to the community of Germaine with the help of a new non-profit agency called God’s Promise to Haiti.

Borum said 50-70 patients were treated each morning at Cite Soleil and 30-40 patients each afternoon in Germaine.

Conditions treated ranged from minor to severe, from coughs and joint pains to intestinal and skin parasites and hypertension.

God’s Promise also hosted a vacation Bible school for more than 100 children and provided more than 1,500 meals.

“As a medical team, we don’t directly preach the Gospel,” Borum said. “But we consider that we are showing and living the Gospel as we provide care.”

Moody worked in triage areas, in the pharmacy to dispense medicine and with other doctors when they needed help.

“I’m kind of a catch-all,” Moody said.

God’s Promise is a new organization started by Tony Haines, who has been going to the country for five years.

“He was so moved by Haiti that he decided to do more,” Moody said. “He’s raising money to build houses and a medical clinic.”

Moody and Borum said a lot of money raised is through the church, though each person is responsible for their air fare. Haines raised approximately $50,000 from his annual bike ride from Jackson to Natchez.

Other members of the mission team to Haiti included Natchez doctor Lee England, pharmacist Jonatham Borum, emergency medical technician Michelle Mayfield, Vince Saia and his daughter Annabelle from Memphis, Tenn., and Matt Goddard from Boston.

Regional interest in helping in Haiti has grown as well. A team from Parkway Baptist Church recently returned from a trip through another non-profit, But God Ministries.

“There are people that desperately need our help, and there are people that want to help, to be industrious (in Haiti),” Moody said.