When God Touches a Heart
The following article was written by a ReachGlobal missionary in Haiti. More than 70 Hershey Free Church families sponsor Global Fingerprints children in Haiti, and Hershey Free Church sends global ministry teams to help serve during Global Fingerprints medical weekends. To learn more about ReachGlobal, Global Fingerprints, global ministry teams, or our partnership in Haiti, contact Lyndsay Byler.
When God Touches A Heart
By Astrit Grunhagen
Angeline Henry is a beautiful Haitian girl whose sixth birthday is just around the corner. She has been a sponsored child since December 2013. Her next birthday celebration will only be possible because God, in an incredible way, touched the hearts of many people in various parts of the world.
Twice a year ReachGlobal has mobilized health professionals to help with wellness checks for the children in our Global Fingerprints program in Haiti. In February 2014, Angeline was one of over 200 children seen…in what we thought was to be a routine visit for her.
Dr. Dean Kaihoi—volunteering his time away from his practice in Minnesota—heard Angeline’s mother speak of Angeline’s lack of appetite and constant tiredness. Her situation piqued Dean’s interest even more because Angeline’s twin sister showed none of those symptoms. After a more detailed exam, he detected something wrong in her heart, something that required further exams. Through our partnership with Haiti Health Ministries, Angeline was seen and examined by heart specialists (no small feat in Haiti!).
The results of the exams confirmed the suspicion that Angeline was suffering with a serious cardiac condition that could prove to be fatal without surgical intervention. At that time she was given the opportunity of being flown to South Korea for the needed surgery, but Angeline’s mother was so fearful of losing her precious five-year-old daughter that she let the moment pass without authorizing the trip and surgery. For the next eight months she wrestled with the “right” decision for her daughter.
On November 19, 2014, a team of cardiologists from the Haiti Cardiac Alliance came to Haiti Health Ministries for a day of consults, and during this day Angeline was seen once more. It was then that Angeline’s mother finally understood the full gravity of her condition and through prayer and consultation with our Global Fingerprints leadership team she agreed to the surgery in the hope of saving the life of her daughter.
And God touched many hearts: in less than two weeks people mobilized to resolve issues with exams, documents, passports, transportation, financial backing, hotels, hospital, doctors, and the eventual surgical team. By the beginning of December, Angeline traveled with her mother, together with other needy Haitian children, to the Cayman Islands, where at the Cardiac Alliance Hospital, she was able to undergo the needed surgical procedures. She was even transported free of charge in a private jet owned by Haiti’s largest cellphone company.
God used the hands of talented doctors to literally touch her heart through a successful Balloon Pulmonary Valvotomy (treating her condition of Severe Pulmonary Stenosis with Suprasystemic Pulmonary Artery Pressures).
Several months have now passed, and Angeline’s recovery has surprised almost everyone. The joy and playfulness of a child has returned. Her appetite and energy and weight have all increased.
Her mother wrote the following to the Global Fingerprints team: “I am so happy that Angeline’s surgery went well. I thank God for His grace and say thank you to all of you, and that God would bless you” (Marie Rosena Serant).
Thanks to all of you who have committed to be a Global Fingerprints sponsor; you are part of this beautiful story that is just beginning.