Surprised by Love from Fellowship Bible Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Surprised by Love
Matthew 5:38-48
Sam Schwenk

Patterned After God from Fellowship Bible Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 17, 2016
Patterned After God
Matthew 5:31-37
Sam Schwenk

This is the final post of the “Eleven Days in Haiti” series which started here:  Be sure to get caught up if you missed a prior post!


The situation on all fronts is much better today. Team 51 has now completed our mission to assist in disaster relief in the Port-au-Prince region. As of 7:00 am, American Airlines says our flight from Haiti is on time. So we are at T minus 6.5 hours. Steve’s medevac flight is scheduled for 10:30. Arrangements have been made to use one of the mobile clinic vans to get him to the airport. A private flight like this evidently bypasses customs, gates, security, etc. Jenna seems much better. If she looks this good and manages to stay upright through customs and security, all is well. I’m planning to call her mom from Miami to inform about her condition so there are no surprises. We still need to take our group photo for the Team 51 to be placed on the wall of fame in the mission house. Word is, we get a second one called Team 51A, which will recognize our extra time and service there.

The return flight to Miami and on to Raleigh-Durham was uneventful. When the jet gathered speed, nosed up and the wheels left the ground departing Port-au-Prince, the entire team let go an audible sigh of relief.


The night was spent again at the lake houses outside of Roxboro and we arose on Thursday ready for our drive back to West Virginia. Other than one stop to repair a faulty windshield wiper, this leg of the trip was also uneventful, unless you consider it significant that it snowed all the way back. Fitting.


I just reached out to my cousin Dan and he reported back to me regarding the current status in the Port-au-Prince area of Haiti. On the medical side, Dr. Vlad has established a permanent clinic, but also oversees the ongoing mobile clinic process. Volunteers are still a blessing to the efforts, but North Carolina Baptist Men no longer arrange trips. Their operation remains disaster relief, so they have transitioned to other areas. On the re-construction side, Dan told me of a project called Caring House Project, operated by a builder in Florida. They go in once each year and build a complete village.

Since my experience in 2010, I have not again felt the call of God to serve in a foreign mission field. Maybe that time will come again. But it has changed my view of foreign missions. I confess that prior to 2010, my preference was to just contribute financially. After all, in most of the areas we serve outside of this country, I thought it was more cost effective to buy supplies and labor on site. Support the local work force and economy and empower them to do the work. How efficient is it to send a team of professionals half way around the world to do work that can be done by local providers. But I now believe that view is ill-informed and short-sighted on multiple levels. I’ll not belabor the point, but consider this:

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18.

If any of this has inspired you, or if God is calling you to serve or provide from your “material possessions”, contact me through Fellowship Bible Church. I can make that happen for you.

This is part 10 of the “Eleven Days in Haiti” series that started here:  Be sure to get caught up if you missed a prior post!


Following 24 hours in the cholera hospital, Monday was about downtime and rest. I slept from 4am until 8:15 then got up for coffee and some breakfast, and coffee. Then I had some more coffee. There were some tasks that needed done around the mission house, so I spent some time cleaning one of the bedrooms that was used as a makeshift storage room. After some cleaning and re-organization of one of the supply closets, the bedroom was available once again for its intended use. I had some lunch, and coffee. Did I mention coffee? Somehow, I took a nap and went for a shower. There I met up with Dr. Daub where he told me the diarrhea was getting bad. I was unaware, but he said this was the fifth episode since his return from the clinic. Typical cholera. The disease can manifest itself within two hours of exposure.

We were all so careful, but after all, we were also 100% exposed.

Dr. Dan started him on IVs right away and we were trying to get as much Gatorade in him as possible. The team gathered around him to pray. Hopefully, he’ll be well enough to travel on Wednesday. So my earlier cleaning project was providential in that Dr. Daub was in need of isolation.


The construction team continues to work on repair and improvement projects around the compound. This helps to cement the relationship of NCBM with Samaritan’s Purse and Global Outreach as their construction capabilities are limited. For them, this is still a medical disaster relief project from the earthquake of nearly a year ago.

Dr. Daub had a long night—just feeling sick and weak along with frequent trips to the bathroom which had been dedicated exclusively for his recovery. As of 10:30am he is somewhat better, but not travel-worthy. With the team scheduled to leave tomorrow, Dan and Scott, our host, have been working on an evacuation plan for Dr. Daub. As more evidence of God’s providence, the team was provided with a medical evacuation insurance policy. I’m not clear on the details, but unannounced, just before we left the states, the team all got cards in the mail regarding this coverage, which was supplied to us at no charge. Steve Daub was going to collect. He will be medevac’d by air ambulance to a hospital near his home in Greenville, NC. There was a question of entering the US with an active cholera patient, but the air ambulance company said that customs would not be a problem. They evidently do this all the time.

Jenna has been stricken with some kind of intestinal bug. Other than epistaxis (nose bleeds) and rash, she has all the symptoms of typhoid fever, which we have seen regularly over the past week. She has a low grade fever, with nausea, belly pain, and inability to eat or drink. She does not have cholera. Dan started an IV to guard against dehydration. With no available labs to confirm a diagnosis, she was started on the drug of first choice, ciprofloxacin. Our goal is to get her well enough to travel.