Posted by: calloftheandes | September 9, 2010

Mission Couple´s Anniversary Date: Helping Haiti´s Poor

How to spend an anniversary with your spouse? Soft jazz, lighted candles and a sumptuous meal? Or maybe even a Caribbean cruise?

Forgoing these cozy anniversary aspirations, Ian and Linda McFarland instead accompanied an HCJB Global Hands medical team to Haiti. Caribbean yes, but cruise not really!

Their 30th anniversary was spent surrounded by physical and health needs of Haitians rebuilding from a 7.0-strength earthquake on January 12. Many Haitians are still living in dire need, as the team observed upon arriving from Ecuador at the invitation of Samaritan’s Purse (SP).

“The trip from the airport was eye opening,” wrote Linda. “Lots of acres of little tents jammed tightly together where Haitians are still living. I can’t imagine living in a tent in this heat without plumbing or water.” Writing from a tent, she dashed off a quick e-mail message to friends and family before heading off to a SP camp called Jax Beach.

“We split our team in half and four of us will be heading there to do medical work in that area,” Linda said. “It felt like about 95 degrees this morning at 7:30 so pray for our strength and energy which seems to slip away in this muggy heat.”

Linda is originally from Oregon and her husband, Ian, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was raised in Northern Ireland. Both are nurses. As with earlier HCJB Global Hands teams this year, various nationalities united as the Hands of Jesus on this trip.
SP handled details for the team’s medical clinics to underserved Haitians. “Ian was able to learn the pharmacy in the afternoon. We are impressed by the organized way this mission works,” said Linda. “It makes it fun to be here with them and have the way paved in front of us.”

While logistics may be laid in place, traffic is treacherous and Linda has asked friends to pray for the team.

“In the past 55 days on a seven mile stretch of road outside our location; there have been 55 people killed in motor vehicle accidents and over 200 wounded,” wrote Linda. “Apparently Samaritan’s Purse is called if an accident happens near us so we may be doing some emergency triage in our time here.”

With God’s help, each HCJB Global Hands team has achieved specific aims in Haiti. In January, trauma surgeons and family physicians began immediate surgeries upon arriving. In April, the mission sent two teams. Physicians evaluated progress on the surgery patients, handing out Sonset® radios set to frequencies of the mission’s local partner stations. Meanwhile, engineers from the HCJB Global Technology Center teams assessed equipment and repair needs of those radio partners.

Alex*, who evaluated building reconstruction possibilities on the April trip, is back again as the present team’s only non-medical team member. Family physicians Brad Quist and Steve Nelson are accompanied by Dorothy Dexter and Sofía Cañadas, both resident physicians in the mission’s family practice program in Quito. The mission’s healthcare vice-president, Sheila Leech, traveled with the team as well.

Nearly all have responded in disaster zones elsewhere in the world, and the trip represents a return to Haiti’s devastation for Leech, Nelson, *Alex, and Linda McFarland. They’ve concentrated mainly in staffing medical clinics set up by SP in underserved areas. *surname of this team member removed on May 9, 2019 for security purposes. 



  1. […] Schirmacher. He then detailed how Nelson had lived in Venezuela as the son of U.S. missionaries. McFarland grew up in Northern Ireland and has raised his own family in Spain and Ecuador, whereas Dr. Nina is […]

  2. Dr Ev Fuller was a wonderful friend and colleague. The Shell Mera hospital was his dream and God enabled hinm to found the Epp Memorial Hospital in Shell Mera. His dear wife Liz was an enormous help. They have both been faithful and courageous followers of th Lord. Ev is safely home in glory, and Liz continues in our prayers and love Paul Roberts, and Lois

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