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Mission: Haiti

Saving Gilbert

By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ, Inc.

Fourteen-year-old Gilbert Lendor of Gentilhomme, Haiti, fell in July 2007 and severely broke his left leg. His life was endangered by this accident. We worked to save him. Here is his story — from rescue to amputation to recovery — with the most recent Dispatches first.


Gilbert singing

Gilbert Lendor singing during church in the Dominican border town of Jimani on Sunday, Nov. 25. Gilbert returned to Gentilhomme for the first time since he was rescued in August when the Climbing For Christ mission team went there on Dec. 4. Read the Daily Dispatches from Mission: Haiti (December 2007) to learn more.

Gilbert ready to go home
(Posted Monday, Nov. 26, 2007)

Our missionary Miguel suggested in late October: “I want to bring Gilbert to Gentilhomme in December (when Climbing For Christ's mission team visits). It is a nice opportunity to show the people the difference between voodoo work and God's work.”

Taking Gilbert to Gentilhomme is not a problem, according to Miguel. Some of his family will come to carry him, and he will come back to the Dominican border town of Jimani with the team. He is currently living in Jimani with Miguel's family.

Gilbert understands the favor God has shown him. “He understands very good,” Miguel said. “Always he says that. He said (in October): Tuesday, Aug. 21, when I sent the truck for him, it was the last Tuesday for his life if I do not send for him. He is firm in his faith.”

Gilbert and his story will give God the glory.


Gilbert's family

Gilbert Lendor, left, with his sister, Rosemene, and father, John, at our Haitian missionary's home in the Dominican border town of Jimani on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007.


'Every day Gilbert gets a new face'
(Posted at 9 a.m. Oct. 12, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante says that with Gilbert now “every day (we) get a new face. He is going to bathroom with help of somebody. He is passing his day outside. He is studying and doing his writing. He asked to go to the school — the school I have in the church (in Jimani). He went and assist with the children.

“Now only he is not sleeping very well. He need a bed.”

Gilbert is sleeping in a makeshift bed on the floor in one of the rooms in Miguel's house in the Dominican border town of Jimani. Miguel has 15 people living in his home, including Gilbert's sister, who has come from Gentilhomme to be with her brother. From Miguel's house you can see the mountain where Gentilhomme is — about an 18-mile hike away over two mountains. Gilbert was the best student in the school the Lord used us to build in Gentilhomme.


Gilbert visits Jimani clinic
(Posted at 9 p.m. Oct. 9, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor went to the clinic in Jimani, Dominican Republic for a check-up with Dr. Yirdana on Monday. It was his first visit since being released from the hospital in Santo Domingo on Oct. 4.

“Gilbert are good,” said Miguel Rubén Guante, our missionary, who is caring for Gilbert at his home in Jimani. “The things the doctor said me to do are to give very good food to him: eggs, juice, meat (any), vegetable, and any meal rich in vitamins.

“Pray to God because it is so much things the doctor ask me to do for Gilbert and he need a easy bed and a fan.”

Miguel has lived in Jimani for many years, as have many Haitians — including Dr. Marc Pinard, who built the clinic where Gilbert is being checked. On Monday, however, many illegal Haitians were picked up by Dominican police and migration officials for deportation. This happens from time to time. Miguel said he is in no danger as he is living and working on the Dominican side of the border legally.


Enjoying the Sonshine
(Posted at 1 p.m. Oct. 5, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor returned to the Dominican border town of Jimani with our missionary Miguel Rubén Guante on Thursday. He was released from the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo after 45 days and two operations. His left leg was amputated and he is recovering now in the care of Miguel and his family.

“Gilbert is well,” Miguel said on Friday. “I told my mother, 'Take very good care of him.'”

A room in Miguel's house has been made ready for Gilbert, who will stay with the Guante family as his recuperation continues. It is cleaner and he will receive better care than would be possible in the poor hill village of Gentilhomme, where Gilbert lives.

“He asked to sit outside this morning,” Miguel said.

It was the first time since he was playing nearly three months ago that he was able to enjoy the sunshine. May he also enjoy the light shining on him from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Praise God for Gilbert's life.


Gilbert to be released Thursday
(Posted at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 2, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante, our missionary to Haiti, spent the entire day (from 5 a.m. until after 6 p.m.) preparing the room in his home in the Dominican border town of Jimani where Gilbert will stay. Miguel is planning to go to Santo Domingo on Wednesday to get Gilbert. The doctors at the Public Hospital told him Gilbert will be released into his care on Thursday.


Gilbert to be released from the hospital
(Posted at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante spent the weekend in Santo Domingo visiting Gilbert. “I spoke very good with him,” Miguel reported. “I tell him exactly your (words) for him.”

I instructed Miguel to tell Gilbert “that God loves him and wants to see him better and we love him, too, and are praying that he will get better.” Gilbert was very sad after the second surgery last week, when skin from his right leg was taken and grafted onto his amputated left leg. He did not understand why his “good leg” was cut by the doctors. I told Miguel: “Tell him we want only for him to be healthy and happy. Tell him he is very important to us.” Gilbert is even more important to our Lord.

This morning, the woman who has been helping us by caring for Gilbert while he is in the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo, called to say the doctor wants to send Gilbert home. Miguel will rent a car to go to Santo Domingo on Tuesday and bring Gilbert back to the border town of Jimani, where he will continue to recuperate under Miguel's care. Pray for this next stage in 14-year-old Gilbert's new life.



Results of surgery for Gilbert: 'Good but sad'
(Posted at 8 a.m. Sept. 28, 2007)

“The operation was good,” our missionary Miguel Rubén Guante reported Thursday night. “I spoke to the doctor and to the lady that are with Gilbert.

“Only he is very sad for the operation because the doctor took a small part (of skin) off his right leg to cover the operated leg. After the operation when he saw his two legs (bandaged) he felt very sad.

“In this moment he needs very much our prayer.”

Please pray for Gilbert. He is likely to remain hospitalized for several more weeks before being released into Miguel's care. He will live with Miguel — in a room our brother is improving — in the border town of Jimani to assure more sanitary and proper recuperation. More funding is needed to care for Gilbert.


More surgery today for Gilbert
(Posted at 10 a.m. Sept. 26, 2007)

Gilbert is undergoing surgery today on his amputated left leg. The surgery is being performed by a plastic surgeon at the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo, where Gilbert has been since Aug. 21. Gilbert's anemic condition apparently has improved since last week.

Pray for this operation and Gilbert's continued recovery.



Gilbert (Sept. 16)

Waiting for more surgery
(Posted at 8 a.m. Sept. 18, 2007)

Gilbert needs to have a plastic surgeon do some work on his amputated left leg. Miguel Rubén Guante reports from Santo Domingo: “Gilbert still cannot be operated. He has no blood for that. He shall eat very good meal to get the blood sufficient.”

The support Climbing For Christ has received so far (more than $3,100) is paying for Gilbert's food, as well as his stay (now 29 days) at the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo. Support will also pay for his follow-up operation and provide housing for him as he continues his recuperation.


The changing face  of Gilbert
(Posted at 1 p.m. Sept. 13, 2007)

“In the new photo I send for you, you may see a diferent Gilbert after 22 days in God's hands,“ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante said. “He was 33 days in voodoo hands, and every day he was worse. But 22 days in God's hands and he is better. We save a life for the God ministry. That help me to follow (Christ) and not tire.”



“The face of Gilbert is very good,” Miguel said. “He's physically starting to recover well, but that good news doesn’t mean he will come soon to Jimaní.

“He needs another operation to cover the point of the cut leg. The doctor told me I should be there Monday when the plastic surgeon will evaluate Gilbert for the next operation. After that he will not come home until he has recovered entirely. 

“The president of the volunteers association of the hospital thanks us for our cooperation with two bags of plantain for her institution. She told me Gilbert shall not go home until I have a clean room for him because he may not stay in a dirty place (and risk infecting) his damaged leg.”

We are providing funds to improve a room in Miguel's house to give Gilbert a place to stay as he continues his recovery. There is no place in Gentilhomme clean enough to house him. As part of Gilbert's continuing care, we ask supporters to prayerfully consider giving to the “Saving Gilbert“ fund.


'Gilbert is good'
(Posted at 10:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ missionary to Haiti, reports: “Gilbert is good. I talked to him and his father was in Jimani yesterday and he spoke to him, too.”

Miguel sent money (received from Climbing For Christ) to the women caring to Gilbert in the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo. “I sent two bags of plantain for the association of volunteers of the hospital were Gilbert is recuperating. This association takes very good care of the children in the hospital.”



Gilbert with one of the women who care for him at the hospital in Santo Domingo.

Gilbert getting stronger
(Posted at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 4, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante visited 14-year-old Gilbert at the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo on Monday. Miguel e-mailed today: “Gilbert look good. You may see he sat to eat, he may (sit up) himself and get up himself. I asked the doctor for how much time he will be there; the doctor said next week he may answer me that.”


Waiting on the Lord
(Posted at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30, 2007)

May the Great Physician see fit to heal Gilbert. Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, told me today that the “cut in the leg” was tentative. “The first idea of the doctor when I arrived with Gilbert was they shall (remove) the leg from the waist." Fortunately, they decided to amputate it between his hip and knee — “so to give an opportunity to him for a new leg in the future,” Miguel said.

Miguel repeated that doctors and nurses at the clinic and hospital he took Gilbert to in Santo Domingo were outraged to learn that Gilbert had been injured more than a month earlier. “The doctor in the Cruz Jiminian Clinic wanted to beat the father of Gilbert,” Miguel said. The chaplain at the Public Hospital asked Miguel to explain what happened to Gilbert's leg.

A bad break. A family with nothing, including no knowledge about medical care that might be available elsewhere. All of this adds up to a little boy, scared, in a place he never knew existed, apart from his family, minus a left leg. It also shows us again the incredible need for health care in the mountains of Haiti.

Please continue to pray for Gilbert, for his healing (so no more amputation will be needed), and for the Lord to send medical personnel who will help us teach and supply the basics in Gentilhomme.



Pray on
(Posted at 11 p.m. Aug. 28, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, said by phone earlier today that 14-year-old Gilbert Lendor was sad. He was suffering sadness for the loss of his leg and for the separation from his family. Please pray for comfort for Gilbert. One week ago at this time he was on the verge of death when doctors wheeled him into an operating room in Santo Domingo and removed a leg that had been in decay for more than a month from a compound fracture.


Praising God
(Posted at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 25, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, e-mailed us at 12:30 p.m. ET to say this:

“I am joyful because I just call to the hospital and the nurse said to me the boy is good. His recovery is (going) very well.”


Gilbert improving
(Posted at 5:15 p.m. Aug. 24, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor spoke by phone with Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti this morning and reportedly is looking “very good” just two days after the surgery to remove his broken left leg. Miguel Rubén Guante said the 14-year-old Haitian, who is expected to be hospitalized for nearly a month, currently is being cared for by two women from Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic. A woman from Guante's church at Jimani, Dominican Republic, will go with him Sunday to visit Gilbert. She will stay with him for two weeks.

Continue to pray that Gilbert feels the presence of the Lord as He heals him.


Gilbert Lendor

Gilbert's photo
(Posted at 4:30 p.m., updated 7 p.m. Aug. 23, 2007)

This was Gilbert Lendor at noon on Wednesday, less than 12 hours after his surgery. (Photo by Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ missionary to Haiti)

“Something I would like you to know,” Guante said. “When the woman ask him (on Wednesday), 'How you feel?', he said to the lady, 'I am bad.' I tell him, 'How you feel bad? Is now you should feel good.' He ask me, 'The doctor take my leg?' I said to him, 'Yes, the doctor take out your bad leg.' He laughed. He said, 'Oh, now I am good.'

“That means he was suffering because of the leg. He want somebody to take out for him his ill leg.”


Gilbert reportedly doing well
(Posted at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 23, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor is “good,” according to the woman staying with him and the doctor at the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This report comes from Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, who checked in on Gilbert this morning.

Guante returned to his home in the border town of Jimani, Dominican Republic Wednesday afternoon after arranging for two Santo Domingo women to stay at the hospital with the 14-year-old Gilbert. Guante plans to make the six-hour drive to Santo Domingo on Sunday. Gilbert is expected to be hospitalized for nearly one month after having his left leg amputated above the knee early Wednesday.

While one woman was staying at the hospital, the second woman was cooking for Gilbert and will be taking him food to help his recovery. In many developing countries, families must provide food and care for loved ones while they are hospitalized.

If Gilbert does not require more surgery and is released in September, he will continue his recovery at Guante's home in Jimani before returning to the mountain village of Gentilhomme, Haiti, where his family lives in poverty. Gilbert severely broke his leg last month in Gentilhomme while playing. His family cared for him the best they could, but his leg was rotting. He probably would have died a miserable death within a week or two if Guante had not visited Gentilhomme last Friday and learned about the injury.

Guante said earlier this week if we could save Gilbert’s life “the people will see the importance to carry their ills to the hospital, and that will be another victory for God.” Amen to that.

Members and supporters of Climbing For Christ have pledged about $3,000 to help pay for Gilbert's medical expenses. Thank you, brothers and sisters in Christ for sharing what He has given you.


Gilbert good after surgery
(Posted at 9 a.m. Aug. 22, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor is doing “very well” after surgery early Wednesday morning at the Public Hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, who took Gilbert to Santo Domingo, reported at 8:45 a.m. ET that the surgery to remove the 14-year-old Haitian's left leg was successful.

The leg, severely broken last month in a fall in Gentilhomme, Haiti, was amputated above the knee. Miguel said Gilbert is expected to stay in the hospital for nearly one month to recover. Doctors will determine if more surgery is required.

Gilbert suffered a compound fracture that went unattended for more than a month. Last Friday, Miguel visited Gentilhomme as part of our ministry in that mountain village. He learned about Gilbert's injury and wept over the boy. He then contacted Climbing For Christ to start emergency procedures to get Gilbert down the mountain and to a hospital where surgery could be done.

“I am in joy for the help of God for Gilbert,” Miguel said. “Because God is taking my prayer and our prayers for the boy.”

Miguel said Gilbert will return with him to live with the Guante family in the border town of Jimani, Dominican Republic, when he is released from the hospital. Continue to pray for Gilbert's recovery.


Preparing for late night/early morning surgery
(Posted at 11:20 p.m. Aug. 21, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor was being prepared for surgery late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning at the Public Hospital Facility in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His left leg will be removed.

“The leg is 75 percent destroyed,” said Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, who accompanied the 14-year-old to Santo Domingo.

We learned tonight that the severe compound fracture occurred more than one month ago, not last week as we'd previously thought.

“We thank God that I went to Gentilhomme last Friday,” said Guante, a Haitian who lives in Jimani, Dominican Republic (about a two-hour drive and a two-hour climb away from the village where we are ministering). Guante visits Gentilhomme for Climbing For Christ once or twice every month.

Guante said medical personnel at Public Hospital “feel so bad for the boy” and cannot understand why he did not receive care sooner. Miguel said he was trying to explain “where they (Gilbert's family) live, they have no money — they have nothing.”

Climbing For Christ members pledged more than $2,700 in a little more than 24 hours — since we learned about the need for immediate medical attention for Gilbert. Our prayers go into the operating room with Gilbert, the doctors and nurses. May the Great Physician watch over him and restore him to good health.


Gilbert en route to hospital; Climbing For Christ members respond
(Posted at 3 p.m. Aug. 21, 2007)

Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti, called at 2 p.m. ET to say Gilbert Lendor had been driven from Soliette to the border town of Jimani, Dominican Republic, after being carried down the mountain from Gentilhomme. Guante was taking Gilbert from Jimani to Santo Domingo, where he was expected to be examined and operated on by Dr. Antonio Cruz Jimianian.

Dr. Marc Pinard, a Haitian who operates a clinic in Jimani and oversees seven clinics in Haiti, advised Miguel on what to do and where to take Gilbert. None of Dr. Pinard's clinics can handle the surgery that Gilbert's compound fracture will require. He said it would be better to take Gilbert to Santo Domingo.

Guante is making the six-hour drive. A vehicle has been provided, and Climbing For Christ needs only to pay for the gas and food for the driver.

Photographs of the injury were shown Tuesday morning to a U.S. pediatrician, who was surprised the boy was still alive. He said the injury was very serious, with a great loss of blood. There is no circulation of blood to the lower leg because of the bad break. He said it was likely an amputation would be necessary.

Members and supporters of Climbing For Christ have answered the call to help Gilbert. An electronic appeal letter that was sent out at 5:46 p.m. ET on Monday resulted in more than $2,000 in pledges by midnight Monday. More gifts were promised on Tuesday. We are certain those being moved by the Lord to help save Gilbert are providing what will be needed. We are thankful to these brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you can give a gift to help save the life of Gilbert Lendor, e-mail gfallesen@ClimbingForChrist.org. Check back here for more updates.



How much is a human life worth?
(Posted at 5:25 p.m. Aug. 20, 2007)

Gilbert Lendor is a 14-year-old who lives in the hill village of Gentilhomme, Haiti, where Climbing For Christ has been ministering for the past two years. Gilbert is the best student in the school that the Lord used us to build.

In July, Gilbert took a bad fall while playing and severely broke his leg. He is in serious need of medical attention

“As there is no hospital and it is very much a problem to carry somebody to the hospital, they used their experience only (to dress the injury),” said Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ's missionary to Haiti.

Guante said on Sunday: “When I saw the boy it was one of the first times I have cried in Gentilhomme.”

Gilbert likely will lose his leg. Otherwise he could lose his life.

“The cost of the life of this boy is near US $2,000,” Guante said on Monday.

Climbing For Christ must pay this expense. Gilbert's family has no money. The average annual salary in Haiti is $450; it is probably even lower in Gentilhomme.

The Climbing For Christ PRAYER TEAM and others are lifting the condition of Gilbert. We ask that the Lord would spare his life, if not his leg. We ask also that He would continue to provide financial help, not only for the day-to-day ministry in Haiti, but to provide for emergencies such as Gilbert's.

If you can help pay for Gilbert's medical expenses, please e-mail gfallesen@ClimbingForChrist.org. Your support could be the difference between life and death.

  • CLICK HERE to learn about our mission in Haiti.
  • CLICK HERE to see our budget for Mission: Haiti and how you can help.

The Word

“And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
Isaiah 40:5 (NIV)



If you can help pay for Gilbert's medical expenses, please e-mail gfallesen@ClimbingForChrist.org. Original estimates were $2,000 for medical care and probable surgery. After the amputation on Aug. 22, he was expected to be hospitalized for at least one month. He remained hospitalized for 45 days and required a second operation. He is now being housed at our missionary's home in the Dominican border town of Jimani to better assure his recuperation.

Expenses to date: $4,450.
Pledges: $3,000 (approximately).
Support received: $3,160.70.
Need: $1,289.30.

If you can't help financially, you can lift Gilbert's healing and his testimony in prayer. May the glory of God be revealed through this accident and the actions Climbing For Christ has been blessed to take.


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