Just wanted to keep you all posted- Jay, Jeremy, and a few friends of ours flew into the Dominican Republic today to get supplies (medical as well as food) and get them into our compound in Messailler. Just got word that they arrived safely.
Please be praying everything goes smoothly, and for continued safety.
Will keep you updated!
So many people have already been so incredible, offering any way that they can help us. One tangible way you could help is to set up a time where Jay, Jeremy, Zack, and I (or some combination of us) can come talk to your church, school, business, or anything of the sort. we want to get the word out, and let ppl know what's going on down there. and we want to raise money to meet immediate needs down there such as food, water, and gas. give us a time and place, and we will be there.
Most of you are probably in our facebook group already, but if not, join "Pray for Haiti. Pray for us" There will be updates there on how to help and stay involved as we know more.
i let my heart feel today, and i'm not doing so well. it is so hard for me to be home right now when my heart is in haiti...pictures keep scrolling thru my mind of our friends in haiti. of the children.
i keep thinking about mindylove (left, above photo), and how hard it was to tell her we had to leave, knowing full well she fears being left alone more than anything in the world. don't we all? and she's only 4 years old. both of her parents died from AIDS at about age 2, and was left without family. she has captured my heart, and i feel like i can barely function until she gets home to her mommy and daddy in greensville.
i keep thinking about elwol, who is 11, and his 4 brothers and sisters, who i loved from the first day i met them. they came up to me the day after the earthquake, all 5, crying that their aunt's house had fallen down in the earthquake. the month before, elwol cried as i held him in my arms, as he heard another haitian women tell me that his mom never comes by to see them, that she's a horrible mom, and that she's always doing voodoo off in the mountains. and his dad died years ago.
here's a pic of elwol.
the worst part is, this is the typical childhood of most children in haiti. i could tell you a similiar story about every single other child i have met in haiti thus far. though not all technically orphaned, they have to live like it, trying to survive on their own. most can't afford to go to school. most eat about 300-400 calories a day.
the brokenness in haiti was unbearable long before the earthquake hit. haiti was hanging by a thread, forcing people to harden their hearts to just survive. that thread has just snapped. and haiti is praying that the world will finally see their suffering.
yesterday, a bunch of us met to determine next steps. we are starting a campaign called, "CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?... crying out for survival, longing for restoration." the people of haiti DESPERATELY need us. PLEASE join us in prayer for this country. pray that God will use this to turn haiti around. to bring people to Christ. currently, 90% or more of the country worship a serpent god, that represents darkness. evil. Satan. they believe that Satan has more power than God because they look around and see the state of their country. PLEASE join with us to show the Haitians God's love. Pray that God brings restoration to Haiti.
we serve a God who understands Haiti's pain and aches for His children there. He understands, b/c He also had to ask the Father, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" this was comforting to me today.
Jesus has NOT forgotten about Haiti.
i cannot tell you how grateful we are for all of your prayers, and the ways you've given your hearts to us and to haiti in the last few days. i don't think we can grasp the criticalness of prayer until it's all we have. and it's all we have right now. we can all sense your prayers, and feel the mercy of God in this bittersweet time. below, i copied and pasted jeremy's (one of our partners and friends in haiti) last few blogs b/c he captured the last few days really well. it's so hard to put any of this into writing, b/c all words seem trite and so insufficient. what we've seen in the last few days is more disheartening than can be imagined. all of our hearts ache more than they ever have before.we are meeting with a bunch of our friends in about 20 minutes to make a plan of action. if you have ANY info or access to private jets, containers, helicopters, or government officials, please let us know.please pray that aid would make it to haiti- fast. faster than it currently is. some people haven't had water or food for three days. please pray that mindylove, a 4 year old orphan we have been taking care of, can get a VISA and get to her family in the states. THIS WEEK. 3 governors have already applied for her VISA. please pray it gets approved. TODAY.please pray for the people that are suffering- that they would get medical attention asap.please pray for the compound we were living on- that food would make it to the 100 or so people that are sleeping in the yard. they are camping out there b/c either their houses fell down or b/c they are afraid of another earthquake. please pray for all the orphans that have captured our hearts there. please pray their hearts would be filled with hope and love. please pray God would take away all fear.
Here's jeremy's blogs:
7:30 am- I wake up rejuvenated beyond my understanding. The new day has brought me health and encouragement. It will all be fully needed to endure the day. Thanks be to God and all of those praying…
7:35 am- Charles Amicy takes Zack and I to PAP, in a search party, to find his sister and her family. With no contact since the quake, we will need a minor miracle to find them if they are still alive…
8:30 am- Enter the concrete jungle of PAP. The capital of Haiti is completely shut down and everyone is on the streets walking aimlessly afraid to go near any concrete structures. Almost every building left standing has major cracks crawling up the sides. The higher we go into the mountains of PAP, the intensity rises. More collapsed buildings, more blocked roads, more people covering their faces due to the increasing number of decaying bodies scattered on the side of the road.
10:00ish am- We park at the entrance of a blocked road. Charles gets out and tells us to stay in the truck as he runs off. The door opening and closing allows a strong stench of death to permeate inside. Zack and I make timid eye contact in the back seat as if to say, “God help us.” The ride thus far through PAP puts Zack and me in a heavy silence not easily broken. Finally, Charles emerges waving his arms franticly. Miracle 1- He found his sister, her husband and her kids- unharmed. They have a handful of belongs and throw them into the bed of the truck. They ask Zack and me to watch over it as they go back for one more round of things. Charles gives me his handkerchief to breathe through as the stagnate outside air reeks of dead bodies. We try to reorganize the possessions to make more room and in doing so stand several 5 gallon jugs upright. I witness an unsettling potential foreshadowing of the near future. As Haitians walking by see the jugs now clearly visible, they stop dead in their tracks. With frenzied looks they ask, “Eske ou gen dlo?!” (You have water?!) We say no but they just stare. Not just any stare, for a Haitian does not stare like Americans. A haunting soul piercing stare, the kind of stare where literally anything can happen next. Within 30 seconds, we quickly lay the jugs back down out of view. With no water in PAP, a storm of anxiety is growing stronger by the day. Charles and company return with some final items. Charles sister and family ride inside the truck with him while Zack and I lay on belongings in the bed of the truck. Heading back to Cabaret, we experience a full sensory taste of the sights of broken concrete and twisted rebar, the sounds of restless Haitians wondering about, the smell of rotting humans, the taste of dust and the feel of a rising atmosphere of chaos in PAP.
11:30 am- We arrive back at our house realizing we inevitably need to make a very important decision. Are we staying or are we going? We, the Americans, had weighed the pro and cons of both sides tirelessly. Bottom line- By staying right now with no tangible things to offer (aka medical relief), we are needlessly using scarce and valuable resources our Haitians friends and orphans require to survive. Along with growing concern for our safety, we decide we must go. Jay had been consulting with some missionary friends of ours about potential ways to get out. Our top 3 options, 1st option- try to navigate PAP to get to the US Embassy. The less reliable 2nd option- go to Citibank in PAP and use their helicopters to fly us to the Dominican Republic for a future flight to America. The 3rd option consisted of a crackpot team of our closest and most “Bear Grylls like” friends to come by boat and take us back. We decide to give PAP a try. The truck we have had enough gas to make just one more roundtrip to PAP and Charles needed to go back asap to pick up his other brother Leon and family. So it’s try now or try an unknown extendedly long time from now.
Noon- We gathered what we could in backpacks and said some rushed goodbyes. The orphans wanted to know when we would return but I could make no guarantees. Sometimes the rational thing to do proves to be the hardest thing to do. Leaving our compound, our orphans, our friends, we all felt so guilty. Trying to navigate the endless maze of concrete dead ends in PAP, thoughts crowded my head. “It’s not fair. Why can I go and not them? They did nothing to deserve this. They have nothing to overcome this. Government = Corrupt. Basic Necessities to Live = Dwindling by the Day. Land = Deforested. Orphans = Skyrocketing. Life isn’t fair.” But in the midst of a divinely carved out route to our 2nd miracle, God quieted me. He reminded me that He is sovereign and has promised to make all things new. All things. Even the most twisted, mangled things. Even the most hopeless, dejected beings. It is all unfolding perfectly in His story. My hope, my whole existence, clings to the truth that this story of making all things new is finished and now unfolding perfectly. As I passed the UN soldiers to walk up to the Embassy, I felt at ease for the first time since just before 5 pm on Tuesday…
2:45 pm- We arrive at the US Embassy. Aftershocks- Day 1We got 10 gallons of gas left for the generator and there is no more gas in Cabaret.
There is no gas in Port-au-Prince.
Food and water are very scarce.
Prices for everything have tripled. And people couldn't afford food even before this.
Charles went to PAP today. He could barely describe what he saw, “The flood was nothing.” He said that the houses on the side of the mountains either collapsed or completely fell through the ground as the ravine opened up. He said road were blocked by piles of dead people pulled from the wreckage. Our school in PAP collapsed on itself, they think people are still inside but no one can help. Most government buildings, a lot of the U.N. force and many, many people… gone. As the earthquake passed through yesterday, any infustructure Haiti had… gone. “PAP is down… everything… no food, no water, no gas, no help.”
I can’t sleep. I keep having this dream of falling and violently wake up.
Our medical clinic was packed all day, still is. It is a very bloody scene. Compound fractures, giant gashes and they keep flooding in. On beds, backs, wood. They are now getting here from PAP, at least a 20 mile hike.
The team from Savannah has a man named Jose who is an engineer for Gulf Streamliners. Friday morning, the team will have a military convoy escorting them to PAP and they will fly out on one of those planes. 14 seats, 14 savannahians.
We still don’t know what will happen next here. We just keep trying to help people in the clinic. I think the plane coming will bring us some aid.
We need intentional prayers. Contact your friends, get together and pray hard. PAP prolly will turn in a refugee camp whenever help finally gets here. There are many dead and far more dying.
I’ve never felt sorrow like this.
I just took an hour break from writing. Another huge aftershock. Everyone ran out of the house.
I think this sorrow is making me physically sick. The Earth keeps moving. My head keeps spinning.
I feel so much distress that my heart physically hurts and seems to skip beats.
I switch from tears to goosebumps, back and forth.
Latest News: It is gunna get too dangerous here, we are gunna try and get out...
Through 4:52 pm, today seemed like a normal day. Then the ground started shaking, then my body started shaking, and then my heart started shaking. And really neither the ground, nor my body, nor my heart has stopped shaking for about 8 hours now. There are still aftershocks that send shocks through my spine. They keep me from sleeping, along with my still solidly shaken heart and burden that lies ahead in the morning.
Nobody knows what devastation lies waiting tonight. I do know that when the earth was shaking, I had very similar thoughts to what Jeremy
thought. We were fortunately on a walk with orphans, and not inside buildings. At first, I assumed a tractor was coming at us and I wanted to get the kids out of the way. But we couldn’t tell where the rattling was coming from. And I kept thinking, this has got to be the biggest Tractor/Train/Pack of Rhinos in the world. And then the shaking earth threw me. And kids fell. I actually developed tunnel vision and all my surroundings disappeared. I took one glance to make sure Diana was safe, and then I grabbed three orphan kids who were being tossed about. While Diana, Jeremy, Zack, and others did the same.
We sat on a moving ground.
I still cannot believe the power of this earth. And I have no idea how long it lasted. It felt like 10 seconds combined with 3 years. God’s power filled the earth. And all we could do was fall to the ground.
After the quake came the mayhem, with orphans crying and people wailing, dust settling and houses crumbled. It took me an hour to realize it was possible that I was not standing on the epicenter. And in fact, Port-au-Prince – with devastating population density and poorly constructed slums – was even closer to the center. And the few firsthand reports we have received suggest total destruction in the capital. The presidential palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, a hospital, and many government buildings have collapsed. Many reports speak of more buildings having collapsed than remain standing. In our little village alone, many people have died and many others have lost their houses. Our friends have had their houses destroyed. And then, almost immediately after the earth quaked, the sun went down, leaving us with aftershocks and leaving us waiting until dawn to even begin to consider the damage. And leaving us praying that God gives us grace to sustain us tomorrow.
We will keep you updated.