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...


01/16/2010 10:21am

Jay and Diana,
My heart is aching for you all and for Haiti. Right now while I write this, tears are welling up inside me thinking of the pain and destruction that those you love are enduring right now.
I am in Kansas City doing an internship with the House of Prayer... I am praying for you and for Haiti constantly! I've wanted to visit you in Haiti... I talked to Jeremy a bit about it months ago. My heart connects with your vision for restoration and redemption for families in Haiti.
I know I'm not in Jacksonville and cannot be there to support you all, but know that my prayers are with you. And what better way? God, the Maker of the universe, the One who allows pain and destruction to beckon us to Him, the Only One who can bring hope, comfort, love, joy, restoration, peace... Who better to go to?
Let me know if there is anything further I can do! My plan is to be in Kansas City until the beginning of April, and I am on board for anything after that!!! Love you and praying for you!

Dan Franklin
01/17/2010 7:42am

Hey jay I think I may have a private plane and pilot who desperately wants to help Haiti. Please call me if you could use that. 9544390222. Love you guys and I'm praying for you.

01/17/2010 10:46am

Hello! Thanks so much for this blog! I am a member of Grace Church in Savannah, GA. Our friends have made it home safely too, and we are still praying for the mission in Haiti and all the others there that are still going through all this devastation. I am wondering about Mindylove. My husband and I were going through the process of adopting her, but had another family needing us to adopt locally right away a few months ago. We have heard from our friends that you know this sweet child personally and love her very much, and that God has possibly provided another family for her in the States. Can you contact me when things calm down, and confirm this? We still care for her very much and would like to know what is going on with her for sure.

Praying for peace and comfort for all of you! Praise God that He has put Haiti in your hearts, and for the work that you do!!

With Love,

01/17/2010 9:00pm

Thank you for your prayers, Samantha! I just wanted to confirm that there is indeed a family that is waiting for her! I've heard about you all and the child that was dropped in your lap- I'd love to meet you all one day. What a beautiful story God is writing.


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