Recently, some of our American friends here told us they needed a lot of help handling, storing, distributing, and keeping up with all of the aid they are trying to use to help this country. The organization that these friends work for has distributed, among other things, over 4 million meals since the earthquake. And they desperately need help to continue helping the hundreds of thousands of Haitians in need of help. We wanted to help, and were very aware that our experiences here and understanding of Creole could be very helpful, BUT we also did not want to move away from the orphans we have been living with. After much prayer, and seeing that the orphanage we were working in is now running well (which was our ultimate goal when we moved here), we felt like we had to go help with the immediate pressing need of earthquake relief in this collapsed country. So, late last week, we moved 15 minutes down the road to fill some much needed roles. We were very sad to leave the orphans, but we still go visit them and go to church there each Sunday, and we know they are well taken care of.
We will continue to be involved in those orphans’ lives, and we are now busier than ever working on earthquake relief. Time has been flying here. Jeremy and I (Jay) have been building a 3500 sq. ft. tent (See pictures on Jeremy's sweet blog) that will be the medical supply hub for hospitals throughout the country. Right now they cannot even sort through the supplies because they have no place to unload them. We are hoping to have the tent finished tomorrow and then begin distributing medical supplies throughout the country. Diana has been working for the hospital on site here that has seen about 15,000 patients since the earthquake. There are many American doctors coming in, but these doctors do not speak Creole, and there are few people in this country who speak English and Creole as well as Diana, so her help is greatly needed there.
Where we are working right now does not have enough room for everyone to stay because they have volunteer teams that are coming in to help. This means that they need some resilient volunteers to move into tents. We volunteered and it is hard to sleep sometimes with the wind and rain at night, but we have some good neighbors that we are grateful for... [see pictures of our tent and our favorite neighbor's tent below] Still, living in a tent makes us very acutely aware of the innumerable Haitians that are living under cardboard and do not have a (marketed as, but still not completely) waterproof Coleman tent like we do.
The location we live in has steel fencing and security guards (it’s very safe, Mom and Dad) but the overall compound with the warehouse and such is not yet fenced in. We have are 2 Mexican foreman running the fencing crew here. They were working on the US/Mexican border, as US employees, and then got deported back to Mexico. So their boss sent them here instead. They are good fencemakers. And really nice guys too.
We feel grateful that we get to be in Haiti and that Jesus continues to provide means for us to be a part of His work. We will blog again soon about the status of the fence, tents, and life here in this beautiful and desolate country.