Saturday, January 30, 2010
We are hosting a nurse from Canada, Deb Bachman, who came to work in St Marc for a week or so. She's at the hospital and has spent her time trying to save patients, organize and teach wound care. Everyday, there has been a trauma. On her first day, which was what day? I've lost track. Her first patient died, then her last patient. Her last patient was a baby, four months old. When the child seemed to be slipping from life, she was too young to be life flighted out to the big hospital ship because the rule is five years old and over. So, they took her by UN ambulance to Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Des Chapples. That's about an hour and a half from here over rather good roads and they went there because they have neonatal equipment. (Interesting story about this hospitals' origin, the book is called Song of Haiti). The baby died. Deb came home really heavy with the burden. But, when you've done all you can, you've done all you can and that baby is in the hands of the Lord, never to see the suffering in this country particularly and in life in general.
Deb doesn't have a phone, so everyday, Gary goes to the hospital at 5 to pick her up and everyday, Gary doesn't return with Deb for a long time, because Deb is not free to leave due to the work at hand. Last night it was a man with congestive heart failure. She needed oxygen for him. Asked for it, no one moved. She asked again, until the answer came that the only oxygen was in the surgical suite, so they wheeled the bed into that section and when they hooked up the oxygen nothing came out. There was oxygen in the tank but the valve was broken. Of course, the man died, and Deb was again burdened.
A pregnant woman from the quake was pulled from debris with a couple compound fractures, all had been cared for, she went into labor, delivered her baby and died. I understand they are doing C-sections at bedside, when necessary.
Every section of the hospital has a mix of people from the earthquake and people who just need medical attention. She said they finally got everyone banded so they knew who was who to keep straight who gets what. There have been good doctors come in and the Haitian staff has been great, it's just not the norm for those who've been trained in North America, and difficult to find ones footing in the situation. But, as Deb says, "Everyday it gets a little better." She's speaking of organization because everyday, it gets a little harder. Wound care is the big thing right now with those in the quake who've had amputations or compound fractures.
Diana Moreno and possibly Brian Moreno are coming in on the 12th to take over where Deb leaves off. Perhaps they will come into a more organized situation so that what they do will be constant patient care and not the burden of organization. Please pray for Deb and for the Moreno's and all medical people, including the Haitians that are learning as they go about things they would have never learned in their schooling.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Gary and Al started out nice and early this morning to go to Port to get food. Nancy is in Port, volunteering at Matthew 25, a Guest House, that has all kinds of things going on and Nancy can translate as well as organize, etc. She called us to say she had a food connection, made arrangements. The person wanted to know how many we were feeding and how much we wanted. Gary said 30 people for one month, just pulling figures off the top of his head and all too low from my perspective but that's not the point, the point is that it sounded rather official. They were supposed to deliver the food to Matthew 25 which would have been quite helpful.
Needless to say, as things go in Haiti, the food was not delivered to Matthew 25, Gary had to go pick it up. He had to go up and down the mountain until he found the street. You see, in Port on good days, you can't find where you want to be. If you stop and ask they say, "Umba" meaning down or they flick their hand to say continue on. We asked Yvesner once about directions in Port and he said, "You have to know where you want to go." That was a pretty interesting answer. So, Gary circled around the pole at the police academy which is no longer there, down the street, turned into a dead end alley way, turned around and low and behold the gate he was looking for. Inside the gate a yard and in the yard were bags of rice, beans, oil, fish and corn meal. She had his order all laid out. She was a rather young woman, her children running around playing, nothing official at all because this was black market supplies. She'd gotten them someplace and perhaps paid a small fee herself, then sold it for a higher price but still below market price. And that's the way business is run here, especially, after a disaster. The free rice will never be free and if and when it is, there is a riot. Like at the hospital in St Marc today. They were passing out free food to the patients and their families, word got out and today it was a total riot.
Gary was a little sick at the thought that he was buying black market supplies but we need them to feed people with. I suppose that makes the black market work … necessity. He went to a parts supply store for truck things, like filters. The quake knocked everything off the shelves and of course, the parts man was not going to sift through it all on the floor to find Gary's filter, so Gary went upstairs to the manager and ended up with a filter that was not in a box, but a filter none the less, another very necessary item.
The big challenge came when he got stuck in the worst traffic jam ever in the center of Port, nothing moving anywhere. Mind you he is in a vehicle, our KIA truck, that no longer has air conditioning and it must have been 95 today. When he and Al got home they were mopping the dirt off their sweaty faces. A lot of dirt at that. Al was soaking wet, Gary a close second. And to top it all off, he didn't get to stop at the orphanage because it was getting too late and he needed to get out of town.
Remember that I mentioned fish. Well, this is the worst smelling dried fish ever. It sort of permeates the air until you want to gag. With it in the back of the truck and the air not working, windows down, they smelled it all the way home. Haitians love this fish and they use it for their sauce to go over rice. I remember years ago when we decided it was a good deal to use fish in the spaghetti sauce. The first week, I thought, "not bad." The second week, I thought, "I don't think I like this." The third week I decided, "No, I can't do this." That was the end of our using dried fish in the spaghetti sauce.
We sent the fish home with Al to give to the cook that makes the cornmeal for all the hungry children around there. They will consider it a treat to have. We also sent rice and beans and oil to the orphanage for their meals for a while. So, even though it's black market stuff, we are feeding quite a few people with it. You can pray that we find a way to get some of the supplies coming in free of charge. In the Haitian market, rice has risen to an all time high, nearly 500 dollars Haitian for 100pound bag. Beans are out of sight as well. These are difficult days and no one knows the end of it all.
We have a nurse from Canada here working at St Nicholaus Hospital in town. Her first day yesterday, her first patient died and her last patient died. The last one was a three month old baby. She was petty bummed out when she got home. But today was a better day and she actually was able to organize meds. More free stuff that came in and was in a heap and no one could find anything. Sort of like at the auto parts store. But, she got it going and tomorrow will be an even better day.
Saturday we have Bible school. Pastor Cesar will be there with his list of supplies needed to build the church so we'll get that going real soon. We are wondering how many students we'll have since so many people have family in Port and are going back and forth trying to help with their needs when they have needs themselves. It was the first time Al had been there and he simply shook his head when I asked what he thought about it. It's beyond belief ….and we just had another tremor. Feeling them often, several a day actually. Sometimes I think, it's me, it's my heart causing the bed to move or the floor to shake …that's a bit of a stretch.
Had good news from Service International, they will begin coming in next week. They will set up camp, here for the long haul and use our land for a refugee center. Now I know why we were unable to build on that land. Three acres should house a lot of people. A big project but this organization is up to the challenge having worked in Kosovo, Shri Lanka, Katrina and other places.
I think I'll go to bed and start again tomorrow. Blessings to all and to all a good night.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Without a deep rooted sense of belonging, all of life can easily become cold, distant, and painfully repetitive. The deeper conviction is the connection with the one whose name is love, leading to a new discovery that we are born out of love and are always called back to that love….It ultimately leads to prayer. And from one being human….comes a new experience of being held within the hand of a loving God. Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak.
I happened upon this quote while reading this morning and thought, how fitting. With all that's going on, we need reminded we are held in the hand of a loving God. Prayer is the connection to Him and we certainly need to feel connected because this life is painful and we can become cold hearted and distant from the Lord. Prayer keeps us focused on the reason for living. What is the reason? It's His reason. He created us for life now, experiences now. Otherwise we would not be here would we?
As we go about each day, talking and planning it seems we are doing nothing, but our time will come when our role in the scheme of all of this will be evident. Gary is going to the UN to seek UN NGO status which means we can ship things in and not pay customs charge. We are currently coordinating with Service International to take care of refugees on a long term basis. We are also speaking with a nurse who is trying to get in to work at Pierre Pyan Hospital, and we are housing a nurse who is working at St Nicholas hospital. We are seeking food supplies to hand out to people in the Port area with whom we have relationship.
Our regular work continues as we find the price of diapers has gone up. What's that got to do with everything else? Our orphanage has six little boys, three of them are still in diapers and as soon as we get a toilet in place, we'll bring in twin girls. Diapers and toilets, interesting isn't it? Life must and always does go on. The toilet is for Al and Bev Carpenter, so they can move upstairs and bring the girls into the place where they are living now. The diapers are an ongoing need until everyone is toilet trained. But, the ongoing need will continue to be ongoing as little children are without and the blessed ones are brought into a safe place, so diapers will be an issue as long as we are in the orphanage ministry. They aren't as high as US but high for the ministry. We encourage you, that if you are giving regularly, not to forget to continue to give because everything we do continues in spite of the horrific needs from the quake.
El Shaddai starts Monday. Bible school will be Saturday. We've got to get our people back to what is considered normal and routine. We need to get back to that as well.
How can you help in the earthquake relief?
Relieve Gary and I from El Shaddai. Hmmm, that rhymes. It is our most immediate need.
- We need a couple of Americans to come and work at the school for at least a month. Gary and I are orchestrating all the quake stuff, and can't be at the school.
- It leaves a big hole and the kids won't be getting what they need, especially the kindergarten and first graders.
- Plus, the others need to have someone sit and let them read to them, correct their English, etc
- Everyone wants to be on the front lines but someone has to stay behind and do the work necessary to make the front lines productive.
- We have 70 children who will one day be leaders in Haiti. 70 children who are learning that God is all powerful and that the Word of God is important to everyday life.
- This work is eternal. When all the rubble is cleared in Port, these kids are the generation that will rebuild Haiti. Working at El Shaddai is huge.
Who is willing to lay down their life for Haitian kids?
Qualifications: Love the Lord and His Word, love children, be able to read, write and think. Please contact us via email if you believe you are to come and work with with El Shaddai Learning Center.
We all need to be connected, to feel useful, to know that God indeed planned our lives. Pray and as you pray, you will sense you are in His hand, doing His bidding wherever you are.
Monday, January 25, 2010
We left with the orphans to meet their American Dad when we received the call that he was in country. He gave us specific directions of where to meet him. The children did not know anything more than they were going to another orphanage. They packed all their things, and were quite excited about getting to go for a ride. A ride that would change their lives completely.
We pulled into the walled compound, and then we saw Richard Pickett. The kids sat there stunned. No reaction and then it broke as they got out and hugged their dad. They knew him. He has been back and forth to Haiti many times, trying to get this adoption through. FIVE YEARS IN FACT. Today they will go to the American Embassy and get their visas. Richard has done his homework on this thing and has a contact very high up and expects to walk in get the visas and go. The youngest one should be able to go on the family visa because there is a law that if one in the family gets adopted the others can ride on their approval. We are praying that nothing goes wrong with that.
We saw Pastor Cesar, gave him supplies, met with he and church committee as to how they want this church restructured. Everyone is so afraid of blocks now, so we are going to put up half wall of blocks and wood the rest of the way up, tin roof, cement the floor. This will make a nice place for people to live until they can get a house. He will have a better building than he did before. His wife was in school (nurses training) and toward the end of the class, she heard, "get out!" She grabbed her things and left. Ten minutes later the school was down on the ground. All in all, Pastor Cesar has 20 church members who lost their homes, no one lost their life. He was having church when the quake hit, everything came down on their heads, no one hurt. Pastor Cesar is a wonderful Christian, rides a tap tap every Saturday, many miles to come to Bible school and since he's got a diploma from a seminary already, we let him start his own IAM Bible school. He has 60 students, and actually was having Bible school when the quake hit.
We also met with Eddy yesterday to give him some money. Eddy did all our Haitian business and sometimes we wondered if he was giving us the business. But, be that as it may, he eventually got the papers we needed to carry on here. His house is not down but tipped over. He was napping when the quake hit, everyone in the house got out. All his relatives are safe but their homes are gone and all of them are with him living in his yard, twenty in number. He had an offer by another missionary to come there and live, but he and his wife did not want to leave ailing parents. He was a broken man and not the confident Eddy we'd always encountered in our dealings with him. He said as he was leaving, "There is nothing in this life, there is only Jesus."
Other than dropping Nancy off at Matthew 25, so she could translate, that was our day in Port. We stopped at Clean Water on our way home for it was missionary meeting Sunday and we knew we could fellowship for a few minutes before night fell. Everyone wanted to hear what happened with the kids.
The interesting thing today is that no one knows what the exchange rate is for the US dollar. If fell dramatically when the banks opened, from 8.4 to 7.4 and word has it it's down to 7. The reason is that there are a lot of American dollars coming into the country so the exchange rate went down. It hurts everyone but those in charge of money. When Gary went out with Kevin, they found a guy who gave them 7.5. So, they were shouting victory on the way home.
Getting emails from people who want to get their kids out of the country. Here's one you can pray about:
Ed Fasnacht from Service International gave me your name and email address.
I am a pastor in Kelso WA. I have been friends with ED and involved in SI missions trips for eight years. I am emailing you because I need some help.
A couple in my church, Paul and Amy Gowan, are in the process of adopting a six year old boy from Haiti. They are now part of a group of parents in similar situation waiting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL to get the word that their child is being put on a plane out of Haiti.
They are working with an adoption agency who has a representative at the airport in Haiti but she is alone and overwhelmed by the political turmoil surrounding getting children out to their adopted parents. The Gowans have been told that today the Haitian President is going to stop the expediting of adoptions. If that happens it may be months or years before they are united with their new son.
Do you have any suggestion?
Do you know anyone that could help the adoption worker at the airport?
We are desperately looking for any help and any ideas. Thank you for anything you can do or anything you can suggest to me to do.
In the meantime we remain servants of the Most High. God bless you for what you are doing for His Kingdom.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
It seems I wanted to blog something yesterday, but it was about the day before, and today is a new day so yesterday's sites and experiences are on my mind.
I just posted pictures on FB about yesterday. We took the St Louis team to the Dominican Republic. It was my first time on that road. I saw an article that was interesting because in our experience yesterday, it was not true: Dominican troops will start patrolling a critical corridor between Jimani and Port-au-Prince, the United Nations said. The patrol should speed the delivery aid into Haiti, it said.
Perhaps I'm jumping the gun and it will happen. Driving through there, I realized how easily it would be to hijack a supply truck. There were times when we were the only vehicle on the road. We got our team to their contact inside the Dominican gates and they were on their way to a little more comfort than they had here. I asked that they all eat a bowl of ice cream for me. Can I vicariously enjoy ice cream?? Well, hope they ate it and enjoyed it.
After we bid goodbye, as we were headed back to Port, we got a phone call from Nancy saying she was on her way to Port au Prince. That was exciting news and since we were in the vicinity we praised the Lord for the way He works things out.
We went to the orphanage in Bon Repos, we wanted to deliver a tarp to them so they'd have covering at night. There was a little rain in Port and they got wet while sleeping. We were excited to see that some of the food we'd been given at the border (by the driver who picked our team up), was water and cookies, we gave the cookies out and left the water with them.
One of the little guys was sick, we arranged for a doctor to see him when we went to Matthew 25 (a guest house) to wait for Nancy to get in. We waited for four hours and during the time we were there we met a woman who had an 8 year old boy with her. Here's the story: This child came home from school on the day of the quake and his house was in ruble. He then walked several hours to a hospital looking for his parents. Of course, they weren't there. The woman I was speaking with came to the hospital for some reason, the Dr began to explain the story and that he would turn the child back out into the street because he couldn't stay at the hospital. The missionary woman took the child with her. She's searching for some family members. That's just one story in a million. How many people will never be reunited with family members?
Nancy finally got there, tired but elated. We'd left home at 7AM, we got back home at 9PM. I know many of you have long days and you might be saying that's not such a big deal but if you knew how dangerous Port is after dark and how difficult it is driving on a highway with big trucks coming at you with one headlight (often), crowding your side of the road and no place to go…..scary!
Thanks for your prayer and financial support!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
We needed gasoline. I got a message from a missionary in Verrettes, which is about an hour and a half north and east of us. He said they were giving gas and to send a woman. As I was bidding Elizabeth, one of our pre-school teachers, goodbye, (because we weren't going to have school, so few came that day), she said she was going to Verrettes, family had died in the quake, taking her children there to visit. "I'm going to Verrette at about 2PM, you can go with me." We picked up Barbara, our Canadian friend, the three of us plus Elizabeth's children took the truck and went.
It was after 2PM that we got on the road and that's late to start out someplace because night falls about 5:30PM and you never know what may delay you. Our mission was to find gasoline. When we got to the station the missionary told us about, the line was long but not too long. For some reason the policy here is, in a crisis, to pump gas a while then turn off the pumps and wait a while. Everyone in the line had waited three hours for gas. We were at the end of the line but we waited ten minutes and they started pumping. We had gas cans that needed filled as well and the word was "choose either the vehicle or the cans." That wasn't an answer for me. We needed gas in the cans as well.
When I finally rolled up to the pump, Barbara and Elizabeth were outside dealing with the gas pump guy. Before we left we had a full tank of gas and one full can of gas. Whoo hoo!!! God is always making sure we get what we need, amen?
With the gas we were able to show this team around Port. These are four Pastors from a church in St Louis. They have an organization that rebuilds after the disaster, worked in Kosovo, Katrina, Eastern countries and now they are working with us. Rosemary Sunderman, knew Ed Fasnacht years ago and when the quake hit, Ed began looking for Rosemary, found her via Facebook, she connected them to us. We have been having a wonderful time with them, easy to be around. Their church is 6000 members FAMILY CHURCH. These Pastors are involved in an organization, SERVICE INTERNATIONAL. They do amazing things after time of fact gathering and planning. We are honored to know them and to serve them during their brief stay in Haiti.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Martin Luther King Day and we were really challenged. Not that we would have thought of MLK, read it on the news, and on FB. Gary left bright and early to pick up money at Western Union. They told him to come Monday and he could get the cash. In case you don't know, there are no banks open but Western Union was giving out wired money….or so we thought. Went to all the work of getting info to our secretary, she ran into all kinds of problems getting the money wired, and today was the day. Well, NOT. Two hours in line, Pastor Gary waited patiently. When it was his turn they said, "Not today, come back tomorrow."
Then we had a visit from Samuel, as he and Gary planned their trip to the Dominican Border tomorrow to pick up four pastors from St Louis, who want to come to see the destruction so they can decide how they can help. While Samuel was here Kevin came in , then Daniel, they need their pay and we don't have the money cause the banks are closed.
I looked up the town in the Dominican where they will meet our team, and it is overrun with Haitians escaping there for medical help. They said they did so many operations, abdominal and amputations that they were weary.
Later I found out that I'd made a mistake with PayPal and they need documentation so we have seven days to work on that.
Gary tried to find gas in town, no gas anywhere. We are not getting city power at all so we have to run the generator.
We heard from Nancy today, she's well, but still stuck. She said some are walking over the mountains to get out of there and get to family in Port, two day walk. She also told us the guest house in Port was needing help. We emailed them and have not heard back yet. We won't go unless they tell us themselves they need our help.
We are going to open school tomorrow. The orphan kids with us need to get into school and I think we need it to feel some sort of "normal."
Hope to get some pictures on the blog. Most pictures are on FB.
Continue to pray, good news and bad news come from Port everyday.
Here is a list of prayer needs:
Pray that these kids can get out of Haiti soon, that their adoptive parents will be able to get them a flight.
Pray that we have enough food to sustain the school, the orphanage, and us until food supplies come in again.
Pray the banks will open so we have a money source.
Pray that fuel gets into the country.
Pray for all the refugees and specifically for us to have wisdom who to help.
Pray that great revival breaks out on this island.
Thank you all for giving and praying, we love you and appreciate you so much.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
ORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are in desperate need of drinking water because of an earthquake-damaged municipal pipeline and truck drivers either unable or unwilling to deliver their cargo.
"Many drivers are afraid of being attacked if they go out, some drivers are still missing in the disaster and others are out there searching for missing relatives," said Dudu Jean, a 30-year-old driver who was attacked Friday when he drove into the capital's sprawling Cite Soleil slum.
The lack of water has become one of the greatest dangers facing Haitians in part because earthquake survivors stay outdoors all day in the heat out of fear of aftershocks and unstable buildings. While aid has started to pour in from around the world, supplies are not quickly reaching all who need them.
Even before Tuesday's quake, the municipal system in this city of 3 million people was unreliable. Haiti's poorest live in shacks with no plumbing and carry their water home in jugs from public wells. Most people depend on water delivered by truckers, who get their water with the help of diesel pumps that draw from a huge underground natural reservoir.
"There's no shortage of water, the water's here, the trucks are here as you see," said Jean, who said his attackers let him go unharmed after they recognized him.
Since the quake, at least one water treatment plant was shuttered because of a lack of electricity. Pipes for the municipal water system are believed damaged. No water is running in Cite Soleil, home to more than a million people.
Adding to the problem is that stores that have water and food to sell are not opening out of fear of violence.
Tom Osbeck, a missionary from Indiana whose Protestant-run Jesus in Haiti Ministry operates a school just north of Port-au-Prince, said a scarcity of drinking water and food is fraying the nerves of increasingly despairing survivors.
"Even distributing food or water is very dangerous. People are desperate and will fight to death for a cup of water," Osbeck said Friday from his home about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the center of the quake.
Aid groups, businesses and governments from around the world are scrambling to meet the need.
Oxfam had water supplies in Haiti left over from a 2008 storm and has managed to get some 2,000 and 5,000-liter tanks into the capital city. U.S. military officials say helicopters are ferrying in water and other supplies from the USS Carl Vinson. Procter & Gamble Co. is sending 3 million water-purifying packets along with cash donations for earthquake relief.
Rebecca Gustafson, part of the disaster assistance team of USAID, said international agencies are assessing the best places for community water treatment centers. She said much of the focus of international aid for now is on rescue and recovery efforts.
"Once that wave subsides, in the coming days you'll see more and more aid coming in," she said.
While government agencies and troops worked to move supplies out of the jammed airport, some Haitians and far smaller organizations worked on their own to get aid to thirsty, hungry people.
Milero Cedamou, the 33-year-old owner of a small water delivery company, twice drove his small tanker truck 10 miles outside Port-au-Prince, paying $25 for each fill-up and then returned to a tent camp where thousands of homeless people were living.
"This is a crisis of unspeakable magnitude, it's normal for every Haitian to help," Cedamou said. "This is not charity."
Jean Ponce, a 36-year-old mason, was among 200 people holding plastic buckets who clustered around the truck — emblazoned with the slogan "Wait for God" on its side — when it returned. He lost one of his children in the quake and said the bucketful he collected would be the first drinkable water his four surviving children tasted since the disaster struck.
"This is nearly like a miracle," Ponce said.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Another day of wondering what will happen next. We got the kids, and I need to get their pics online so Richard can see them, they are so happy they are alive. He seems to think he can get them out of Haiti, just one problem, I have four not three. The youngest was never in the adoption plan. So, now, what do we do. They were living outside their building (as is everyone in Port practically). Gary checked the building and it has structural damage although it doesn't look real bad. They had no water and only bulgur to eat (a wheat by product, brown, boils like rice, filling and healthy). Now I have to figure out what to do with them, we have room and hopefully, Richard Pickett can get them (live in TN).
We will arrange a place to meet the administrator of the orphanage, Davidson to give him supplies tomorrow. He said and this was an honest statement that might fly in the face of well intending people: "You are causing me a problem by being here, the thieves are watching and they will think I have money. Your being here is risking our safety" In situations like this, being white is a detriment to those you are trying to help. That's one reason why we aren't randomly handing out supplies. It can cause riots and even death for the receivers. Haiti is a different place altogether and it takes some time to figure it all out, although, we've not gotten it all figured out nor do we believe we ever will.
We understood completely. Are we going to help he and those children, absolutely, but it will not be done with our showing up at the orphanage site. All other help will be done discreetly at a location we decide upon. Gary is going to Pont Sonde a half hour north of us tomorrow to their big market and buy rice (that again will be done by a Haitian and loaded in the truck without Gary getting out). Then we will call Davidson in Bon Repos (if we can connect and decide where he will meet us). We left him with a little money to buy charcoal and water (if he can find it) Everything we say or do always ends with IF.
We went to the SD store where we shop and sometimes cash checks to see if we could get our American money changed to Haitian. He did it, wasn't much, but said, money is running out. We can no longer cash checks because there are no banks. If we can get money in through Western Union we have a chance now, to cash it into Haitian. Waiting much longer for transferring via Western Union, opportunity will be lost. (He also told us that thieves came through his roof on Saturday and stole quite a bit, he's bracing himself for more thieves). He said he had supplies for one month, so another stop tomorrow will be to ……you guessed it—the snow storm syndrome---stock up. We must have supplies available for those people who work for us, or fellow missionaries as things get tighter. Gary and I know it's time to batten down the hatches and go into our "war mode" that we lived in for so long. Pray? Yes! Psalm 91 was upon our lips constantly during the Aristide war. Plan? Yes! What will we do in case of this or that? Everyone should have a plan when things get tough. We won't be as lax at leaving the gate unlocked or letting anyone come in. That's wisdom. I think the Bible clearly teaches us to use our faith and to use wisdom. Now, what if nothing happens? HALLELUIA!
Gasoline lines are long and hard. Everyone needs gas. Right now there is black market gas for 20 H dollars a gallon. We heard that gas will go sky high as it gets more scarce. We thought ahead and had two drums delivered early Wednesday morning, so we do have a supply but we have to conserve and not use much electricity so we will have gas for our vehicles. These trips to and from Port are costly.
We were going to go into downtown Port today to see if we could find Kevin's brothers mother, but we were told there was much shooting and the stench from burning dead bodies would be overwhelming. Since we had the four children we decided to head back to St Marc. On our way we passed truck after truck of people with suitcases or bags fleeing Port. St Marc was a mad house as they transfer from one "tap tap" to another to head north. Refugees. Some confused, still dazed I would suppose, some angry and some focused on what they must do.
We also wanted to look for Kevin's brother, an Episcopal priest in Leogone but you have to go through Carrefour and Carrefour was the center of the earthquake. One of our El Shaddai students was there yesterday to look for his mother's sister. He rode a tap tap to where he transferred to a motorcycle taxi and they had to literally pick the taxi up and carry it over bodies in the street. Carrefour is gone, and so is Termithus' aunt! Well, that took care of our trip to Leogone. We have no idea and they have yet to talk about anywhere other than Port concerning Haiti's dead.
Oh, we saw a huge ship going toward Port, it was way out but it was humongous! Gary said it was an aircraft carrier. Interesting. You'll probably read about it on the news. Then we saw another one, and it was probably cargo. Haiti will survive this onslaught. We are all in survival mode and will continue to be so. God is our source and He is directing our steps.
Thank you all for your prayers and attention to this matter.
Touch Ministries, Touching People, Changing Lives
"I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly"--Jesus, John 10:10b.
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As we prepare to go look for three children in Bon Repos, a suburb just outside of Port au Prince, I wanted to make a couple of comments about this morning (or yesterday evening) news concerning Pat Robertson. I saw the clip of Pat saying: No one wants to talk about this but Haiti made a pact with the devil a long time ago if the devil would help free them from the French. No matter what your persuasion is or whether you see the spiritual side of situations, please understand that his statement was true. Haiti did make a contract with the devil and since that time, the island has been riddled with one disaster after another. Everyone who works here realizes, that although the Word of God has free reign to be taught, the saying is: God is love and the devil has power.
When the disaster hit in Gonaives, all Haitian Bible believing Christians said it was God's judgment. And so are they saying the same with this. Does that make believers nuts as they suggested on CNN? But did God do this? I don't think any of us really believe that. There are Christians who have lost their lives in this disaster. I don't think any of us can speak to the "whys" . What they didn't show on CNN was what Pat Robertson said immediately after the statement. He said, I have hope and we are helping. I can't quote exactly but it was not as though he was pronouncing a curse on Haiti.
Haiti did make a pact with the devil. It is called the Boukman Contract. You can look it up. If you lived here and heard about death and destruction all the time, things that are totally unexplainable you would have to believe that the open worship of spirits mixed with the worship of God, could well bring evil and cause some of the unexplainable things that happen. I can tell you bizarre stories but that's not the intent here. My intent is to bring your thoughts toward the Living God who has compassion and mercy upon all people and especially those who embrace Him with their whole heart. Pray for Pat Robertson because he's being persecuted for speaking a true statement.
Can we truly explain disasters, don't think so, but Jesus said Mat 24:6
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately.
Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.
But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
"Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are My followers.
And many will turn away from Me and betray and hate each other.
And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
We must pray, we must be determined to endure and we must speak the truth. These are some random thoughts, if they don't make sense realize that I've not had much sleep and must go.
God Bless everyone who is giving to help us help people.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I'VE BEEN POSTING ON FACEBOOK FOR HOURS IT SEEMS. WE DID HAVE SCHOOL TODAY BUT ARE CANCELING TOMORROW AND FRIDAY AS SO MANY STUDENTS WERE NOT THERE TODAY. WE PLAN TO GO TO PORT AU PRINCE TOMORROW. PERHAPS THERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN DO AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THE GUEST HOUSE WHERE WE ARE TO PICK NANCY UP IS STILL THERE. WE FINALLY MADE CONTACT WITH NANCY LATE TODAY. ALL PHONE LINES HAVE BEEN DOWN, AND WE'VE TRIED MULTIPLE TIMES TO GET HER, IT WAS A MIRACLE THAT WE CONNECTED. SHE IS FINE, TEAM IS FINE. IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW, SHE WENT WITH A DENTAL TEAM SOUTH OF PORT AND UP A MOUNTAIN FOR SEVERAL DAYS TO TRANSLATE FOR THEM. WE WERE TO PICK HER UP ON FRIDAY BUT SINCE THIS ALL HAPPENED WE FELT IT WAS BEST TO GO TO PORT TOMORROW.
HERE'S WHAT WE EXPERIENCED: NEAR FIVE PM YESTERDAY, GARY WAS STANDING AT THE WATER JUG GETTING WATER. I HAD JUST GOTTEN A CAN OPENER OUT OF THE DRAWER TO OPEN A CAN OF BUTTER BEANS. DAN WAS IN HIS ROOM. ALL OF A SUDDEN WE HEARD THIS LOUD SOUND LIKE A BIG TRUCK GOING BY AND THE FLOOR WAS SHAKING (SIMULTANEOUSLY). GARY SAID, "WHAT'S THAT?" AT THE LOUD NOISE THEN LOOKED DOWN AND AT THAT INSTANT DAN SAID "WE ARE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE!" THE ERASER FELL FROM THE TOP OF THE GREASE BOARD HANGING ON THE WALL. THAT WAS THE ONLY THING THAT FELL. GARY GRABBED MY HAND AND SAID, "LET'S GET OUTSIDE!" AT THAT POINT IT WAS REALLY WEIRD BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T NAVIGATE REAL WELL, SORT OF WEAVING BACK AND FORTH LIKE WALKING DOWN TH E ISLE OF AN AIRPLANE OR BEING IN THE BATHROOM OF A PLANE. I HAD THE SENSATION OF WANTING TO HOLD ON TO SOMETHING AND FELT LIGHT HEADED. I DIDN'T HAVE SHOES ON AND THERE I STOOD, IN THE DIRTY STREET BAREFOOTED (WHICH I THOUGHT I'D NEVER DO). OTHERS WERE OUT IN THE STREET TALKING ABOUT IT, SOME SORT OF LAUGHING. TWO BEGGARS DIDN'T MISS A BEAT, THEY APPROACHED US FOR MONEY. GARY ASKED THEM IF THEY WERE AWARE OF THE GROUND SHAKING, THEY SEEMED NOT TO RESPOND TO HIM BUT ONLY THEIR PROGRAM, "BAM WE UN DOHLA." WE CAME BACK IN THE HOUSE WHEN IT WAS OVER, THEN AFTER SHOCKS BEGAN AND CONTINUED ON AND OFF ALL NIGHT.
TODAY WE BEGAN TO SEE THE REPORTS ON LINE. PORT AU PRINCE IS NEARLY GONE AS ARE ALL THEIR STRUCTURES AND THE DEATH RATE IS PHENOMENAL. KEVIN SAID TODAY, "THERE IS A POWER THAT IS GREATER THAN ANY POWER AND PEOPLE MUST TURN TO HIM." HE WAS VISIBLY SHAKEN AND AFRAID.
WE WILL KEEP YOU POSTED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS. TAKE A MOMENT AND READ SOME OF THE FACTS THAT I POSTED ABOUT EARTHQUAKE. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS !!!!
"In general, earthquakes have different characteristics whether they are in the ocean or on land and depending on the geologic setting they are in," Bedwell told LiveScience. "A mountainous and rocky setting is more characteristic of not as much ground shaking, opposed to abundant sediments and not as rocky where there's a potential for higher ground shaking. Haiti would be a more sediment type, more severe ground shaking geologic setting."
Depth is also important, as the source of the Haiti quake was 6.2 miles (10 km) below the Earth's surface.
"The depth of this earthquake in Haiti was very shallow, meaning that the energy that was released is very close to the surface, which can also be another characteristic that causes some violent ground shaking," Bedwell said. "An earthquake that's very deep - that energy has a chance to go through the Earth's crust before reaching the Earth's surface and possibly not causing as much shaking of the ground."
Unofficial USGS reports suggest the shaking lasted anywhere from 35 seconds to up to a minute, Bedwell said. "That's a pretty long amount of time for the ground to be shaking."
All of these effects get magnified when the infrastructure is shoddy and not built to withstand shaking. "Unfortunately, Haiti has a rather poor economy and not a wonderful building style for earthquake resistance, so we would expect that we would see quite severe and widespread damage from this earthquake," Michael Blanpeid, associate coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, said in a podcast released today.
A potentially similar effect was seen when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck China's Sichuan province, taking tens of thousands of lives. Earthquake engineers speculated the adobe and masonry buildings and homes, many of which were probably not reinforced with steel as building codes dictate, added to the earthquake damage, especially in more rural areas.
What is the potential for future aftershocks in Haiti?
The threat is not over. "So far we have monitored over 40 aftershocks ranging from 4.5 all the way up to 5.9," Bedwell said. About 14 of those aftershocks were magnitude 5.0 or larger.
And they expect more in the coming weeks, she said. There is no way to predict whether one aftershock will be stronger than the next, as they will come in no particular order, according to Bedwell, but typically range between 4.0 and 5.5 magnitude.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
We got back safely on Wednesday and were glad to be where it is warm although, we are having quite cool weather. Cloudy overcast skies prevent the sun from heating everything up which makes for nice sleeping weather but terrible when it comes to showering. Nancy is translating for a dental team up in the mountains of Jeremie, and we know she's very cold. If it's cool in the valley, it's cold on the mountain tops.
I sometimes wonder about new years beginning and the way we approach them, for they are simply a continuation of what has been, but we are well programmed into looking excitedly to a new year. The Word says God's mercies are new every morning, I wonder why we think there will be more mercy or grace or blessing in a new year than there would be each new day?
And speaking of today, I'll be busy organizing things so that we can function in full schedules coming up. Gary wonders why I change things around but it's not really such a mystery. I'm not an organizer so I do put things in places and as I live with them a while, a new idea or better way comes to mind, so it must be changed. If I had a brain that wasn't so scattered I could do it all at once the first time. Yes, scattered is the word but this is a new year and I'm working to bring the scattering under control. So, in that quest, there is some moving of furniture that will occur today. Gary doesn't know what my request will be today, but you can pray he will be blessed when he hears what I have planned for this Saturday, and that he doesn't have other plans. (Life really is not too different in Haiti as it is in any household in North America….women always manage a job or two that only their husband can do on their day off).
Reading today in 1 Timothy, is some sound advice for today and if we meditate on it until it becomes a part of us it can be our guide through this year which has promise and also mystery because we know only today, we know only right now. Tomorrow is in the hands of the Lord.
Cling tightly to your faith in Christ and always keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their conscience; as a result their faith has been shipwrecked. 1Tim1: 18,19
The purpose for my instruction is that all the Christians would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith.(vs5)
And then the instruction to teachers which all of us need to heed in 1Tim 1:7-11: Some teachers who want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses are confident but don't know what they are talking about. Laws are for the disobedient and rebellious, ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred, defile what is holy, murder their father and mother, are sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, oath breakers, and anything that contradicts right teaching, that comes from the Glorious Good News.
Father, I pray that we who teach your Word would always be mindful of our conscience, making sure it's clear and that our hearts are pure and our faith is sincere. May we always teach the Glorious Good News. Thank you for a conscience that will always remind us when we go astray and for the promise of forgiveness when we confess sin quickly and repent of it. May we always be sincere in our faith and may we believe your Word absolutely, in Jesus name.
Monday, January 4, 2010
It seems sleep is escaping me. There are those times when my mind will not shut down long enough to actually rest. Did that ever happen to you? As I get older, it's more intense, this inability to sleep. I used to hear grandparents and then my own parents complain about not being able to sleep and wondered about their problem because sleep was something I did well. Now, it's almost happenchance to get a good nights' sleep. But, sometimes the wonderings in my mind border on torment. I realized when getting up this morning at 4AM, after about four hours sleep, I had better get control of this thing before it completely controls me!! The basis of the problem is not that I'm not sleepy, it's the interruption of sleep generated by the unseen enemy of our faith, the devil. What happens to cause this? I'd say, it's becoming too comfortable in my walk with the Lord that I don't take my place of authority and do battle with the enemy.
I don't know what happened with aging grandparents or parents, they never talked about why they couldn't sleep, so I'm talking about it. The reason I can't sleep is that questions bombard me. Questions as to whether my kids are going to make it in these trying times keep coming and coming and coming. Where is my head? I have a covenant with God and in that covenant, He assures me my adult children will make it. For years I prayed for their salvation. Today hey are all saved, Praise the Lord. During those years, I trusted what I prayed would come to pass. My children are taught of the Lord, great is their peace, fear and oppression are far from them. I'd bind the enemy, come against alcohol, drugs, music, fornication, all of it, then laid down to sleep knowing God was working in their lives. Now they are all serving God and I'm allowing torment over whether they'll make it or not? That can only be a huge attack and my answer is to do battle using the Word of God for their lives and for my peace of mind.
We have authority over the enemy by the Blood of Jesus. We don't have to put up with the attacks he brings. If he can get our minds off the Word of God on to worry, anxiety, fear, he wins the battle because there is absolutely no faith in God if we are fretting and worrying about something, particularly, when that worry is over whether our children are going to make it or not. We have too many promises to combat those lies he's telling. And, we are told to go to war against him. 2 Corinthians 3-7a says this in the NKJ: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (imaginations) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?
Those scriptures say it all in how to get rid of tormenting spirits that come to steal the Word of God and cause one to lose sleep! When I can't sleep, I need the Word of God! God, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, is always right there to bring the very Word which will set me free from the enemy. We need to remember this:
First of all, we have an enemy; secondly, we have authority over him; and we have a covenant with Almighty God that says our kids are going to make it whether they are still in the world and especially if they are saved because they have a covenant, the Word, the authority and power over the enemy and are covered with the Blood of Jesus.
It's settled in me and in heaven. No more sleepless nights for me, no matter how old I get. I'm breaking the cycle and the power of the words heard from grandparents and parents. Remember the prayer you were taught as a child? Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep and if I die before I wake, Halleluia, Lord, my soul you'll take!!
This will be a good year because we serve the Living God. We win in 2010!!!
Have a blessed day and a night filled with rest for your souls. Carolyn