I just spent so much time on an update and lost it again. If life ever returns to “normal” I need to learn some skills!
We left Thomazeau at 7 AM to hold a clinic at Cazeau Church. We stopped in at the orphanage first to check on them, since we had a good size shock about 6:15 yesterday morning and I had not been able to get Sonia on the phone.
All the kids are fine. They are getting a little “edgy” now with all this unsettledness, as is everyone in the country. There is hardly a person in Haiti not affected in some way by this catastrophe. We looked to see if there had been new damages to any of the buildings. It looked to be minor cracks. Steve took a more extensive look.
We set up clinic and waited. Jeantyrard had promised there were people in real need of medical attention. At first we only saw people complaining of minor ailments (in the whole scheme of things – minor- to them, not so minor since the ailments are accompanied by great trauma) – headache, stomache, colds, etc. We were all getting a little frustrated, since all these great folks on this medical team had not jumped through hoops to come treat colds. But finally some truly in need of medical attention came in. Some had found some initial treatment, others had not yet had any treatment.
One mother brought in her young daughter who is blind. The house had fallen on them and the girl was trapped for a bit. She had some significant injuries. I’ve never really known Haitians to “spill their guts”, but this woman was spilling! She was so upset – this daughter had been injured and had until now had no medical attention; her son had been taken by another relative to Leogane to seek treatment for a severe head injury. They still have had no word as to if they made it to Leogane or found treatment. Her oldest child, who was starting his final year of secondary school (a major accomplishment here) was trapped and killed in the collapse. His body is still in the rubble. As we talked to these folks coming in, it became clear that a simple touch, a listening ear, and a heartfelt prayer with them was helping in some small way to calm them and give them a little something to keep them going.
Another woman came in. She had been trapped under the rubble of her house for three days, along with her 5 year old child who died beside her. Her eyes looked so …. So…I can’t describe the look in her eyes – but I never want to see that look again. It was a look that perhaps only someone who lived through her experience could attempt to put words to.
We were praying with each of the folks who came in. When we would ask, “Can we pray with you before you go?”, the response would be an overwhelmingly emphatic “YES! Please!” Michael told me later that they had treated a woman and were sending her on over to the makeshift pharmacy for some medicine and she said to him, “But you all haven’t prayed with me yet”.
People are reaching for God. Many know Him, many more know of Him. Our prayer is that they REALLY know Him and feel His presence in them right now, to get them through this time of massive devastation. Lives here will never be the same.
I want to pray for Jesus to come right now! Please, Lord, come! But I am held back from that prayer. I want to pray this to end this life of suffering for these beautiful people of Haiti, but I know too many people that I know and love, who do not yet know Jesus, and have not made Him Lord and Savior of their lives. So, I cannot pray this prayer! But I do pray that so many will come to the Lord now, here in Haiti and in all the world, so that we can pray – “Okay, Jesus, we’re ready now. Come Lord Jesus!” We need to all be ready!
The young man I mentioned in the January 19 update, Leonel, came to work with us, but he got lost on the way to the church building. He ended up at a hospital we did not even know was so near by. He said there was a group of Americans working there and he thought it was our group. He said they had lots of patients. He took Steve, Laura and I to the hospital to find out if they needed some help for our doctors and nurses. They were in pretty good shape – they had two OR’s up and running, with several orthopedic surgeons and other medical personnel. They said they did not need our help, but that if we had cases in need of surgeries we could send these people to this hospital. This is a blessing – we only wish we had known earlier!
So after the day had progressed, it became clear that our mission for the day was not to just treat the physically injured, but also the spiritually injured. WE knew this before, but it was really driven home to us in a powerful way.
To talk to our kids in the HFHC program who have come around is to have your heart broken. Outwardly, they are functioning, but when you start talking to them, wow, they are at a loss to know what to do. Everyone here is still sleeping in the streets. The rooms most of them had rented – the houses are either destroyed or not safe to stay in. Some have asked for bus fare to get to friends or family members in the provinces. Trust me – we are helping them!
Musset, Ridchy and Fales have been great in helping locate some of the other kids in the program for me. Ridchy and Musset, in particular – they are going up through the Delmas area where there is so much destruction and the smell of death is hanging in the air.
I am getting reports of people still trapped in rubble in various areas of the city, of orphanages without help, etc. Steve and I hope to get to an orphanage today that I knew of before and have heard that they are in need.
A team that came in at the same time as our team on whatever day it was they came has solar lights that they want to give to orphanages. They have promised two lights to our Cazeau orphanage and that if I knew of other orphanages they would try to get the lights to them. They will install. Please pray that this is followed through on. Some light at night gives a bit of security.
We thank you all for your fervent prayers. Please do not stop – it is God hearing your prayers and answering them that is keep people going and it is He who is providing and it is He who is the hope of the world.