Hope for Haiti’s Children Update. 3-15-10.

David & his father Gilbert

What God did for David…
Update from Debbie Vanderbeek. Hope for Haiti’s Children.
Well, folks, all those prayers you’ve all been sending up were answered in a really awesome way today!

On Monday, a week ago, David Senatus, our 15 year-old young man with the heart condition, was admitted to the hospital in Haiti. It was determined that he had an infection in his heart and was in grave condition. He was having heart failure.
We had been working to get the travel documents in hand for the March 24 departure that had been scheduled, but instead began working to get them sooner so he could get to Arkansas and have the surgery done sooner. One day into working with the Embassy, we found out that the Haitian Immigration office is back up and operating and we had to have passports for David and Gilbert before we could get the new travel docs.

I alerted the Consular Officer I had been working with to the urgency of getting David to the States with the new illness that had developed. They were very helpful, but still we had to work around the slooow Haitian system. The doctor caring for David also took the initiative to write an emergency proclamation to the Haitian passport officials to expedite David’s passport.

By Friday we had the doctor’s letter, the Embassy’s letter for expedition and were ready to go to the passport office, but it closed early. So we waited. David has not been able to lie down.  If he gets any sleep, it is in a sitting position or laying on two or three pillows propped against his dad’s chest.

On Sunday evening (that was just last night – seems like a week ago!), Tonya (HFHC Operations Manager) contacted me and said that a man named James, a 4-year med student on sabbatical (financial as he put it) was working right now as a journalist and was in the DR with GO Ministries. If you recall, it was GO that flew me out via Santiago, DR back in February for the birth of my grandson. Anyway, James said there was this shipment of medical supplies that had been sitting in the GO warehouse for a while. There was some problem with how it was addressed and so they could not send it on. He saw that it said Hope for Haiti’s Children on it. It bugged him that some ministry was missing their medical supplies, so he started looking on the internet for Hope for Haiti’s Children. He called Tonya and they started talking about this shipment for us. Tonya put me in touch with James.  I was pretty sure, but not positive that the shipment was not for us – no one had mentioned sending us anything through GO. In his conversation with Tonya, she had mentioned something about David and his condition. This caught James’ attention and he just jumped on it with me. First off he said we can get him out on a plane in the morning. The plane leaves at dawn. I was like, “huh?”
I said, well let’s wait a minute, they don’t have their passports yet – we were going first thing in the morning to work on that. James said, “They don’t need them. This lady, Robin, can get them cleared“. At first I was getting excited that this could happen, but a little farther into the conversation, I started having visions of orphans with no documents crossing the Dominican border and me sitting in jail.
So I said to James, “I’m sorry, but I have to ask this question – is this really on the level, the up and up?”

He said, this is what Robin does for a living and that she would not put a multimillion dollar business in jeopardy. So I got Tonya on a different Skype page and asked her to look into the C.A.R.E. organization. She found them to be reputable, so I said let’s go for it!

After scanning and emailing lots of docs and through lots of Skyping and emails, Robin said go on to bed and check your email early in the morning. The plane will be in PAP at 8:30, but they are not cleared in Florida yet. We’ll know by 6 or 7. So I was in bed by midnight and up by 3:45 to check email.

We live an hour from the airport. The hospital is another 30 minutes on a good traffic day. We don’t have good traffic days here anymore. So it took me almost two hours to get to the hospital. The doctor was working to get all the records ready to send with David, but the generator at the hospital was having mechanical problems and there was no electricity from the city power company. We were cutting it close now, since it was almost 9:00 and we were still waiting on records. The pilot had a limited amount of time to be on the ground.

Long traffic story short, we were almost to the airport when I got a phone call. It was a reporter (sorry – I think her name was Carrie?) from MSNBC. They were waiting for us in the airport. Ugh, I thought! This could jeopardize everything! Robin had just told me that the airport had been taken by the Haitian authorities, so the lack of docs could be an issue. Just what we needed – to draw attention to our situation! The news reporter assured me they would be discreet. Well, they weren’t exactly, but it turned out just fine. They also had two doctors with them, who immediately examined David to make sure he was stable enough to travel. MAF was gracious enough to let us invade their office so the doc could hear David’s heart sounds.

David & family before leaving Haiti

Okay, so it was finally time to leave. We started walking to the plane and a few steps into it David had to be carried. He could not get enough breath and his heart was hurting. He was carried the rest of the way and immediately put on a quickly jerry-rigged oxygen flow. He recovered fairly quickly. Did I mention that CARE wanted to send a doctor or nurse along to monitor David in flight, but could not find one on short notice? They found a 4-yr med student on sabbatical – whose name was James. So I got to meet this man I had spoken with the night before and who had orchestrated this event taking place.

At this point I want to note how great all of these people were – so kind, gentle and caring to David and his father – James Lea, Robin Reissler, the two doctors (I am sorry – I am the world’s worst at names!),Gary Lewis the pilot, the co-pilot, the reporter, the camera crew.

David and Gilbert were strapped in and ready for take off. At 11:45 they were in the air and on the way to Fort Lauderdale! That was one exciting moment!

I heard that they made it into Ft. Lauderdale and cleared immigration and customs with no problems, but David’s vitals became a concern.  The paramedics gave him a better oxygen mask, and he was stabilized and off to Little Rock.  My understanding is that David even got to fly the plane a for a while! What a great experience for him!

Co-pilot David

David is now in ICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, with his oxygen in and a grin from cheek to cheek on his face. (Side note: one of the doctors who came to the airport did her residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and under the same surgeon who will do David’s surgery. She confirmed what we had already heard – that this is a fantastic hospital and that David will receive the very best of care.)

The doctors are concerned with his condition and began evaluating him immediately. No word yet on when surgery will be done, but it should be soon.

Prayers were answered rapidly and in ways “beyond what we could ask or imagine”! Thank you to each one of you who has said even one prayer for David–but I know many of you have been fervently praying for him.

Oh and did I mention that the medical shipment sitting at Go Ministries was not for Hope for Haiti’s Children? It was for Help for Haiti’s Children. What a goof James made!  🙂   God indeed does work in mysterious ways!

At Arkansas Children's Hospital Thank you to Dr. David Smith and Dr. Morrow helping to make this surgery possible.

David is sponsored by one of my Bunco buddies, Jeanine.

All writing and photos property of LoneStarLifer. 2010

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2-17-10 Update from Hope for Haiti’s Children

Sonya and Jean
Sonia & Jean Toussaint
Houseparents at the Cazeau Christian Orphanage
They are pictured with their son, Woodine.  Woodine is sponsored by Tim and Tammy McDonald for education.

Notes on the Ground in Haiti.  Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Haiti Program Director, Debbie Vanderbeek, shares events of the day

At first I felt a little bad about going to do a food distribution at the mountain when the rest of the country was mostly stopping to pray and fast and be in services devoted to prayer. But then the Spirit reminded me of Isaiah 58:7, so I went with no guilt. I wonder if more times than not, most of us need to fast, not from food, but from “going our own way”, just being focused on “what I want to do today, thinking about what I want to think about”.

The distribution went well. We saw most of the children from both mountain villages – Brajirois and Robert. A handful did not come, but their parents came to get the food for them, explaining that the child was sick. No one was seriously ill – fever or colds mostly.  It was a good thing that we had decided to pre-bag the food for the kids.

We had thought about buying the food in the local market and dividing it in a nearby church building as we have done a couple of times in the past. But the market was closed down because of the call to prayer.

After the food distribution Jean Baptiste, Gusman & I went to the Cazeau Orphanage to meet up with Jeantyrard. When we arrived all the children and Sonia were out in the yard. They were praying and reading scripture. We were able to join them for the last 30 minutes of their “service”. I was again reminded in an even greater way of just how blessed we are to have Sonia taking care of our kids at Cazeau. I think this woman’s faith must be incomparable to any I have seen. Our children have a great example before them of how to live and depend on God in all circumstances.

David Senatus
David Senatus
Photo taken at the Medical Clinic last year.
David is sponsored by Paul & Jean Fultz

At about 7:30 PM, I received a phone call from the consular officer we had spoken to in front of the embassy on Wednesday.  He that the senator’s letter had been received and that rather than applying for a medical visa, we needed to apply right away for humanitarian parole for David.  He gave me details of the email I should send to the Homeland Security officer and his email address. I got to work right away on the letter, getting help from Dr. Smith on the medical details, and emailed it out. It bounced back to me – “user unknown”. How disappointing! So I emailed the consular officer, whom I had copied on the email, to check the email address for accuracy. I got the automated reply: “Out of office until February 22”. Another blow! I am waiting for a more appropriate time in the morning to call the consular officer and get this email to the right place! Please continue praying for this! If David gets the humanitarian parole, he could be ready for travel by the end of the week! We need him in Arkansas by the 22nd.

God Bless,

2-15-10 Update from Hope for Haiti’s Children

Waiting for food distribution
Stephanie Ariste receiving food
Stephanie is sponsored by Bryan & Krista Williams

Notes on the Ground in Haiti.  Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Haiti Program Director, Debbie Vanderbeek, shares events of the day

This week we were able to get food distributed to the Delmas & Cazeau children on Monday. A few more of the Cite Soleil children came by too. Kerlande, Judith, Lourdine, Katheline, Musset, Gusman, Silionor, Jeff, and Fales all helped divide the rice, beans, oil, sardines, spaghetti and tomato paste into bags for the distribution. Some of the younger children helped by separating out toiletries that my mom and sisters had collected in Vero Beach and shipped via MFI a week ago. Each of the kids who came by on Monday got the large bag of food staples, a toiletry bag with toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion, a granola bar and pack of crackers.

Tuesday, Jean Baptiste and I went and picked up David Senatus and his father. We all went to the embassy to try to get David’s medical visa. It was late when we got there – 11 AM – and when we got there, they had closed for the day already. So we made our plan to meet back at the embassy at 6 AM the next morning.

It was strange to go home in the middle of the day, but I did for an hour or so to get some things caught up (correspondence, organizing, etc) until it was time to go meet with Captain Doyle of the 82nd Airborne.  This meeting was simply to hand over paperwork proving that we are a non-profit organization and for me to sign a claim from the accident Tim had last week with the monster army vehicle.

Wednesday morning we were all in line by 6 AM at the US Embassy. We stood in line a little over 2 hours and then got to the head of the line to be interviewed (outside the embassy) by a consular officer to determine if we would be allowed inside. We were denied. One of our board members has contacted a senator to try to get this surgery pushed through. The senator has supposedly sent the letter to the embassy.   Now we wait.

From the embassy, Jean Baptiste and I went up to Mirebalais where we waited on the lady who told us she had all the food items we wanted to buy in her shop there in Mirebalais. It turns out that she had gone to PAP that morning to get it! So we went to the market and tried to find what we needed. We could only find rice and spaghetti, so we were forced to wait for the shopkeeper to arrive. We finally saw the kids from the Mirebalais & Pageste Schools and delivered food to them. From there we went on to Dubuisson and delivered their food.

My little buddy James was there as usual. James is mentally challenged and the cutest little guy. He is about eight years old and is always there waiting for me, usually with no clothes on. On Wednesday he was neatly dressed and excited about getting some rice. He told me he was going to make some sauce to go with his rice and next time I come he’ll make some for me too. Brandy Gampp is his sponsor, but he always tells all the other kids that I am his sponsor. Then he asks me if his sponsor came. James just started school this year and he seemed to be speaking a little more clearly this time!

James Jean
James Jean
Sponsored by Brandy Gampp
On Thursday, JB & I went to Hinche to deliver food. The schools in the villages did, for the most part, start back up Monday (8th). They are starting back hesitantly. Most people are still too afraid of going into a building and staying for any length of time. We got to the school about an hour before classes were to be dismissed. The food was separated out and distributed without a hitch. I actually made it home before dark!

President Preval called for three days of fasting and prayer and for the nation to repent. He called for everyone to stay home and pray or go to a church service for prayer. People did just that. The Champs Mars public square was filled with people praying as were many other public areas.  People were praying outside their homes and things were closed down for this day. It was also a day of remembrance of loved ones lost a month ago today and mourning. At noon, the official prayer time was over, some businesses opened, and a few taptaps were on the roads–but not many. Tim went to the market to buy rice (I hated to send him on a day like this, but need to get things lined up for tomorrow and when I am gone). I went to the orphanage to start separating food for the Brajirois & Robert distributions tomorrow. Many of my helpers were there once again to help! We got the bags all filled for the schools for tomorrow and also a good many for Alain, a local preacher to hand out to his congregation on Sunday.

God Bless,
Ruloph and his mom
Rudolph Jerome with his mother Receiving food and toiletry items
Sponsored by the 37th Street Church of Christ in Snyder, TX

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02/12/10 Update from Hope for Haiti’s Children

Waiting for food distribution

The children waiting for their turn for food distribution. Each child received: 10 lbs. of rice, 5 lbs. of beans, tomato paste, oil, sardines, and 2 lbs. of spaghetti.

Notes on the Ground in Haiti. Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Haiti Program Director, Debbie Vanderbeek, shares events of the day

Life has become somewhat of a blur! Every day seems to be the same. It is hard to keep up with the day of week, date of the month – what month is this???  I just realized today that on Friday, a month will have passed since the earthquake.

Last Friday we bused in the children from the Cite Soleil School to the Cazeau Church/School building to distribute some relief items to them. We have 261 sponsored children in the Cite Soleil community. I wasn’t sure how many to expect to see, but more children than I thought did show up! We saw 219 of our kids! It was great. Only a handful had injuries. The mothers of at least two children died when their houses collapsed on them. Many have lost their homes. The numbers are not yet clear. For the most part the kids looked okay – some are ill. There is a lot of fever and respiratory illness going around. A lot of this is due to the dust in the air and being out in the cool night wind all night long. Sheets do not provide a lot of protection. So far, in respect to the people living outside (at least I million) it is good that there has been no rain. But in regards to vegetation and farming this is not good – but still we pray for no rain – or at least no more than a light sprinkle to keep the dust down a little.

As I mentioned earlier, days are running together and I may have reported some things already. So just forgive my feebleness of mind if you have to read something for a second time, please.

One day last week I stopped by the army post for the 82nd airborne from Fort Bragg, NC. The generator at the Cazeau orphanage was finally pronounced “dead”, so I went and bought a new one. I asked the military if they could send over a generator technician to hook up all the electrical wiring to the generator and buildings. It was close to dark so I did not think they would come at that time, but they indeed followed me right over. The generator guy got started and quickly saw that it would take more time than at first was thought. He also cut himself with his own knife while trying to loosen the wires, and I found out the next day that he got 6-8 stitches! I told him he should make up some really good story rather than just saying that he cut himself with his own knife. Something along the lines of rescuing needy children …

The 82nd Airborne has begun to play a bigger role in our lives! They have come each day to try to figure out the “wiring nightmare”, as the generator technician calls it. They have only about one-hour slots of time they can spend on this wiring project at the orphanage, so they have come several days now.

Another group for the 82nd has also come to just visit and assess needs. On Saturday they came to visit and brought radios for the kids. They are little hand crank radios with a LED flashlight built in. The kids were ecstatic! Sadly, some relative were visiting some of the children and took their radios before Sonia and Jean knew it. But there are still plenty of radios there and the kids know how to share.

children receive radios for army
The children at the Cazeau Christian Orphanage received hand-cranked radios with flashlights from the 82nd Airborne. Some of the children are also wearing red t-shirts sent to all the children at the orphanage by the San Jacinto Elementary  in Deer Park, Texas.

On Friday, Tim, Aaron Graham and Julmice Louis left the orphanage to go pick up a shipment from the airport. This was a real run-in with the military – again, the 82nd Airborne! Tim was following behind a carrier vehicle – the kind with tires that are as big as a pick-up truck. He thought hey were turning left so he passed them on the right. They were turning right. They gobbled our little truck right up! Fortunately no one was hurt. The military guys were great. I visited the Captain in charge of legal matters today to find out what to do. He filed a claim for us and we’ll see what happens in a couple weeks. I have not heard anyone say that they are not happy to have the US Military here! As far as I can determine, they are very welcome in Haiti- at least for now. Anyway, we are happy to see them!

By the way, the Alpine Church of Christ in Longview, Texas raised funds for Haiti relief efforts. Dr. Tim Graham and son Aaron came from Texas to Santiago, DR, where they picked up Julmice Louis. Julmice grew up in the Cap Haitien Orphanage, of which we were administrators back in the mid-1990’s. They rented a 8 x 22 foot flatbed truck, went to Santo Domingo, where they loaded that truck with supplies and drove all the way to Thomazeau with it. They have been instrumental in our food distribution to the kids! We have been able to find rice in Thomazeau, but no beans, or smaller cans of tomato paste and oil. I don’t want to say too much on an internet post, for security reasons, but they were so great in how they helped us. They stayed with us for 3 nights and then returned to the DR to catch their flight back to the States.  We enjoyed having them. They are great dishwashers! Each evening after my feeble attempts at providing them a decent meal, they did all the dishes. Aaron an Julmice were great “mules” too! They loaded a bunch of supplies and helped with getting the Cite Soleil distribution ready.

God Bless,

2-4-10 Update from Hope for Haiti’s Children

Daphca gets a blanket
Daphca gratefully receives a blanket.   Her sponsors –Timothy and Katerine Dekker

Notes on the Ground in Haiti.  Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Haiti Program Director, Debbie Vanderbeek, shares events of the day
Today was a great day!

I went to the orphanage first to deliver/pick up some items. I found the little girls singing a great song: Satan Has Lost the Battle! It was great to hear their little voices declaring the truth in song! They were so full of joy!

Then I met up with Cameron and Riley, two guys from Mission Lazarus in Honduras. They just wanted to tag along with me while I did whatever I had to do. We went to the refugee camp that JT has set up over across the street from the Delmas 28 church/school site. Some Catholic Sisters are allowing the use of their school yard for the camp. When I walked into the compound I was almost tackled by John Kelly Chery, one of our sponsored children at Delmas. We had not yet seen each other since the earthquake. John Kelly just would not let go – he just kept me in a bear hug. Finally he let go and grabbed my hand and said, “Come here, look at this”. He was very excited. We walked across the courtyard and he pointed up into the sky. Way, way up in the sky was a tiny home-made kite. He had made it out of a black plastic grocery sack, some thread, and I couldn’t tell what the tail was made of. We took a whole series of pictures of the kite. He kept reeling it in closer so it would show in the photo. Finally after bringing the kite way down, we got it.

Also staying at the camp are several other sponsored children. Many were not there when we visited, but we saw Daphca Alexis Fleurissaint, John Kelly Chery, and Rudolph Jerome.  Kenny Junior Chery is at the shelter too, but I did not see him.

The people staying at this camp are church members, some of their family members and neighbors. They are fed a light meal in the morning and then a meal of rice & beans in the evening. The group was pretty orderly while receiving their food. Jeantyrard is the “juice-master”. He mixes the juice and serves it to each person. He seemed to really enjoy this role! The folks from Go Missions had sent a lot of blankets donated from American Airlines and some clothing. I took what the orphanage needed first and brought the rest for church family. There was not an orderly line for this distribution, but it wasn’t totally out of control either. Blankets were given to women with children first and then to others.

We left with Jamba and went in the direction of the Family Memorial Clinic to get some meds that David (our heart patient) needs to be on until surgery. On the way we stopped to inquire about a shipment Amerijet had told JB we had received. Turns out the shipment wasn’t for us, but for MOH. But that put us in position to help someone in need. On the road near the General Aviation airport, we saw a small crowd of people on the side of the road looking into the ditch and a couple of people pouring water into the ditch.  We stopped and asked what was the problem. A woman had passed out and fell into the ditch and they were pouring water on her to try to bring her around.

They asked if we could take her to the Miami Hospital, which is a large field hospital that has been set up in between the General Aviation and International Airports. We took her right over to the hospital and they took her in, no questions. It turns out she had not eaten in two days. There were quite a few there in the same kind of weakened state. They were being cared for and fed. The University of Miami has set up this hospital and is serving a large number of people. After I asked around a bit, we were able to get the meds we needed for David, since we knew our clinic had closed for the day. It was a five day supply, so we still need to get another supply. I know we had the meds he needs in the donations I took over there last week.

Then we headed on to the refugees camp where David and his family stay. They had taken David back to the hospital the previous evening. His mom said he was in bad shape, but was better now. I think they gave him another IV, but it is never really clear….

We told them about the quick surgery date. David’s father was going to go back to their crumbled house to try to find David’s birth certificate. JB is going to try to find out how to get a passport since the passport offices were destroyed. There is a lot to be done and seemingly insurmountable odds to overcome, but I believe God’s hand is on this and He already has a plan for all of this. David seemed very happy to hear the news of a date so soon, but he did appear weaker than a few days ago when I saw him.

We then dropped JB off to do some things he needed to do and went to buy some more food supplies for the upcoming distribution on Friday.

I thought perhaps Tim Graham and Julmice would be at the house by the time I got back, but they had not arrived. A few minutes after getting home I got a call from them and they were not even to Jimani yet and it was already 7 PM. The truck was having mechanical problems. Finally around 11:15 they called again and had made it to Roberta’s where they needed to drop some of the supplies. They decided to stay there for the night and come on over here in the morning. The goods they are bringing will be instrumental in our distribution.

The children at the orphanage, the children at the camp – they made this a great day! Thank you for your prayers – Jean Baptiste’s boys are getting better. Jean Laurens was keeping some fluids down and starting to play a little. Please keep praying for a strong recovery.

God Bless,
“For You have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.”   Psalm 71:5
Boys flying kites
Children at the camp being kids
2 are sponsored through HFHC:
Rudolph (center) – sponsored by the 37th Street Church of Christ
John Kelly (right) – Therese Hostetter
Man receives a blanket
American Airlines donated blankets.  HFHC handed them outWaiting in the food line at the camp.

Waiting in the food line
The people staying at this camp are church members, some of their family members and neighbors. They are fed a light meal in the morning and then a meal of rice & beans in the evening. The group was pretty orderly while receiving their food.

Kite in the Sky
Their kite….made from a black grocery
bag and thread
Daphca gets a blanket
Daphca gratefully receives a blanket.
Her sponsors —
Timothy and Katerine Dekker
Girls sing Satan has lost the battle!

2-3-10 Update from Hope for Haiti’s Children

David Senatus
Now scheduled for heart surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, February 26th

Notes from the Ground.  Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Haiti Program Director, Debbie Vanderbeek, shares events of the day
We’ve spent the last couple of days trying to find resources and coordinate to get relief items.
I was able to deliver a good bit of medicines over at the Family Memorial Clinic, which is open again, for the time being. I’m not sure if the doctor is comfortable in the building since it has not been checked for structural integrity. These were meds from the team and also from the World Health Organization. They had donated a large box of medical supplies when our medical team was here.
We were finally able to track down David Senatus. David is a 14 year old boy who is sponsored by Paul & Jeanine Fultz. David needs a mitral valve replacement surgery which cannot be done in Haiti. We had been in the very early stages of trying to get him, along with Ruthe Marius to the States for surgery. Ruthe also has a heart condition in need of surgery, which also cannot be done in Haiti. Ruthe is sponsored by Barbara Hampton.
David had a significant head injury from a block falling on his head in the earthquake and he lost a good bit of blood. This weakened his already precarious condition. David and his family are now living in one of the many refugee camps. We will try to speed along the process for getting him to the States now.
Breaking News!!! David has been approved for surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital on February 26th!!!!!!!! We have much to accomplish to make this happen, but David’s life truly is at stake in this. Please pray for a miracle in all of this coming together at the right time. We’ll work on Ruthe next! Thanks to Dr. David Smith in Little Rock for making this happen!
Food Storage Unit
A picture of the storage room before being loaded with supplies — It is stuffed full now!  Our sponsored children will be coming in for distribution this week!
On Saturday (I think) Go Missions out of the DR flew in with a small plane load of relief items. Thanks Karen & Ken Georges for coordinating this for HFHC. There are at least 4 tents in the mix and Sonia (our Cazeau Orphanage house mother) was so excited to get one! Today they told me that they slept 16 in the 6 man tent! I just found the 4th tent today, so tonight at least 16 -20 more of them will get to sleep in a tent too. The wind and dust have been vicious – people are getting colds and other respiratory illnesses from being out in it all day and then all night too.  The other two tents went to JT & JB for their families.
We are getting a load of goods from Dr. Tim Graham and Julmice tomorrow – trucking it in from the DR. We are hoping to have all our PAP area kids distributed to by the first of the week. We’re looking forward to having them with us for a couple of days.
On Sunday some folks from Mission Lazarus-Honduras called and asked if they could tag along with us in what we were doing. We had them meet us at Cazeau and they played with the children a while, helped unload the truck and then we went to the La Plaine orphanage to give them some food supplies. They may be able to help this orphanage for a couple weeks or so with the food they need.
Also on Sunday afternoon, Curt King and a couple guys working with him came to the orphanage to assess drilling a well there. We knew Curt and his wife Mary from our days in Cap Haitien. They were planning to come the next day if they could get the rig working. But now it looks like it is put off indefinitely as they have another location that in more needy than we are right now. It will happen in God’s timing!
Children eating at the orphanage
Children at the Cazeau Orphanage
Left to right:
Emmanuel – sponsored by Sean & Janet Salisbury
Guerson – Sponsored by Lyndall & Karen Stubblefield
Saintania – Sponsors Jack & Jean Griffith and John Gnemi
In the Back:
Cassandra – David & Enid Lollar
There is another group that wants to meet about some possible distribution aid for HFHC and the church. I had hoped to get up with them today, but got waylaid. I went and bought a generator for the orphanage – the old one bit the dust. It is important to have some power for security. While I was purchasing the generator, a guy from the army whom I met a week or so ago called and said they were coming to the orphanage. I said I was on my way and would meet them. I waited 2 ½ hours and they didn’t show. I had hopes of them connecting the generator and inverter, but God must have another plan! There are many people who are helping, but then there are those who call or email and promise help and all kinds of things and then never deliver. That is disappointing, but all the more reason to always remember to put our hope in God, not in man.
Someone made the comment today about the foreign groups coming in to help and how good it is that they are willing to stay in tents. Yes, it is good – but they will all go home to comfort and luxury in a week or two. The people here are here to stay. Where is the end in sight? There is no end in sight. It’s one day at a time or one could go insane. Many have just gone mad. It is so sad. The things we all take for granted are innumerable! Sonia went out of the orphanage neighborhood for the first time this morning. She was so shocked to see what had happened to PAP. She had no idea what had happened in PAP – the extent of damage and suffering. People outside of PAP or who have been in one area that was not as affected have no idea the extent of the damage here. They just cannot grasp what has happened in this city. We were talking about just how long it will take to get back to “normal”. And the normal was not even good. But people here, it seems, would be just so thankful & happy to get back to that for now!
Please pray for the children of Jean Baptiste. They are both ill and can’t seem to get the right meds or a diagnosis. Laurens has been vomiting several days now and can’t keep even a sip of water down. He has at least 3 IV’s for fluid replacement, but isn’t better. Clausen is a little better now. This is a big drain of strength and energy on JB and Beatrice. They are looking quite worn.
Jeantyrard has helped the Delmas 28 church members and the members of a church in Croix-des-Mission set up camps for their members. They feel a little more secure, but look to JT to provide so much for them. This is a huge burden on JT, so please keep him in your prayers too. Many people have made reference in emails to us that they are holding us up as Aaron & Hur held up the arms of Moses. Please hold Jeantyrard’s arms up in the battle!
If I’m ever going to send this update I’ll have to stop all this rambling and hit “send”. God bless all of you who have been and continue to be so supportive in prayer and in many other ways. Please continue your fervent prayers for the people of Haiti.
God Bless,
Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day, in our time make them known;
in wrath, remember mercy.
I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
Decay crept into my bones,
And my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
To come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud
And there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails
And the fields produce no food,
Thought there are no sheep in the pen
And no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.
Hab. 3:2, 16-19

1-31-10 Update from Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Our young 105 year old lady
105-year-old young lady
Notes on the Ground in Haiti. Hope for Haiti’s Children.
Haiti Program Director, Debbie Vanderbeek, shares events of the day
By 8:00 AM I was feverishly collecting more information to be added to the “pile” that is really a small mountain!  Manna Global made contact with us and after many phone calls and logistics juggling, we sent Gusman with a truck driver to pick up what they had to share with us.
Tim went into Thomazeau again and scarfed up as much food supply as possible.  In the meantime, the Healing Hands International scouting team came by and we took them over to the orphanage to meet with Jeantyrard.  It looks like JT will get some aid for the churches from them. Yea!
I left the orphanage and went to the UN headquarters near the airport where I met with someone from Counterpart International, an organization that is helping to coordinate some shipments through HFHC from a church in Arkansas. We will hopefully have some relief goods to distribute from that in about 2-3 weeks (or so). I also got some good information on logistics meetings at the UN. I’ll start attending some of those on Friday morning, hopefully.
As I was driving home, I was thinking about the little lady who came to the clinic we held in Thomazeau on Sunday. She was one of those bright spots in these last 2 weeks of darkness. She came in, sat down, and announced that she was 105 years old. She then proceeded to tell us which president came into office when she was 3 months old. She was a cute little toothless thing! Steve came over and took her picture. He showed her the picture and she said, “Now there’s a really young lady!” Then my sister, Laura came and snapped a quick, candid shot. The lady made Laura come back and do it over because she was not properly posed for the first shot. She was so funny! She had fallen on her face and chest trying to run out of her house during the quake. Fortunately she was not seriously injured. I think she was the most enjoyable patient we had – at least for that day!
This morning I was ready to “hang it up”. It just seemed like nothing was happening and that people were all working on their own – it seemed like everyone was wanting to work on their own. I was ready to just go home and be a grandmother if I couldn’t be doing something here to make a difference in all this devastation. Then God started showing me some small steps to take. And that is probably my bigger problem sometimes – I want to see the big picture, how all these pieces are going to fit together in the long-run, when all God wants me to do is say, “Give me today, my daily bread”.
So each day, we’ll just keep looking for the daily bread to feed as many as we can and keep making the contacts and working on the logistics of the things to come in a few weeks.  In the meantime we are trying to get our “ducks in a row” to be ready when the “big one” comes in. It is all in God’s hands and His timing. Too often He has to remind me of that.
We just had another fairly significant shock. This is keeping people so on edge. Pray for the population in general and the believers specifically to be calm in God’s arms and able to rest even in the dire conditions in which they are living. Please pray for the massive amounts of relief that are coming in daily to get into the hands of the people who truly need it, that people would receive the distributions calmly and orderly and everyone could find help.
Pray for Sonia and Jean as they care for the children; for Jeantyrard, Jean Baptiste and the team of volunteers who help HFHC; for Pacius who is working so hard in Gonaives to help the refugees there.
And for so many others who are coordinating, collecting and delivering and the medical people all over the city trying to care for the many injured.  In case you did not hear – a man was pulled from the rubble yesterday – ALIVE! Amazing! Pray for more miracles of every variety!
God Bless,