Sunday, January 17, 2010

An update from Haiti
Please continue to pray for these dear friends as they minister to the hurting people of Haiti. If you feel led to give, please consider giving to their ministry.

From Debbie Lucien:

January 17th Haiti Earthquake Update
Today is a day we are beginning to see more and more miracles and survivor stories. We are seeing more people who have been able to leave Port au Prince and make it here to the provinces. One young man is named Dieufort (literally “God is strong”). He grew up in our community and was the first in his family to finish high school through our ministry child sponsorship program. His sponsor had also wanted to help him finish college so he was in Port au Prince enrolling last week in a computer science program. Last night he told me his uncle’s house where he was staying had been destroyed and he had bit hit on the head. Over the past 4 days he made his way back here. As we sat by the candlelight in my house last night eating a meal of boiled plantain together, he shared with us all the horrors he had seen and experienced. Yet this morning, I saw him limping up the hill, returning to his work as a Sunday school teacher to help encourage the children.
Imagine the weeping and praises as we gathered in church this morning to worship God. One family, that of Pastor Eli Onne, one of the worship leaders, gathered together to sing a song for the church. In tears, they shared how 6 of the young adult children were in Port au Prince to attend school and work and were all living together. Their house was one of the few in their neighborhood not destroyed. Pastor Eli had gone two days after the earthquake to find if they were dead or alive. Today he stood with them all in church thanking God that he wasn’t having six funerals instead.
Following this, my brother-in-law, Jephthe Lucien, asked all those who had come from Port au Prince in the last few days to come forward so we could rejoice that they were alive and also to pray for those still in great need. All of us are beginning to plan for how to care for the increasing number of refugees appearing to see how we help. Immediate needs will be food, clothing, and housing. In the coming days we’ll tell you where to ship gathered supplies.
Caleb has been in Cap Haitien (Haiti’s second largest city) in the north coordinating relief supplies coming in. He’s had 4-5 flights each day of supplies headed different directions as he’s coordinating with Dr. Claude Surena, Haiti’s designated coordinator of relief. (Yeah for those Rotary contacts!)
Besides staying busy with that, Caleb has been distributing practical help on the ground as he finds it. As he delivered medical supplies to Hopital Justien in Cap Haitien he noticed the physicians and staff appeared exhausted and asked when was the last time they’d eaten? The medical director replied they hadn’t had the opportunity to stop. Thus Caleb headed to LaKay Restaurant where they prepare good food relatively quickly and purchased 50 meals for all the staff. When he came back with the food, the staff could hardly believe it and were very appreciative. He left funds with the restaurant which will continue to deliver for the next two days. The owner said he’ll pick up after that for a day or two and then see who else can help. It’s a small thing perhaps, but important none the less.
The mayors of Cap Haitien had sent school buses to pick up as many as possible to relocate survivors to the city here in the north. Caleb found out about it and spent $1,500 so the travelers could find a meal as they disembarked. Again, perhaps a small thing, but a practical need for those who haven’t eaten in several days.
We want you to know the resources you are sending us are being distributed quickly and as wisely as possible. Opportunities for medical volunteers and later for construction will open up but we need to plan wisely. Dr. Surena is already coordinating with those hospitals still standing around the country as to which locations need what help. We want to make sure we send people to where they can be utilized. We will keep you posted.
One last image to make you smile. This is the photo of two children (Shashu & Kiki) who arrived in Pignon yesterday. They told me that they were playing on their porch when the whole house started shaking. “Everything in the house fell to the ground!”
They spent the next three days and nights on the street. Their parents sent them to our community for safety. Their mother is a lab technician who is staying behind to help for now. These are just some of the stories and images around us. Thanks for continuing to pray!
We are humbled and grateful to see gifts coming in to help. It is getting exciting to see how we can move forward more and more and plan how to serve those around us!
Debbie Lucien for all

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