Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Petionville & Cite Soleil

Some of the worst damage from the earthquake was found in Petionville, a densely populated section of Port au Prince... Delmas is also a disaster zone that can't be comprehended. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a million pictures can't convey the what your senses feel in every dimension.

It's a mix of shock, sadness, heaviness that'll come in a flash... and then hope, faith, and joy that swells as the Haitian people erupt in prayer, and grateful, grateful praise as they appreciate what they have... not what they have lost.

One mother in the med clinic lost three of her four children; in the sadness, her authentic expressions of praise for the life of one child saved is a wonder to witness.

We set up four distribution points; three in Petionville and one in Cite Soleil, the notorious slum district of lower Port au Prince, where Pastor Astrel Vincent has dedicated years of time, treasure, and talent to lift lives young and old to new planes of promise and dignity.

He has about 200 families camped in the church yard. Families that live in the poorest part of the poorest city in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. And now the very little they could call home has been taken away.

But again, there in the reality of the moment, faith trumps tragedy. Moms & dads and kids with nothing more than the tarp over their heads happy to have each other and to be alive.

Some more photos posted here today.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Children Evacuated from Cazeau Orphanage, Port au Prince

It's been a long couple days... not much sleep, but that's ok, morning can't come fast enough. Every moment taken to wait on this, wait on that... though reasonable & understandable considering the amount of work and the amount of people doing it in Port au Prince... feels like an eternity. Antsy, ready, hyper to go-go-go and get things done emotions have to be balanced with concrete, calculated decisions... because a bad decision means time wasted. Oh well-- at least we can think & talk & brainstorm at 100 miles an hour and scratch off the thoughts and plans about how to do the most with what we have to help the most people... and the right, most people... in the wake of this larger than life tragic earthquake.

Received a txt from Joe K. yesterday... Suzie contacted him that the children's home in Cazeau had to be evacuated; walls had fallen down, supplies had run out, and the already bad neighborhood was getting worse. Way worse. Bands of guys roaming the streets with machetes, looking & looting worse.

Courageously they transported 150 or so kids, most with mental & physical disabilities one hour north of the city to a new facility that is in the process of being finished. Not finished yet, but an oasis away from the chaos and concerns of the capital.

We hoped to leave base around noon with and truck rice, beans, water, & diesel fuel up to the kids' new home. Never been there before, but with Joe K.'s simple directions scratched on a notepad, "Go through Archiae about 8 miles and make a right down the gravel road at the Texaco station", we couldn't miss :-)

On the way north on National #1, lo and behold a small pickup ahead with a load of praising ladies in the trailer... right behind a white delivery truck with half its roof ripped off, loaded with kids, wheelchairs, & iv's. It was them! Thank God for people who get in there and get it done... even if you have to turn a busted up delivery truck into a special kids mobile!

We joined the convoy & bumped up the gravel road to Williamson... and oh what singing, shouting, and dancing there was when the last truckload arrived.

Didn't have too much time to sit & soak it all in-- darkness was coming and the troops have a curfew over the city-- we had to make it through and get back to base or it may have been a long night sleeping in the back of our delivery truck.

Our little friends-- Martin was fine (I could barely hold the tears back when he came around the corner with his little hospital shirt on-- he's the dude up top this post); Eduard was fine... and smiling ear to ear like usual; Henri was fine... and wouldn't stop hugging anyone he could for as long as he could, as usual. And Xanthus was fine and looking better than ever, literally.

And they were all so happy to be in a new place called "Home". Nothing like 150 rejoicing kids and caregivers to lift your spirits.

Hoped to upload more photos, but night is almost spent and the mosquitoes aren't giving up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FTH team leaving for PauP in the morning

A lot of expectation, anticipation, prayer. Wishing we were there already. But much is in motion; latest news is that 6,000 gallons of water will cross border into Haiti at 0700 Sunday.

Today we assembled about 450 lbs. of medicines, wound management, and casting supplies to hand carry to the clinic. Two orthopedic doctors arrive on Monday morning... so far people with the severest breaks & injuries have been taken across the border for care in the Dominican.

Morning can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help Haitian Earthquake Survivors!!

By now you may have heard about the tragic earthquake that hit the capitol city of Port au Prince, Haiti; 7.0 magnitude, only 9 miles offshore, and only 6 miles below the earth’s surface.

In the morning the imagery and the extent of the devastation will reveal just how destructive this earthquake was. Potentially tens of thousands of people perished in a matter of minutes.

The earthquake struck just before 5 p.m. EST time; Joe Krabacher from Mercy & Sharing contacted Feed The Hungry at 5:10 p.m. With phone lines and cell towers down, it took quite some time to actually connect with personnel in Port au Prince, but finally got through to Madame Chenet. She reported that the orphanage, school, and three-story medical clinic were spared; but she could not report on the Abandoned Baby Unit… which is housed at the General Hospital in Port au Prince. News reports have stated that the General Hospital collapsed, but those reports are yet to be confirmed. We can only hope that the children at the ABU were spared as well.

Feed The Hungry is in full response mode… ministry partners on the ground in Haiti are assessing the damage and ready to respond with emergency supplies.

Your help is urgently needed. Your generous support today will help provide emergency food and relief supplies to survivors. Survival Kits will include items like the following:

Emergency food
Drinkable water
Cooking supplies
Plastic sheeting for shelter

In addition to immediate life-saving aid, your gift will also provide for the long-term needs of children and families, rebuilding communities and restoring hope.

For over 20 years, Feed The Hungry has provided emergency assistance to help people in need all around the world.

If you'd like to help the children and families in Haiti who have lost everything because of this tragic earthquake, please visit http://www.feedthehungry.org/ and help today.

Thank you!!!