Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Feb. 6

Rick and I ran a few errands with Ginny and then the whole group, except for Dad and Joanne left for Jacmel.

Dad had to take DR. cousins back to the Dr and pick up some guys that Joanne had coming.

We put a couple of mattress in the back of the truck and on our way we went! I love the drive to Jacmel, the scenery is so pretty. The guys and Sarah napped most of the way there.

We arrived late afternoon. We took a walk down to the beach, and scrounged around for some dinner (Tina had homemade pizza made but it was all eaten while we were at the beach).

My feet in Haitian sand

Rick and I on the beach

Then it was time for some cake! IT was Rachel's 15th birthday (Tina's daughter) and Joe's birthday. The cake came from Epidores and was very yummy!

Rachel with her cake

Joe with his cake

The group celebrating birthdays

Feb. 5

Today was my brother-in-law, Joe's birthday. We had been planning for over a week to take him to eat at Epidors for his birthday. A treat after being in Haiti all week long - some pizza and ice cream. That morning Joe said something about how he was in Haiti and he wanted to eat Haitian food. He had no idea what we had been planning! :0) Needless to say, some plans were changed quickly in creole without Joe knowing anything.

Roro took his good friend Phillip to the DR border. Phillip is starting to struggle with depression and he feels hopeless to help his sons. Roro spent the day with him praying and crying along with him.

We went to the clinic for a little while. No food form the Jamaicans today. Sarah, Joe, Rick, Micheal and I went to Petionville for the afternoon. Sarah and David (our driver) found an authentic Haitian restaurant open that served goat! Exactly what Joe wanted to eat for his birthday!

After we ate, we walked around and looked at lots and lots of paintings. I finally found one that I wanted to buy and we had to do the whole barting thing. The price started out at 100$ American and we finally worked him down to 35$ American.

On the way home we passed by a Dominoes pizza. Well we stopped and Micheal bought 2 large pizzas and some drinks and paid 40$. I didn't eat any but they said it tasted just the real thing in the states!

They couldn't wait till we made it back home so they are eating in the back of the truck while we speed trough the dark streets of port au Prince

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feb. 4

Thursday morning we got a call from the Jamaicans and they told us to bring 2 trucks with us today! Roro rented an enclosed box truck and we had our truck and when we left they were stuffed full! God is SO good!

Both trucks being loaded at the Jamaican army camp

Inventory list

We spent most of the day loading the trucks and then unloading back at the church.

Around 3pm we headed out to Roro's house to bag up the food we got the day before from G.O. Ministries. We gave bags of food to the families that were camped out on the street that Roro lives on.

Diving up the food into bags for the people

Bags ready to go

We also handed out toys that the guys brought with them. Jump ropes, hair bows, cars, stickers, suckers, balls and play jewelry. The kids LOVED them!

Rick handing out the toys

Little David and big sis

Micheal and Little David hanging out after a long day of work

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From Paul . .

Written by Paul on February 13th.

I read this bible verse posted on my sons facebook from his friend this morning and It made me start crying...It is so hard being away from Jacob,Rebecca,Rachel and my church family, but I do believe this is where God wants me right now. I see with my eyes and hear with my ears and hurt with my heart but am not suffering like these beautiful people are every moment of their lives now. They have very little hope after losing everything they had ...so we must bring to them the greatest hope Our Lord Jesus Christ. We're trying to do that through the Word and with ACTION IN LOVE "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed," Luke 4:18

From Paul . .

Written by Paul on January 30 but still so sad today.

Where would we be without our Lord??? Only God understands what I am seeing and how it has changed me forever...I would like so much to put into words but only tears begin to cloud my eyes when I try...No homes..need tents fast before it rains...No clean water..need water before they die of disease...No food...need food daily before life becomes death...please keep helping putting Feet and Hand to your prayers and ask Jesus to keep working through me..God Bless..Paul

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb. 3

No food from the Americans but we did get a call that we had a plane flying into Leogion with food and supplies for us!!! We jump in the truck and my dad throws a surprise at me – he is not going! It was me, the Haitian driver and 2 white who didn’t speak Creole! This was the big time for me to step up! :0) We did fine and had a great ride out there. Once we had stopped in traffic and Rick jumps out of the truck, runs to some American Marines behind us and just starts to chat it up! Crazy man!

When we arrive, Roro, Sarah, Joe, Ginny and Dr. Jeff were already there waiting. We finally spot our plane and have to stop traffic on the main road so that the plane has a place to land. Only in Haiti . . .

The plane came from G.O. Ministries and they brought us pasta, beans, sardines, and a few medical supplies. It was such a great blessing!

On the way home we had a UN escort for part of the way. We had only heard of trucks with supplies getting jumped and we wanted to be safe when we could be.

We took the food back to Roro’s house with plans of returning the next day to pass it out to the people camped out on his street.

Feb. 2

We headed down to the Jamaican army camp to ask for more food. They gave us water, mackerel, ALWAYS pads, canned breadfruit, corned beef and flavored snow cone syrup. We got 2 trucks full! God is SO amazing and provides just when you need it the most! We spent most of the morning loading, unloading and sorting food.

The afternoon was playing. We handed out some car toys, jump ropes, hair accessories and a soccer ball. Rick played soccer with the boys for a little while and they loved it!

Joe relaxing with the a baby

Roro had to go back to Jacmel to pick up Ginny so Sarah and Joe rode along with him. Dad, Michael, Rick and I were able to eat dinner at EPIDOR’s . It is a ‘American food’. They serve hamburgers, French fries, pizza, French crepes, fresh bread, pastries and ice cream!!!!

My first taste of the cold creaminess of ice cream in 3 weeks!

Feb. 1

Monday morning Roro, dad, Sarah and I left Jacmel at 4 am to make it back to PAP in time to pick up the guys from the airport. We drove by the Palace and downtown area. The smell of death was awful! The worst it had ever been! We dug out our masks and held of breath and prayed for no traffic!

A sign into one of the main cemeteries, it says 'Too Full. Don't bring any more'

We arrived at the church, waited for another vehicle and then left for the airport. The guys arrived safe and sound! I was so happy to finally be back together with Rick!

Rick and Micheal on their first ride through PAP - sitting on the luggage

We went back to the church, gave the guys a tour, unloaded a truck full of food (our first from the Jamaicans) and water and took them on a ‘site seeing tour of PAP’.

Sarah - forever the animal lover

Rick with a fallen house behind him

That night we all crashed early from our extremely long day. Sarah and I were very happy that our men were finally with us.

Putting up a tent for the guys to sleep in

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jan. 31

Sunday morning we went to church out in the small village of Perado. My dad was the guest speaker and Sarah and my dad sang ‘God is so good’ as a special.

After church, we went to a public beach and ate red snapper and lobster. After we got back to Tina’s house, Sarah and I took a nice long nap before heading back to church to show the JESUS film.

This time we borrowed equipment that we knew would work. We estimated around 1,000 people showed up to watch the movie. It started to rain a couple of times, but God put a stop to it. There was no room inside the church and many people were crowed around the outside trying to look in at the screen. Sarah and I sat in the Land Cruiser and just watched the people and listened to the movie.

This was also my first wedding anniversary. I spent it alone – without my husband. I was sad, but not upset. I knew that God had called me to be in Haiti when they needed help the most – even if that meant not being with my husband on what I used to think was a super important day.

Rick, Joe (Sarah’s husband) and Michael (Rick’s cousin) were on there way to join us in Haiti. They spent the night in the DR.

Jan. 30

Saturday morning we relaxed and hung around the house waiting on the Hope for Haiti guys. They were only supposed to be out sightseeing and taking pictures of the destruction. But the Haitian guy that they hired took them buy his church to ask for money and put them to work rebuilding the walls.

We finally left them and just went to the church/clinic. We still didn’t do much – Sarah was kicked out of the pharmacy cause the American doctors and nurses thought they could do it all on their own. I didn’t have anything to do because we had run out of food to pass out.

That afternoon we made plans to go to a small tent camp to help the Hope for Haiti guys pass out more clothes and toys and set up a few tents that they had with them. They made it to the camp before us and decided to go ahead and pass things out. They got jumped by the Haitians and things turned ugly! One of the Americans also had his passport stolen! They blamed it all on Roro because he wasn’t there, but we blamed it on the stupid Americans who think they know everything. Roro was able to get the passport back and they were able to set of 2 of the tents.

After that big mess we went back to the church to wait on the white guys pack their bags so that we could head to Jacmel for the weekend. Well, they called and said it was to late in the day and they didn’t want to go that night but wait and leave at 4 am on Sunday morning. Who do these guys think they are??? We said fine, they could wait but we were leaving. Roro, dad, Ginny, Sarah and I drove to Jacmel that night so that we could rest, have running water and use the computers at Tina’s house.

Jan. 29

Friday we spent at the church. Sarah worked in the pharmacy and I helped divided up the food into small bags. We gave out bags of food to the people leaving the clinic. Even though that is an easy way of distributing the food, it causes problems. People who are not sick start to show up at the clinic because they want food. Which is understandable but they still have to go through the line and see the doctors. Needless to say, we didn’t do that again for a long time!

That afternoon, I was getting my hair done. I started out with only one girl working on my hair but by the time I was done – 3 girls were doing my hair at the same time!!! That was just slightly painful. :0)

When I was getting my hair done, an extremely malnourished baby came into the clinic. At first we were told he was an orphan and the aunt didn’t want him anymore. But the more we investigated; there was a mom in the picture who never wanted to get rid of her baby. The mom had a broken leg from the earthquake and so my dad, Sarah and Ginny took the mom and the baby to the hospital. They were there for over 6 hours! The mom had to get a full leg cast and the baby weighed 10 pounds and was 16 months old!

That evening while my dad and Sarah were still at the hospital, Roro and I went to ‘help’ (really just watch and stay out of the way!) the Hope for Haiti guys pass out some toys and clothes. It was orderly for the first part but by the end they just dumped a tub full of sunglasses and let the Haitians go for it! People can get hurt doing stupid stuff like that! The guys planned on showing the JESUS film but failed to test their equipment out beforehand. The projector didn’t work. I was really sad that the people didn’t get to see the movie, but I was pretty happy that we got to head home early.

The hospital group got home about 15 minutes after we did. We got to compare notes and tell about our days over a hot plate of white rice and chicken sauce.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jan. 28

Thursday morning we had a fun time playing with little David. We finally left the house and were pulled over as soon as we left the driveway. A French lady from UNICEF demanded to see our papers on little David. Joann didn’t have any yet cause the mayors office was closed the night before and his Aunt asked us to go ahead and keep him for the night. That French lady did not like that story and insisted that we take her to the aunt right away! Well, Roro had to swing by and pick up another group of Americans who came to help with relief work. The UNICEF lady decided that we were taking to long and had the police barracde the road and take us to the police station! After an hour, they let Roro, Ginny, Sarah and I go back to the church while they kept my dad and Joann in police custody until things got settled.

We didn’t do much the rest of the afternoon. Sarah helped a little bit in the pharmacy and I helped make up a few food bags.

Dad and Joann finally showed back up at the church and they had an extra person with them. Little David had an older sister, Olguin 13, that the night before Joann said she would financially support her but didn’t want to adopt her. But after pressure from the UNICEF lady, Joann decided that she couldn’t separate the siblings. Plus she said she needed someone to take care of the rowdy 2 year old.

That night we had 4 American men spend the next 5 days with us. They brought lots and lots of stuff with them to give out to the Haitian people who now have nothing.

Jan. 27

Wednesday morning we were up early, picked up a group of Doctors and nurses, swung by USAID to try and get some antibiotics form them, went to the church/school/ clinic. The doctors and nurses quickly went to work to set up the ‘pharmacy’ and examination rooms in 3 of the classrooms.

Leo meet us at the church and Sarah, Joann and I walked down the mountain to visit with a tent camp. Joann decided that she wanted to adopt a Haitian baby. She found her baby in this tent community. The mother had lost her 3 year old son in the earthquake and went into premature labor with her second son. She didn’t want to the new baby cause she was still heart broken over her first son. The baby was 2 weeks old and tiny! He didn’t have a name yet and the mother wasn’t there at the time, so Joann made plans to return later to get papers signed and pick up the baby.

We hiked back up the mountain – not easy in 90 degree weather and when your body is out of shape! When we finally reached the church, I had to sit and cool down for a while. I spent the afternoon on the computer trying to upload pictures and send some e-mails for my dad. Sarah helped with translating in the pharmacy and my dad went with Joann to pick up her baby.

When they arrived, the mom still wasn’t back. They decided to take the baby and go find the mom (she went to the hospital for a after birth check up). When they went to pick the baby up off of the bed, they realized that the baby was no longer breathing. My dad still isn’t sure why the baby died – could be lots of reasons – born premature, malnutrioned, too hot, etc. My dad left the family with some money to gave the baby a proper burial. Joann had a very hard time with all of this (she later named the baby Isaiah) and David – a Haitian man driving us around for the time being – knew of another little boy that lost his parents in the earthquake.
They drove to another tent camp and meet a chubby little 2 year old named Lovekey.

When they brought him back to the church (where I was at) he only had on a filthy over sized shirt and sandals that were too big for him. I looked and finally found him a clean shirt and pants and a couple of toys. He was not really sure what to think of being around all these white people! We decided to re-name him (cause we didn’t know his name that first night) David -after my dad and the driver. That night, he ate all the food we gave him, Ginny gave him a bath and he slept with Joann.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jan. 26

Tuesday we spent at the church dividing up the food we brought back with us. USAID also came to the church and handed out plastic water containers and a box of laundry soap, razors, etc. They were here for 2 hours! They finally left because the crown was starting to get out of hand. But by my guess they gave to over 300 people in this community.

Leo meet up with us. He is an old friend of the family from when we used to live in Haiti. We were SO happy to see him! My dad had been trying to call him everyday sine the earthquake and he never got an answer. Come to find out, Leo’s phone was inside of his once standing house. He and his 3 kids were inside the house while it collapsed on them but they all made it outside without getting hurt. He says that he doesn’t understand why God has spared him and his family but He knows that God must have some big plans in store for them!

We have been helping Leo out with money, food and supplies. He has nothing now and is living out on the streets like so many other Haitians. Leo has been coming back to the church every day since then to help with interpretation for a group of American Doctors and nurses.

This is the day that Jenny joined our group. I also got to meet my first Haitian diabetic! The language is slowly coming back. I understand about 90% of what is being said but just can’t seem to get it right when I try and speak. The words feel funny in my mouth and I don’t want to butcher the accent and become one of ‘the Americans’.

Jan. 25

Monday morning my dad and Roro had more meetings to go to and so Sarah, JoAnn and I just relaxed. I took another shower (taking advantage of the running water!), played on the internet some more, journaled, walked down to the beach with Sarah and then walked to find us a nice cold cola courane. My dad has been giving us money every day and it has quickly become our cold coke money! :0)

Tina’s cook fixed us friend red snapper with rice and beans. Yummy!!! After lunch we had to head back to PAP. They were able to get us some food and bottled water to take back with us.

Jacmel has damage from the earthquake but NOWHERE near what Pap has. Don’t believe anything CNN is telling you. We also drove by the Palace. WOW, it is really and truly gone. We also saw lots more tent cities asking for food. We finally saw one tent of medical help and one place was handing out water – where the people could have walked half a mile to a public water pump. We have seen 10 other places that could have used that water WAY more than those people. Who is running these organizations??? They haven’t done there research very well.

I did not sleep well that night. I was wide awake until after 3 am. Because I was scared out of my mind of having another earthquake. I knew that where we were sleeping was safe but I was still very paranoid. Our whole group has become very jumpy. Any loud noise we all start running and definitely any time the ground starts to shake. We all run for wide open skies. I can’t even imagine how it feels to be still living here after the earthquake.

Jan. 24

Sunday morning we woke up early, packed our bags, and drove to Jacmel. We have a missionary family who lives there and we wanted to try and make more contacts for food. The drive normally takes 2 hours but today it took over 3 cause of all the landslides form the earthquake. It is such a beautiful drive up there! The mountains are so big and you can see for miles!

We made it for the tail end of church. Haitian church is just as I remember it being – loud, hot, crowded and long! But it was great to be able to worship with our friends.

The rest of the day we spent lounging at Tina’s house. She has electricity and running water! It felt like we were staying at a 5 start hotel! :0) We spent a lot of time on the internet (first time in over a week!), sat on the porch overlooking the wonderful ocean and took a shower. My dad and Roro spent lots of time trying to get some food for PAP.

We ate more Haitian spaghetti for lunch and then had lobster in a sauce with rice and beans. I just love Haitian food. I am not sure I will ever come back to the State – just because of the food! :0)

Jan. 23

Saturday we slept in (till 8 this time!), bathed, washed our hair, shaved our legs, played some skip-bo and waited. Roro and my dad have been spending lots of time on the phone trying to get the people at the church some food.

We ended up going to the church and waiting some more. We finally contacted a man with a helicopter that promised to fly by the church and give us some food. We waited ALL day long and finally at 5:30, the helicopter showed up with two boxes of food. They had little rice and beans packets inside from “Feed the Starving Children”. We had enough little packets to give to 72 people. It doesn’t sound like much but the people are SO excited and extremely grateful for whatever we have to give them!

Today we added JoAnn (an American nurse from Boston)to our little group. She was brought here the same day as us, but with a different lady. And then she was pretty much abandoned and Roro did not like that!

We got to eat Haitian spaghetti for the first time! I love it! I HATE American spaghetti but absolutely love the stuff I grew up with.

Jan. 22

Friday morning we slept in. So strange how 7 am is sleeping in! :0) We spent the day at the church and we found some new sheets and heavy blankets that we divided up and gave to the families living within the gates of the church. They were SO thankful!

On the way ‘home’ we drove through Petionville. There is nothing left! What buildings that are still standing will have to be brought down cause they have to many cracks to the structure. People are literally sleeping out in the streets because they are scared to sleeping inside. There are signs everywhere asking for food, water, and medical help. And we still have not seen ANY help. Where is all the money that Americans are sending to help these people? Where is all the organizations that CNN Is talking about? We have been driving all over the place and see no help!

That night we got to sleep on real mattresses! Living the high life is what we called it. :0) Earlier that day we found a whole stack of hospital mattress for the future clinic and so Roro arranged for 3 of them to brought up to the DR.s house for us to sleep on. It was amazing! Sleeping on hard, bumpy, rocky concrete was starting to get really old! We had more tremors but now we are used to them.

Jan. 21

Thursday we were up and moving by 5 am. We had to take Martin (one of the boys being adopted) to the airport to meet another missionary who was taking him to the States with them. We waited for 6 hours before we found out we were at the wrong airport! While we waited at the wrong airport, Phillip and his boys found us. He wanted us to try and get him and his boys out of the country. Right now every Haitian believes that any white person can have the magic word to get them away from here. We don’t – because we tried.

Once we got to the correct airport (the smaller of the two airports) we waited for another 2 hours. We waited in the car for a total of 8 hours! The majority of that time was spent with a very clingy, bratty 2 year old boy. By the end of the day Sarah would have gladly thrown him out the window! :0)

While at the little airport, I went inside to sit with my dad and Martin. I was getting a headache, needed water, and was extremely hot. At one point I started to get really dizzy and I thought it was because I wasn’t feeling well. Come t o find out – we had a good size tremor and I didn’t feel anything but get dizzy. Weird.
Martin finally made it onto the airplane – even though the officials kept telling us he couldn’t go. But while talking with my dad – Martin just walked right on! We waited around until the plane took off but then we left before they realized what happened! :0)

After seeing Martin off, we meet up with Roro at his church/school/clinic. They did have some damage from the earthquake but not as much as some. And nobody got hurt while on property. Praise God!
That evening we swung by Roro’’s house and took a quick cup bath. You never realize how important running hot water is until you don’t have it and go for days without bathing. Now I can use half a bucket of water and bathe, wash clothes and flush the toilet!

That night at the Dr. house, they fixed us friend pork and fried banan. Oh my goodness! It was the best meal EVER! Plus I think it helped that we hadn’t eaten a real hot meal since we left the Dominican Republic – 3 days ago!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti . . . the beginning days

We have now been in Haiti 6 days. This has been the longest six days in my life. Not from doing much physical work, but from all the emotional stuff we have gone through.

We made it from Columbus to Miami on Sunday.

Monday morning God kept putting the right people in our paths and we made it on our flight form Miami to Santa Domingo on stand-by. We flew to the DR, was picked up by a taxi driver/pastor, drove all over town, went back to the airport and picked up Shawn, drove to our guest house and slept for 4 very short hours.

Tuesday we woke up at 4 am, drove 5 hours to the border, swung by the hospital that has over 500 Haitian patients, lots of American doctors and only 3 translators! IT was very heart breaking to be there, there were no beds, so people were just laying everywhere! There were not enough nurses to change bandages, the patient charts were a piece of notebook paper taped on the wall above there heads. Roro found a young man that he knew so we stayed around for about an 1 to take care of him. We also met some other people. One lady had a head injury and her fingers were very infected. She had a 1 month old baby girl who broke her arm during the quake. We met another mom who had a broken him and leg who just had her baby girl 5 days before! Sarah asked to hold the 5 day old baby and the mom said ‘only if you promise to take her with you’. That broke our hearts! I was ready to take that baby in a heart beat! How loving and unselfish is that mothers love for her baby! It totally reminded me of God’s love for us - that He sent his very own son down to die just for me!

As much as we wanted to stay and knew we were needed, we had to move on. We drove straight through the border - no one stopped us and no one asked to see our passports! So, I guess we ‘snuck’ in the country cause our passports aren’t stamped for Haiti! We had to wait at the border for over 2 hours for our ride. He has 2 flat tires and no cell service. We drove into PAP and just got a glimpse of the destruction of buildings and walls.

Once we got to PAP, Shawn wanted to go and get his son. Nandy’s orphanage was completely gone! But all the boys were safe!

Tuesday night we felt like it was safe to sleep inside of Roro’s house. We ate a peanut butter sandwich and drank a coke and then was in bed by 7pm!

I woke up at about 5:30 am. I was just laying there dozing in and out and listening to the noise of life happening outside my window. At 6 am, I felt the bed shaking, opened my eyes and the whole room was swaying form side to side. I yelled for Sarah to get out and we both ran for the door! Those first couple of steps were hard cause the room was still moving. By the time we got to he door the shaking had stopped but we did not! We ran for our lives down the stairs and outside. My dad met us at the stairway and ran with us, but he kept asking what was wrong. He thought there was a thief inside trying to get us and that is why we were screaming. Yup, my dad slept through a 6.1 earthquake. It ‘shook’ us up really bad. Everyone in the house made it outside and nobody was hurt. After we calmed down, we went back inside only long enough to dress and pack our stuff up. We were no longer sleeping inside again!
The rest of the day was spent waiting on Shawn and my dad. They went inside the embassy with Nandy and Martin. Both of them had adoption papers and we wanted to get them out of here and into the States. Sarah and I waited outside with Roro and at about 1pm, a friend of Roro’s meet up with us. His name is Phillip and he lost his wife and 2 kids in the earthquake. He still has 2 sons left. Toskanny, a very sweet and mature 9 year old and Rachid, an extremely scared and clingy 2 year old. Phillip wants to get out of the country and he wants his sons out of here too. Sarah and I tried taking the boys into the embassy to adopt them as our own, but we couldn’t. So then we tried getting them in as a family, but the 2 yr old needed to get his injuries checked out by a Dr. first.

Shawn got his papers to take Nandy home with him and he wanted to go NOW! So we dropped him off by the airport and him and Nandy walked to the airport. Sarah and I drove around with Phillip and his boys and found the medical ship Comfort. We had a Dr. Look at Rachid who said he was fine. We had Phillip take us back to our new sleeping place - Roro’s cousin house. We were going to sleep in a drive way away from the house and walls. We were SO tired and very hungry. We told the Dr. (Roro’s cousin) and so she went and fixed us something small for dinner. Sardines in a red sauce eaten on bread. It took all that I had to eat half of it. I was able to sneak the rest of it to the dogs. Roro and dad finally came back at about 7:30pm. Sarah and I weren’t super worried but I did feel a lot better once they were back with us. Being out after dark is just not a smart thing to be doing right now.

We saw more of PAP that day. Houses flattened, walls broken, people living on the streets - literally under makeshift tents from sheets. Very draining of our hearts. :0( The language was slowly starting to make more sense to me. I could understand a lot of what was being said, but still very choppy in speaking it myself. Sarah was the opposite - she could speak but didn’t understand much.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick update from Sarah ..

I don't have a whole lot of time - but I'll try and give a quick update.

No matter what you've watched on the news, it cannot begin to show how things really are here.
House after house is completely smashed - so many people have died. They will never be able to know the real number.
I literally have not met one person who didn't have a direct family die. A lot of people had multiple children die as well as their wives or husbands. But they're so strong. They don't feel sorry for themselves at all - because they know everyone else is suffering too.

Port-au-Prince is a huge city. There's not ANY businesses open. Most of them were destroyed, but even those that are still standing aren't open. It's like a wierd ghost town, but with people. No one is in any buildings. They're afraid.

I can understand now. Our very first morning in PAP, there was a tremor that was a 6.1. We were sleeping in our friends house. I've never been so scared in my life. I can't imagine what they went through.
Now we're sleeping a driveway. Away from the house and walls, in case they collaspe.

We've been trying like crazy to get food into these people. We finally got some yesterday and we drive 3 hours this morning to get a load in Jacmel. We'll be taking it back tomorrow.

There are thousands upon thousands that are still very wounded. We were able to help some of them yesterday.

My plan in the next couple of days is to take a bag of bandage supplies into some of the camps of homeless people. They all need their old bandages changed - or they still their wounds treated for the first time.

We were able to get to adopted boys out to the states earlier in the week. We had to spend two straight days at the U.S. Embassy - but we finally did it.

Julia and I tried our best to get a man with his two kids out to the states. His wife and two other children died. Now he has a 9 year old and 2 yr old and no home and no job.

We weren't able to do anything though...we went and saw their house...I can't imagine driving up to that and finding out my wife and kids were inside. They found the 2 yr old inside - God saved him. The 9 yr old was on the porch and was able to jump off.

A lot of people are literally starving to death - we're trying to get to them...but there's so many.

Keep praying! God's doing amazing things. Thank you all for all your prayers.

There's way more to tell than I can write right now.

Talk to you soon,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Plans and Packing

I am starting this blog for our friends and family to keep updated with what is going on with our trip to Haiti.

Plans have changed by the minute over the last 2 days. My family and friends have been scrambling around to raise funds, find flights, and trying to arrange the 'whos'' and 'where's'. God is present in our lives and I am seeing it like I have never seen it before. Planning an emergency trip to a disaster area for 4 people in 2 days is nothing short of God.

Today we have all been running around to buy supplies and pack our bags. My dad was also interviewed on News Channel 13 (just google news channel 13 in Charleston/Huntington WV) and Sarah traveled up to Charleston from Knoxville this evening with her husband.

Here is a short e-mail that my mom sent out to our church family:

"Paul, Julia and Sarah are flying from Columbus to Miami tomorrow night(Sunday).
They will fly from Miami to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR)on stand-by Monday. They are meeting up with a Dominican Doctor there and going to the border. The Girtons missionaries to DR lined up the connection with the DR and those plans. They are flying in with RoRo - a Native missionary to Haiti. They will cross into Haiti at the border (not sure of how getting to Port au Prince --- that is up to RoRo!).
They will also be traveling with a UN lady. They hope to be helpful in interpreting for other workers there. And, they will minister to whatever needs God puts before them: food, shelter, etc.

We also have a friend in WI who is adopting a Haitian boy --- we found out he is ok and at an orphanage in PAP --- if God works out all the details, Paul maybe bringing him back!! He is at an orphanage of 50 boys --- the building was destroyed, and they are all living in the yard and have little food and water left.

RoRo isn't sure of what all he will find with his work... Paul will work alongside him, too.

Paul and our girls have their travel money (and are actually getting free seats from Miami to DR --- flight attendants gave up their flight hours to give them those seats...) and are working on "work" funds.

I know this isn't very specific --- we just don't know yet exactly what will put in their paths. We believe God quickly brought together all the details for them to make the trip and know it is guided by Him.. We will try to keep you posted as time goes.

Gifts can be made out to King's Way Christian Church (PO Box 307 Nitro, WV 25143) and specified for the Haiti trip. Paul hopes to be there 4-6 weeks - and he will cash and use funds as they come in.

Thanks so much for your prayers and interest --- Rachel (for Paul)"

Please continue to pray for us!