God is in Haiti
By Content Author on January 14 2010, 2:58pm1-14-2010
I have a story to tell about God working in ways beyond our comprehension once again. It is a wonder every time it happens.
I have been very worried about all of our boys in University who go to school and live in Port au Prince. We had heard on 1/12 Tuesday that they had run out of the house just before it collapsed. We didn't know who was home at the time but knew that they needed help because some had no shoes or shirts and were wandering around with no place to go. No money as well. We didn't have a way to get to them and we felt helpless.
Then later that day I received an email from the office indicating that one of our board members was concerned about his father and brother in Haiti. He was unable to make a call to see if they were okay. I couldn't find Conor or Nannette so I happened to walk up to Ellen Boldon to see if she could help me. She said that she knew the father well and would be willing to walk down from the hospital to see if he was at home and doing okay. When she came back she told me that the father was fine in FDB but the brother had not been heard from - he works in PAP. She emailed the news to the US and that was all we could do at the time.
I was instant messaging with my family on Wednesday evening when Nannette came running to me at about 7 pm and said she couldn't believe it - the Xavier House boys had just arrived in a pickup truck. They came wearily up the stairs to greet us. Their faces were very somber and we all hugged, relieved. We ushered them in and gave them food and drink. They were all walking poorly saying they had traveled about 15 miles before someone had found them yesterday and picked them up to transport them out. Yves and Duval had walked for several miles without shoes before strangers called out to them and told them to take the shoes of their dead - they would not need them now so give them to someone who could (Yves was very quiet while he told us this story). Lesly told us that he had been inside the school, they had just finished and he walked outside and the school shook and fell down behind him. He said that all of the other students were still inside.
After the students ate, they were driven home to see their families. Duval walked up to me and was apologizing because he had gone to the bank to get the money for the house and forgot to get it before he ran out (it's enough to make me cry if they think that it was important he should have thought to take it with him). They were safe! I walked up to the gentleman driver and thanked him for bringing the 6 men to the hospital to see us. I asked his name and I gasped in surprise. It was the board member's brother who knew one of the Xavier House students and saw them walking in Ti-Goave. I asked him to immediately sit down at the computer and email his brother in the states to tell him that he was okay. Again I must say "Mesi Bondye". The boys want to return to the house to see if they can get any of their belongings. I have since heard that Michel Laude who has been working in our accounting department at the hospital has gone back to see what he can find.
Duval came back the next day to talk to me more about their experience. I listened carefully as he talked about not knowing what was happening as the house was shaking. As the stairs were collapsing under his feet, he ran and made it outside. The cook and cleaner who were downstairs also met him on the street. Several people held onto each other as they rocked back and forth with the earthquake. They slept in the street that night all lined up in a row. He told me that if he had not been home to take care of his sick brother that day, he would have been in school. His school had collapsed as well. His mother who had not heard from him and his brother had thought he was dead and was so happy to see him last night. He also said he would have graduated from school in August and now, after 5 years of studying very hard, he did not know when that would happen now that his school was gone. He would be graduating from dental school. Duval also told me that Winddcheley our diplomacy student was also okay and was now back in Fond des Blancs. Winddcheley had just returned from the States on Sunday and was still on holiday from school. He said he had heard from Michel Clerfort but did not know about Wisnick because his house was gone.
The latest sad news is that our new clinic in Villa did not survive intact. Dr. Miliane had gone up to check on it yesterday and there is a big crevice in the ground that has broken the building in two. I don't know what will happen now and I don't believe you can repair a building that has a deep line in the ground underneath it. What an absolute shame.
Conor has gone today (Thursday, 1/14/2010) to assess the situation in PAP, talk to people he knows and bring his family out to FDB. He will be gone all day. The funeral for Jules' daughter is to be held today at 3pm. All of us will be going to this sad event. The group went walking in the community yesterday and has gone to Kay Gran Moun today. We are still trying to have an immersion experience; however, we all agree it is unlike any other one we have ever had. At reflection last night, Nannette commented on how many things she has witnessed during her 27 years coming to Haiti. This has truly been the worst for her and I'm sure most of you agree that that must be pretty bad. This morning we were encouraged to send a list of US citizens to the US embassy in PAP who is formulating an evacuation plan for those who are stranded in Haiti. We will share more information as we know it. All flights coming into PAP are for authorized personnel. The US has sent a team to assess the situation. Other countries are already flying help in. If our SBHF family wishes to do something from afar, the needs are prayers and money to keep the hospital going. We know that the hospital will probably be utilized for patients since so many of the hospitals in PAP have been destroyed. Although the patient count was low yesterday, we don't anticipate that to continue for very long as the people migrate out of the capital to find shelter and family that live elsewhere.
I have included pictures from the past two days and an explanation page to go along with it. Share it with those that wish to get news. I will write more as I can.
My best from here to you there,