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Friday, January 15, 2010

A Haiti Update

Haiti Update:

Praise God for His continued protection and provision! We have been staying at night at the Quisqueya Christian School compound. We would not be functioning at all without the aid of our amazing Haitian staff. Most of our workers lost their homes; some lost family members; some lost many family members. At this point, about 3-4 of our staff are unaccounted for. I am amazed at a gracious God who spared so many.

Our food supply is good right now. Jack and Marcia, who are somewhere in the states (they left Tuesday morning, about 6 hours before the quake), had stocked up a 3 week supply. We’ve moved the food into the med clinic, which sustained very little structural damage and is secure with a lock, to protect from looters as there is no one staying at Three Angels at night. Our cooks have been showing up diligently to prepare the noon meal, which we tote downhill (just under a mile) to the school for the kiddos. I’ve been degajing (Haitian for “make do with what you have”!) breakfast, snack, and dinner. Again- the staff here is an amazing help.

I am stunned and so thankful for God’s sovereignty in orchestrating that over the past few months I’ve met and made friends with so many of the QCS faculty; I’m sure they’d be helpful and kind regardless of the previously forged bonds, but because of those bonds I feel at ease soliciting help and recruiting workers! And they are helping immensely!

My main immediate concern is access to water. The school at which we are staying does have a little potable water and there are places to purchase it, but cooking and cleaning water is scarce.

This is my first “direct” communication with the States since the quake. I’ve been communicating via Megan Hauge, the former TA House Manager, and others’ phones (text messaging). If you’re ever in Haiti longer- term and purchase a cell phone DO NOT buy Digicel! Go Voila all the way- it’s the more dependable server.

Anyway, I understand that a handful of Three Angels' VIPs are landing this afternoon. They will assess the structural damage to the O and we’ll go from there. The O itself is still standing. We’ve been advised to not go into it (which I of course have had to disregard at times!) as there are significant cracks everywhere. Again- I am stunned that NONE of our kids or workers sustained even a SCRATCH. Most were inside when the quake occurred and the internal damage (stuff on the floor, etc.) is significant. AMAZING. The walls are all down around the O (including the back wall, beyond which is a 20 foot drop off which makes the area unsafe for the kids) but the front gate still stands. We’ve been securing it at night and most of our neighbors have remained at home so as of today there has been no looting.

The kids are extremely resilient. Our first night was spent in a neighbor’s field and we tried to make it a camping adventure. The scariest thing for them has been the tremors, which I believe are now over. The last one we experienced that was significant was more than 24 hours after the initial quake. We have a handful of little ones who have respiratory infections. I’m sure this was compounded by one night on the dewy, cold ground. We now have a safer and more comfortable arrangement on a concrete slab under a tin awning. We also have transported enough bedding materials for all to be warm.

Praise God we have medical care available and plenty of meds. The kiddos who are wheezing are Djoulie, Sebastian, Lukeson, Dave, Jean-Baptiste. Some of these have pre-existing conditions so parents, please do not worry. All is well. Our God is in the Heavens.

Are you amazed to be alive? After Tuesday night, I now am. We who are deserving of God’s just punishment for our sin benefit from His amazing Grace with every breath we take; every moment this side of hell is a blessing we don’t deserve! Check out Psalm 112. “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” What a privilege to have not only experienced such a demonstration of God’s power but to have survived it! This God who shakes the earth is the same one who Himself crushed His Son because of our rebellion and vile sin. His generosity to punish the sinless Jesus in our place proves that He is a good and merciful God. What an opportunity is now ours to follow and know this amazing, undomesticated and untamable God! One day He will shake not only the island of Haiti but the whole earth as well. On that Day I want to be found to be on His side and I encourage you to be prepared as well. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God!(selected Scripture)

Our greatest needs besides water: tents, powdered milk, working gloves, we do not need peanut butter right now. PRAY THAT AID WILL ARRIVE AND BE DISTRIBUTED AS MANY HAVE BEEN WITHOUT FOOD AND WATER FOR DAYS.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back Again

Hello Family!
I’m back in Haiti. Thank you immensely for the send-off you all gave. Because of your prayers I arrived safely here, and without incident- although the airline almost denied me passage into Haiti on the last leg of the trip. Apparently, with no form of ID to validate my work in Haiti (such as a badge or business card) and no return trip booked, Haitian immigration will not allow entry. So, praise God I was at the airport early enough! I whipped out my laptop and bought tickets to return in May/June.
I am confident I will draw upon your encouragement frequently in the days to come. Just knowing that you’re praying for me is HUGE. It’s going to be of greatest importance that I prioritize my daily time with God! I am more aware now of how incapable I am without Him and yet how in Christ, I can do all things. I returned to Haiti without much progress made resolving my back situation and this could potentially mean my undoing. As much as I’d like you to ask God with me to heal me and restore me to normal life, please pray that this little trial is one that I will embrace with joy.
So, I miss you all and love you more dearly because of the distance! Praising God for you and praying for you!
abbey mac Psalm 30:4