Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hurricane hits...

I know, I know, so I haven't written anything in almost a year. But life stays kind of the same, you know?
Even the advent of a hurricane, which comes upon us a few times a year usually has no direct impact on us up here in the plateau. Get it, plateau, we are elevated above...Well, not this time. For anyone who was watching, Hurricane Hanna, which was supposed to sweep past us and smack the Bahamas, changed plans. Because of the weather forces, the hurricane turned around, dipped south and basically sat on top of northern Haiti for three days. It literally rained for over 30 hours solid here.
The cement roof leaked, meaning I mopped the floor more times than I had in the past year (a good thing!) Then the basement flooded, and then, during the storm, someone climbed some trees to our roof and stole half of our solar panels. I mean, really, was that necessary? In the process the dumb bunnies also cut the wire to my satellite internet connection so I was offline for a few days. I wish if someone was going to be a thief, they'd be smart enough to at least know what wires to cut.
Anyway, the good news is (there is always is) that we survived. The best thing about living in Haiti is the perspective it gives you. The needs around me don't allow any room for self-pity. As usual, we knew the news from the low lying areas would be bad. Due to no roads, little infrastructure, the news takes a looong time to get out. We began getting phone calls from Gonaives Tuesday at 2 A.M. Friends were stuck on their roofs in the elements, saying the water was up past 7 feet in depth and carrying cars, animal carcasses and human remains past them. Horrifying stories were heard. Just the last two days we've been receiving the pictures of what is going on less than 20 miles away from us.

This is from the community of Hinche, here in the central plateau, less than 19 miles from us.

Other images are equally as horrifying. I've tried to let people know to be praying, etc.

Not too surprisingly, when I watched the American media, almost no stories are being told now. On You Tube, the only video is from Al Jazeera. How ironic!
Again the nice thing is when you are already on the ground here, you can begin helping quickly. By contacting some supporting churches and resources through Rotary International, we've already found $18K to start relief work. Caleb left since yesterday to head to Port au Prince to get supplies. The only way into Gonaives (the hardest hit) is from the South. He called me this morning an hour out of that city, pictured below. He is dropping off basic supplies, drinking water, and foodstuffs today. He and the group with him, including Haiti's nat'l director for World Vision, (a long time friend), are dropping off supplies to contact there at Gonaives hospital, churches and Rotarian contacts. I told him today to be careful because Hurricane Ike is expected to pass our way tonight and early tomorrow.

Do be praying for them. This is Gonaives from the air, taken two days ago by Michael Broyles, an MAF pilot here in Haiti. The first few days people could call out asking for help, but it took several days for forces to mobilize. The government is still trying to get up and running. Below is an image of Gonaives rooftops where many of our friends are living these days. Many are believers. Please be praying. Please pray for wisdom and safety as Caleb and others get out and try to meet some needs.

The next few days and weeks will be challenging here in Haiti. Be praying that the Christians in this country will stand up and help their countrymen. Be praying that the church at large will help.
Hopefully, Al Jazeera won't be the only people remarking on the needs here.