Last night it poured rain! My tent has no sides and the rainwater blew onto everything in the tent. This morning the sky cleared and we had a chance to lay out all our belongings in the sun to dry. The Haitian sun worked wonders and dried everything out in no time.
Each day I meet with 8 Haitian men for "church." Our Bible class consists of me reading a whole chapter of the Bible in English, then they read the chapter in Creole. Then we go back and read the chapter verse by verse in English then in Creole. They correct my Creole and I do the same for them in English. Then we discuss the passage. They are learning about God's word and also learning more English. Our meetings last 1 1/2 to 2 hours each day. I just found out that none of them had eaten anything in three days. They never told me, I had to ask. It only came about during our discussion after the meeting when I point-blank asked them if they had enough food to eat. Can you imagine going even one day without food and not complaining about it? How about three? I gave them bags of rice to take home to their families and we'll keep them supplied from now on.
Speaking of going without food, the Haitian Christians are taking the next three days to pray and fast for their country. It seems ironic that they've gone without food and water since the earthquake, but aren't afraid to call a nationwide fast. Their fast serves two purposes: in addition to setting aside time to seek God, it also frees up food for others. What amazing sacrifice! The Christians are a beautiful example of Christ. I would encourage you to join them as they seek God.
The men who came from Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania put up a house next to us in only 3 days. It was so impressive! The house will be a base for the the workers to use as storage and also for sleeping quarters. They built 20-25 bunks in it for sleeping, but we all prefer to sleep outside because of the heat. The nurses use the house for storing their supplies and food.
Our only running water is a shower tap and we have an outhouse, too. Today I spent some time cleaning the "bathroom." On some days we had over 30 people sharing one toilet, but we're all glad we have it. We wash our clothes by hand in a bucket of water when we become too filthy. That's about the extent of our ammenities. I'm still sleeping on the roof of a building. Our sleeping arrangements actually worked to our benefit when we were in Port-au-Prince locating more supplies. We were getting the run around until we told them we were all sleeping on the ground/cement roof. It seemed that was turning point. Their attitudes changed and they began treating us like royalty. They gave us all the supplies we needed. Praise the Lord!
So far, the Lord has kept me in good health. A number of people have been sick, probably from drinking the water and also from becoming overheated. The well water that we have access to was just tested and given the green light for drinking. But I've traveled enough in my life to know you don't ever drink the water in a foreign country, without purifying it first. Many of the American's, though, began drinking the water and have felt the consequences of it. Need I say more? I have a water purifier that I use exclusively for drinking water and it is one of the best things I brought with me on the trip.
The nurses continue to go out 2-3 times a day. They go out in the morning to treat the wounded, then come back for lunch and go back out again. In the evening they go to the hospital.
We still see huge open gashes on people and flies are everywhere. There are many amputees. One amputee came to have his bandages changed, but the bandages had healed into the wound. The doctor had to cut into the flesh to remove it. As the doctor prepared to pour antiseptic onto the wound he said, "Hold him, hold him!" knowing how painful it would be. No one stepped forward to hold the man and as the doctor poured it on, the man never even flinched. These Haitians are tough beyond belief.
I have talked to men who have been around the world in places like Bosnia and Sudan. They say this is worse than anything they have ever seen, so much destruction and physical injury.
Bonfires are burning, dogs are running, the mosquitoes are swarming. Maybe I should have taken the malaria pills. Welcome to Haiti.