Heidi Smith, my sister, left this morning for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for her second trip into Haiti since the earthquake. She has been collecting supplies and making stops at local stores in preparation for this trip. We had some bad ice and snow yesterday making the roads precarious, but the girls and I were able to drive to her house and pray over her before she left. She knew a little better how to pack after spending time there already and was excited to show us all her purchases. She was so proud of the black "doctor's bag" she had bought - it was actually a purse, but it worked perfectly as a medical bag. She had clipped seams to make the pockets just the right size for each of her items: iodine, Pedialite, gauze, tape, antibiotics, pain medicine, scissors, stethoscope, flashlight, baby pain reliever...you get the idea. It was pretty impressive. She also had lots of medical supplies from the doctor's office where she works and from donations. She found a lot of tarps at Wal-mart and baby clothes at Goodwill. She also had some baby blankets and bottles and formula. She was to meet up with some friends - one Haitian/American and his friend, a nurse and a doctor and they were all driving together down to Florida to catch a flight. Please pray for them that God guides them each day and protects them.
I'd like to pick up where I left off the other day in recounting dad's trip in Haiti so far. One of the first people he saw when he arrived in Haiti was a young boy whose arm had been crushed by the body of his mother. The two of them lay under the rubble for a couple days before they were rescued. The mother was not alive when they reached them, only the boy survived. It is almost too sad to imagine. Another boy he remembers was one who looked a lot like his grandson, Travis. Even though the boy was black, so many of his mannerisms were like Travis' and he was on the street trying to learn a little English from the Americans. Dad got choked up as he recounted it on the phone. It seems people are most deeply affected when they can see their own family members mirrored in some of the Haitians. It becomes so real when you see that they could have been your grandson, or son or daughter, or mother or father. When we are able to put ourselves in other people's shoes, that's when we show true compassion.
Dad is still in Carrefour, but Dieu Donner, a dear friend from Jeremie, Haiti, drove 15 hours by truck to meet with him. The team in Carrefour was able to load Dieu Donner's truck with supplies to take back with him. The refugee situation in Jeremie continues to grow. After Dieu Donner left (by the way, his name means "God Gives"), dad realized he had not given him the money he had intended to give. Dad was very sad that he had missed his opportunity. But God knows all things, and guess who showed up again several hours later? Yes, Dieu Donner. He had not been able to leave as planned and so dad was able to give him the money. Dad felt like that was a great miracle.
There were 65 orphans about 20 minutes from Carrefour that the team had discovered. They informed the U.S. military, who was on its way to care for those orphans.
One of the nurses, Emily, was sick. Pray for her.
The refugee count in Petionville is up to 70,000.
On a bright note - Wes says the stars are so amazingly bright at night in Haiti.
We continue to try coordinating aid to Jeremie. It's not easy when communication is so difficult. Today I missed an important call from Wes because I was out. (For any of you interested, I help teach a homeschool Biology class and today we were dissecting cow eye, heart, liver and kidneys. Yes, life goes on.) I rushed back home hoping dad hadn't called while I was gone, but sure enough, he was on my answering machine. I wasn't able to ask him questions that I needed answered and that was a bit frustrating. All we can do is be patient and know that God is ultimately in control.