This morning I got a phone call from my dad who is in Carrefour, Haiti. He sounded very excited and happy to be there, even despite the saddness and destruction. He said the rubble is like nothing he's ever seen before. It looks as though a bomb went off. He is staying with a group of around 30 people who are a mix of nurses and builders, helpers and translators. Initially, they were sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags but had to move to make way for a new house being built. There was a team of workers from Kentucky and Pennsylvania who put up a house there in only two days. Dad said it was amazing to see. So dad and the others moved to the cement roof of an adjacent house - this is now their home. I'm trying to picture my 71 year old father climbing a ladder each night to sleep on the cement under a light tent. He's always been in good shape for his age and this proves it. He has been grouped in a tent with 5 nurses. They didn't want the women being alone without a man for protection. Oh, the sacrifice of serving the Lord. :)
But I'm getting side-tracked...They do have one spigot shower and one toilet. Even so, dad says it takes only about one hour to become filthy again.
Carrefour is still a dangerous area and a man was shot only a block from where the team is staying. Dad relayed one of the saddest things he has seen. They were stopped in traffic halfway between Carrefour and the Port-au-Prince airport and could see the military passing out bags of rice. The recipients were mostly women who would load the bags of rice onto their heads. But as they walked away down the road, bandits would knock them down and steal their rice. Dad said it happened to woman after woman and the bandits were like savage animals. These poor women were trying to get food home to their families and they did not have the strength to fight against these vicous men. He said it was heartbreaking but there was nothing he could do.
Dad has gone on several sorties to round up more supplies, one trip actually took him 9 hours to locate and bring back a truckload of goods.
Believe it or not they are still feeling aftershocks over a month after the initial earthquake. People are still too afraid to go back into the buildings that are standing. Dad met one man who ran quickly out of his house then the earthquake hit. He was saved but his home is just rubble.
Each morning they awaken before the sun rises. If you've ever been to Haiti you know why. The sounds of roosters crowing, people yelling, pastors preaching and dogs barking is better than any alarm clock. The nurses then head off to a new destination where they set up a small clinic and begin treating the wounded. There are many amputees and people with open wounds and infections. Some people arrive yelling from the pain. The nurses are assisted at the clinic by an interpreter and usually another person (like dad) who can keep the crowds organized and peaceful. So often the crowds continue to push in closer and closer on the nurses as they try to work. When it's 90 degrees you can imagine that is not ideal. Some nights the nurses are awakened in the dark for a medical emergency. They get ready quickly and dad lays his hands on each one and prays for them. Dad can't say enough good things about those nurses. He says they are such hard workers and despite the circumstances, there has not been one bit of complaining.
Although dad has spent his time near the capital city, his heart is also with the people of Jeremie, Haiti, the hometown of my mom. Although this city was not damaged by the earthquake it now has 80,000 refugees and the number keeps growing. That more than doubles their population! These poor people are trying to help more poor people. And most of the refugees still do not have food, water, medical assistance or shelter. Please pray that the military and other organizations can get some supplies and assistance to them soon.
Overall, dad was happy and full of joy. He is able to have prayer/teaching meetings each day to encourage the believers and loves it. He is so enriched by being there. He can feel all of your prayers.
I have more to write but I'll stop here for now.