Dan Henry - Haiti - Monday, January 18, 2010

Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 6:30 AM

Yesterday little pastures bloomed, little paradises by the spring in the desert.  We didn't give any instructions to any about where to meet or how.  The Spirit is by far the supreme coordinator in all of this.  They strangled in to this home and that home in PAP yesterday morning and the family sat at "the table" with our Lord.  Most of the church buildings are rubble in PAP.  I prayed for those who faithfully went to those buildings to worship that they would also be comforted this morning.  I've never felt so deeply grateful for the Lord's plan.  He was so very near us and real to us all...just as much as if He were speaking to us in a human body, but even nearer...in the Spirit.  Metor was the first to pray and the first to speak.  He met Orin Taylor and Charles Lauchner their first year in Haiti (1971).  He was a young tailor working for someone else at a peddle sewing machine in a shop on Premier Ave Bollosse.  He looked up and saw Charles carrying on his shoulder planks to make benches and said, "This is different."  He had grown used to seeing leaders in the churches walking by with their hands free and others carrying their effects for them.  He has had a stroke and is nearly blind, but, through the maze of debris, he and Suzette came to Bob and Roma's home where we met.  His speech is badly garbled from the stroke...but amazingly his prayer and testimony just rang so clear.. a joyous declaration of his Love for God and gratitude for His abundant Grace.  As we sat there and each one spoke, it came so clear to me, "How could one ever taste of this PUREST LOVE and then turn to any other?"  From time to time the stench of rotting flesh wafted through the room, but it was not in any way like in other parts of town.  Now it seems to me that when I first saw the bach the other day, I was so intent on what we would find....I didn't see the street.  Yesterday I was astounded again....all around homes are destroyed and yet the bach is basically untouched. 

Towards the end of the meeting Roger came in.  After the meeting there was a long silence.  Then I gave a little rundown of news of the others in Haiti.  Though didn't want to increase the anguish of the days, I shared that Roselyn was unaccounted for. No sooner said, and Roger said, "No, I saw her this morning."...a cry of joy filled the room.  She had left work at the moment of the quake.  It took her a long time to get home.  In the chaos, the neighbors didn't see her come or go but she had taken her child and made it to her sister's home in the east of the city and couldn't make communications with anyone during the rest of the week.  We are so grateful.

The young folks had carried Caridad to the meeting.  Mike dressed the wound one more time and then Joe, Allan, Yves, Germain, Caridad, and I made a round of visits to the friends we could reach in the city.  We were deeply relieved to share with them what you have shared and they are deeply grateful.  We are forever..one family.  Omanes had just gone out to try to find someone to borrow from.  Elifaite whispered to me...."I'd come to the end of my line of being able to borrow."  I was reading that the  oldest form of writing, cuneiform, when deciphered are most often talking about the banal subject this man borrowing from that one...this has long been a way of life in Haiti...sharing what you have.  And often when you don't have.  At each home....I just wish the warmth and the strength of the hugs, because we're ALIVE, could have been for all of you instead of me. 

We stopped at the orphanage where Jerry and Krista have a little boy and girl.  They all seemed a happy little troupe.  The perimeter walls were down so no security for the place other than their guards, but none of the children were hurt.  There are evacuation plans for the children to the US.

During the visits, Caridad and her nephew stayed in the rig waiting for us. As we went through the city, we saw a team of French fire fighters and doctors trying to cut through concrete to save a person trapped in a building but still alive.  We asked a doctor to look at Caridad's foot for us, as it almost impossible to get through to get attention in what is left of hospitals.  They wouldn't come to the rig but said we could bring her.  Joe carried her to them.  They dressed it.  One said, "It's OK."  The other lady doctor said to me as Joe carried her away...."Get her to a hospital as soon as you can, the infection has gone too far...you may not save her."  I had been thinking of a doctor we know at Cabaret and the clinic here.  But hearing this we decided to thy to get her to the Navy hospital ship that somewhere in the area. (We couldn't see it from up on Fort Mercredi yesterday).  The news was that the commander was complaining that they had the best hospital in the region and no patients.  We were told to go to the hospital at the airport.  The Argentine military hospital wouldn't let us in...we aren't military.  The UN Base has no hospital.  We finally decided to stop wasting time and get her to the good old country doctor at Cabaret.  A Nigerian UN soldier was standing at a gate onto the runway of the international airport.  We pulled in and I showed him my US passport and, we asked for the "hospital," he waved us through and told us to go to the end of the planes.  We passed under the wings of all these huge military aircraft without anyone asking a question, passed the international press center confined to their roped off arena and kept asking for the "hospital."  Finally we were directed to a group of green tents.  The officer told me not to come closer and to back up.  When I asked for help for Caridad he said, "No, this is just for US citizens and military.".  So I told him she was my grandmother...his head bobbed and he said, "I'll speak to the commander." The commander  came out and said, "We don't do this, don't bring more people."  But they took her in and gave her the kindest and best care.  And did it joyfully, explaining each procedure to her grandson.  By the time they had cut away the infected dead flesh and gave us instructions on how to dress it each day, and the dangers of her still having more infection and loosing the foot, or worse, I was still hoping for a hospital and professionals to care for her.  I asked Joe to look around for Navy men.  These kind men were Air Force Special Forces and ready to treat military needs.  An Air Force Soldier girl in the tent hospital had Haitian grandparents, too.  We were soon friends.  She said, "I'll be back."  Joe found that they would not lift anyone to the ship hospital if they were not military or US Citizens....and that they were having meetings to try to change that status.  But the Air Force was taking some to a tent hospital at the Dominican border.  The same commander that Joe had been talking too walked in the our friend and asked, "Do you want her to go to the hospital?"  They asked me to put earplugs in her ears.  Then they took her and a US citizen UN personal who'd lost a leg onto a helicopter and lifted them away.  Our little Caridad on an Air Force helicopter taken away to the best of care!!  God Provide!!  I returned to the tent to thank these men...they were gone.  While Joe and I were standing there two soldiers came and asked me for General so and so.  We told them we the last guys to ask. 

Tomorrow three men from Canada are arriving through the Domincan Republic with two of the workers from there, Derek and Erick with a van and supplies.  And in the afternoon three men from the US arrive on a special flight.  We'll be glad for their help.

I find comfort sleeping in the tent. It is open in the top, when I awake I see the beautiful stars so far away.  Somehow it is comforting.  The BEYOND.  Supply planes fly right over us day and night.  That too is comforting.  It takes time.  But they are doing what they can and it will be better.

With love,

From all of us