Dan Henry - Haiti update - 2010

Again thank you, each one of you, for your thought of all of us in Haiti. 

Please pardon the lack of news from my part.  We're just trying to do what we can and think of the next step.....and, when the day is done is seems we've done so little, what can we write that would be news that others don't already know.  And to say the truth some of this is mind numbing and my strength to even try to put words together is simply gone.

All stores that weren't crushed that I know of remain closed in this area.  Anything that you can buy is bought on the street, which is the usual thing in Haiti, anyway.  We couldn't buy a bag of rice or beans yesterday in Cabaret but could buy small quantities here and there.  Allan found some vegetables and fresh beef.  We are OK.  The water supply is very low.  I was able to reach the truck that supplied us at convention time and he promised to come last night but didn't show.  Gas is selling for $14 US on the black market...if you're lucky enough to find the guy who has it. I will do my best to find diesel this afternoon so than we can keep going with what needs to be done.   Because of long term friendships with the men who own the two building supply places here, they opened their stores and gave me all the steel support poles they had (used to shore up scaffolding).  We put have them placed in the factory to help the damaged pillars support the building until we can go further.  They also opened their depots and gave us iron and cement on credit to begin the job.  We have a rock foundation already laid for the wall that fell.  Tomorrow morning we hope to start digging for a new foundation outside with original one for the factory (women's sleeping quarters) and build new pillars (iron and concrete). 

A young brother and sister, Vensio and Fiorda, made there way here from La Plaine just to see if we were OK and to get news of the rest of the friends.  I sent word back with them for Gedeus to come as fast as possible.  He arrived and went right to work.  He is a top notch mason.  He wouldn't leave his wife and two boys to stay here though.  And no one can blame him.  They were camping in the yard of their rented home.  Rony and Clarel took him home and brought them all back.  They are a happy little family camping here and I am comforted to have his expertise on the job.  I know no one that can lead a team better than him.  In 2004, he had sent his wife out of the building turmoil in Port au Prince and the growing hunger to the mountains above Jacmel to his home at Lozier.  When his father sent the message, "It's time for you boys to come up here," and opened his home to Mike and I as a refuge, she was praying.   We when walked in the yard she said, "God has answered my prayers. I was praying the Lord would close the door so the workers couldn't leave, Haiti, lest my soul be lost."  Gedeus came home on a the first truck out of Port au Prince a week later to tell his family to just hang on to what they had learned of Christ...that the workers were all gone and no one knew when they'd be back.  He came in just as meeting began in his own dad's back yard.  Natacha had begged for a chance to make her choice known to the family and to have the peace of full commitment so she was ready to simply stand at the end of the meeting.....he stood before she did.  They asked their little boy David  (now 6 years old) what he would chose for a name for his little newborn brother...."Jonathan...because David and Jonathan were best friends."  Now these little boys are happy campers.  And their parents are thanking God again and again.  The school where David attended that Tuesday morning is a pile of ruble. 

I was prepared to go to Port au Prince with water and supplies Friday but the friends begged me to stay.  Ti Joel from here had seen with his own eyes men slashing with machetes and shooting, robbing and taking anything they wanted.  The national penitentiary is wide open and all the hardest criminals are in the streets.  Luquel also called and told me to stay.  Olver took my place.  We loaded a backpack full of water and fruit and he made it without any problem.  He took my camera and took pictures.  I will not share them.  I may never look at them again.  God sees...........and that is enough.  A nation, a wonderful people... there is a side....just for others to see... to see....no. 

Mike was out all day yesterday in the city.  He found Eve (25).  Her family in Jacmel had now word of her and we thought she was in Jacmel.  She is fine...camping in the street like everyone else.  The trucks, buses, pickups are loaded...every toe hold on top of a bus..a crowed mass off humanity fleeing.  There are lines of people walking.  When we were trying to get into the bach, Mike drove and I got out and tried to direct the dead stop snarl of panicky people trying to get through.  I was afraid at first, but then realized my white hair was the best police cap...they looked at me and quieted and we worked together and opened the jambs.  But still it took 4 hours to just go about 1.5 miles.  All the while a silent troupe of dazed people were flowing by like a river of homeless humanity, their eyes glazed, zombified, staring straight ahead, looking neither to the left or to the right at the nightmare of chaos, nor down at the bodies...just ahead, reliving their own nightmare or fixing their sad news in their minds for the family they hoped would be waiting....or praying the family they were looking for would be alive. 

This morning, some will have meeting here.  Some of will go to join Mike and the others in Port au Prince.  After meeting, Caridad is waiting for us.  We'll bring her out here and see if we can doctor her foot...it is badly infected and it seems they can't get her in to a hospital in Port au Prince.  Yesterday they finally dug the bodies of Genese's father and brother from the rubble.  Until now she, her mother, and sister would not leave the alley.  The sister's children are with Mike at Vaillant.  We will do what we can to persuade them to just leave it now and come home with us and we'll take care of them here. 

Caridad gave her testimony at convention and about broke the meeting up.  She started out by saying the way was such a wonderful way that you could walk in it barefoot and not get a splinter nor even dust on your feet.  Then she told about in January last year when Glenn and Mike told her they'd be coming for a visit.  She said she put on her best dress.  She said, "An old lady and not pretty and the workers coming to my home" and this all in the most colloquial Creole.  When Haitians are amused they can hardly stay seated and the wave went through the assembly.  Then she told about them asking her if meeting could be in her little home.  With a beaming smile that lit the tent, she told about the most wonderful gift of there life that the brothers brought her that day....and the meeting broke and took a moment to settle.....the wave of her joy lifted every heart. 

From midnight to 4:00 am Friday morning, I was getting calls from the south because DIGICEL had opened their towers for a moment in that area.  All are fine in Les Cayes, Roche a Bateau, Virgile, Payant, and Massolass.

Pardon more.  I wish we could do more.  We'll do what we can.  Yesterday we sent Olver and Germain on the motorcycle to Carrefour with help for the families in that area.  They were very grateful and more so just to know others are thinking of them.  They remain camped in the streets but well.

Again, I have no idea where to find the return for your love and care for all of us here.  This came from God and may we love Him more in return.

Your brother,

Dan