We just finished a worship service in our yard. Jacques Louis spoke and a number came forward for salvation. A time of singing, praying and rejoicing in God’s provision of protection.
Helicopters are flying directly over us (over a dozen in the last 5 minutes – now I’ve lost count) and we wonder if it is to verify where we and all these people are for delivery of aid.
Cell phones are beginning to work again. Digicel even put 200 gourdes (divide by 40) worth of minutes on all Digicel phones. This will help with people under buildings to be able to use their phones if they are still alive.
The night of the quake we actually rescued one student after hours of work and he was alive and not too severely injured. I don’t think I ever explained that before. It was truly a miracle. Cindy and I had the job of using flashlights to watch for the building to begin to move to let David and Bruce and the other workers know when something else might fall. That same night when I was hurrying up to our home to get something David needed I fell on a cement wall and fell off to a grass landing. I am scraped and bruised but NOTHING broken – a miracle. I’m trying to learn to walk slowly but it is hard when someone needs something. One of our missionary moms, Susie Day, had the home she was in fall in around her. She managed to pull herself out of the wreckage. Her survival is another miracle.
I have a group of about 12 men, David, Bruce, Wawa, Jacques and young men from the area who are meeting together to form plan of action. God is so good and people are trying as best they can to pull themselves together.
Some have asked about Pastor Dirogene. He and his family are safe, they home is safe but their church has damage.
Not everyone received my news last night that David, Bruce and Cindy (DBC) got back after many hours out on the roads. They made some good contacts, got some medical supplies, found Jehu and boys all alive and delivered some food to them. They saw many horrors and it was hard for them. Jehu and one of the older boys were inside the house but were able to get it. It is destroyed. This is the house they have been renting. Someone went out to check on the new building outside of town and it seems to be fine except for some of the walls on the top level that didn’t have the roof done on them yet.
We never did find another student under the rubble so now we feel everyone is accounted for. The night of the quake classes had just let out and people were leaving the building to go to the newer STEP building for chapel and the missions conference. The presidents of the classes took a census and knew there were three missing from that classroom (original chapel in old building). We assume the student unaccounted for perhaps was just not here that night. We have not heard that but he is not under the rubble.
Each day we learn of friends who have lost husbands, wives, children, other family members. For those that knew the Lord we can see that even through the grieving a peace eventually replaces the terror as they know where their loved ones are.
This is experience has changed me in ways I can’t even put into words. It is amazing to sense God’s presence, grace and strength in spite of our own personal weaknesses.
We will be digging another latrine only closer to our homes to use. Kinda like our first days in Haiti 34 years ago. Actually I’ll grateful to have it available.
Cindy is going to help me wash my hair this afternoon sometime just using the smallest amount of water possible. It is amazing what you can get used to.
We are changing our generator hours to cover the nights instead of days to help with security.
We felt another aftershock as we sat on our cement wall during the worship service.
I can’t think of anything else right now so will close with grateful hearts to God and to each and everyone who is praying for us and all those around us. The things to be learned from this experience can’t be measured.
Cindy and I are so grateful our internet continued to work so we could contact our families that first night. It would have been so hard for them and you all to be in the “dark” about what was happening here. The internet dish was a good investment and because we had to replace our breezeway and depot roof we had a stable place to put it.
All for now,Phyllis