Tuesday, February 9, 2010

haiti update - february 9, 2010

“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations, you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Isaiah 58:12

Hi! We have transferred the people who were seeking refuge in our yard to other refuge camps in our area. Some of these families we were able to provide tents for. The first rain since the earthquake occurred on Monday evening. It is good to see more and more tents popping up in the refuge camps around us. It will be some time before people can move on to having homes again. Of the people in our yard some had jobs in factories and they are now starting work again. These people will be the first to be able to get back on their feet. Others don’t know what to do. Life is most difficult for women and children in the refuge camps. Mothers are concerned for their children, that they will be kidnapped and women are targets for rape and violence. In Haiti, women are considered second class by the men and are treated like it. There is one young adult who we have been helping for some time. Fonise Cadeau had been living in the refuge camp by Morningstar Christian Academy. Her brothers thought it would be best for her to go out to the countryside. The problem is that she almost died the last time she went out to the province. Fonise is the young adult who recently needed hospitalization and was transfused with 3 bags of blood due to her severe anemia. Her father was one of those injured during the earthquake. He was one of the first people we tried to help. His lower leg had been severed by a fallen wall near us and the family was desperate to find help for him. We set out on a frustrating journey to find a hospital, only to find that there wasn’t any functioning. The Missionaries of Charity looked after him that first night and the next day he was transferred to the UN Military Hospital by the Airport. From there he was evacuated to Martinique where he currently is recuperating from his amputation surgery. He is now one of the thousands of newly created amputees caused by the earthquake. Because the father is not around we spoke with some of the family about our concerns for her health and they relented in letting her stay here in Port-au-Prince in our yard. One of her brothers though informed her on Saturday that she would need to go out to the province and Fonise told me that she would be leaving on Wednesday. I asked her if she wanted to go and she told me no. Because of her health risk we are taking a stand against the brother(s) who want her to leave and are letting her stay here in our yard. None of the men in her family want to go out to the province, they just wanted to send her. Fonise told me that her father would not have sent her out to the province. We will support her in the decisions that she makes. Pray for this situation and that the family sees the risk for Fonise. Pray also for her father as he recuperates from his injuries in Martinique.
When Jeff was here we were going through the St. Louis de Gonzague refuge camp and saw a girl pushing a bucket of water down the sidewalk. Jeff went up to her and carried it back to where her people were taking refuge. 3 large guys were sitting there. They had sent this young girl to fetch a bucket of water for them. They were not friendly. This girl we believe was a restavek. The next day Jeff went out to confront them and was prepared to remove the girl from the situation but they were gone. Child slavery is a problem in Haiti. Pray for this unknown girl and for the practice of “restavek”/ child slavery to stop here in Haiti.
The aid groups prefer to have large refuge camps but the people are scared of this. There are many small refuge camps located not far from where the now homeless people lost their homes. They band together with people they know in a place of refuge for security and togetherness. If thieves come in they together will fight them off. They don’t want to live with people that they don’t know. This was done at the Apostolic church compound in our neighborhood a couple of days after the earthquake when the people killed a thief who was causing them trouble.
People in the camps are helping out one another. Those who have food are sharing with those who don’t. One young girl who had a leg injury is being looked after by a neighbor after her father died during the earthquake.
The people of Haiti are strong and are turning to God. Of the people who were in our small refuge here at Coram Deo, 14 people became Christians. Pastor Marcelin is temporarily using our facilities for church services. These people are now attending church and are welcomed into his church. Now that we have a diesel generator we donated our small gas generator to Pastor Marcelin’s church. It is good to see that his church is able to function just like before the quake!
We found out that Healing Hands was destroyed in the earthquake. That is a big blow for the relief effort and for us too. I am sure they will rebuild. Their presence is necessary here in Haiti. Pray for Healing Hands and for the work they are doing here in Haiti. Project Medishare though has stepped forward in a big way for earthquake relief. People of teams we have met through the hydrocephalus project and cleft lip surgeries are all coming to the Project Medishare/University of Miami Tent Hospital located on the airport grounds. We read that they are planning to offer rehabilitation services to all those who are amputees. Yesterday, I saw a boy in front of the Star 2000 grocery store and he was a below the knee amputee caused from an accident a couple of years ago. He was with Elson Naval, a student in our school program here at Coram Deo. I told Elson to bring the boys’ mother here to Coram Deo. Now is the opportunity for the handicapped in Haiti to have more services available. Large missions are getting together to deal with all the newly handicapped people that have been created by this earthquake. Leaders are organizations like Healing Hands, Project Medishare, Handicap International and Christian Blind Missions International. We have contacts with these organizations and hope to find help for the handicapped people we encounter through them. Pray for the efforts of all those working to help the handicapped and to re-integrate them into society.
Yesterday afternoon the guys were huddled around a laptop that Amos’s brother was holding. I asked them what they were doing. They turned the screen to face me and the picture they were looking at was one of Samuel Marcelin. The guys had huddled around to see his picture. Pray for all those who were lost in the earthquake. Marlene Rigaud Apollon is a Haitian poet who has a poem called “Resurrection”.
“Spring follows winter
Calm, the storm
And dawn follows dusk
Love follows hatred
Hope, despair
And life will follow death

Continue to pray for the people of Haiti.
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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