“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
Hi! We have been blessed with visitors coming to work here at Coram Deo and in the community since the first couple of days of the earthquake. There is a Creole expression “Anpil men chay pa lou” which means, “many hands lighten the load”. These extra hands have helped us to make repairs here at Coram Deo and also do some work in the community. We now have a cement pad laid down for the new dormitory that will be built on our property. 5 rooms will be created, each being able to hold a bunk bed. We ran into a shortage of cement blocks and couldn’t start constructing the dorm but by the end of the week we were able to buy the 1,500 cement blocks necessary to complete the project. Dan Vis will be arriving with a team this Wednesday and they will be able to start the construction. We took the tents down in the front yard and I moved back into the house along with Manu and Benson. The rest of the people sleep in tents along the side of the house waiting for the dorms to be completed. Pray for traveling mercies and strength for the team that will be arriving. With funds that Len left we were able to buy another television set to replace the one broken in the earthquake. Everybody enjoys spending some relaxing time watching DVD’s during the evenings again. We even made a couple of trips to Epi Dor this week with the people here at Coram Deo to enjoy some good hamburgers and fries! Epi Dor is a busy place. A lot of missionaries and aid workers go there for their fast food fix!
We had a community service project with the visitors and older guys of Coram Deo in the area where Jonel’s family lives. The guys removed the rubble from their home and put it on the side of the street with other rubble. The medical people on the team held a clinic for the people around Jonel’s home. It didn’t take long for a group of people to form requesting medical care! We hope to continue to hold these community service projects in the future.
Nick Paparella and Chuck Dixon of A Channel News stayed here at Coram Deo recently while they were working on a documentary of Haiti. Last week “Haiti: Heartache to Hope” was shown over 5 nights. If you would like to watch it follow the link to: www.atv.ca/london/promo/SpecialReports/SpecialReport/HaitiSeries1.html
It was nice that both my sisters could be here and participate in the video too! My parents dreaded all 3 of their children here at once and were worried about what sort of trouble we would get into.
We receive regular updates from Rudy’s father in the United States. Rudy is responding well to cancer treatment and it looks like he is beating the fight with Burkitts Lymphoma. Continue to pray for Rudy, the medical staff treating him and for the rest of the family here in Haiti. Rudy’s mother insists on doing my laundry as a thank you. I eagerly let her do it too!
We got a phone call from Jackson of Fort National inviting us to a community meeting on Tuesday. We weren’t able to attend but went there Thursday morning to do a food distribution. The community has come alive with activity. USAID has sponsored workers to do clean up and they were busy with sledgehammers, picks, shovels and wheelbarrows hauling away debris. Jackson’s group received support from a French woman who has an organization called Haiti-France-Partage. His group was working on opening up the corridor areas so that people could access their homes and provide paths for removing the rubble. There is hope and determination there now. The people of Fort National are going about the clean up themselves. There is a lot of debris. Heavy equipment still needs to come in to move it. Pray this can be found. We saw one of the guys running back with his wheelbarrow to pick up the next load, that is how enthusiastic he was. More young men in the neighborhood want to help but there is a lack of tools. Pray that more tools can be supplied to the community. The goal of the community is to rebuild. They don’t want to have their families living in the refuge camps. Pray for their efforts and that they will be encouraged to continue work at removing the rubble. We met one Haitian nurse there who is working voluntarily to help the people. We will be bringing some medical supplies for her to use.
On the way out from Fort National we were going to take Delmas 18 and noticed a lot of activity there too. Community workers were hauling debris away with wheelbarrows and a loader and several dump trucks from the Haitian government were removing the debris. It is good to see the Haitian people digging out from the effects of the earthquake. They don’t want to leave Port-au-Prince and they don’t want to leave their neighborhood. They want to rebuild.
We were driving in the Tabarre area and noticed UN heavy equipment clearing land for their base. We entered the side road and went to the Japanese base. The unit is an engineering unit. The officer we spoke to was willing to help out but needs orders from the main UN base. We will need to make contact with the Brazilians.
Our neighborhood too still has bodies under the rubble. In the last few weeks I have made contact with the American, Canadian and Italian military that were in the area and so far no help has been given. One collapsed apartment building has 4 bodies in the bottom area and heavy equipment is needed to remove the rubble and bodies. Another house across the street from it has 2 bodies. Pray help comes to our area too.
With the rebuilding process there was a meeting in the Dominican Republic this week of representatives of Haiti’s government, donor nations, lenders, UN agencies and aid groups. 3.8 billion was raised for the next 18 months at this preparatory meeting for the March 31st donor’s conference in New York. The Haitian government is seeking $11.5 billion to rebuild. The following poem speaks to those who went through the earthquake:
“When nothing whereon to lean remains,
When strongholds crumble to dust;
When nothing is sure but that God still reigns,
That is just the time to trust.
‘Tis better to walk by faith than sight,
In this path of yours and mine;
And the pitch-black night, when there’s no outer light
Is the time for faith to shine.”
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo