Monday, August 23, 2010

haiti update - august 23, 2010

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39

Hi! The guys finished painting everything that could be painted. Erol painted a new Coram Deo logo on the gate. It is amazing what a coat of paint can do to spruce up the place! There is now only one more wall that needs to be repaired and Pastor Pierre and the cement boss are in the process of making repairs to it. Then the guys will put a coat of paint on it too! To see photos of the work that has been done you can see them on my blog ( Tim Bos, from Mission of T.E.A.R.S is here for a visit and Jantje Scheele is arriving today as well. We are going to go over the student profiles and make plans for the upcoming school year, which will start in October. Pray for these plans and for the decisions that will be made.
Benson spent a week with his mother out in the Carrefour area. Due to her poverty she lives in a tent/plastic house (since before the earthquake). He loves his family and enjoys spending some time with them. Since the earthquake his mother has been living in a tent on top of the roof of someone’s home. One evening during Benson’s visit, there was a rainstorm and the wind started to blow. Benson told his mother that he was going to stay at his aunt’s place until the rain stopped. He made the right decision. A gust of wind picked up the tent and it blew off the roof. It fell onto a tin roof of the neighbor’s house. They ended up borrowing a ladder to remove the tent from the neighbor’s roof. Pray for Benson’s mother and her struggles.
The last couple of weeks we have seen how difficult it is for the people in the camps. In a large refuge camp in the Delmas 33 area there was a fire and 4 tents were destroyed. A 6-month-old baby was killed. The mother was not home at the time. It is common in Haiti for single mother households to be left in the care of children while the mother works/sells to provide for her family. In this particular situation the child knocked over a candle and the fire started. The young children ran out and left the baby on the bed. People came running with buckets of water and the fire was stopped, but the 4 tents and the belongings of those inside them were destroyed. People in the camp were frustrated and upset and when the police showed up, the people wanted journalists to come first before the body was removed. The police ended up beating some of the people back with batons and then removed the dead baby from the camp. The refuge camp is looked after well and the families who lost their tents were given replacements. Pray for the mother who lost her baby and for fire safety in the camps.
Fire is a danger for camp life. Violence is another danger. A larger refuge camp in our neighborhood is located near the outside market in Cite Aux Cayes. It is called “Kay Moy”. It is a dense camp that is not very well organized and also not supported very well. It is separated with a ravine area down the middle. One side of the ravine was used to bury bodies after the earthquake. Patchico, is one of the children who has been living in that camp since the earthquake and visiting Coram Deo during the day. He was coming to the house every morning by 6:00am and leaving again when it was dark. There is nothing to do in the camp. The Kay Moy camp has more troubles than other camps in the area. The police regularly come and make arrests. Marijuana is used by some of the youth there. Rapes and fights are common. One evening a few weeks ago a guy in the camp named “Johnny” was drunk and went to another mans’ tent and stabbed him. This man died from his wounds. “Johnny” is now in hiding and his mother paid for the funeral of the man her son killed. Patchico and his brother Ti-Boutchou are now staying here temporarily. They feel more comfortable in our yard than in the camp. Pray for peace in the camps.
Bertrand is another young man who spends his days here at Coram Deo. His life has also been affected by violence. His father used to be a supervisor/director at the APN (port). A gangster by the name of Ronald Cadavre wanted his job. People let Bertrand’s father know and warned him. Ronald Cadavre came looking for Bertrand’s father at his house and neighbor’s hid Bertrand. The neighbor’s were scared that this man would kill Bertrand as well. In 2004, while Bertrand’s father was downtown he was shot and killed by Ronald. Ronald Cadavre was himself eventually shot and later died in hospital. Since the death of his father Bertrand hasn’t attended school regularly and he has lost several years of schooling. We will be assisting him with his education this upcoming school year in exchange for doing chores at the house. We also hope to provide a Christian influence on his life. In Haiti, there are many different superstitions. After the funeral, Bertrand was told to jump over the casket 3 times. He wore red clothes so that his father’s spirit would not haunt him when he slept. This is a Haitian remedy against nightmares. Pray for Bertrand and that he can have a direction for his life.
The CEP (electoral council) has approved 19 candidates from the 34 who applied to run for president in the upcoming elections to be held on November 28th. It was a festive environment a couple of weeks ago when candidates accompanied by their supporters and bands deposited their applications at the CEP office. Some of these “ra-ra” bands passed in front of our house. Wyclef Jean, is a well-known entertainer who lives in the United States but never gave up his Haitian citizenship. He had a large following among the youth. His application was not approved because he didn’t fulfill the residency requirement of living in Haiti for the last 5 years. We saw a group of 30 motorcycles driving down Airport Rd. on the Thursday of the registration week. They were all wearing red t-shirts with the saying “Kris Kapab” (Christ is Able). I was confused though when I saw one of them wearing a t-shirt saying “Chris Kapab” (Chris is Able). One of the candidates who applied was Jean Chavannes Jeune. He is a Haitian pastor. The guys at the house think it was supporters for this Haitian pastor who drove up Airport Rd. The guy with the “Chris” t-shirt was just a misprint. The only other candidate it could possibly be was Yves Christallin. Pray for the electoral process. It is important that elections are held and that a president is elected to lead the rebuilding process. The Haitian voter will have 19 candidates to choose from.
That is all the news for today. Have a good week!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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