When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Monday, February 1, 2010

I don't even know where to start. I have been in Haiti for a week now and trying to come up with the descriptive words is hard for me. Haiti, as most of you know, was not a stable country before but now it is just devestated.

I flew in last Tuesday with a Medical team from Michigan on a private plane that had leather seats, polished wood and a flight attendant who
(people waiting at clinic)
acted more like a waiter. There were 12 of us on the plane and it was packed full of medical supplies in the aisles. We were served Panera for lunch and I thought I was living high flying in a private plane. I never would have thought as a missionary I would have the chance to do that. I was about to leave luxury and go to a place on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

When we landed at the airport in Port au Prince it didn't look like the airport I knew in Haiti at all anymore. The actualy building was closed and there were US military people everywhere. They had set up a military base at the airport. There were army vehicles, large tents, and huge palates of stuff wrapped in heavy plastic that I found out was relief food being shipped in. There were rows and rows of food. The airport employees took our passports and didn't even look at them before stamping and then handing them back. No one's passport photo was checked. There was a long line of people waiting on the side of the airport and a military guy said they were Americans waiting to board a military plane and go home. I asked how much that cost and he said you sign a paper that you will pay whatever they bill you when you get home. They would take any America to a military base in the US and then you are responsible for getting home from there. I thought,"yeah that's about how our government works."

The traffic is so bad right now in Port too. I sat in amazement at all the fallen buildings. I would have guess they would have tumbled sideways from the earth shaking, but they fell straight down. The buildinggs that used to have 3-5 stories are flattened to the height if 1-2 stories. Some buildings fell on to the sidewalk and crushed the people walking. The roof caved in on Pastor Gerard's (Roro's brother) house. He was not home but on his way to church-thank the Lord. Some of you will remember "One Stop". That entire strip mall collapsed. Carribean market is unrecognizable. They said there were 100 people in there and none survived. I could go on and on about the devestation.

Thousands of familes lost their homes. Some headed out to the countryside to staywith family but the others are sleeping on the streets in Port or in refugee camps. I am sleeping outside in Port too. I have no seen a building still standing that does not have LARGE cracks in it. We are afraid if a large aftershock comes other buildings will fall. People are not scared to go in the buildings standing but they won't sleep in them. The Haitians are talking about how now everyone in Haiti is the same. Rich and poor sleeping outside.

We had our clinic open all week and the team from Michigan worked there. There was an Ortho surgeon, 2 ER docs, one Gen doc and 2 nurses and a pharmacist. They treated who they could and sent other to the hospital. I went to the children's hospital down by the American Embassy with Paul Ronk and his daughter (they used to be missionaries in Haiti), We took a woman with a broken leg who was showing signs of compartment syndrome in her foot. She said a Doctor had casted her on the street after the earthquake-without any xray or anything like that. Her foot was swollen 3 times the size of her other one. Someone then brought her baby over to her and he looked terrible. He was 16 months old and to me looked like a 6 month old. We took him with us. We arrived at the hospital and Paul and Sarah went with the mother and I took the baby to the Pediatric wing to be see. He was barley opening his eyes and had zero muscle mass. When I undressed him to be weighed I almost cried. He weighed an even 10 lbs. He is 16 months old! He had teeth and appeared to have no birth defects. Mom said he never breast fed and all she had been feeding him his whole life was soup and bean sauce. I dressed him again and was holding him thinking he was dehysdrated until he peed all over me. I mean all over me. I asked someone for a diaper. I was sitting in the waiting area with all the Haitian women and their children and I was their entertainment I think. There were so many American doctors and nurses working at the Hospital they were literally tripping over each other. They decided they need to recast mom's leg after looking at an xray b/c it was displaced still. They also put an IV in the baby after many, many attempts and kept him as an inpatient to help with his nutrition. The American doctors could not believe he was 16 months old. But the Haitian doctors had no problem believing it saying they see it all the time. Even though this baby is not a victim of the earthquake, he was helped by people coming to help. God always has a plan!

People here are still feeling trembles. I have seen things swaying after a tremble but never felt it myself I felt my first one last night. I was laying down reading and defintely felt it shake. Very strange.

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