23 February 2010

Haiti Day 2

Last night was a bit on the interesting side, at least that's what I heard this morning. We had two earthquakes in the middle of the night. Apparently dogs were barking and children were screaming. Our team is sleeping in tents right next to where the children in the orphanage sleep and somehow I managed to sleep right through all of it. I didn't hear a thing until the morning when I saw all the children and their caregivers sleeping under the big mango tree out in front of the building. Everybody here was alright. Apparently I was REALLY tired and not even two earthquakes could wake me up!

Today was a good day. We spent the day taking food and medical supplies to five orphanages. We were able to hug and love some little ones along the way. We also had a chance to hear the stories of many of the people who run the orphanages. We met a baby girl who was born the day of the earthquake and saw a pair of twins born just days after. To see these children and how they have to live is heart breaking. It makes it hard to leave soon. We have many pictures, and even some video, but will probably wait to post it until we return.

The hardest thing about today was seeing the children that live at the orphanage were we are staying. They were all children that were hurt during the earthquake. They had casts and braces on different parts of their bodies. They really seemed to like us being around though. We could tell by the huge smiles they all seemed to have on their faces as we hung out with them. It really makes me think about what I consider a rough time  in my life.

We drove through some very hard hit areas today. Haiti has always been a dirty, trashed out place, but the impact of this earthquake has made things worse. Many people just seem to wonder around during the day and find any place they can to sleep at night. Tent cities are full of people sleeping under ripped tarps, sheets, and blankets, non of which are waterproof. Nobody will sleep inside, and the few who venture in at night are quickly run out with after shocks. There is a heaviness of fear and uncertainty about Haiti. They are a resilient people, but you can see they have taken a heavy hit in their armor. The locals that we have talked to share their fear openly. The director of one of the orphanages told us today he was uncertain about moving the children into buildings because they say there will likely be another big quake. This has struck fear in the Haitian people and makes me wonder if they will ever let life get back to normal.

On a lighter note, every night the children where we stay, and their caregivers, go into one of the buildings and sing songs and praise God. It is such a huge comfort for me to be around while they are singing. There is such a peace that comes over this place while they sing. I know that the Bible tells us to praise God in ALL situations, and it's easy to talk about, but how many of us could honestly say that we could do that. I know it is hard for me and I have never faced anything like this. To see the people's spirits so high is a huge boost in our spirits. It shows that even with the fear that they live with right now, they are sure of better things to come.

The biggest needs we saw today, outside of food, water, and medical supplies, was shelter. There is a huge need for dry shelter with the upcoming rainy season. Our interpreter is sleeping outside because the "steelers", or thieves, came and stole everything they had. They have one tent, but it is too small for everyone to sleep in. He just bought a house, but they were told they could not sleep in it. We committed to get him dry shelter before we leave.

Right Side Up Ministries is working hard to be a part of the solution to this problem. We have the ability and desire to get the tents out to the people, but we lack a connection to supply them. We are working on lining everything up for  another visit this month. We will be back in the U.S. on March 1st and we will begin to raise awareness, as well as finances, to make this next trip possible.

It is late and my eyes are getting heavy so it is time to say good night. Thank you again to all who made this trip possible. With your support we were able to touch the lives of hundreds of orphans today.

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