Saturday, September 25, 2010
It was everyone’s worse nightmare. What if a hurricane or major storm hits Haiti with so many living in tent cities? Well, last night it happened. A storm that wasn’t even on the grid. A freak storm that hit with the intensity of a category five hurricane, all in just a matter of minutes. Devastation in minutes – just like the earthquake.
As I write this, we have no power and are dependent on generators for power. We are sparingly using generator power understanding that diesel may be scarce very soon. We don’t know how extensive the damage is yet but we know it is bad.
Yesterday afternoon, Susette was at the feeding program and I was on the way to pick-up my kids at school. We had no warning. It started with a few drops of rain, then, black black clouds moved in. Next, very powerful gusts of wind strirred radically, looking almost like a tornado. Then, the torrential rains hit, followed by everything else, all together. Tree branches flying through the air. Small airborne objects hitting the car. People running. Cars stuck or stalled everywhere.
When I arrived at Quesqueya Christian School it looked like a war zone. Trees down or broken everywhere. Rain flooding everything. Branches and other objects shot out of trees pelting my truck. By the grace of God I saw Vienna right away and was able to collect all my soaking wet kids. They were unharmed but shaken. Some of their friends had head injuries from flying/falling debris. The road I had driven in on had now become a small river and I had to cautiously navigate my way out in 4-wheel drive. Dodging trees, telephone poles and power lines, we finally made it home.
Our home was hit hard but with minimal exterior damage. It was just drenched. Water covered everything inside. Computers and electronics near open windows got soaked. We unplugged everything and cleaned up as best we could.
At the feeding program, the children were rushed inside the boys home as wind and rain pounded the area. The children (thank you, Jesus!) were not harmed. The water holding tank on top of the boys home was blown off and fell 20 feet like a crumpled piece of paper. People off the street ran into the boys home for shelter. Inside, we tried to calm the children and were able to continue the feeding. Many were crying as they feared for their family located in nearby tents.
At the girls home, trees broke and fell but no one was harmed. Everyone has huddled together under safe shelter. The guest house and school seemed alright as well.
To our surprise, a team from Maryland that was scheduled to do a special program for the feeding program kids showed up. They were soaking wet. It was just what we needed -- a Christ-centered activity to get the kids focused in the right place. We decided to conduct their program upstairs at the boys home. The team, a group of 15 dear friends from an African-American church in Baltimore, come every year. They love our kids and our kids love them. They conducted a very nice program with music, skits and lots of love. Afterwards our children led them in Haitian worship. It was a tremendous blessing.
We are just thankful, once again, for God’s incredible favor and protection. Thank you, Lord. We love you!
Today, we are going to do a walk through to assess the damage. Please pray for the children and our community. Hurricane season is not over.