Day to day the needs seem to change on the ground here in Jacmel. We’ve spent the last few days working tirelessly getting food out into the hands of the people. We don’t spend a whole lot of time reading the news, (mostly because we don’t have the time to do so,) but today I saw a story on CNN.com about thousands of people crowding two trucks of rice that was being distributed. It was a first come first served situation and it was chaos. The UN ended up having to spray the crowd with pepper spray to control them. One Haitian man being interviewed said something like, “we’ve lost everything—our homes, our families… and now our dignity.”
The truth is, that’s not the kinds of things we’re seeing here in Jacmel. We’re seeing hungry people. We’re seeing desperate people. We’ve even seen a few demonstrations that you might call a riot. But that is the exception. In so many ways, people are moving on. The tenacity if the Haitian people is awe-inspiring. We’re desperately searching out normalcy for our family as well. We took all the kids to the beach yesterday as that was a pretty regular thing in our house pre-earthquake. It was good. But it was still weird.
As a ministry we’ve been focusing on distrubuting large quantities of food to the people of Jacmel through their pastors. Yesterday we moved over 15 tons in/out of our warehouse. ALL BY HAND. We’re tired. Today is a bit different, because we’re out of food. Not sure what this is going to mean quite yet. The good news is that there IS food to be had in Jacmel right now and the larger governmental organizations are starting larger scale distribution. It would seem God is leading us to refocus once again and figure out how to best serve families in our community. Lots of ideas swirling around, but nothing definite yet. Today we’re going to try to breathe a little bit and invite God’s rest to inhabit us and strengthen us.
We are still all sleeping in tents outside. Our house doesn’t appear to have any major damage, but we’re still nervous. We continue to have strong aftershocks and have been hearing that we may continue to feel them for months to come. They are unnerving. We have a team of structural engineers coming in tomorrow to check on all our buildings. I think once that’s happened we might be able to start the process of moving back indoors. Well, maybe.
We’re so thankful for the prayers on behalf of our family and our ministry, Joy in Hope. I am thankful that God positioned us where we are at this time to be able to walk through this, but it is stretching us beyond what we thought we could bear.
As you continue to pray, please lift up our families. Our orphanages are not traditional orphanages. They are families. Large families. And all of our family members are experiencing grief, loss, anxiety, fear and dozens of other emotions… We need prayers for the ability to walk our children through the chaos that has become their lives.
To learn more about Joy in Hope please visit http://www.joyinhope.org/earthquake/index.html