Saturday, July 31, 2010

Haiti Update: Earthquake survivors share stories

Saturday, July 31

This morning we did more filming of life in Haiti and Christian Friendship Ministries. We took Troy, Allison and Paul on a excursion to the local market. On Saturdays, the market and the surrounding streets are teeming with people selling everything imaginable. I have not had a chance to go to this market for a few years. I am used to seeing all the food for sale – avocadoes, mangoes, bananas, cilantro, sugar cane and more. This year, we saw a lot of other products in the market – everything from designer jeans to deodorant to dishes. It’s amazing and overwhelming all at once.

We also had a chance to do some filming in the little health clinic here in Pignon. Pastor Louis and his wife put on their “doctor hats” on Tuesdays and Saturdays. People come from miles around who need help with infections or headaches or rotten teeth. Pastor Louis helps with medicine and bandages. He has been doing this work for decades. The clinic is simple -  few rooms with curtains for doors. If people need surgery or more serious help, they can go to the hospital here in Pignon. However, many people cannot afford the hospital.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the day for me was hearing the stories of some of the earthquake survivors this evening. This little ciy of Pignon was said to have doubled in size after the earthquaake in January. Anyone who had relatives or friends in this area relocated here in search of refuge. Ericlee and I spent many days trying to mobilize funds so Peter and the other leaders here in the ministry could get supplies and food to the people they knew in need.

It was amazing to hear their stories. I met one young woman who is the cousin of our friend Walquis. She was in Port Au Prince when the earthquake hit. Her house collapsed and she fled here to Pignon (80 miles north of PAP) where she knew she had family to live with. She received a share of food and small loan through our ministry's relief efforts and she was so grateful!

The story of another young man broke my heart. He detailed how his home collapsed and his father was inside. He died when no help came. This teenager was clearly still overcome with the grief of losing his father. He came to Pignon to live with his aunt. He, too, received some of the relief food at the Pignon church. Troy and I were able to pray with him.

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