ProVision Foundation in cooperation with Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church has established a Haiti Relief Fund which will involve funding the organizations listed to the right and will balance immediate relief and ongoing development funding as more assessment and strategy is solidified. Additional trusted organizations may be included in the distribution of this fund if deemed appropriate and helpful to the overall effort. Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church is handling the gifts for this fund.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #9

Just received this from Brian at midnight, January 18th. Again, please be aware that some of the content is graphic, but these are Brian's experiences.

Wow...Where to begin...last couple of days have been filled with heartache, death, and sadness but also scattered with pockets of joy and hope.

Yesterday (Saturday)...checked on a couple more places in pap and saw more horror. Had to drive through the political district where the White House, courts, and govt buildings are and much of this area is flattened. Filled with thousands of refugees living in tent cities (not real tents; just sheets and table cloths stretched over a couple sticks). Unbelievable how many bodies still on the street and sidewalk in this area. Piles of bodies stacked five feet high. Some of them naked where people had stolen the clothes off the corpses. Unimaginable horrors.

We were low on gas and all the stations are closed, destroyed, out of gas, or a 3-4 hr wait. We had to buy some from guys along the side of the road and it cost me almost $200 to fill up our forerunner.

Driving through Carrefour more of the same destruction. Many, many buildings collapsed. Corpses laying in the median of the road. A lot more tent cities and refugees no longer with homes.

Stopped at Merje to see our church and school there... a complete loss too. The pastor explained that they had a special service planned to start just before the quake hit, but at the last minute they had to cancel. Praise the Lord because if he had not canceled it there would have been over 125 people in the building when the quake hit.

Next stopped in downtown Leogane to check on an acquaintance working out of St Croix hospital. The hospital was still standing and appeared to have no damage. But downtown Leogane was completely leveled. The 2 or 3 blocks surrounding St Croix is rubble. Talked to some people there and they said they were expecting American medical teams soon but the entire place was empty when I was there. (Jonathan I checked on Kara with the nutritional program but they said she was in the states).

After Leogane, we began our climb up the mountain road. This is the only road to get to Belloc, Coq Chante, and Camatin where we have churches, schools, and an orphanage. We could only make it about 15 minutes before we encountered the first rock slide that covered the road, making it impossible to pass by car or truck. Me and Hippolite loaded as much bottled water as we could carry and climbed on a motorcycle taxi (yes all 3 of us on one motorcycle). The road was blocked in at least 5 places where rock slides or retaining wall collapses exist. I expect it will be months before cars can pass on this road again. Several places we had to get off and walk and let the moto driver go by himself because driving over the rock/dirt slides was so treacherous. Several of the rock slides had "Haitian toll booths" - where the path to pass was only a few feet wide, guys standing there with machetes and had a tree branch blocking the path and they don't remove it unless you pay their toll. As you can imagine the toll for the white guy is much more expensive.

We finally made it to Belloc. As we had been told, both the orphanage building (no kids were in there) and the church/school building are a complete loss. The small home between the buildings where one of the deacons of the church lives, was crushed and their 7 yr old daughter was killed. It took them 3 days with many men in the community digging through rubble to find her tiny body. They were digging the hole to bury her when I arrived. Pastor Beauillere and his family escaped unhurt.

Get ready for this...immediately after the quake Pastor Beaulliere went to the field across from the church and started preaching. People just started showing up to listen and 21 people accepted Christ!!! When I arrived yesterday he was carrying buckets of water to fill up a neighbor's cistern so they could baptize all 21 of them.

Next made our way to Coq Chante to the orphanage. What a horror to see the building in pieces. Basically the front part of the building was sheared off from the back part of the building which is still standing but major cracks everywhere and appears very unstable. You can see directly into 2 of the girls bedrooms...scattered baby dolls, school uniforms, and beds all strewn about and visible from the ground outside.

After several minutes of hugs and kisses and crying, they took me and showed me where our precious Atanie had been struck and killed. They wept as they explained to me that she had actually made it out of the building safely but in the confusion they think she went back towards the front door to look for someone or something, and that is when the entire front of the building sheared off and came down. She was immediately with Jesus.

The girls were totally out of water because the cisterns broke and all the water ran out. They'd been drinking shadack (like a grapefruit) juice for 3 days. They were sleeping on the back of our flatbed truck with the caretakers sleeping on the ground around the truck. We planned to do the same again but at about 6:00 as it was getting dark it started pouring the rain. There was an empty "house" near the orphanage (a 10' x 12' shack with wooden slats for walls and a rusty tin roof speckled with holes). I don't know whose house it is but I made an executive decision and moved the girls and one caretaker into this shack and they slept on the floor. Not great but somewhat dry. Their resiliency amazes me - they were still full of joy and sang songs and giggled and braided each others hair for several hours before they went to sleep. It's as if they thought it was just a fun slumber party. They find joy even in the most desperate situations - I have so much to learn from them.

This morning (Sunday) we got up and had church. Lots of singing hymns and praise songs, reading several psalms, and we talked about what scripture says the church is - people; not a building. This hits home when your building is in pieces 10' behind where you are standing.
After that we drove to Jacmel because we had received word a plane was coming in with some supplies for us. Driving through Jacmel is pretty bad, several big buildings down, most stores closed, some streets blocked, but in my opinion not as hard hit as pap (at least not the part of Jacmel we drove through). We were almost out of gas in the truck, but we couldn't get the truck anywhere near the station because of the approx 150 people already in line. We left Hippolite with a small gas can and a couple of 5 gallon buckets and he risked life and limb to battle the chaos of getting us enough gas for a couple days. Next we went to the airport (it's just a runway with a small building next to it). The UN had a few troops there but were not overseeing the coming and going of planes. There were a couple of guys there who have orphanages and feeding programs in Jacmel and the mayor of Jacmel had put them in charge. Was a little like herding cats, but ultimately we received our shipment marked for us which was 3 backpacks, 1 with rice and 2 filled with bottles of water.

We were ready to leave but a UN truck had us blocked so I started talking to some guy and it turned out to be Mark Stuart, the lead singer of the Christian band Audio Adrenaline. They have a orphanage in Jacmel called The Hands and Feet Project. Mark shared with me how the quake had not damaged their facility but people had still sent them several loads of supplies so he offered me some of their extra. We drove to their place a few minutes from the airport and loaded up 8 boxes of bottled water, a couple boxes of fortified rice, and several boxes of formula! God is so good and I'm so unbelievably appreciative of kingdom minded people like this.

After that we spent some more time driving through Jacmel looking for tarps so we could make tents if it rains again but no luck. Most stores are closed or sold out of everything. Bought a few vegetables at the public market and the prices were already triple the normal price. This will just get worse in coming days/weeks because everything in Jacmel has to come via trucks from pap and the (only) road in is covered by all the rock/dirt slides.

Next went to Camatin to assess damage. The building is all still standing except the back cisterns (3 stories high) have partially collapsed and are leaning against the building. The rest of the building has a few cracks in the walls but appears okay. I just don't know how to make the decision if it is safe to inhabit or not so for now we are keeping everyone out. If anyone knows a structural engineer that wants to come to Haiti and check it out for safety and give their opinion/recommendations then email

Spent some time talking, praying, and crying with Pastor Moises the pastor at Camatin. His brother died in the quake when his small concrete home collapsed on him. They buried him Thursday. It was about 6:00 pm when we went by so Pastor Moises was doing what he always does on Sunday evenings - he was having a church service. They were worshiping outside.

Returned back to Coq Chante and boy were the orphans happy to see the water. I think they were getting tired of only drinking grapefruit juice. I think we have enough water now to last us about about 4 days.

Sleeping arrangements are same as last night but no tarp is needed. Thank you Lord for no rain.

For tomorrow...praying phone/email signal works better so I can have good conversations with all the awesome people working so hard to get supplies and teams mobilized. Will probably go to the airport again and pray some blankets and tarps come in that no other ministries have claimed. Also want to talk with a guy who has an empty building (used to be a store to sell rice, beans, cooking oil, etc but it sits empty now) that is near the orphanage and appears to have no damage from the outside, but I haven't seen the inside.

Almost midnight and tomorrow looks to be another long day. I'll leave you with a psalm that a sweet lady in Indiana emailed me a couple days ago and I've reread it several times to get strength whenever I felt like just curling up in a fetal position and hiding.

Please keep praying,

Psalm 16
Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good besides You." As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, and I will not be shaken.Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

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