The news from Haiti is starting to roll off the front pages, but the recovery will take years. Here is a report from our friends at Somebody Cares. Doug’s wife Lisa Stringer is in Haiti and gives this look into the challenges and recovery work:
This morning we made our way onto the airport grounds where many Humanitarian groups from various countries are camping out, unloading and storing goods and supplies for those in need. We saw flags from Turkey, France, Israel, Great Britain and the USA to name a few. I met soldiers from Uruguay, Portugal, Brazil, as well as a few others. The nations are ever present and the UN has troops everywhere. The US military has a strong presence as well.
My observation is that the locals tend to have reservations about the UN since they do not have access to news sources and do not know the great effort made by many to assist them. I met people today that have only had a few crackers to eat in the last few days and have begged for them.
The downtown area of Port-Au-Prince was a disaster and looked more like a war zone. Four-story buildings are now just a pile of rubble. The area is quite dusty, the air smells of death and people are digging through the rubble in hopes of finding anything they can use or sell to survive.
Thousands of people lined up around the Presidential palace in hopes of receiving something to eat from the UN troops that are guarding it. We saw one desperate man drink from the dirty and probably contaminated water along the curb. We desperately wanted to give him our own water but to do so would cause a riot. People who are desperate do desperate things.
In front of the main, historic, and now destroyed cathedral we met two (now homeless) ladies that were attending service and ran out when they felt the Quake. One said her niece was in the rubble along with hundreds of others. She escaped with a few scrapes which our field medic, Craig, treated. They have lost everything. They only own the clothes on their back and have decided to call the sidewalk next to the destroyed church their home for now. Although it is unsafe for us to pull anything out, I found a way to leave her my lunch (an orange and
A teenager we met shares that he lost his parents and some siblings and now is the only caregiver for his younger brother. He lost a tooth yesterday trying to get a gallon of water and is desperate for food and shelter. In a few hours our team will head out to get in line at the port and wait for a barge to arrive that has food.
We are in hopes of getting anything to help the pastors and the 10,000 people they represent. One pastor, now homeless, sleeps in the driveway of the guest home where I am staying with a mere sheet as a bed. Now homeless, other friends of the ministry sleep on the patio, or wherever there is space.
At one mission, our team helped dig a military style latreen in the “Tent City” as the 2,000 people that are living under sheets and in cardboard boxes have no restrooms. A few hundred yards away, the medic on our team assisted in the medical clinic helping amputate the tip of someone’s finger as the patient watched.
I am blessed to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. I am with a group of people that love the Lord and are demonstrating to the Locals that Somebody Cares. Please continue to pray for our health and strength. Pray that we find favor with those in charge of food and water distribution. Pray for the many teams that are here and those that are on their way.
To have the heart of Jesus,
Somebody Cares America/Int’l
P.S. It is now the evening of January 27th and the team was able to secure the needed food, water and other goods to help the pastors and those they represent.