1/20/10 Standing firm because of the strength of Christ in our Hearts. (Isa. 7:9b)
Thanks for your continued prayers and words of encouragement. We are blown away by God’s love expressed to us through His presence in our Hearts and His love expressed through so many of you! We woke up to a tiny (Ha Ha!) 6.0 quake this morning. To us, it seemed like nothing compared to the 7.3, however it made me get out of bed quickly and run outside to join Liz who was already up walking the Dog. We are slowly learning to estimate the quake intensity in real time. Hey, who needs a Richter scale? Anyway, It’s not really my dream to have a lot of experience at this. Joey arrived in Omaha and was met by his cousin James, Aunt Suzanne, the Foral family and Linda Sedjro. Thanks for making him feel so welcome! Joey is back in home school with his friend Tim at the Foral’s house in Omaha. Liz and I thank God for opening the door for Joey to begin having some sense of normalcy back home. We believe this will be a great time of personal growth for him even though we already miss him a whole bunch!
Spiritual Perspective: Ps 75:2-3
You say, "I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge uprightly.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm. NIV
We’ve been challenged in our hearts by the above scripture the Lord first impressed upon Liz. We know at all times we are always one breath or one big shake from facing our creator face to face. This is true for all of us in or out of Haiti at all times. Converted born again believers as well as for those outside of Christ many who may go to Church but show no evidence of Christ’s Lordship in their lives. So, on the one hand, we have been reminded that God himself could take us out at any moment He chooses. On the other hand however, we know that as long as he keeps our pillars firm, he has important things He wants to accomplish in and through us all for His Glory.
Book of Hope hooks up with a Convoy of Hope food distribution
On Sunday, Convoy of Hope rolled into Quisqueya Chapel and set up food distribution lines. Groups of 10 were allowed to enter the back gate of the chapel and were escorted to the distribution area on campus. Before receiving meal packages consisting of highly nutritious rice manufactured by Feed my starving Children, they were met by a small groups of Haitian nationals made up of volunteers mostly from the Chapel’s congregation. The groups of families from the community were given encouraging words and were prayed for by the volunteers. Also, each person in the group received a copy of the Book of Hope. The atmosphere was charged with the peace and presence of God as this mixed group of internationals and locals worked together to comfort hungry hurting people.
Update on our Ministry Partners / Friends
Praise the Lord! All our One Hope ministry partners from the Living Stone Ministries network are alive and well. Only one had an injury to his toe. Edson lost a significant amount of flesh to one of his big toes as he and his family escaped their collapsing house. However, he is being treated regularly and is at this moment in line at the Quisqueya Chapel medical clinic to receive follow up care. Pastor Romain lost his father. He died as a hero while praying for others in his neighborhood. Our group took a little time to mourn with Pastor Romain over the loss of his Father. One of the most difficult things for him to process was the need for his father to be quickly buried in a mass grave. Finally, Ghislaine who works with us in our house lost a sister and several nieces and nephews who were working or living downtown the day of the disaster. Please pray for God’s continued comfort for Pastor Romain, Ghislaine, and their families as they process these difficult losses in the midst of great crisis. On a very disappointing note, we learned that Murielle, the little girl who survived the Nerette school collapse in late 2008 died in the earthquake. You will recall praying for her to be able to walk again and go to school without fear. That, she accomplished. We also saw great evidence of her having a personal relationship with Jesus. We believe we will one day see her in heaven with her glorified body. Here is a scripture that has brought us great comfort as we consider the age old question of “why do bad things happen to innocent people.” I don’t want to attempt to say this is the only answer, but one that God has encouraged us with from His Word. We pray it will encourage you as well.
The righteous perish,
and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.
We are checking on the status of Murielle’s family and will do the best we can to minister to them when they are found. Please pray for the countless thousands who have lost loved ones in the earthquake crisis.
Many of our friends and ministry partners experiences very close calls. Elsie Lherison had just stepped out of the shower when he apartment collapsed on her and her daughter. God protected them from the ceiling utilizing a very tall and well constructed head and foot board on Elsie’s bed. She and Stephanie were able to crawl to safety. One Hope Coordinator Jean Josmy Delmas was entering the house he was staying at with the key in the door when the earthquake struck. The house totally collapsed. He received only a minor laceration on his arm. Praise the Lord for His protection!
Acts of Heroism
I guess none of us knows what is in us until we have to face things we could never dream of. Some stories that touched us the most were learning of how certain people quickly responded to help in what seemed impossible situations. One of the large supermarkets frequently visited by almost every foreign missionary collapsed and killed or trapped may inside. There was a group of young single American teachers living on campus at Quisqueya Christian School who ran up the street to help dig out the living, the dead, and horrifically injured people in the rubble. They worked until 5:30 AM the next morning. Also, many of you know Ruben Marcellus as one of our main ministry helpers. He is a One Hope Coordinator and also acts as an interpreter for most of our teams. Ruben was visiting the Church on the Rock Bible School with a friend of his when the earthquake hit. He had just stepped out of the school, the quake hit, and suddenly behind him lay more than 70 Bible School students including his good friend buried in rubble. All those who escaped, including spiritual leaders tried to keep Ruben from going back inside. They said, “it’s too dangerous, the whole thing could come down on you.” But Ruben said, “Yes, but there are people inside who need help.” So, Ruben ran inside and saw many trapped by large chunks of concrete and debris too large to move by hand. He knew he needed a sledge hammer so he went out to the street to look for one. He saw a man trying to free his dead wife from the rubble with just the tool he needed to break through the concrete. He asked the man for it, he refused. Ruben pointed out that his wife was dead but their was still a chance to save people that were alive. The man, obviously in shock, again refused to share the tool and continued to work to free the cadaver. So, Ruben made a split second decision to fight the man for the hammer. After gaining control of the hammer, he ran back inside the school to begin digging out people. Amidst their pleas for help he began to free them one by one. Thanks to God, he was able to free 12 of the students and walk them to safety including his friend he had arrived with that day. The other 50 – 60 Bible School Students perished and the next day were removed from the rubble.
Day to Day since Monday
Monday, 1/18 we invited our ministry partners living in the city to try to get to our office in the middle of the city. Several came. They were very thirsty and hungry. We helped them rehydrate and provided bags of food and water provided by Convoy of Hope and the Assemblies of God so they could return to their families and neighborhoods with something to share. We also relocated Edson’s family to live with other family members in another area of the city who had not lost their house.
Tuesday, 1/19 we went to the Bible Society with a large truck to bring a shipment of books to our warehouse on Delmas. These will be used to compliment humanitarian aid distributions and medical clinics as well as other forms of community evangelism taking place throughout the city or Port-au-Prince. Thanks to God,we were able to provide those that helped with some Convoy of Hope food to take home to their families. Also, we were finally able to purchase diesel fuel again after several failed attempts. This included a 10 gallon tank for our friends Dave and Ann Farquarson who were completely out of fuel for their home generator. In exchange for the delivery, Ann provided us with a loaf of home baked bread and some whole wheat flour. Liz and I hadn’t had much bread in the last few days. We ate it last night with great joy and thankfulness in our hearts!
Wednesday, 1/20 we are planning to meet a small team at the airport to receive some cash for Elsie Lherrison’s ministry and deliver that to her. Also, I have invited my English Bible Study group to meet at our office at 3:00 to pray and prepare for a large scale community Book of Hope Distribution and GodMan showing near our neighborhood. Lord willing, this will take place just before dark in Delmas 48 which is the area Petit and Moise live and evangelize. There are currently about 20,000 refugees camping out on the Petionville Club’s golf course. There are at least 4,000 children. The plan is to walk throughout the area giving out books to everyone living in the community while inviting people to come see the GodMan movie. We will hopefully utilize dozens of young people along with some international volunteers to visit families in a tent to tent visitation.
The US military has made this community one of it’s zones for food and water distribution as well as medical clinics. We are very proud of Petit and Moise as they and other English speaking Haitians are volunteering as interpreters between the Marines and the people.
Current Prayer Requests
1. Please ask God to bring a halt to the earthquakes in Haiti.
2. Comfort, physical, and spiritual healing to all surviving victims.
3. Immediate food, water, and shelter for all people in Haiti.
3. Oganization amidst the vast amounts of Emergency aid groups as they work together to meet the needs of the people of Haiti.
4. Joey as he transitions into life and going back to home school in Omaha, NE
5. Please pray for the many orphans who will hopefully soon begin being evacuated from Haiti. In particular, more than 70 from Hal and Chris Nunguster’s orphanage. Ask God to help them with the logistics of this.
6. Little 4 year old Sandy who was evacuated with Joey a couple of days ago as she heads towards Ohio to receive surgery for a shunt in her head.
7. Liz and I as we work together day by day with our many missionary colleagues and national partners to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in everything we do.
We love and appreciate you so much! Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support! Hope to upload some pictures soon. Love, Dan & Liz