In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

City of Sorrows

Djenie collapsed in my arms. She was wild-eyed, hoarse and trembling. Tears coarsed down her cheeks. 'Susan' she howled.' 'Susan, they are all dead. Three people! Three People! My babies! My babies are gone!'

That was yesterday, 18 hours after the devastating magnitude 7 earth quake that struck Haiti.

Djenie is in her early twenties and had just been told that her Mother and two children had died when their house collapsed. Words fail. There is no comfort to give. This is the Grief of a nation.

'I am so, so sorry. Go with God, sister.'

We later learnt that Djenie's family had in fact survived the disaster. The family in the neighbouring house did not.

No family is untouched. A niece. An uncle and his immediate family. A brother. Tonight, one of the night nurses told me she attended 3 funerals today. Six members of her husband's family have died. 'I haven't finished counting.' she told me. I have family in Delmas......'

Claudia went on to tell me that her Aunt was trapped under rubble in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince. There do not appear to be any search and rescue teams in the area. There is no co-ordinated relief effort, because there is no functioning government. The Parliament building has been obliterated. Many of the senators are dead. Ordinary Haitians are digging through the rubble of the city with their bare hands. They pile dead bodies, side by side and one on top of the other. Blood runs out of many of the crumbling houses, flowing into gutters and down the streets. One of our foreign staff members was in Port-au-Prince today. She had to step over the bodies of earth quake victims in order to get into the American Embassy building. The smell of decomposing flesh is thick in the air in Port-au-Prince today. People are beginning to burn the corpses.

Claudia's Aunt has been calling relatives, from beneath the rubble, on her cell phone throughout the past 48 hours. She wont survive much longer without water, but I have told Claudia not to lose hope. Foreign relief teams are arriving. We all hope that they get here in time to save Claudia's Aunt, and others trapped under the rubble of this devastated city.

We have yet to hear from four of our staff members, including a Haitian nurse, in her 30's, who is heavily pregnant. Many of the cellular networks are down and there is no power in Power in Port--au-Prince, so cell phones are discharging.

There is some good news. Jocelyn, a nanny who has worked with Dixie for 17 years has heard that her sons, aged 1 and 10 have survived. She is desperate to know whether they have food or water.

Our Haitian staff are saying that Haiti is suffering under the wrath of God, for wide spread devil worship. I can't believe that. This looks apocalyptic, but I cannot believe that God has forsaken this country. I cannot.

The words of a song we sing at my church back home in Scotland have been drifting to me throughout the day:

'Though the mountains may fall, and the hills turn to dust,
Yet the love of the lord will stand.'

(Isaiah 54:10)

Our God has not forsaken us.


Wendy said...

Hi Susan, oh how we pray for all of you. Please know that God has NOT forsaken Haiti. He loves the people, and is sending so many to share His good news. Out of this disaster, I am sure that we will here story after story of his mercy and help. He says that His love is forever, and He does not lie.

Marshmallow Circus said...

My first time reading Susan. I am praying for you all. I KNOW God is a benevolent and loving God. He is putting into many people's hearts to help. I hope the aid reaches you all quickly!

God Bless You and God Bless Haiti!