Monday, January 18, 2010

Update from Bill in Haiti

We're not sure when we will get the next update, the fuel supply is running low... Here is the latest update from Bill Manassero
Where do I begin… there is so very much going on I cannot effectively capture it here. But I will try as best I can by briefly highlighting a few things:

This has been an absolute blessing and so has been our med team that has faithfully manned the unit since hour one. Hundreds came through. Many lives were saved. All left alive. Amputations occurred. Bones were set. Wounds stitched. God sent doctors, nurses and others to keep this going non-stop 24/7 since Tuesday. Today, we sent most of our long-term recovered patients home. Six remain. A new med facility run by Convoy of Hope is opening at Quesqueya Chapel and some will go there. The problem is they won’t take people overnight. That is a problem with us in that we have some that need IVs for 6-7 days. We may move those patients to our new building. Either way, we will tone down med operations significantly tomorrow.

Today was one of the first days I actually ventured beyond our compound area. We went to the airport in search of food and meds assistance. I cannot explain the impact of the sights and sounds we experienced. I was not ready for it. Homes and businesses leveled to the ground. Thousands of people walking on the streets and very few tap taps (taxis). The devastation was overwhelming. The drive impacted me hardest as we drove down Delmas 33, past the juvenile prison. This “children’s prison” was a place where our kids ministered to the children in prison. It was gone. Absolutely gone. Only rubble. We knew kids there. But the sight of the rubble was dwarfed by the intense and familiar smell of death in the air. I felt sick to my stomach. I don’t know who died or how many – just that many bodies must have been or were still there.

We are out of diesel and don’t know when and if we will have more. Without diesel – no generators. Without generators – no Internet. Dang, I wish we got those solar panels up. Maybe someone out there knows solar panel installation and can come help us it them up. Communications and updates may likely go black for a while.

UN structural engineers came and inspected all our buildings and gave thumbs to the kids returning to live in the homes. The problem is the kids are very fearful – especially with each aftershock, and there are many (over 200 at last count). We may be camping out a little while longer. Keep praying for peace in their little hearts.

Although the girls home is sound according to the UN, it still has no walls. While we are waiting to build the new walls, all the girls will be moving downstairs of the Manassero’s house, where our our old guest house was and the MDL school is currently located. There is a home we have been looking at for a while as an intern house and for guest house overflow. It wasn’t affected at all by the earthquake. The school will also be moved, perhaps to the new home. We rented the home and will be using it for earthquake relief efforts as well. It will house those who are part of the relief effort either short term or longer term and may include extended med clinic patients as well.

We’re all losing weight. We call it the Haiti earthquake diet. Personally, most of us are just not eating much any more. Partly it’s because were too busy. Party it’s because food is limited. Partly it’s because what we are seeing every day takes away our appetites. And frankly, it just hurts too much to see those around us without food. Friends from the DR have been driving in food shipments of whatever they can find. Today was the best. When I told the kids they were having a special treat tonight I can’t understand why they weren’t excited – I guess having salsa sardine burgers just wasn’t that thrilling for them. I liked them! Oh well. Thank you, Jesus, that we can still chuckle in light of such overwhelming circumstances. The joy of the Lord is truly our strength!

Please continue remember the Manassoro and the struggles they and there extended family is facing... If you are from the U.S. and would like to help them with their efforts, you can use the donate button on the top right side of this blog... if you are donating from Canada please go HERE

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