Life in Haiti After the Earthquake: Reclaiming Beauty From Despair

life in Haiti Received from Scott Todd, our Senior Ministry Advisor, who is leading our medical team in Port-au-Prince.

Today (Jan. 27) was … not sure what word could cover it. The team went to a rural site (HA748) and set up our clinic under a large mango tree.

I had to stay back in the morning because we had medical supplies that had missed the original plane and it was important to receive them. They were tagged to me, and we didn’t think U.S. forces would allow anyone else through.

So, with a tail number on an aircraft we went through the two checkpoints and were suddenly amidst the chaos of the tarmac. Massive cargo planes from the U.S. military being unloaded, vast field of materials, also some non-U.S. big planes – a 777 from Israel…. Helicopters of all types buzzing around.

We took a guess at a small plane and drove out to a field where they were parking smaller charters and we found our guy grabbed our meds and got out to HA748.

The team saw much heavier needs today. I held an 80 year old (approximately) lady for 30 minutes while she writhed in pain as our orthopedic surgeon amputated her toe. It had been crushed and was rotting infection up into the bone so it needed to be completely cleared out.

That old lady was made of leather and wire but wailed away. We probably saved her life – certainly her foot as the infection would have progressed.

I’m getting bit by mosquitoes and realize I forgot to put on bug spray – I am taking malaria meds.

Another pair of sisters today – sponsored kids. House fell, killed dad, one sister’s hand got crushed into their fire for two hours. Her hand was serious and we arranged for her evac via a contact we found here – U.S. group with lots of military support.

We thought they might fly in with a helicopter but they came in a boring old truck. We also referred and transported two others.

The other sister had her toe amputated during the crush so we cleaned it up and called it good. Split jaws, exposed skulls… a lot more today.

We came home…oops… back to the office, a two hour drive, and we sang songs lead by our Haitian brothers and sisters – all variety of hymns. From Amazing Grace to Oh God you are my God. There was a lot of smiling, passing nuts and dried fruits around. We sang pretty full throttle and didn’t sound too bad.

We saw two dead bodies being burned on the dump on our way home. The air was filed with stench and smoke and dust and we did sing This is the Air I Breathe with no irony but sincere faith.

I was humbled to be with Haitians who had lost loved ones singing “God is so good. He’s so good to me.”

We do have a mysterious, wonderful, unifying and good Lord who is in the business of re-building broken things, healing hurts and reclaiming beauty from despair. And that God is at work in Haiti even now.

14 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Nancy J. Weatherford February 9, 2010

    Thank you for all you and you team are doing. I know the worry that all the sponsores feel hoppingand praying to hear about thier sponsored children, because my sponsored child was & is in Indonesia. I’m thankful for every miracle that happens in Haiti.

  2. Sherri February 6, 2010

    It is so good to hear of your perseverance, faith, and the work you do, all in the name of Jesus, wherever the Lord takes you there in Haiti. Thank you for being His hands and feet in that country and ministering to the people’s needs, whatever they are. It is definitely a “servant’s” heart that you have!! “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him”. James 1:12 NIV.

  3. Dianne Harmer February 3, 2010

    So grateful for you taking the time to tell us a little of the work you are doing despite your situation. Tears and prayers and a little money are all I can give at present, particularly for my sponsored child Roselande Altidor and her family. I only now realise what a blessing her letters have been to me in the past and I pray that by some miracle she has survived. How much we all take for granted. God’s faithfulness, love and power is all that sustains us in the enormity of the tasks you are all facing. My love and prayers go out to you all. The news of you all singing and praying gives me great hope despite everything.
    Cornwall, England

  4. Pat February 2, 2010

    Thank you for the reports. It is wonderful to hear first hand about the work in Haiti, & many of the dear people drawing closer to the Lord.

    May you be blessed team, in everything you do to help the sad situation. Our God is faithful!!

  5. Stephanie Green January 30, 2010

    Thanks for sharing about hope and singing. Beautiful!

    Stay strong and may God bless you for all you’re doing!

  6. Amy Wallace January 30, 2010

    I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to hear them singing those hymns…wow.

  7. Penni Anderson January 29, 2010

    Thank you, refreshing to hear some hope from Haiti.

  8. Betsy Slaughter January 29, 2010

    I am so grateful for these reports. I pray for all of you each day. Thank God for the skills you have and the stamina you possess to do this work. Please continue to do “the next thing that needs doing,” a phrase a wise retired Christian missionary once taught me.

  9. Andy January 29, 2010

    Thank you for the update.

  10. Christi Christianson January 29, 2010

    My heart breaks reading about all of the pain, the suffering and the loss, yet to hear of the praise to God in the midst of it all is amazing and a testament to yours and the Haitians faith. I continue to lift you all up in prayer and well as my sponsored child Marie and her family, that I still have heard no word about. God Bless you all.

  11. Glenn Fincher January 29, 2010

    Thank you to all the team on the ground & Compassion HQ for the lifesaving work being done in Jesus’ name in Haiti. I know that the work must at times be grueling & endless, but God indeeds strengthens as evidenced by this update. We are praying for you all and our Haitian brothers & sisters.

  12. Kari Gibelius January 29, 2010

    Scott, what you are doing is amazing! Thank you for taking the time to let us know what is happening on the ground. May God protect you and guide your every step and show you miracles in your ministry! We love you!

  13. Joanie Willard January 29, 2010

    All I can say is Thank you and may God keep you safe and strong. Your selflessness amazes me.

  14. Iain Bissett January 29, 2010

    Your work in Haiti is priceless and I hope you find the strength to continue in what must seem like a never ending task. I am glad to here you are also managing to get out to more remote areas. Information seems understandably lacking for areas away from the main crisis such as the north of the island. God bless and strengthen you all.

Add a Comment