Up and Walking!

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Yesterday marked a first for us. For the first time since we moved to Cap-Haitian in June 1988 (24 years ago), we flew out of Cap-Haitian on a jet! Over the years we have traveled on turbo props, a Cessna 402, a DC-3 and even the Agape missionary plane. We’ve flown out on jets from Port-au-Prince to Ft. Lauderdale, but never did we leave on a jet from Cap-Haitian. It only took us 1 hour and 40 minutes and was wonderful. I took a picture of the IBC jet just before boarding just to commemorate this occasion.

Prit and I have lived through dictatorships, coups d’état, and even an international embargo. We’ve watched Haiti descend a slippery slope with little hope of any recovery. Our children flew out of the nation’s capital early on the morning of January 12, 2010, only to discover when they arrived stateside that the south of Haiti had suffered yet another setback. A 7.0 earthquake took the lives of at least 220,000 people in just less than 60 seconds. Anguish took hold of the nation’s capital as one more blow rocked Haiti’s world.

The tide seems to be shifting, however. With President Martelly’s leadership, it looks like the church’s countless prayers over the decades are now coming to fruition. We are truly amazed to see great progress manifested in the north of Haiti and the rest of Haiti as well. People are repairing roads and sweeping the streets. (One can only appreciate this after riding on roads filled with potholes year after year which wreak havoc on the body and one’s vehicle.) An industrial park which intends to employ 60,000 workers has been built in the city of Caracol. This, plus the opening of the Henri Christophe University in the small town of Limonade is breathing new life into the students that are now attending there. Many of those students are members of our churches. Progess brings hope. Progress is life.

The body of my husband lay in the hospital of the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta, in a comatose state with seemingly no hope of any change. It now appears that Haiti is finally coming out of its own coma. Our hearts are full and our eyes brim with tears because we have witnessed Haiti at its lowest points. She has been the byword and the proverb of the nations for generations and still has a long way to go – but, she has awakened. She is up and beginning to walk. All the visitors that have come to minister here in the last few months have made remarks such the following: “As soon as I landed in Cap-Haitian, my first thought was, ‘Something’s different in Haiti’ and ‘There’s a different presence here. It wasn’t like this the last time I came.'”

Please continue to pray for Haiti. Pray for President MIchel Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Pray that the international community will not forget their promises to Haiti. And for those of you that wish to visit us in Haiti, you can now fly straight into Cap-Haitian from Ft. Lauderdale on a jet in only 1 hour and 40 minutes!

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Earthquake Anniversary

Dear Readers,

I have been reflecting on the travesty of Haiti’s earthquake on January 12, 2010. Wanting to post something in its remembrance, I have come up dry. Frankly, there are just no words to capture all the vivid memories and sounds racing through my mind of that fateful day. I hope, instead, that you will be touched by our son John’s poem that I feel, in some way, may help capture some of the emotions of that day. – Dana

I am thinking of Benjamin, turning
Around in the the airport taxi
To learn my destination,
He’s a Baptist boy come to the city to make a living.
And also Pierre, the taxi dispatcher
Who winks and gives me half the going rate,
A price he says he reserves for those whom
He considers friends.

I am thinking of the city as I last saw it,
The mountains and their mining-scars
Masked by rainclouds
The tin-roof tenements hugging the coastline,
And the church roof that announces “JESUS LOVES YOU”
At the end of the airplane wing
As it turns toward the sea.

I am thinking of all the names and faces, familiar places
Buried now beneath sand and ash and rubble and stone,
The sound on the news of voices crying, 
The dazed look in the eyes of children, staggering
In the streets like wounded animals, trailing blood.
And the overwhelming sound of people worshiping
Atop the ruins of their fallen houses,
A sign and a wonder to behold.

I am thinking tonight of the miracle of faith, 
The mustard seed that grows into a mighty mountain.
Faith, the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen,
The miracle of those who, losing the world, are lost to it in return,
Men and women of whom the world is not worthy.

As the television glows, all I can do is think of Benjamin, and Pierre
And the sorrowful, rejoicing sound
That the Beloved of the Lord is lifting up tonight.