I read an email today from a missionary there on the front lines. "We used our whole supply of meds the first day. Melina helped deliver a baby or two. Dentists and veterinarians are treating people. Everyone is a doctor now if they have a good education...We can't get gasoline or bread or meat. Other foods are available though. The electricity is off and won't be back on any time soon." He went on to describe the chaos brought on by the earthquake. "An angry mob killed a man right in front of us, saying he was a thief. Thousands of prisoners have escaped into the streets because the biggest prison in the country fell down. We couldn't stop them as there were simply too many of them and we only had limited ammo...There were three cops with shotguns directing traffic three blocks away and they ignored it."
In the wake of such a devastating event in Haiti, our students have initiated a community-wide drive to collect canned goods, sheets, towels, medicine, and other commodities families desperately need. It's staggering just how close this has hit to home and yet how life has continued for us much the same. Even here, just over 100 miles away, we feel helpless. Not having a TV, I couldn't really picture the scene on the opposite end of the island until I googled "earthquake in Haiti" and watched a video on BBC News. During the earthquake, I was meeting with some of my high school girls. We were on the second story of a house and it literally felt as if someone had taken the foundations of the building and was swaying it from side to side. It had the bizarre feeling of the ground becoming mercury. Suddenly we all felt dizzy and lightheaded without really knowing what had happened.
Our French teacher Voltaire left this Wednesday to look for his family in Port-au-Prince. He had not been able to communicate with them since the earthquake. He returned last night relieved, having found them safe and unharmed by the earthquake, but brokenhearted for his country and what he saw there. He shared this morning that he believes the number dead far exceeds 100,000. There are still so many missing and unaccounted for- parents who can't find their children, children left wandering the streets, spouses carrying pictures around, hoping for the needle-in-a-haystack chance that someone has seen them alive. It is truly devastating.
On the heels of such a catastrophe, I can't help but ask the cliche' question of "why, God, why?" Why would you allow a country that already ranks up there with the poorest nations and is so far behind, so deep in poverty, be hit so hard? And then I have to remind myself that of all brokenness, of all the people crying out, I do believe that God is hurting the most. I have to believe that more is going on behind what I see in a real life snapshot, on a youtube video, or a news update. That in pain, God does draw people to himself. That when every earthly possession crumbles, He proves Himself faithful. That in the glorious mix of God's omniscience, love, and sovereignty, no one escapes His sight.
Meet Duke. The newest addition to our family. Pretty cute, eh? Ever since our moto got stolen, we have wanted to get a dog for a little added security as well as peace of mind when Tim goes out of town, or even, as we've learned the hard way, when we're sleeping. As I told a friend earlier today, we're still far from ready for children, but this is a definite step in the family direction. And despite the pooping and peeing involved in raising a pet, we are loving having a dog. I think I forgot just how great a dog can make you feel about yourself. Coming home to him is like returning to a friend who has not stopped waiting for you all day long.