Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Rocks Cry Out

A whole host of people and companies have jumped on the Haiti bandwagon - which is great that they are helping, hopefully for altruistic and not selfish reasons - but please use caution and give to a reputable organization with experience in Haiti.  Jim and I have supported a child in Haiti for many years through Lifeline Christian Mission (  I wanted to share with you this update from one of the founders.

January 19, 2010

Gretchen DeVoe (Lifeline Administrator & Co-founder) has been in Lifeline's Haitian headquarters at Grand Goave through this entire earthquake experience. Gretchen, Bob DeVoe and Bobby & Lakey Curlee are ministering to the Haitian people and coordinating relief efforts in Grand Goave and other Lifeline communities.

The following update was sent by Gretchen this afternoon:

The Rocks Cry Out!

Today as I was thinking about all that has happened, the scripture came to mind that tells us that even if God's people remain silent and fail to proclaim His name, the rocks will cry out! (paraphrased).

Never had I experienced an earthquake. I think we had a small one in Ohio a few years ago and you just felt a little shaking, but no big deal! I vividly remember what happened last Tuesday, day 1. I was starting to leave my computer desk when I heard a loud noise that sounded like the box truck or tractor was right outside the window. At first I thought it had hit the house. But it was only seconds before I knew it was an earthquake. I was thrown sideways and up the ledge into the small dining nook with the kitchen. It wasn't until 6 days later that I discovered an abrasion on my elbow; such a minor injury, but I'm just sharing this to help paint a picture of how consumed we were with what was happening. Many of the women commented that they could tell the direction from which the quake traveled. We were shaken sideways and everything fell over in the houses. The lockers in the big dorm fell over and the gals who were in their dorms at the time said the bunk beds shook horribly.

I recall yelling for the women's team to get out of the house. We ran into the field and had all the women get with their groups and stay there on the ground. And they didn't need told to pray! The initial quake lasted for probably a minute or two but the aftershocks came constantly, one right after the other. I have learned from Dr. Bill Rutherford and others who have lived in California and experienced quakes before that they never heard the aftershocks coming. I can tell you WE HEAR THEM COMING here. The rocks rumble beneath the ground and then the shock hits and the buildings tremble. You also feel it rumbling underneath you off and on all the time as the earth is shifting and settling. The sensation is akin to walking on a ship. But in all of this, what I want to point out, is that the rocks are literally crying out! And they testify to the power of our awesome God.

Bob DeVoe, Lifeline Founder & President, is in Haiti

Bob arrived safely this afternoon after a two long days of flying first to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and then hitching a ride in a private jet to Port au Prince.

On his way to Grand Goave he stopped at our Children's Home in Carre Four at Mahotiere and the children are fine but the two-story Lifeline school that includes high school is gone and a home fell into the church. Bob also stopped at Leogane, which is basically totally devastated. I'll leave it to Bob to update you later on what he has witnessed and experienced.

Food Relief

Here in Grand Goave it is time to begin food and housing relief. For the most part people have been paralyzed because of fear and no homes to return to. I briefly met this morning with one of the mayors and another official and we are developing a food distribution plan. Bob will help us get a rebuilding plan established.

There are other centers here in town where people naturally migrated to because they have wide open, outdoor space. We think there are 4 or 5 of these around Grand Goave.

The plan, as it stands now, is to develop a community committee and we will meet tomorrow morning to begin final arrangements for distributing the Kids Against Hunger (KAH) food.

Each refuge center will have a name and the people there will be identified by a colored card representing that center. The plan is to deliver the food to each of these locations simultaneously and distribute simultaneously at a given hour to avoid people going to more than one location to get food.

The quantity of KAH food we have on hand is about 10 pallets or 150,000 meals. But we have 2 containers in port that we think we'll be getting soon. Those 2 containers will feed 600,000 meals.

Pastors of the community will be part of the "committee" or leadership of each center in their area. When it comes time to distribute the food, there will be prayers and singing. Then the head of each family will be given the same amount of food, regardless of size of family and they will have to make that sufficient until the next distribution. We believe we should distribute 3 times a week giving enough food to last for about 2 days.

Clean-up & Housing Relief

The next plan is to tackle the job of clean up and rebuilding. The mayor is in agreement that the people themselves have to clean up their own rubble or recruit family and friends to help. After everything is cleaned up and out of the way, rebuilding or a total new house will be constructed. Again this will be done by zone.

We are asking the officials to try to have the government dedicate some plots of land where multiple homes can be built in the same area. Sort of like the Petit Paradise area where so many Lifeline homes have been constructed. (Side note: all 150 homes constructed by Lifeline stood firm through the earthquake!) This will make delivery of materials easier and the people themselves can provide the water and security for the materials for their home. Clustering them together will make it more efficient.

Here's what we are encountering now

These are all things to pray about specifically.

•We need fuel - both diesel and gasoline. If we don't have diesel for the generator, then we don't have electricity to email, pump water, or have electricity in the medical clinic. We need gasoline to run the trucks to pick up the diesel.

•Banks remain closed so we can't get our money here to us so we can start rebuilding.

•Shortage of construction and other materials.

•Shortage of food.

•The port in Port au Prince is not accepting ships yet due to damage, so shipments/containers of relief supplies can't be sent until we know they can get here. The shipping companies are not accepting shipments until the port opens up, but when it does open we want supplies to flood in. (Please note: Through a generous donor, Lifeline has aquired 50,000 square feet of warehouse space to stage supplies and containers. Lifeline will ship them once the ports open up.)

Fuel Follow-up

Lesly just returned from Petit Goave where we were able to purchase 2 drums of diesel; this will last 2 days. We go through 55 gallons a day.

God bless you; thank you again for all that you are doing. Please continue to help.

Living and loving to serve,

Gretchen L. DeVoe, Administrator
Lifeline Christian Mission

On behalf of Bob, Gretchen, Bobby & Lakey in Haiti, the Lifeline staff thank you for your continued prayers and disaster relief assistance! You have answered the call! Donations and disaster relief items are flooding into our Ohio office and to drop off locations across the US. We deeply appreciate your support for the Haitian people and Lifeline's ministries!!

Serving Him,

The Lifeline Staff
Lifeline Christian Mission

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