This is the sound that generally starts my day. I don’t normally hear a helicopter during my daily routine, but here…there’s no daily routine and helicopters are a frequent sight..and sound. Earlier this week a pastor we were meeting with talked about the psychological needs of the orphans he is caring for.
This was before my aftershock experience and so I hadn’t thought about this until I heard him speaking, but apparently the choppers make the ground and things around feel like they shaking. He said the children will start running and they have to tell them things are okay. Now he is trying to teach them to clap when they hear or see a helicopter. Who would have thought. Certainly not me.
The 4.7 aftershock I described in my earlier blog changed all of that. The helicopter rumbling is much like the rumbling I heard when the aftershock hit. Mind you, the rumbling was much deeper and from an unseen and unpredictable force. Still, I know that every single time I heard a chopper, a chair scrape the ground, a car muffler…anything remotely like the deep groan of the earth, I panic: my heart lurches forward and I stop breathing and want to take off running. The children of Haiti have been through so much pain. Addressing their emotional needs is a challenging task when their very existence and struggle for water, food and shelter seems, at times, impossible to meet. All I know to do is to pray for these children who I have been blessed to be able to know by name. I consider it my joy and responsibility to share their stories with you, so that you may also pray for them.
This is sweet Tangette. She became my best friend. She came and sat next to me and was doing anything she could to just be near to me. I told her she had beautiful eyes (sometimes it’s like charades, and that’s always fun). She was beautiful…and not just her eyes. She had such a beautiful spirit. She left my side for a while and came back and sat down and talked to me. She said, “You are bee-u-tifulll”. That made me happy.
After a little while longer, Tangette went and got a friend. Turns out it was her older sister, Marie. They were both delightful girls and it was a blessing to sit and love on them and tell them how beautiful they were.
A good deal of this was happening while my task force leader, Alan, was interviewing the pastor and I was, clearly, taking scrupulous notes and capturing the time on video and camera. The pastor introduced Alan to Rosetta, the woman with the broken arm in the photo below. She has 8 children, ages 3-23. At the time of the earthquake she was in the street outside her home, all of her children were inside. Rosetta ran back inside to get them and in doing so had many bricks fall on her head. In the process her arm was also broken. Unfortunately it wasn’t set correctly and so doctors had to break it again. Their home is totally destroyed and they are sleeping in the street with their neighbors under a tarp. Pray for this sweet family. Rosetta also now has no job.But, she has her children. And, Jesus. And, her church.
Here’s one of my favorite photos of my time here…..pray for these sweet sisters (the younger of the 3 is named Lesta). As I’d come to find out they lost both their parents and their 3 brothers in the earthquake. They are now living with the Pastor. What a precious honor to know them and to pray for them. And, I’m glad you can join me in this need….I promised them you would.
See you in the next blog,