Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 3 (and 4) in Haiti

We have had random opportunities to use the internet...but we were too busy yesterday to get on and update the blog. I think we last updated through Friday AM. Here is a recap of Friday afternoon:

We spent time with the students again, listening to their stories and offering words of encouragement where we could. One young Haitian girl was at the school visiting, hoping to talk with a counselor. She was happy to talk to me instead since she knew me before I left Haiti. She told me her amazing story...I'll try to remember all of the details:

Erta (the young woman) is 21 years old. She was taking afternoon college classes the day of the earthquake. Her younger brother was in school during the day and had asked to stay after to work on homework. He was working in a classroom when the teacher said he had to leave the room. He went on the balcony to finish his homework instead. Meanwhile, Erta was in class when the building started shaking. The roof collapsed on her when she tried to get out of the room. She was flat on her stomach trying to crawl out of her destroyed classroom. She said there was so much dust--yellow dust--and she couldn't see. Finally she saw a chair that had miraculously held up part of the roof. She pulled herself under the chair and through the opening to escape the building. After a few minutes of searching for her brother, she found him alive but injured. The two of them walked away from the collapsed school where many others were killed. They spent the night in a nearby park, unable to reach their parents. They later found out that everyone assumed they were dead after hearing that their school collapsed. The next day they tried calling their parents again, but were unable to hear anything. THey decided to tell their parents, "we are alive in Champs Mars, if you can hear us, hang up the phone." They heard the click, and a few hours later they were reunited with their parents!

Erta's story is just one of many that show God's hands at work in the midst of the tragedy. The Haitian staff at the school are all accounted for, but some have lost close family members. I was particularly worried about two families at the school, however I have been reunited with them in the last couple of days. Both families lost homes, but not close family members. Their stories are pretty amazing too. I am learning that for every story of tragedy, I hear 4 or 5 more stories of miracles. Every staff person at our school is alive, and all but 1 student survived the earthquake. That Tuesday morning, I remember waking up and praying for the kids and staff at QCS. I didn't know why they were on my heart that morning until I heard the news that there was an earthquake that afternoon. I am amazed at how God works things out. It's easy to look at a situation like this and assume he is distant, but the longer I'm here and the more stories I hear, the more I realize that He works mightily in the most difficult times.

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