Children of the Promise, HAITI

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Letter from Jamie Groen (field director in Haiti)

I just wanted to give you all a bit of an update on how things are going here. First off, we are all still fine here, even after another earthquake. Most of us here did not even feel this one. From what I have heard here, this one did not cause a large amount of extra damage. Most people in Cap did not even know it happened.

We seem to be doing a hundred things a minute here right now. I don't think that Jenny or I have taken much of a break since quake happened. However, we sleep well at night and definitely feel that God is moving us beyond what we think we can do into what He knows He has enabled us to do.

I've made the comment a few times that everyone else in the world probably knows more about what is going on in Port than those here do. Jenny and I have had little time to look at the pictures or read the stories. Those living around us do not have access to computer, tv, or any picture media; so they know very little as well. We only know what people coming up from Port are telling us. We rejoice when family members have made their way out of the destruction in Port, but shudder at the stories that they have to tell. Few of those who made it here are without injury. But living family members are still showing up, so we praise God for that.

Currently, we are working on several key things. Our main work is with our kids. You have probably heard reports of kids getting out of the country. So far, none of our kids have gotten out, but we are working on it. It is our hope to get all of our kids with families to the States with their families, if we can clear it with the American Government. Our greatest fear is that tougher days are ahead here in Haiti, and that the adoption process may take a long time to get up and running again.

We have not yet received any new babies. We've seen a flood of people coming into Cap from Port, but have seen few children. We are hearing that orphanages in Port are taking kids in by the 100s. We believe the issue right now is safe transport. It is not safe to travel from Port to Cap, so moving babies is not a good option right now. We are still preparing for more, but do not know when this will happen. In a nation that has likely just tripled or quadrupled its already huge orphan population, we will no doubt feel this affect of the quake.

Fuel and supplies seem to be moving into Cap at the moment, which is a really good thing, but we are still trying to stock up just in case. We are also mobilizing to help those in our area who have been affected. Our community has committed to supporting 10 people from Port who have made their way up here, more are likely soon to come. They will be staying in a nearby school. The community donated some basic needs (clothes, toiletries, etc), and we are providing some supplies and all the food. It's amazing to see some of the outpouring of people here. The community around us is in absolute poverty, and yet they are giving to those in great need right now. Some of these people will not be able to eat in 2 weeks because they have taken in family from Port, but in their minds there is no other option. Family trumps hunger, so you just spread what you have a bit further.

I've been amassing some food that we can give to some of these families when they start to run out. We are getting to know who has received family and who are in the biggest needs. The community is organizing much of this and letting us know who is in the biggest need. We have been blessed with many generous donations in the states, and we are trying to reach those in the greatest need here. We will continue to use these donations into places that God is leading. We thank you for all your support and generosity!

Jamie Groen

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