Hendricks Motorsports took my mother-in-law and step-son away yesterday. We found out Missionary Flights International was flying out missionaries to Florida so we made the trip to PAP to put 4 of the members of the team that had been visiting on the plane. It was an emotional time to see friends and especially family leave but we knew it was best. The Benfields stayed behind to work in the hospital and help but the others had to leave.
We also met up with Julie Wirries at the airport. What a blessing it was to see her and talk to her. She was on her way out on the same flight. She was so torn because she did not want to leave but the mission where she was working was destroyed and they had spent five nights sleeping outside with no bathrooms and no where to go. She barely escaped the collapse of the building. It collapsed all around her but God protected her miraculously and she was unharmed. She is headed back to Florida to be with family. Keep her in your prayers and try to email her (Juliewirries@yahoo.com) and let know you are proud of her and will continue to pray for her.
As we watched the plane taxi to the runway it quickly flashed through my mind..."why are you not on that plane with your family"... after all many people had told us I needed to get them out before it got any worse. I could see us sitting in my mom's living room in the NC mountains with no one crying over dead bodies, open wounds, over crowded streets, lines of people waiting for food, no horrible smells or fear of airborne diseases. But the thought was only fleeting as I stood by my best Hatian friend and thought of the 4 families he now had living in his little house with little or no food and water. The the other families that we have bought supplies for to go and help deal with now having to feed their entire extended families as well as deal with the fact that they themselves had lost someone in the quake. Almost everyone here lost a friend, or coworker, or family member.
The trip to PAP was uneventful. We did see where they had dumped a couple of bodies on the side of the road and the smell of the area where they had started a mass grave was unbearable. But no violence. We were able to buy 11 gallons of diesel that had been salvaged from a ruptured fuel line at the warf. We paid $45 haitian per gallon which is about $5.65 USD. That was the only fuel we could find. That is going to be our biggest challenge. We are stuck without fuel.
This morning we dropped Shelly and Bob off at the hospital where we are in the process of opening one of our eye clinics. It worked out great. Shelly was able to deliver a baby and Bob worked on several injured quake victims. They will do the same tomorrow with another nurse that is arriving tonight from Hickory.
We went on to St. Marc to try to find diesel and other supplies. We were able to find all of the food and supplies we need without a problem but no diesel. We found a place you could buy only one gallon for $70 Haitian or $8.75 USD per gallon. We were looking for 50 gallons and the line to get one gallon was 2-3 hours long.
Philip is meeting up with 3 people from YWAM in California where he and Logan served last year. They are coming to meet him and they will work together with the YWAM team in St. Marc this week. Philip will be spending the next few days there.
Our other issue is finding somewhere to get money. The normal places we could cash American Checks were in PAP and are now rubble. Western Union is functioning to some extent but it is days to get through the line and not very reliable at the moment. We talked to a missionary group today that was leaving because they could not get money and had no more diesel fuel.
As we drove down the road today I could not help but see the despair on everyone's face. The shock has worn off and the reality of the loss of their old life is starting to set in. What a momumental task we face as we try to help them assimilate into their new souroundings and deal with the trauma. Only God can do it. Keep the Haitian people in your prayers.