What a crazy day. I spent 16 hours yesterday getting from Montrouis to Indianapolis for a conference where I will be speaking and taking continueing education classes for my optometry license. It turns out I lost, gave away, or in some other fashion disposed of any warm weather clothes I had in Haiti so I got to Indiana and discovered they are expecting snow and 20 degree nights and I have a Caribbean Joe t-shirt as my warmest clothes. But in typical provisional manner, a good Christian friend who happens to live in Indiana hooked me up with a bunch of warm clothes so I am good.
I will be in IN for the weekend with my 20 year old daughter Megan. I had not seen her since last November so it was great meeting her in the airport here last night. She flew over from GA to be with me at the conference this weekend. Then I fly to NC for a few days for some meetings and finish up my CE at a meeting in Asheville next weekend.
Tomas strengthened to a tropical storm again last night and is projected to pass over Haiti as a hurricane tomorrow. Joy and the kids are there and we live right on the coast. It looks like Joy is going to close up the doors and windows and leave the house to go and spend a couple of days in the missionary team rooms at The Mission. It will be cool to be there with the mission kids but also tough with Justice, Jaxon, Josie, Judah, Jacy, Jamoy, Jean Patrick, and the two special needs boys Kevin and Michelet all getting moved over there and set up. We have been praying for a person to come and live at the mission to take care of Kevin and Michelet there since it is technically the children's home and we can have someone caring for them 24 hours each day even when we are not in town. So Joy is working on getting them moved permanantly during this transition time. Pray about that.
The biggest problem with a hurricane in Haiti is not just the wind. The tents in PAP of course will be affected by the winds but the biggest issue is rain. They are predicting as much as 15 inches of rain. If that happens, there will be significant flooding and the risk of landslides. The deforestation and subsequent silting in of the rivers has made flooding a major problem. Our fisherman that we work with live near the river and many of them lost their homes in 2008 during Hannah. At that time the river flooded all the way down past where we currently live and took away many homes and left hundreds with nothing. The river flooded again a couple of months ago and washed away more homes. We have several of our fisherman living in tents right now due to that flood. It is a blessing that just before I left we were able to help Jean Beny rent a house and move out of his tent. I am glad he will be in a house during this storm tomorrow and not a tent. He loves Joy and is a precious part of our ministry.
Just when we starting thinking the cholera deal was pretty much behind us, we got a call this morning from one of our closest pastors and learned his wife died this morning. She was working in the garden when the symptoms hit her and she died on the way down the mountain to the hospital. Pastor Remy and his wife are the ones that came down the mountain with the gift of eggs to thank us for helping them get a horse. Now he has all 7 of his children to care for alone. He is trying to get her buried today. Be praying for them.
The end of last week I got home to find one of our translators we use sitting in our yard crying. He was holding a baby outfit in his hand. Degraff's 18 month old baby had respiratory arrest and died and the family did not have the money to bury him. We were able to help bury the baby but had very little means of consoling a hurting father.
So there is a quick update of what's happening. We will keep you updated on the storm. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. You can see updates on facebook