I'm unhappy with how these pictures loaded, but that's minor compared to the heartache and tragedy taking place in Haiti. These pictures, and others like them, were emailed to us today by the main translator of the Haitian Creole Old Testament project with which we're currently working.
I don't have his permission to quote from his email, because it's too difficult to get emails back and forth, but since I'm using it to ask for prayer for the Haitian people, I'm sure he would not care that I'm using it.
I'm going to quote it verbatim for the most part.
Dear Prayer Partner,
It is with great grief and sorrow that I write you today to let you know how I and my folks are surviving through the earthquake that beats upon my country this past January 12, 2010. Haiti has never been damaged in such a heavy way. It is by God's grace only we came out from that terrible catastrophe.
I was in Hinche, my hometown, just to spend Christmas with my mother. Classes at the seminaries resumed on Monday, January 11 both in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. So I have been back to Jacmel since Sunday evening (10th). Everything went well on Monday. Tuesday was just another day of work. [He is a professor at the seminary along with his translation work.] It was about 4:50 pm while I was teaching a class when the earthquake began. From the first three second I understood it was an earthquake, but I thought it would not have lasted. But after 5 to 6 second I realized the seriousness of it and immediately tell my students to rush outside. The building where we met was being shaken so harshly that I thought it was going to fall flat. The earthquake lasted for about 15 to 18 seconds. It amazed me that the earthquake came about as I was explaining to my students the necessity of showing the atheists (people who say that God does not exist) how and why they are wrong and heading to hell. Fortunately everybody got out safely and there is no big damage done to the building and to the church which is right beside it. However, it was during the aftershocks that we started to realize how God Almighty has spared our lives and the church building: Jacmel's downtown is almost completely destroyed, two young men from the church in Jacmel (pastor Dieupie) died. Many people lost their home, several hundreds of them poorly sheltered in the aerodrome in Jacmel, the road from Jacmel to Port-au-Prince is blocked big rocks are found all over the road. It may take several weeks, even months for that road to be repaired.
Then we heard about Port-au-Prince. When I try to call some of my folks from the seminary in Port-au-Prince I could not get hold of them. Finally I got a little bit of news: at least two buildings are seriously damaged. Pastor Pierre-Pierre [a teacher at the seminary in Port-au-Prince] came safely miraculously and the worst is that two students died and several others are injured. According to the government's estimate 100,000 people die, corps [dead bodies] are laid along many of the streets of the capital city. In fact more than half of the city is destroyed. There still are people who are calling for help from under the fallen houses and walls. This morning, I got news from my Pastor in Port-au-Prince about my church: a deacon with his daughter (about 8 years old) were killed in the earthquake; a Sunday school teacher (a young lady) dies as well. We will know more about people who die from the disaster later on.
I thank God that everyone in my family came out safe. Now the big question is how we are going to survive these difficult days. The Lord knows all about it: we have very little access to food and water and gas. Even when Port-au-Prince would have some of those things, trucks cannot get to the regional cities to bring them to us. I need much prayer: it has already been hard to [live] in Haiti and unless God steps in and do something, it will be even harder in the days to come....
Please, pray that God might have mercy on my country and help my people see the necessity of living a life for God, receiving Christ as their Savior. Please take some time to look at the pictures taken in Jacmel.
God bless you and God bless Haiti!
I think this letter and the pictures speak for themselves. Please do pray faithfully for these suffering people, some of whom are friends of mine. We have much for which to thank the Lord here in America.
The director of Bibles International is Haitian. He tells us to imagine 9/11 and Katrina happening at the same time. Then we might have some idea of the extent of this tragedy. Since many of the government leaders have been killed and most of the government buildings are destroyed, it seems to me that Haiti's problems are worse than anything we could possibly imagine. God knows what He is doing, but I admit to wondering. Still, I love Him and trust Him implicitly.