Haiti ERT BLOG Team 1 (Updates 5-8)
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps. - Proverbs 16:9
The team is now in Haiti and ready to work!
They plan on breaking into 3 groups to go out. Please pray for their protection and that they would know where Jesus wants them to minister in His Name.
These are photos taken yesterday by Vinny's cousin, Alex, and his family. Alex and Deborah and their kids live in Santo Domingo and have not seen Vinny for several years. They made the trip to the El Higuero airport just to see him.
The team has arrived at the US Embassy in PAP but there is no one to meet them. I just spoke with Terry Nelson and he is going to try to get someone to the Embassy to get them before the night time curfews are in effect. Pray that they can get safe transport to him tonight or a safe place to stay for the night.
The team finally made it! Terry Nelson (from Lighthouse Ministries) was able to send an armed escort to the US Embassy to pick up the team. The team - and their entire 2500 lbs. of supplies - are now at Lighthouse.
Update January 23, 2010
Below is an update from Lighthouse ministry which discribes the situation the team is entering:
The markets on the street are slowly opening up, but there is no rice! Please pray that we can make contact with the proper agencies or depots where we can find a steady flow of food for our people. It goes fast when you have so many to feed! We are working with a Captain of the 82nd Airborne and getting into places we never thought we could get into… Pray we have a steady flow of free fuel too.
We have teams now on the ground to search through damaged hospitals and try to find surgical equipment so we can set up operating rooms. You never know what we will be doing next, huh?
The Huey helicopter is now on the ground. That will be a tremendous help delivering supplies throughout the island. What a great bunch of people God is sending our way!
How grateful we are that we have city water still coming into our property! With all the cooking, bathing, washing clothes and equipment, we are so blessed! Many have no water. This is essential to all we are doing and God has once again provided!
Money continues to come in. It is being spent nearly as fast as it comes just to keep going. Our support base is growing daily.
Tonight our Administrator arrived. This will take a lot of pressure off of Terry. These special people who can handle stress well and organize various areas of operations are invaluable right now. More will arrive next week. Medical teams continue to come. Fifteen more arrived tonight. They got stopped up at the Embassy, but are now safely in Carrefour.
Continue to pray for us that we would have wisdom, strength and the ability to focus where we need to focus. We will have church in the morning and our people are looking forward to that! We pray that you will have a wonderful Sunday. Please share a good testimony of what God is doing in the midst of what the world calls a disaster! With Him, any ‘disaster’ can be turned into a tremendous outpouring of Himself. We are doing all we can to meet physical needs right now, but our greatest joy is in delivering His Word to Haiti and watching an entire nation turn to Him! That’s why we are here.
We are working on our website this weekend and should have a new front page the first of the week where you can follow what God is doing. www.lightministriesinc.org. If I don’t respond to emails, I will when all is up and running again. Continue to email me. I have been so encouraged!
We're here. Today is our first real work day. It was an adventure just getting here. Flights were good, the airlines checked in way more bags than we expected; I believe 30 duffle bags and 13 boxes of medical equipment. The gracious lady, Karen, at the check-in counter was added to our prayer list. I flew out on a seperate flight and we met in Dominican Rupublic airport. THen drove to another smaller airport where we thought we were going to take a smaller plane to Haiti. That didn't happen. Instead, we spent the night on the floor of that airport and got up early the next day, took transportation to the U.S. Embassy in D.R. and hopped on a bus caravan from there to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. This was a very comfortable ride on large tour busses. We were hoping to stop just past the Haiti border an get dropped off at a place called "Love a child", but the convoy would not stop, and that turned out to be a good thing; getting dropped off on the side of the road with lots of baggage would have attracted too much attention.
We did have to make a stop at another small airport to await he flight of a family coming over to meet with a Congressman (investigating their missing family member). While waiting there, we met the most inspiing M.D. His name was David Vanderpool, from Tennesee. He is a christian man who started a mobil medical disaster relief org. The earthquake happened on Tues, he and his two sons (18 & 22) flew out on Wed., and they were working on Thurs. He bought a flatbed stakedbed pick-up, and drove around helping dig out trapped people, throwing them on a mattress in the back of his truck, and transported them to a hospital in Dom. Rep., where he did surgeries in throughout the night. Other doctors in his network came out to help, and he tauht his sons how to plaster a broken limb. In ten days he did 300 amputions. Truly an inspiration.
So anyway, we continued to the Embassy in Haiti hoping to spend the night there, and get a ride to "Light Ministries" located in Carrefour the following morning. At the Embassy, we made contact with two FEMA task forces, CATF-2 (LA County) and VATF-1 (Fairfax Virginia). They gave us some good information and tried to help with transportation to Carrefour, but reallyhad their hands tied with the Embassy and security issues. We arrived at 1700 and all transportation stops at 1800. There is a general curfew in the city at 1830. The streets are not safe at night.
Vinny Mata was finally able to get a hold of Terry on the sat phone and he sent two van to pick us up. It seemed impossible, but we got all our gear, the 15 of us, and three of Terrys driver/security people in these two vans. Quite a ride (Guatamala style) in vans packed to he hilt over terrible roads crammed with people. I can't beleve we didn't pop a tire. There is extensive damage and debris everywhere. Carrefour is considered "the red zone) by FEMA teams and they don't go in without security. Anyhow, we made it there.
Terry put us up in a house of one of his church directors (one of very few houses standing and occupied) and we spent the night. This morning we attended church at Terry's house and started working on rebuilding a wall around this compound. Some are surveying the area to possibly scavange some material to put together a medical clinic. There are some Doctors from Singapore here at Terry's house.
Pray for good health. A couple of guys on the team are a bit sick/dehyrated.
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