15 January 2010

Haiti Update

by Phil Johnson

6:00pm (EST) Update from Ron Pierre: "I was told a few minutes ago by one of our board members who was able to make contact with our people in Haiti about an hour ago, that an Emergency Response Team from the State of Florida was attempting to bring in fuel to the compound via helicopter. Six doctors from Samaritan's Purse have landed at the airport and are currently making their way up the mountain to the mission. The bodies are piling up at the mission and our morgue is filled to capacity. We are out of gasoline and dangerously low on diesel fuel. Water is in short supply so pray that the pumps and filters arrive within 24 hours. The airplane with these supplies aboard was not able to land yesterday."

y friend Ron Pierre, board president for Baptist Haiti Mission, sent this update:

So many of you are inquiring regarding the situation in Haiti and particularly at the mission. I’ve just now been able to make telephone contact with one of our missionaries, Chris Lieb at Baptist Haiti Mission. Thankfully, the connection was clear and intact long enough for me to inquire as to the current situation. I honestly do not know where to start, the conditions in Haiti are desperate and deteriorating by the moment in spite of all that we hear relative to the aid that is "pouring in" from the US and other countries. I am simply going to list some of the things he was able to relate to me without regard to sequence. Those of you who have been there and/or are familiar with the compound in Fermathe will better understand the conditions, however, all of you will gain a sense of the severity of what our people face.
  • Our hospital is filled with people 250-300 people lying in the halls, many, many with serious injuries that need immediate attention, more people outside and surrounding areas with a constant flow coming in.
  • Our doctors are exhausted, most all of our staff are assigned to the hospital.
  • Thousands of people sleeping in the park just below in Petion-Ville, afraid to return to their homes.
  • At least 10 to 15 thousand people are sleeping in the park near the airport with roving gangs of hoodlums attempting to steal whatever "aid" arrives before it gets to the helpless people.
  • People all along the roads with serious injuries, multiple fractures and puncture wounds; bleeding and unattended.
  • Chris passed women grasping their dying children in their arms, after a while it becomes overwhelming because there is not a thing that you can do about it..
  • Countless small children wandering about without any parents or adult oversight.
  • The initial stunned calm that was over the population is rapidly turning to despair and in many cases anger. There is a real danger of things turning very ugly, potentially for those who are beginning to arrive to help.
  • For most of the "search and rescue" people that have arrived or will arrive, it will be far, far too late to save lives. The stench of death everywhere and is overwhelming. Many places have seen no help whatsoever.
  • There are piles of bodies in many roads and some have become "roadblocks" in and of themselves.
  • Many people are simply in shock, most have lost at least one or more family members.
  • Vehicles are abandon, roads are blocked or down to one tight lane as large chucks of the mountain have fallen.
  • Chris gave out about 100 very large heavy duty tarps today to be used as temporary shelters and it got very ugly as the last ones were dispersed. The actual process of giving out aid is going to be quite dangerous the longer it takes to reach the people.
  • There appears to be no oversight of the "teams" arriving. They are equipped but do not know where to go or how to get there. It may improve but it is going to continue to be a big problem.
  • Medical supplies are running low at our hospital; I asked for a list of the supplies that they need we can be a bit more specific in our requests when aid does arrive.
  • We have a need for anesthesiologists and orthopedic surgeons. Any medical personnel would be a blessing.
  • Chris commented that he has seen things over the past several days that he hoped he would never see and would chose never to see again.
  • Many people are simply walking around in what is really clinical shock.
  • Everything is closed down; no stores, no markets, water is in tight supply and is running out fast.
  • People walk up and down the mountain just looking for their families; there is no transportation.
  • The Samaritans Purse people were supposed to arrive today with Greta Van Susteren of FOXNews.com. The plane circled for about an hour but could not land. They returned to Miami.
  • The same was true for several other planes caring supplies and aid for the mission. We desperately need a pump and water filters that are coming in.
  • All in all, there are no words to describe what is taking place, the TV news gives inadequate for those of you who know Haiti, the conditions, the culture, the people.
  • Two of our churches in PAP have been completely destroyed, we do not have reports on the many churches in outlying rural areas yet.
  • Most every school in PAP is destroyed, personnel killed. It will be a long, long time before there will be any schools in PAP.
  • Our chaplains have been ministering to every single person who comes to the hospital; scripture is read and they pray with each and every one. We do have some very dedicated people.
  • Our mission families are all accounted for and remain uninjured; we need to uphold them in prayer during these times. God certainly gives the strength and grace when needed. They recognize that the tasks before them are humanly impossible; They also recognize that prayer is the greatest asset they have in this trial.
  • We are trying to keep the website current with pictures, video, and various other feeds . . . . go to www.bhm.org. It may be a bit slow due to traffic but it does function.
Our thanks to all of you who have inquired, emailed, called, and written and otherwise displayed your love and concern, this has been equally overwhelming! It is now almost 2:00 am Friday morning EST and time ready ourselves for a new day. Again, I close with Psalm 20, verses 1 and 2: "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!" --R.A.Pierre

The photos above are from AP and other news sources. The Washington Post has a large and growing collection of photos, all heartbreaking. Pray for Haiti, and do whatever you can to help.

Relief Agencies We Trust:

Baptist Haiti Mission
Children's Hunger Fund
Mission Aviation Fellowship

Phil's signature


Janet said...

Thank you for this. I am praying.

Aric said...

Sitting in my office, it seems a bit disingenuous to say that my heart breaks as I read stories of this event. As if I have ever had to endure even a fleeting moment of a situation like this. However, the only way to describe it is that my heart does ache for the families suffering and dealing with loss. The utter hopelessness that those impacted by this disaster must feel.

To think of children left without care makes me weep. I cannot allow myself to imagine my children having to endure such a tragedy. Yet, there is ultimate hope for those touched by this disaster. There ultimate hope is not in the earthquake or the devastation left behind or hope of a rebuild Haiti. There is ultimate hope in a Savior who will return one day. An inheritance waiting for those who trust Christ's saving work.

I pray that those still living will run to this ultimate hope and cling to Christ during this time as well as have their immediate needs met: safety, shelter, food, water, etc.

I pray that my feelings don't sound trite or cliche, as it is easy to encourage clinging to Christ when tragedy is far removed. Thank you for the update.

Anonymous said...

I'm having flashbacks to the Katrina aftermath we experienced as I watch videos and see the photos of Haiti. We have had a missionary support volunteer(George Shelby) living with us for a year in our church building who just got back to Haiti in
December for a sixn month stay. He was about 100 miles north of the epicenter and is okay.

The level of chaos and disinformation was intense for us as we tried to 'get things together' and I'm sure that, given their poor infrastructure and level of destruction, what they are experiencing is much, much worse.

It is hard to explain what it is like to have your entire town destroyed/flooded/ruined.

We pray for Haiti with heavy hearts here on the bayou. May the Lord be theirs today.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am going to use it as an insert in our Sunday bulletin. Our church will also be receiving a special offering for BHM.

Bob the Builder said...

As to your comment about lack of oversight. If you can, look up the FEMA ICS on google. It may help you locally to coordinate. Also look at http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp and http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp for some basic overview courses on how to organize volunteers and staff. We're praying for all of you.

donsands said...

"The Samaritans Purse people were supposed to arrive today with Greta Van Susteren of FOXNews.com. The plane circled for about an hour but could not land. They returned to Miami."

This is incredible. Why can't they land?

I will be praying for God great mercy, and sending some funds through "World Relief".

My heart is heavy for these people. It makes me think twice when I feel like complaining about my problems.

Have a good Lord's Day.

Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

I'm praying, thanks for sharing this.

Rick Potter said...

If you have a Paypal account they (BHM's website)have made it very easy to donate online.

My word verification is "caresses"

Anonymous said...

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

The are no other words...

Jerry said...


You don't have to publish this comment if you don't want to, but I am interested to know why Samaritan's Purse is not one of your "Relief Agencies We Trust", especially since it is referenced several times in your post.

Jay said...

In the middle of widespread death and destruction - God is there and sovereign. Among the heart rending pictures and accounts of death - God has protected a missionary family who runs an orphanage there. The husband was working in one of the PAP hospitals that collapsed. He was able to walk out of that collapsed building and then walk eight miles to his home. Upon his arrival he found the house totally destroyed, but his wife and children safe without a bump or scratch. Shortly before the earthquake the wife had taken the children out into the yard for their daily Bible study and that's where they were when their house crumbled.

Jonathan Hunt said...

Any readers from the UK, Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle is co-ordinating giving to Baptist Haiti Mission. All funds will be sent with no deductions for administration.

Cheques made payable to 'Metropolitan Tabernacle' and marked 'Disaster Fund'. More details if required on 020 7735 7076

Kathy said...

This article from World magazine yesterday focuses on progress made by various organizations already in Haiti and passes on advice on how best to give so aid is received quickly and used effectively.

Thank you for the update with specific details, although they are so heartbreaking to read. Continuing to pray and will give.

Rob Lombardi said...

Those photos from Washington post really effected me. I had to stop. I'm definitely planning to give. My workplace, Toshiba, is employee matching with the Red Cross.

I also re-tweeted your post and links. Thanx.

Boerseuntjie said...

Beloved brother and Elder Phil,

Do you receive the FIRETalk updates from Josue?

Your fellow bondslave by the gift of Christ Alone,