On January 12th the nation of Haiti was devastated by an earthquake the magnitude of 7.0, the largest earthquake on that besieged island state in 200 years. The next morning we received a personal note from a Haitian Episcopal priest from Port-Au- Prince:
“There is no Cathedral. The entire Holy Trinity complex is gone. The convent for the Sisters of St. Margaret is gone. The Bishop's house is gone. College St. Pierre is gone. In Grand Colline, the church is gone. In St. Martin of Tours, the kindergarten is gone. In St. Etienne Buteau the church, the rectory and the school are gone."
The worst was still to be reported the next morning as we all sat dazed looking at our television screens watching images of utter devastation. Over two million are without food, shelter and water. No place to bury hundreds of dead. An American survivor wrote on Twitter: "Piles of cadavers were burned today. Only other option was to let them rot. I have soot on me. That soot contains human DNA. God help us." The horrible irony is that Haiti has already suffered greatly as it is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. For century’s Haitians have endured injustice and oppression and now is in the middle of unspeakable destruction of what little they have left. I hear songs of Lament in the air: more >>
The overwhelming donations and special offerings for the Haitian people are to be praised but the impact of the one-time gifts will be short-lived, one Charlotte, N.C., pastor indicated.
"Spontaneous generosity is awesome but if you try to build your life on spontaneous generosity you'll never make a real long-term impact," Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church said in a video post.
One of the fastest growing churches in the country, Elevation Church didn't need to take a "special offering" when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday and left possibly 200,000 dead and millions homeless and hungry. more >>
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle landed in “hell” this week where he witnessed a teenage boy shot in the head and a girl sold to an older man. He was in the collapsed city of Port-au-Prince where rubble from former buildings and streets piled with corpses give the impression of an aftermath of a war zone.
Driscoll, along with Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago-area, landed in the capital of Haiti on Monday to assess the situation and needs of Haitian churches and to deliver 1,000 pounds of relief supplies.
On his first day on the ground, Driscoll said he heard a gunshot behind him and when he turn to look he saw a teenage boy immediately killed by a shot to the head. The teenage boy was just a few feet away from a seminary property and next to a makeshift clinic where thousands of people slept outside, Driscoll reported on his Facebook page. more >>
Just a few days ago a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti. Tens of thousands are feared dead. The total devastation will take weeks if not months to realize. The official death toll continues to rise as bodies are discovered in the rubble of the aftermath.
My heart broke, along with yours, as I watched report after report of this devastating earthquake. It seemed like every station from Fox to CNN to MSNBC to local news stations were on a constant disaster watch, every report seeming to uncover more horrific levels of absolute devastation.
On a nature level, it seems like catastrophes are back. It wasn’t all that long ago that New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. And I’m sure we all remember the shock of the tsunami in Indonesia. more >>
The images streaming in from Haiti look like scenes from Dante's Inferno. The scale of the calamity is unprecedented. In many ways, Haiti has almost ceased to exist.
The earthquake that will forever change that nation came as subterranean plates shifted about six miles under the surface of the earth, along a fault line that had threatened trouble for centuries. But no one saw a quake of this magnitude coming. The 7.0 quake came like a nightmare, with the city of Port-au-Prince crumbling, entire villages collapsing, bodies flying in the air and crushed under mountains of debris. Orphanages, churches, markets, homes, and government buildings all collapsed. Civil government has virtually ceased to function. Without power, communication has been cut off and rescue efforts are seriously hampered. Bodies are piling up, hope is running out, and help, though on the way, will not arrive in time for many victims.
Even as boots are finally hitting the ground and relief efforts are reaching the island, estimates of the death toll range as high as 500,000. Given the mountainous terrain and densely populated villages that had been hanging along the fault line, entire villages may have disappeared. The Western Hemisphere's most impoverished nation has experienced a catastrophe that appears almost apocalyptic. more >>
"Children with gaping head wounds lay screaming and confused, some had lost motor skills from the blows they had received to their heads. ... We were shocked that so few had received any kind of treatment."
The account by David Darg of Operation Blessing International was recorded Monday, nearly a week after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck Haiti and wreaked havoc on the Caribbean nation.
Relief and humanitarian teams on the ground have been hard at work trying to save lives while at the same time relaying their first-hand accounts to the rest of the world on blogs. more >>