I have spoken to Pastor Louis St Germaine in Haiti by telephone in the last hour and this is what he has reported to me…
- First, our children weathered the night well and are safe at Cambry for now.
- High winds peaked between 3:00 and 7:00 AM but are still gusting and it continues to rain.
- The damage to trees, roofs and wooden buildings was immense.
- The streets of Les Cayes are flooded and in his words the city is “devastated”.
- Roads are impassable and covered with trees and debris.
- He has worked all day using our skid loader and 8 men with machetes to clear the road between his house and Cambry. They made lots of progress but did not make it all the way there before turning back to return home by nightfall. All this in the wind and continued steady rain, by the way.
- Pastor Darnier and Wilner are at Cambry and he has been in touch with them. They have adequate food and water for now.
- Pastor Louis believes that no ESMI orphans or staff were injured during the storm so far.
- He expects to clear the rest of the way to Cambry by mid-day tomorrow and assess the situation there. Getting a working generator for the pump on the well is the first order of business.
- Young Nickerson, who was recently in the states for medical treatment, spent the night with Pastor Louis and his family and Nickerson is doing fine.
- Pastor Louis is exhausted from days of work leading up to the storm, being up all night last night and working hard all day today to clear the road. Please pray that God will sustain him and all those in leadership in Haiti during this difficult time. He said that he spoke with many older Haitians along the way today and they all said this was the worst hurricane that had ever hit Haiti. He said that Les Cayes was like a desert with all the trees blown away.
While we continue to pray for the safety and welfare of the approx 700 children at Cambry, we must go to work to help them in any way we possibly can. Our physician, Dr Junior Osselin has arranged for our Community Health Workers to be at Cambry (hopefully beginning tomorrow) to take charge of ensuring the best possible hygiene given the number of children there. Once Pastor Louis has opened up the road to Cambry, Dr Junior will also be traveling there from his home in Les Cayes to lead the efforts to keep the children healthy.
We know that it will be days before airports and roads are again open in Haiti to allow people or supplies to get there safely. We are monitoring the situation as well as we can and will determine the best course of action in that regard in the days to come. We are looking into ways to fly supplies and tools there to help out and will keep you posted on what we learn and our next steps. Imagine what generators and chain saws would mean to Pastor Louis and his team as they deal with gaining access to the various orphanages and getting them back on line with clean water. If you are moved to help, your financial gifts will be the first thing that we need in order to be effective. If you want to volunteer to travel there for the relief effort at a time when that is safe and realistic, please let us know of your desire along with what skills you have which can be put to use in the relief work.
Thank you all for your prayers and your support. With your help and God’s grace we believe that our young people will come through this trial better than ever and their future will remain bright.
May our great God bless you,
Roger Braswell and Angela Quinn