Thursday, March 25, 2010

When the earthquake hit...

It was such an eerie feeling being in an earthquake and walking outside of our guest house to see dust everywhere, hear nothing but wailing that filled the air, feel the earth still rumbling, and see the people raising their hands praising God that they were kept alive. It is impossible to truly describe what it was like to see all of these people running up to us with their bloody children in their arms, and see so many people covered in dust and blood and deep wounds everywhere. It was so sad for me to hold the hand of a little injured girl who had just lost her mother in the earthquake, but she didn’t know it yet. Or hearing that one of our staff members was most likely dead because her whole university had collapsed and only a few had come out alive, but all we could do was hear it, and keep moving because there was no time to cry. Patients were brought to us from all over the city, because some of the hospitals had collapsed, and some had just shut down. It all seems so surreal, even now. Every time we woke up, we all hoped it was just a bad dream that we had just woken up from, but it wasn’t. We still had hundreds of wounded patients to tend to.
Below: photos of our triage center and our patients
No one should ever have to go through an experience like that.  But yet, in a way i am glad i was able to, because i was able to feel God’s presence more than ever before.  He sustained us through it all and gave us such endurance.  I can’t even begin to describe how deeply in love with the Lord I am.  Our orphanage is called “The Light House” in French, and we truly were able to be that for the people, thanks to God, and are continuing to be that.  We have been able to offer hope to these people, which is the reason we were even put on this earth!  
It was a strange feeling not feeling safe anywhere during those first few weeks after the earthquake.  Our back wall surrounding our house had fallen down, so we were completely vulnerable to people coming onto our property.  And they knew we had food, because we were an orphanage, so we were at high risk.  But if i locked up the house really securely, then when the aftershocks came, we didn’t know where to go!  When the 6.0 aftershock came one morning a week after the first earthquake, we all jumped out of bed and just kind of ran around our room not sure what to do because we were so locked inside!  There really was no safe place to be.  Being inside was dangerous, and being outside was dangerous, so if i didn’t have Christ, i would have been a wreck!  He gave me such an indescribable peace.   There were thieves lurking around every night, and people watching us by day.  People tried to break into our houses a couple nights.  The first week we had to ration our food and water because we didn’t know where our next food would be coming from.  Gunshots would go on during the night (but that is normal in haiti), but through all of this, there was only one night when i let fear get the best of me.  The rest of the time, i was at such peace about anything that happened, because I knew that Christ wouldn’t let anything happen to me that I couldn’t handle.   I had such a confidence that God would provide for us, and God would sustain us no matter what happened.  
Now i understand the Haitians, and now i understand that David is talking about in the Psalms when he talks about terror in the night, or enemies lurking all around him, and being able to put his confidence completely in the Lord.  

It is so exciting though how Haiti really has turned to God during this time.  As soon as the earthquake hit, they were all praising Jesus.  A month ago, the nation of haiti declared a 3 day fast, so 90% of haiti fasted and prayed and didn’t do any work.  They just marched along the streets by the thousands and worshipped Jesus.  There is nothing more beautiful than that.  So please keep haiti in your prayers, because this is only the beginning of what is to come with their restoration, and their hearts turning to the Lord. 
So many lives have been lost, so many homes have been destroyed, so many people have been permanently injured, so many people will forever suffer emotionally, all from a 45 second natural disaster.  It’s incredible how quickly life can change in less than a minute.  If people truly lived with the mentality that life can literally be turned upside down within seconds, then how much more passionately would we live for God?  Would we dare to be just a little more bold in our faith?  Would we trust God more in both the little and big things in our lives, knowing that He’s sovereign and He will keep us exactly where He wants us?  Are we willing to trust that the safest place to be really is in the center of God’s will?  Are we willing to go wherever He wants us to go, no matter how hard or “odd” the calling is?  I challenge you to really follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads you.  Don’t hold back, because it’s not worth it.  There’s no greater life than a life surrendered to God alone. 


  1. You are so right! When people don't follow God will for their life they seem to have no purpose. In the center of God's will is the safest place to be! My prayers are with you.

  2. Amen, amen, amen! Dana, those last few sentences really spoke to me, and brought tears to my eyes. Yes, "absolute surrender" is where "Life to the full" (John 10:10) is.