Signs of Hope

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Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:44 pm
Location: Madian, Petite Rivière de Nippes, Haiti

Signs of Hope

Post by Tayi » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:03 pm

Here is a beautiful update from our team on the grounds in Duverger, Miragoâne:

[quote]Almost every person I talked to yesterday said they were hopeless. All day I walked around quietly, afraid to be too joyful, because well, I have the States to go home to. No one wanted to talk. Even while we played cards, everyone would forget it was their turn, thoughts elsewhere, the slow moving circle of numbers seemed to be playing themselves. I went into my room and prayed, hoping to come out with a better attitude. I'm sure the lack of sleep has something to do with it too.
Manno and Brother lost their voices.

It was the children that kept this place moving. Under our tents everyone was lying, napping or thinking or praying, but not the children, they couldn't be burdened with caring. I took a video of the chaos of the children. It's loud and messy and goofy and everything you'd want a video of a bunch of kids to be. To escape I'd just go where they were. Or really, just close my eyes and listen to their playful screams.
As the sun started to set yesterday things started getting a little different. Everyone bathed in the river, ate dinner, and people were just walking around, getting things ready for bed and doing dishes and such. Katie and I were examining a little boy who had a huge open wound in the front and back of his head because a block fell on him. One look at it told us he needed hospital care. We finished with that, the mood somber again, and Michel did something that lifted everyone up. He started beating me up.

He had been in a funk all day, saying little if anything and something sparked in him with his first jab into my arm. Naturally, I immediately responded with full force. We were in the kitchen, people walking in and out, laughing. We were making more noise than the kids did in the daytime. By the end of it we were both drenched in sweat and lighter of something, whether it be tension or fear or sadness or whatever.
By 8 pm we were all in our places outside. My eyes could barely stay open. We prayed and soon everyone was asleep. In the middle of the night I woke up to voices. I forced my eyes open, only to be met by blackness and the perfect light of the stars. It was 4 am, and I stayed awake to listen. Cicie, a little 6 year old, peed in her cot with her dad, Joe. Joe's mom was the one to get up and clean it. This triggered a series of stories and laughter. See, Haitians don't care if other people are sleeping, they'll talk when and how loud they want to. Soon, I was laughing so hard I gave myself away and they knew I was awake too.

The conversation turned to the cold, and then Michel started imitating his Grandpa, and everyone again was dying of laughter. When 5 am rolled around the subject changed to the earthquake. Instead of getting somber, they began to tell jokes about it. They made fun of each other, reminding everyone of their first reactions. Like Michel for instance, he and Joe were drinking beer outside Joe's house when it hit. Joe threw his beer, but Michel, when the first hit was over, finished his. Michel said, “Joe was screaming for Jesus.” And Joe replied, “I called to Jesus? No I didn't. Wait, did I?” Michel then imitated him in his desperate cry to Jesus, with a little girl's voice, and we couldn't stop the laughter. I rolled over in my place and it hit me. Hope. This was the first sign of hope. The family was back, telling stories, laughing, acting as if in a few days it will all be over and everything will be normal again. Something lifted, and it was in the middle of the night, all because Cicie peed in her bed.

We stayed awake and talked until the sun started to rise. We prayed a rosary and soon the kids were getting wild again. Today is a different day. Today is a better day. Everyday will be better. God is with us.[/quote]

Post your own encouraging notes here too. We need each other's encouragement.
You can read the previous updates from Johnna on our website:
If you want to read our letter asking for help for our own relief and post-relief efforts go here: ... Haiti.html


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