Firefighters and the 82nd Airborne

Yesterday was one of those days that takes its own path. About 9:00 in the morning, a group of Firefighters for Christ showed up at the door of the guest house. They were there to deliver supplied they had collected – diapers, blankets, etc. It was great to see them! One of our female staff members, who shall remain nameless, wishes we could have the Firefighters for Christ over more often. :-)

The firefighters were mostly from Kern County. They talked with Bill and Susette about establishing longer term connections with Maison de Lumiere.

After we finished talking with the firefighters, Bill, his brother Tom, and I started walking up to Bill’s house. We were on our way to make a run to the Agape mail center to retrieve incoming packages for the Manasseros. As we passed the boys’ home, we looked up the street and saw a crowd of local folks congregating outside a house where the hosts run a feeding program. Just then a humvee rolled up to the corner, carrying five soldiers in light green camos. We approached the vehicles and were overjoyed to see the American flag on their arms! It was the 82nd Airborne! We met Captain Anderson, who has responsibility for a section of Port-au-Prince that includes our location. Our request for increased security had somehow worked its way through the chain of command, and the Captain was here looking for us.

I want to encourage you friends who are working your connections for greater security! Someone’s efforts are paying off.

We talked with Captain Anderson for a while about the two attacks against orphanage houses. Then we walked him and two other soldiers through all four MDL buildings. He took notes, scanning each building for potential security weaknesses and possible avenues of attack. It was interesting to see his mind churning. To us, this is a guest house. To him, it is a building to defend. Through his eyes, the house was a network of fields of fire.

Bill, Tom, and I reflected later on the perfect timing of things. Captain Anderson and his two humvees showed up just as we were walking up the street. Two minutes earlier or later, and we would have missed him. God is good! He is answering our prayers.

We now have Captain Anderson’s personal phone number and can call him if there are any problems at MDL. What a relief! We know that our buildings are not entirely secure against a determined attack. God is our protector, but we are certainly thankful for the US Army!

After that we went to the Agape mail office. Yesterday was the first day they had been open since the earthquake. We picked up a few packages and a couple of extra tables for the feeding program.

Next I went with Susette to Eagle supermarket, which just reopened a couple of days ago. There we ran into three more American soldiers who were picking up a few things. They talked about having a Super Bowl party at their base at Quisqueya school and said we might be able to join them. Wouldn’t that be great fun!

I then went to the Ben’s with the kids and hung out until dinner time. It was a lot of chasing and being chased, which is fun at any age.

After dinner, I sat down for my first crisis debriefing meeting with staff members and some of the Manasseros. Everyone is emotionally overloaded in one way or the other. The things they saw and lived through on January 12th and the following days were gruesome and traumatic. I’m thankful to be here to help them along the road to recovery.

We talked until late into the night, and afterward I went straight to bed. That’s why I didn’t write yesterday.

I miss listening to music. I turned on iTunes on my laptop and got to the second song when the generator kicked on outside. Now I can’t hear anything but the sound of a diesel engine. But thank God for electrical power!

Many of you are probably wondering about conditions at the orphanage. The good news is that slowly, things are beginning to return to “normal”… that is, normal by Haiti standards. :-) We have food to eat, water to drink, and diesel fuel to run the generator – to charge the batteries – to give us electricity. City power is still a couple of weeks or so from coming back, but even then it will only be on for a few hours a day. Our biggest concern is security. We have been told that the few Haitians who are aggressive are becoming more brazen in their attacks on Americans. Please pray for our safety. I am anxious for a construction team to rebuild the walls around the guest house and the girls’ home. Another concern is infectious diseases that are likely to spread as bacteria proliferate from decomposing bodies still buried around the city. But generally speaking, I am very encouraged by how smooth things are running here at the orphanage.

Comments

  1. Hallelujah!! Thanks Dave. I think that for those of us who are unable to travel at a moments notice for an extended period of time when disaster hits or the need arises(me)are not only thankful for your time there to serve and protect but also, a part of our hearts are rejoicing as we are kept up to date w/the unfolding of events there at MDL. (Lengthy sentence to just say: 'I wish I was there'). As the body, we join w/you and everyone at MDL to serve and protect in the spirit realm through prayer. Carmina

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