Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I've been scared before.
I know the feeling of panic. I can identify with the pit in your stomach and the adrenaline rush.
But this month, fear has taken on a whole new meaning.
I've never physically trembled from fear before. Since January 12th, I haven't been able to stop. My heart pounds. My joints and nerves quiver. I can't keep my hands still.

It was 5am this morning. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn't. My mind was wide awake. I laid still and tried to force myself to believe that the earth was still, even though I could feel it moving in my mind.

Close to 6am, I heard my bedside table start to creak. The mattress under me vibrated and was soon shaking like a massage table. I knew this time that my mind was not playing tricks on me. So I waited. I tried to breathe deep. I hoped for it to pass, but it only got worse.
Soon, I could hear the things on my walls falling, and immediately all of the fear from the first quake came flooding back. In a split second decision, I ran for my life, just as I had done last Tuesday. I didn't stop to look in the mirror to fix my hair or splash water on my face. I didn't bother to move my laptop from the table. I didn't change my clothes or put on any shoes. There was no time. Fear gripped me and I simply ran.
By the time I reached the steps down to the porch, the tremor had decreased significantly. All of us were outside in our pyjamas. Disoriented, Afraid, Shaking, Reliving the trauma of the first shake.
I can't explain the relief that is felt when the earth finally becomes still again, and yet not knowing when or how severe the next shock will be is extremely disheartening.
And yet, we must move forward.

Slowly we returned to our homes. Picked up the pieces. Continued on with our morning routine. It's all we could do.
Questions still flood my mind.
When will the next tremor hit? What other damage will it cause? What if it hits more severely? What if the guesthouse can't take it? What if someone gets hurt?
From there my thoughts drift to the village of Sourcematelas that I saw yesterday. The cracked walls and broken beams. Though these homes still stand, it will take little more than a minor force to push them down. Families set up shelters out of sticks and bedsheets in the same yard as these disasters waiting to happen. I fear for all of the fathers, mothers and children who are in harms way. I pray that the Lord will protect them.
We are still moving forward. I almost had a full classroom this morning, and the teams are still arriving, while other medical groups are going out to Port-au-Prince. The aftershocks aren't enough to paralyze our bodies, however they are slowly dismantling our peace and well being.
Please pray for all of us here in Haiti, that the aftershocks would subside. That people would not be endangered and that the Lord would protect each precious life in this country. Pray for the buildings that they will remain standing and that the Lord would guard our hearts from despair.
May He bring ultimate peace through His promise in Isaiah 43:

This is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior


Barb said...

AMEN and AMEN! Diania, I can't imagine what you are going through. I have been praying for your team more than I have prayed for anything recently. I thank God that He again has extended His hand of protection to each of you! I have a friend who is wanting and waiting to be depoyed to Haiti, another one who went last week with the Canadian Forces DART team and we know the VanDerMarks and have hear much about you (we are the directors of Retirees Retreats at Camp Kahquah and friends of Frank & Nancy Winger and Paul and Heather Martin as well as Ken & Debbie Gibbins). May our Lord give you peace. My you sit in the palm of His hand. May you "hear" His words to you, "Well done though good and faithful servant". You will never be the same after this experience in Haiti, but would you want to be? May God richly bless you as you continute to faithfully serve Him.

Barb said...

Diana, I have just felt led to send you these words to this song by John Michael Talbot - Be Not Afraid

1. You Shall Cross The Barren Desert, But You Shall Not Die Of Thirst. You shall Wander Far In Safety Though You Do Not Know The Way. You Shall Speak your Words In Foreign Lands And All Will Understand. You Shall See The Face
of God And Live.

r. Be Not Afraid. I Go Before You Always. Come Follow Me, And I Will Give
you Rest.

2. If You Pass Through Raging Waters In The Sea, You Shall Not Drown. If you Walk Amid The Burning Flames, You Shall Not Be Harmed. If You Stand before The Pow'r Of Hell And Death Is At Your Side, Know That I Am With You
through It All.

3. Blessed Are Your Poor, For The Kingdom Shall Be Theirs. Blest Are You that Weep And Mourn, For One Day You Shall Laugh. And If Wicked Men Insult and Hate You All Because Of Me, Blessed, Blessed Are You!

God bless you Diana! I rejoice with all of younow that help has arrived. I pray that you will all be able to find peace and rest! May God richly bless each of you!

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Ron and Vi said...

We are praying for you not only every day but more often than that. We pray the Lord may protect each one of you at the Mission of Hope and beyond. A verse that has often carried me through difficult times is " The Lord Knows the Way Through the Wilderness, All I have to do is Follow" and a song I sing is "Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow". I cannot even imagine the fear that has gripped you over the last days. May God give you His peace as you work with the children and live for Him.