It's only been a week and a half, but it feels like it's been years.
Here's a glimpse into what my life has been like...
The Mission of Hope has become a base for some of the most trained medical professionals and relief organization experts. Every time I go down for supper, I dine with doctors, professional photographers, and staff from other missions all over the island.
Grant, Laurens and Cheryl along with our other MOH staff have been going non-stop since last Tuesday. They are coordinating groups from all over North America, networking with UN officials, skyping with major news stations back home, branching out to hospitals all over Port-au-Prince evaluating the best method of action, and that is just the beginning. Because the phones are still down, they all carry walkie-talkies, which I overhear from a distance before the sun rises and the static voices carry on long past the sun goes down.
I went for a walk through the Sourcematelas on Tuesday. The once happy and bustling pathways are quiet. The village is a full of hazards... Dangerous unstable buildings and concrete walls threaten innocent lives living under thin bed sheets in the side yards of their broken homes. Every time the earth shakes I cringe at the thought of what destruction still lingers.
Our school schedule resumed this week with a few minor changes. We now have an earthquake evacuation plan in case of anything sudden that has yet to come. This is not something any of us choose to dwell on, but it had to be addressed.
Overall, the kids have been handling things pretty well... I've been in correspondence with a children's therapist, giving each of them a chance to express their emotions, and we even had a pastor join us in the classroom on Friday. Report cards are on the horizon, which I haven't quite been able to get in the right mindset for yet. I guess I need to accept the fact that some things may fall to the sidelines for a while.
Support back home has been overwhelmingly wonderful. I've received hundreds of messages from friends and family members. Internet bandwidth have been limited, but I am so grateful to have a link back to the people who are holding me up in prayer. I've also been surprised at how many people this earthquake is affecting back home as messages pour in from my former employers, childhood playmates, and peers from university, high school, even elementary school who I haven't seen in years.
These days are full of wondering what is going to happen next. Emotions are still running high, and the cloud of uncertainty still hangs overhead.
But hope is rising. Songs on my ipod that I have listened to for years now carry new meaning. I have a new appreciation for my next door neighbours who feed me supper, sleepover in my room at night, and don't call me crazy when I ask them if the ground is shaking again. Every once and a while, between battleship games with the boys and making puzzles with Ana and Mina, I get a chance to skype chat with someone back home, and it's those moments that I cherish. Somedays I have the pleasure of welcoming Jean Marc or Wicky into my home, and it's such a bright spot to sit on the couch and sing along to their unhindered worshipping hearts. The verses in my Bible about finding true peace, about being protected through water and fire, about being held fast, and the hope of Heaven are treasured beyond what I can express.
These little earthly blessings, coupled by the closeness of my heavenly Father are keeping me holding on. There is not a doubt in my mind that without His peace, and without the provision of people 'with skin on', I would be on the next flight out. But He is here.
He is enabling me each and every day to put my feet on the floor and believe that He is up to something good. The ground still trembles, the doubt still exists, but His love never wavers.
Thanks to each and every one of you who are holding on with me. There will be a better tomorrow.