As Hurricane Tomas approached and the headlines began to speak about the severity of the storm, my mind could not stop reeling over the terrible experience this would be once again for my friends in the mountains. For the first time, I was afraid to even go and visit them because of the harsh reality of what destruction was to come. It was too hard for me to accept.
Mid-week I set up a meeting with Mr. Marc (our Haitian director at MOH) to discuss the possibility of them taking shelter somewhere on our mission. Liability and property issues were all at stake, but I didn't know what other options I had. When I reached the office, Mr. Marc was not around due to the million and one responsibilities he handles on a daily basis (He is a definite God-send to Mission of Hope!). But my hopes dropped significantly knowing that the chances of me meeting with him were slim, and the possibility of the families staying somewhere on our campus was even slimmer.
Shortly after this realization, I met with Robenson and together we trekked out to see the families. Despite the heaviness in my heart, I could not justify any more ignorance regardless of having a solution or not. I did the only thing I could do - prayed for hope.
As we made our way off the road and down the university path (which is currently under construction), my eyes drifted to the classrooms being built along the hill. Thinking out loud, I asked Robenson if he thought there was any way the families could resort to the shelter there during the weekend. His eyes perked up and he headed toward the gatekeepers shelter where he discussed the possibility with some of the people remaining on the grounds. Unfortunately for us, the 'boss man' of the university wasn't present so they could not speak for him, but they did give us a glimmer of hope saying that it could work if we managed to talk to the right person in time.
My anticipation built back up a bit knowing that we had somewhat of an option, however it was not even close to the response I gave when I heard what came out of Robenson's mouth next. He said 'You know Diana, if this doesn't work out, I am sure there is a room available in a cement home in Sourcematelas (the village next to the Mission), that we could rent for them'.
I stopped in my tracks. Here was an option that I didn't even know existed, but as soon as Robenson said it, I am convinced I heard an angel choir. It was our answer. Not only would it protect them during the upcoming weekend storms, but it could also become a more proper living space for them in the weeks of waiting before they receive a house of their own. After so much prayer and yearning for the Lord to intercede, He was answering us with provision and mercy in the nick of time.
Over the past 24 hours with the help of Robenson and a few other friends in Sourcematelas, it has been arranged for the families to take shelter in a secure cement home. It's currently 2:23pm here. The wind is picking up, clouds are darkening and the hurricane is predicted to hit this evening. I just got a call from Robenson saying that the key for the room is in his hand and he's taking it to the family now. By God's grace, they will have shelter tonight.
Thank you all for your prayers and may God be given all the glory for providing for these people.
I have a heart brimming with gratitude to the Lord, knowing that my friends are going to be so much better protected in the days and nights to come, however I still ache for the thousands of others who are still searching, still needing, still hopeful for the Lord to provide. Please join me in praying for all these desperate people. And like the many whispered prayers He is answering already, may His promise of protection and strength be supernaturally evident to those who need it most.