Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sharon St. Germain Update (Sept. 24th)






Networking-Thank You

We cannot begin to say "Thank you" to so many who have been networking to help us get the needed help to Haiti. We have brothers and sisters in the DR who coordinated flying in bags of rice to the Les Cayes Airport; brothers and sisters in Columbia, SC partnering with PCA and non-PCA churches in SC and NC to drive down an 18-wheeler truck of donated items; brothers and sisters in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, S. Miami, FL planning to do their own container; and the list goes on and on.

There are two containers currently on the El Shaddai Presbyterian Church property. The word is that we may need to order another.

Gonaives

Yesterday, the ESMI team visited Gonaives again. The water has receded in most areas. However, the entrance into the city from the south still has a huge lake. After Hurricane Jeanne in 2004, the lake that was formed in this same area took over 12 months to dry out. The current lake is about three times bigger. There is no telling how long this new lake will take.

What the people are now contending with is the mud. Lots of it. And everywhere! Mountains, hills, piles of mud are left to clear. Then there are the flies. Swarms of huge green flies. And then, there were the funerals. These are a sad reminder of the effects of the hurricanes. The smell is also there. The citizens of Gonaives are totally dependent on help from the outside. There is nothing and no one in their city to help them. This is the story for most of Haiti. We are happy to see a couple organizations focusing on giving clean drinking water to the people.

God's willing, in a few weeks we should have about 4 containers with clothing and medicine to distribute to the people. Thank you again for all that you are doing to make this possible.

Southern Haiti

The water at Miraguane has now risen higher than 5ft. This is the lake that was formed separating the road from Port-au-Prince to the South. Last week we took a chance in our rental when it was about 4-5ft. Now it is impossible to cross. You have to rent a boat/canoe to take you on the other side. This is how we have to get food supplies to the south.

Yesterday, Louis and a team drove further south from Port Salut. They found several villages that were totally destroyed by the hurricanes. Some villages in Port-a-Piment coastal area were totally washed away. He knows that when he returns, he will find many orphaned children. The cities around the southern coast such as Les Irois, Aux Coyeaux, Chardonierre, suffered great damage. These are cities dependent on the land and livestock. Land and livestock are no more. You won't hear about these cities and villages on the local radio station or on TV. There is no way to get to these places unless you have a very good vehicle. Some areas, have only motorcycle access; others, by boat only. Louis and the team are out today again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sharon St. Germain Update (Sept. 17th)

It's hard to believe but it has been fifteen days since Gonaives and the island of Haiti suffered the onslaught of Hurricane Gustav.

First Impression:

Driving into Gonaives last Thursday and Friday (Sept.11-12), I was amazed to see the people going about their daily routine as if nothing had happened. But this is what I could see on the outside. There were merchants selling a little of this and that. People were entering their homes cleaning the feet of mud that had now settled in their home. The word that came to mind to describe these dear people was "resilience." They have to move on with life. They have to do what they can.

Saturday morning (Sept.13) was a different story. As we drove into Gonaives with the medical team, there were hundreds of people walking into the city. When asked what was happening, they said they came to get food. There were a few with bags of rice but most of the people were walking back empty handed. The need was still there.

The Medical Team in Gonaives:

The medical team wanted to ensure that the children at the Gonaives Mission Site orphanage were fine. Not only were our children there but there were many from the community wanting to see the doctors. After leaving the Gonaives Mission Site, the medical team went into another area and saw several more patients. The third stop was in a slum area called Raboteau. In this area the water level was still high. I cannot describe to you the emotions of the medical team but it was expressed in their tears and sobs as they saw adults and children suffering from pneumonia, high fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, etc., all a result of the flood. It was obvious that significant help hadn't reached that community. Arrangements are being made to get more food into that area. This is just one of several areas that is still in desperate need...two weeks after the flooding.

The team wanted to visit the Gonaives General Hospital. They were shocked at what remained of the hospital. Windows and doors were wide open exposing the feet high of mud that had gathered in every room. The hospital had lost everything. I leave you to imagine what will happen later to the very sick in Gonaives. The medical team hopes to return in two weeks.

Taking Photos of the Plight in Gonaives:

In the city of Soleil, the water is still knee high and even higher in some areas. It was difficult after awhile to take any more photos. I felt almost as if I were robbing the people of their dignity. This is just what they had to do to survive. I saw people making their homes on the roof, waiting for the water below to recede; a pregnant woman taking a bath on the main road, a gentle man sorting through clothes in the mud; and an old man dressed in a child's shirt, khaki pants, and white girl's shoes a size smaller than his feet. I saw people using their toes to grip their sandals on their feet as they walked through the slippery mud.

Journeying to the South:

On Sunday, Sept 14, we started our journey south from Gonaives to Les Cayes. We had heard that the south was cut off because of the high waters in Miraguane. The only way across was on a canoe. We were in a rental and made the daring venture across. With the vehicle turned off, we made our way to the roof of the car with our luggage. Eight men were hired to push the vehicle across the 3/4 mile of water. The flood rains from Gustave had made a lake of 4 feet high water and in some spots as high as 5 feet. The hired men made their way across, pushing the vehcile while one was in the front feeling with his feet the raod underneath.

Returning the same way yesterday morning (Sept.16) was different. This time no vehicles were allowed to cross the waters because 3 huge trucks were stuck. They dared to venture in the night, after 6:00pm, and two people lost their lives. The only way to get back home was to hire a boat to take us across and then a bus to take us into Port-au-Prince. The rental would have to be left on the south side and returned later. As we were waiting for our boat, a tractor came by and was able to pull one of the trucks out. We boarded our boat and began making our way across. As we came on the north side, we saw DouDou, yes DouDou, with several hired men pushing the rental across.

Because of this difficulty in Miraguane, all the cities to the south are slowly feeling the effects of not having enough food and gas. A container of food donated for the south is to arrive this Saturday. Pray for protection as this is done because the atmosphere at Miraguane is, shall I say, nothing short of chaos. (Photos below)

What's Next?

We will still continue to give food to the communities in need, both in the north and the south. This will have to be done for awhile.

Thanks to several of you who are planning to send containers of clothes for the people. Please don't forget to send new or gently worn clothing. Complete list on ESMI website- www.ESMIHOME.org

A container will be at El Shaddai Presbyterian Church from Sept. 22-29. The address:

El Shaddai Presbyterian Church
11303 NE 13th Avenue
Miami, FL 33161

At all the mission sites, there are repairs to be done. Some are major such as the bridge to the Cambry orphanage that was destroyed. At Gonaives, all the cement bought to finish the church and the school were washed away in the flood waters. School opens on October 1, so ESMI staff is working hard to have the construction men back on site to finish the second floor of the Gonaives school.

Much to pray about with us. Thanks for all your support.

Please send funds to:

MNA
1700 North Brown Road, Suite 101
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Memo: Haiti Disaster Relief

Thanks to brother Frantz who is updating our website with all the latest info. www.ESMIHOME.org

Photo Story below:

Flood waters in Soleil, Gonaives, 2 weeks after Hurricane Gustav.


The massive force of the flood waters toppled cars, broke down strong concrete walls, washed away gas stations, moved a 40 ft. container to the top of another vehicle.


Thanks to Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, FL who partnered in the construction of this church on the Gonaives Mission Site. This area remained dry as it is situated on higher ground. However, most of the cement bought to complete the work was washed away.

The Gonaives Mission Site is an unusual one for ESMI in that it was started because of the many left orphaned after Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. When the south could not provide a home for the older orphaned children, the promise was made to build a home for them in Gonaives. This promise was made possible with C3 Mission. Now there are 250 orphans onsite. We anticipate that another home will be built for 300 children left as orphans from this flood. By God's grace, this will be their home church.


This is the lake formed by the flood waters at Miraguane in the south. Via ground transportation, there is no other way to get to the south. Here we are, on Sunday, on top of the roof of the rental. One man is in the front directing the others how to push the vehicle. Be in prayer this Saturday as we try to send a container of food to the south.


This was taken yesterday morning, Sept 16, trying to cross Miraguane. In the middle, there is the white rental being pushed across with DouDou at the wheel. To the back of the rental are the two trucks stuck in the water. A tractor was able to remove the third.


Medical team visit the kids on Saturday, Sep.13, at the Gonaives Mission Site


Dr. Jim with one of the patients from the community around the orphanage.


Children and adults waiting to be seen at the Gonaives Mission Site.


This lady trying not to get her skirt wet as the vehicles pass.


Food being prepared at the Gonaives Mission Site for the orphans.


Here's a blind lady with her granddaughter taking refuge in the Fox's Clinic on the Gonaives Mission Site. This is just one of many families who are there at night. During the day, they go out to clean their mud-filled home, or to look for food, or to do what they have to do to survive.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sharon St. Germain Update (Sept. 13th)

DouDou is out of the hospital. Thanks for your prayers. When we talked with him today he said he was ready to return to work. We told him to go home and REST. We know DouDou doesn't know the meaning of the word but pray that he will be wise and do just that.

The medical team was unable to go to Gonaives because the helicopter had mechanical problems. We will meet the team in the city of Mont-Huit. This is where they'll have to change vehicle because the bridge is lopsided due to the flood waters damaging one of the beams.

The flood waters have receded in the cities heading to Gonaives, but not so for the said city. This is what it looks like as we enter. The people try to "skip" the water as vehicles pass.The 25 pastors who were waiting for the food and clothing yesterday to be distributed.

The pastors receiving the food for their community. Note the pastor in the far left. He walked through miles of water to get there. You can see the water level on his T-shirt. He almost lost his wife and children in the flood waters. This pastor is living on the roof of another church and there are 50 kids just in his community that are sick. He hopes he can cross the deep water with the kids tomorrow.

The team met another pastor on Saturday who was literally shaking, traumatized by the experience. Today, we learned that he died.

Rice, beans, and oil given to the pastor and his community. Food was also given to a community of 3000 people who had lost everything.

Pray for tomorrow as the medical team begins to work. Today there were about 800 kids waiting to be seen. Pray that it doesn't rain. It has been a long day and there is too much to digest.

God's blessings to you all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Every Home is a Shelter













This AP article by Jonathan M. Katz on Gonaives ran in the Lincoln Journal Star in the "Nation/World" section today. You can see it by looking at the right column under "Haiti Related Links"

St. Germain Update (Sept. 12th)

Please be in prayer  for DouDou.  On Wednesday he became ill and was hospitalized.  Madame DouDou is with him.  Those of you who know DouDou, whose name is really Jean-Milou Pierre, know how special he is to us at ESMI.  He's a good brother in the Lord and a wonderful servant of the Lord.  Please, please keep him in your prayers. 

I, Sharon, am here with Dony in Haiti.  I flew in yesterday.  We began our journey to Gonaives immediately. I met 25 of the 145 ESMI works with in training.  One was pastor, whose only training has been with ESMI teachers, has a 500 member congregation.  He and the others were so happy to receive the food, funds, and clothes carried into Gonaives.  Several of the pastors had to walk through miles of knee-high water to meet us.  Some were bare-footed.  Time was spent in prayer before the distribution.  This morning, several of them will meet the food truck in one city, load it on, and take it back to Gonaives, distribute it among themselves and then head into their communities.  With the need being so great the other days, they weren't able to get much of the supplies.

Today's Plan-"Si Bondye Vle"

The Haitian Christians, whenever talking about plans for the future, will always, yes always use this expression at the beginning or end of their thought, "si Bondye vle."  This literally means, "if God wants," or "if God will permit." 

So, "si Bondye vle"

1.  Be abe to provide quickly in mattress for 300 more orphans in Gonaives

2. Get a few food supplies for the medical team arriving this morning. The Hoberson "Hotel" in the city of Gonaives has graciously opened rooms for this team only. 

3.  Team will fly to Gonaives via US Army chopper, we will go via ground and meet them with the car.

4.  Begin seeing children at Gonaives orphanage and then those in the community.  One pastor mentioned yesterday that he has many children in his community that are sick but he has no way of bring them because the water is still too high.

5.  Work in Gonaives until Sunday evening and drive back

Please keep this weekend in your prayer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Wet Poverty is Worse than Dry Poverty"

Dr. Paul Farmer writes:

"After 25 years spent working in Haiti and having grown up in Florida, I can honestly say that I have never seen anything as painful as what I just witnessed in Gona├»ves—except in that very same city, four years ago. Again, you know that 2004 was an especially brutal year, . . . the coup in Haiti and what would become Hurricane Jeanne."

To see the complete article, see weblink to the right (I believe the date of the article should be Sept. 9th, not Aug. 9th).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gonaives Food Distribution





Here are some pictures of people and children in line for food. In one of the pictures, our good friend DouDou (yellow shirt and on cell phone) is coordinating the distribution efforts.

Funds are still needed:

ESMI
c/o Haiti Hurricane Relief
13651 S. Biscayne River Drive
Miami, FL 33161

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

13,000 lbs of Food to Gonaives

Today, C3Missions and ESMI in partnership with Cross International and Mission of Hope brought and distributed 13,000 lbs. of food to Gonaives. The food got there through a combination of trucks and human workers transporting the food where bridges were washed out. The goal is to get 68,000 lbs. of food to Gonaives this week. Are these amazing people or what? Keep sending funds (see link to the right)- they will help with the purchase of food.

Grace Chapel Medical Team

Grace Chapel is sending a medical team to Haiti Nov. 7-14. These plans have been in place for nearly a year now. The medical items spoken of in the post below is something we will work on gathering as a team. If you are connected to the medical field in any way and desire to have a copy of that list to gather needed medicines and supplies, e-mail Mike Hsu at mike@gracepca.com.

St. Germain Update - Helicopters on the Move!

Praise God the helicopters from the DR (Domincan Republic) were able to do what was intended on Saturday. The first flight in saw thousands of people waiting at the missions site for the much needed food and water. One helicopter was able to make 3 trips.

Today's plan, by God's grace, is to unpack a couple trucks that are already there and then to see how much more food and water can be brought in via ground transportation.

The people are already having huge bumps on their skins and swollen feet from being in the water. Attached is a list that was put together by Dr. Roberts, Christ Covenant, NC, after seeing patients from the Gonaives area from Hurricane Jean in 2004. Some are over-the counter meds that you can begin to collect.

Clothing is also needed which many of you are already collecting.

We will let you know when we have secured a shipping container to send the clothes and medicines to Haiti. Until then, would you please continue to collect these items and store them at your facilities? As you can imagine, we have only limited space for storage right now.

Thank you again for praying for the people in Haiti and partnering with us in meeting such an urgent need. Funds are still very much needed to help many find housing and just to get some basic necessities after losing everything. Please consider sending your donations to:

ESMI
c/o Haiti Hurricane Relief
13651 S. Biscayne River Drive
Miami, FL 33161

Monday, September 8, 2008

Update from Sharon St. Germain (Sept. 8th)

1.To a new battle,
Jesus is calling us,
And here we are faithful
Ready to follow Your step
Lead us to the battles
We are your soldiers

Refrain
Arm our arms, arm our hearts
And we will be
More than conquerors

2. Arm us, O Lord
With faith, with boldness
With strength, with wisdom
With love, and with zeal
Embrace us, Lord
With one invincible ardor

At 11:00am yesterday morning, many Haitian churches across the US gathered for worship with an even more somber spirit. El Shaddai, Miami, was one of them. The above French hymn (translated, of course) was the opening song. The congregational reading was taken from 1 John 3. How very appropriate the opening song seemed. Sometimes we forget that the battle is really a spiritual one and so we forget to pray along that end. God has a mighty army to fight the battle and has equipped that army, the Church. Then the Scripture reading reminded us of the God's love and how we, as His children, should show His love. Praise God for His Holy Word.

After the tempo of the music died and the singing voices silenced, sobs were heard, even from those leading the worship. There were tears for their beloved Haiti. As poor as it is, it's home. Then there were the sobs for loved ones that they haven't heard from since Tuesday. Where are they? Are they OK, dear Lord? And probably thoughts like, "Will my boss give me time off? If I go I may lose my job and then how do I support the rest of the family in Haiti?" Or, "How can I find more money to send to my family? I already sent what I had last week."

Latest from Haiti:

Widly, the 12-year-old boy found walking in the streets of Gonaives, was left with other family members in Lester. Dony and DouDou never made it to the south. Two dear brothers, Mike and Joe, from C3 Missions, flew in via DR, to do the coordination of the food with Mission of Hope. They all stayed Saturday night there on that mission's complex which is on the outskirts north of Port-au-Prince. Hurricane Ike caused more damage. In a city near Cabaret, about an hour away, flood waters came through and about 30 people died that night in that city alone.

Yesterday, efforts were made once again to get to Gonaives with 5000 pounds of military food and purified water. Hired men loaded the food on the bus, took it as far as they could go in front of a damaged bridge. Another group of hired men took the food off and put it on a truck on the other side of the bridge, and then the drive into Gonaives began. Then they came to a road blocked by vehicles. No one was allowed to pass that point. Relief effort would once again be delayed. However, on the way, they were many who had left Gonaives in search for food. Food supply and water was given to them.

This morning, the team is at the airport waiting for the two helicopters from the DR to arrive. With bridges broken down, roads damaged, they will try this one more time.

In your prayer time, remember also the spiritual warfare that is going on. Pray also for the other ministries that will try to get into Gonaives.

The services at El Shaddai ended with the preaching of the word from Psalm 29 given by Rev. Bresile St. Germain, Dony and Louis' father. Here is how that Psalm ends with verses 10 and 11-

" The Lord sits enthroned over the the flood; the LORD is enthroned as king forever. The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace."

To God be the glory!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ike Destroys Last Bridge to Gonaives - Sept. 7

"Ike blasts Turks and Caicos, floods Haiti again"
By MIKE MELIA Associated Press Writer
Sunday, September 7, 2008

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) -- Ike ripped off roofs, swept away boats and collapsed a bridge on the last road into a flooded Haitian city on Sunday as it roared over the southern Bahamas as a ferocious Category 4 hurricane. The Florida Keys evacuated and Cuba prepared for a direct hit.

Five adults and five children drowned in their homes or were swept to their deaths as Ike's driving rains hit Haiti, raising that country's death toll to 262 from four tropical storms in recent weeks. It was too early to know of deaths on other islands where Ike's most powerful winds were still blowing Sunday morning.

With downpours from Ike topping flooding from Hanna, Gustav and Fay, officials said they had no choice but to open an overflowing dam, inundating more homes and possibly causing lasting damage to Haiti's "rice bowl," a farming area whose revival is key to rescuing the starving country.

Ike's eye hit the Bahamas' Great Inagua island, where screaming winds threatened to peel plywood from the windows of a church sheltering about 50 people, shelter manager Janice McKinney said.

"Oh my God, I can't describe it," McKinney said, adding that the pastor led everyone in prayer while the winds howled.

Some of the strongest winds hit the low-lying British territory of Turks and Caicos, where Premier Michael Misick said more than 80 percent of the homes were destroyed, fishermen lost boats and people who didn't take refuge in shelters were cowering in closets and under stairwells, "just holding on for life."

"They got hit really, really bad," Misick said. "A lot of people have lost their houses, and we will have to see what we can do to accommodate them."

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Ike's eye was just east of Great Inagua Island in the southeastern Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 135 mph (215 kph). It was moving west at 13 mph (21 kph) and was expected to remain a major hurricane as it approaches eastern Cuba, still about 130 miles (205 km) away.

"All we can do is hunker down and pray," reserve police officer Henry Nixon said from a shelter on Great Inagua where about 85 people huddled around a radio.

Great Inagua, closer to Haiti than to the Bahamian capital of Nassau, is the southernmost island in the Bahamas archipelago. It has tens of thousands of pink West Indian flamingos -- the world's largest breeding colony -- and about 1,000 people. Both populations took shelter -- the pink flamingos gathered under mangrove trees ahead of the storm.

"They know what to do. They always find the sheltered areas," Nixon said Sunday as Ike blew shingles off rooftops.

Rain drove in horizontal sheets and wind tore through roofs across the Turks and Caicos, which has little natural protection from an expected storm surge of up to 18 feet (5.5 meters).

In South Caicos, a fishing-dependent island of 1,500 people, most homes were damaged, the airport was under water, power will be out for weeks, and every single boat was swept away despite being towed ashore for safety, Minister of Natural Resorces Piper Hanchell said.

Tourism chairman Wayne Garland was text-messaging with two people in Grand Turk during the height of the storm. "They were literally in their bathroom because their roofs were gone," he said. "Eventually they were rescued."

In Providenciales, there was flooding, roof damage and downed power lines but no injuries, he said.

"Fortunately, we were able to evacuate most of the people in low-lying areas to shelters, so thankfully I don't expect to have any injuries. We'll keep our fingers crossed that that's the case," Garland said as he left to assess the damage.

Ike's pelting rains couldn't have come at a worse time for Haiti. The Mirebalais bridge collapsed in the floods, cutting off the last land route into Gonaives, Agriculture Minister Joanas Gay told state-run Radio Nationale. Half the homes in Gonaives, Haiti's fourth-largest city, were already under water.

Gay warned residents in the surrounding Artibonite valley to evacuate immediately because an overflowing dam would have to be opened on Sunday, sending more water into the Gonaives floodplain. And in Gonaives itself, the waters were rising even as aid groups struggled to reach people with little or no access to food or water for days.

Heavy rains also pelted the Dominican Republic, Haiti's neighbor on the island of Hispaniola, where about 4,000 people were evacuated from northern coastal towns.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center projected Ike's eye would strike Cuba's northern coast Sunday night and possibly hit Havana, the capital of 2 million people with many vulnerable old buildings, by Monday night.

Cuba evacuated mountainous and coastal regions of Holguin province, and about 200 foreign tourists were brought out from the northern Santa Lucia beach resort. Workers rushed to protect coffee plants and other crops and organized food and cooking-oil distribution efforts.

At the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in southeast Cuba, all ferries were secured and beaches were off limits. The military said cells containing the detainees -- about 255 men suspected of links to the Taliban and al-Qaida -- are hurricane-proof.

"People have been forewarned for a day," Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Lamb said. "It's starting to get breezy."

Once Ike leaves Cuba, forecasters said the storm might swipe at the Florida Keys before moving into the Gulf of Mexico. Where it goes from there was harder to predict, leaving millions from Florida to Mexico wondering where it will eventually strike.

"These storms have a mind of their own," Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said. Tourists were ordered out of the Keys on Saturday, and residents began evacuating Sunday, starting with the southernmost islands, along the narrow highway to the mainland.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal set up a task force to prepare for more possible havoc only days after an historic, life-saving evacuation of more than 2 million people from Hurricane Gustav.

"Our citizens are weary and they're tired and they have spent a lot of money evacuating," worried New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. "It will be very difficult to move the kind of numbers out of this city that we moved during Gustav."

Off Mexico's Pacific coast, Tropical Storm Lowell was moving away from land.

------

Associated Press writers Mike Melia in Nassau, Bahamas; Jonathan Katz in Gonaives, Haiti; and Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update from Sharon St. Germain (Sept. 6th)

The latest from Haiti.

Haiti airports are now closed due to the tropical storm warning. Hurricane Ike is expected to bring more rain to northern Haiti; this of course includes Gonaives. Only one helicopter was able to leave the DR before the warning was given. But once it landed, there were other issues with the government not wanting the food to be boarded. And then came the closure of the airport.

Dony and DouDou got to Gonaives at about 3:00pm yesterday. A rented truck filled with water, followed them into the city. The people were happy for the water but were also looking for food which we hope would have come today. Since the helicopters were being held up, the next plan was to return to Port-au-Prince, rent several trucks to drive the food back to Gonaives. But then the weather began to change. So he and DouDou used whatever funds they had and bought all the food they could find in Gonaives, gave these to several church leaders along with funds and began the journey back to the south.

When asked how was the situation there, Dony's response was to think of the worst that you can, and then think Gonaives. He was driving through 2 feet of water in the city. Some people were cleaning whatever was remaining of their home and at the same time standing in knee deep water. As he returns to Les Cayes in the south, he has a passenger. He is a 12 year-old boy named Widly. Widly was walking in the streets all by himself. When asked why, he said because he had lost his family. He took Dony and DouDou to what remained of his home. Widly says that he has other family in Lester and so they will drive him there to find them.

Tuesday night as the rain came pouring down, a pregnant lady sought refuge on the second floor with the 250 orphans. There she gave birth to her child. Another 200 were in the medical clinic and are still there as they have no where to go. Meanwhile, yesterday in Les Cayes, Louis was giving out food and funds to people in the community who had lost everything. Why give them funds if you give them the food such as rice and beans? Well, they now need to buy the charcoal to cook, oil to cook, the pot to cook, etc.

This effort cannot be done alone. We are thankful for ministry partners such as C3 Missions who are doing the food coordination at this time and another partner who have opened there warehouse for us to take food supply to the people in Gonaives. However, due to the change in weather and the expectations of more rain from Hurricane Ike, Monday will be the return date to Gonaives.

Have a blessed Lord's day tomorrow.

Attached is a photo Dony took on the way to Gonaives.

Reuters Report

06 Sep 2008 01:11:17 GMT
Source: Reuters

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Haitian police found 495 corpses when muddy floodwaters began to recede on Friday from the port city of Gonaives following days of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Hanna, the town's police commissioner said on Friday.

"The weather is calm now and we are discovering more bodies. We have found 495 bodies so far and there are 13 people missing," commissioner Ernst Dorfeuille told Reuters.

"The smell of the dead is very unpleasant in Gonaives. The death toll could be even higher." (Reporting by Joseph Guyler Delva, Editing by Michael Christie and Todd Eastham)

Friday, September 5, 2008

C3 Missions : Haiti Update (Sept. 5th pm)

Here's the situation: the kids in the south have endured much but seem to be safe.
 
Gonaives is a mess.  BUT, the 250 orphans in our children's village are ok.  In fact, the water has receded in the village such that the grounds of the children once discarded in this country will become a staging ground for a large relief effort tomorrow (Saturday).  Through the help of Ed Barber, one of C3's key players in Atlanta, we secured 2 helicopters on Friday.  Dony and Louis and 140 pastors they've trained have set the children's village as a staging ground for (a) relief to our children in Gonaives - 400 of them; and (b) relief to the 300,000 in Gonaives suffering so miserably.  It's brutal.  Right now, I think it's fair to say that the most miserable place on earth for a human being to "live" is Gonaives, Haiti.  We've secured a huge supply of food and water.  Virtually the entire population of Gonaives have gone without food and water for over 2 days.  We'll start running about 2,000 lbs. of food and water every hour tomorrow.  I figure we'll be able to get in 14,000 lbs. plus before dark, God willing.  That will shore up our kids and provide sustaining, life saving relief for thousands others.  The biggest threat to this effort is that the people there are so desperate that they rioting is a real possibility.  These people aren't animals.  They're just hungry.  They have children to feed.  What in the heck would you do if you saw a shot at a meal in that situation?  You get that point.  It's our understanding that the local police and U.N. will secure the perimeter of the children's village to allow us to stage the relief effort.  A top gov't official will be working with us in this relief effort, and we're hoping that seeing what a little weenie organization like C3 can do frustrated by inaction will motivate other "emergency responders" to get off their butts and get some food and water in there.
 
Time and circumstances permitting, we'll fly to the south just to check on all of our kids there and take them a load of food. No guarantees.  We'll just have to see what happens.
 
Thanks to El Shaddai.  Dony and Louis have mobilized an army for this relief effort.  Their local leadership inspires. . . .

Gonaives







Update from Sharon St. Germain (Sept. 5th)

Brothers and Sisters, we continue to thank you for your prayers.

This is the latest from Dony. All the calls he has made to the people in Gonaives, they have expressed their hunger for food and thirst for water. They told him they are so hungry and thirsty that they do not know what to do with themselves. We are thankful to our C3 Missions partner who gave Dony the go ahead to secure helicopters from the Domincan Republic and purchase the food for the people. Dony and DouDou are now in Port-au-Prince. They will buy as much water as they can and begin the drive through the mountains to enter Gonaives. They are also arranging the food transportation from Port-au-Prince to Gonaives on the helicopters.

You know when people haven't eaten for several days, their patience is very limited. Security will be needed as the helicopters will make about 10 trips with food and water. We are also trying to arrange for the UN and the police in Gonaives to provide security. The helicopters will land on the ESMI Gonaives Mission Site. Those of you who have been there have seen the open field in front of the 2-story building. The distribution will be to the 145 leaders who are in training with ESMI and with other pastors in the area. We are expecting a total of 200 people.

So pray for tomorrow's distribution of food (Saturday Sept. 6th) and all the planning that must be done today (Sept. 5th) for tomorrow.

You've been wondering how you can help. Right now, we need funds. Funds that will cover the cost to purchase the needed food and water. This we will do for awhile until others can get to the people.

Please send checks to:

ESMI
c/o Haiti-Hanna Disaster Relief (write in check memo. line)
13651 S. Biscayne River Drive
Miami, FL 33161

Thanks for your prayers and support. God's peace to all.

Pastor Dony Coordinating One-Day Relief Effort

Taken from the C3Missions Newsletter:

Today's update (Sept. 4th) by necessity must be brief.  We know much less than what we do not know. What we do know is that all of the children in Port-au-Prince and in the south are safe. We also know that the situation in Gonaives is worsening by the minute. We have secured water purification kits that will provide one million litters of drinkable water. We are struggling to get this aid, food and other supplies into Gonaives. To help remedy this situation, we are flying Dony St. Germain by helicopter into Gonaives tomorrow (Friday) to coordinate relief efforts from within.

We understand that there may be a one day window of opportunity to get aid into Gonaives before the onset of Hurricane Ike.  Tomorrow is that day.  And tomorrow is the day that we are targeting for a significant push for relief when we have Dony inside of the children's village to help identify creative ways by which we can deliver relief.

Please continue to pray with us.
 
Faithfully yours,
Joe Knittig
Executive Director, C3 Missions

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gonaives - BBC Video Under "Related Links"

Pray that Hurricanes Ike and Josephine will be averted from Haiti.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hurricane Relief Options : Haitian and Stateside

OPTION #1 : Pastor Dony St. Germain needs funds to provide food and water directly to the people of Gonaives, Haiti who have been devastated by the hurricanes. The people have not eaten for several days. Dony and his friend DouDou are being airlifted into Gonaives to distribute food and water to 145 community leaders who in turn will distribute supplies to the people. Please send checks to:

El Shaddai Ministries International (ESMI)
c/o Haiti-Hanna Disaster Relief (write in check memo line)
13651 S. Biscayne River Drive
Miami, FL 33161


OPTION #2 : Relief for Haitian Orphans in Gonaives

C3Missions is a partnership ministry with El Shaddai Ministries International (ESMI). Grace Chapel has been involved with ESMI for going on five years now, sent a team to Haiti in August and is preparing a second team to go in November. C3’s work goes directly to feeding and caring for the 250 ESMI orphans in the northern city of Gonaives. To read about the relief fund as well as give to the relief effort, press the web addresses to the right under "related links."

Otherwise checks can be mailed to:

C3 Missions International
c/o C3 Haiti Relief Fund (write in check memo line)
3000 NW 50th Street
Kansas City, MO 64150

For additional donation options, see the webpage to your right under "related links."


OPTION #3 : Stateside Relief in the Wake of Gustav

Brian McKeon of New City Fellowship Church, an urban PCA church in Chattanooga, TN (see weblink to the right), is taking a team to offer immediate help with tarps, food, water, removing debris, etc., but will also be assessing the situation to know what further teams should be sent. Much of what Brian will do is assess what is already being done in the area (by the Red Cross, FEMA, other churches, etc.) and how his teams can and should fit in.

Brian’s contact information is bmckeon@newcityfellowship.com. Otherwise you can contact Tabitha Kapic, friend of Mike and Tanya Hsu’s and member of New City Fellowship Church, at tabitha.kapic@covenant.edu.

Otherwise checks can be mailed to:

New City Fellowship
c/o Brian McKeon- Gustav Disaster Response (write in check memo line)
2424 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404

Update on Gonaives (2)

Thank you for your prayers.

Here is an update from Dony St. Germain as of Wednesday, September 3rd, 12:30pm:

Thank you so much for your prayers for the people in Haiti. The latest update is that the rain has stopped and the water is receding. Praise the Lord. Pray with us as we begin to assess and see how we can minister to the saints in both the northern and southern Haiti. Thank you once again for your prayer support.

Update on Gonaives (1)

Friends, here is an update from Dony St. Germain (received 8:30pm the evening of Sept. 2nd). Remember that 3000 Haitians died in Hurricane Jean in 2004. Dony comments that some think Hanna is worse:

Hurricane Hannah continues to sit over Haiti causing unbelievable flooding. Those in Gonaives, who went through Hurricane Jean, think this is worse. The orphans in Gonaives are still safe on the second floor. The orphans in Cayes are waiting out the storm in the church as the waters have entered their orphanages. We are believing that all the other orphans are safe but no word as yet. Radio stations in Haiti are asking for prayers because never have they seen such flooding.

As the night begins to fall, forecasters show Hannah barely making any move until early tomorrow. People who have sought higher ground can find no way down and they are left there to wonder what will happen next. There are no helicopters to rescue them. We count on your prayers for God's protection for our people.

Below are photos that Louis took around Les Cayes. The third photo may be familiar to those who have been to Haiti. This is the bridge that leads from the main road over to the Cambry Missions.

Also Dou Dou has made it safely back to Cayes. We Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pray for Gonaives!!!

Just received from friends Dony and Sharon St. Germain:

Continue to pray, dear friends, as the rain has been pouring all across Haiti, and the DR (Dominican Republic), since last night.

Louis was able to get through to us and said he has never seen so much water in all his years in Haiti. He is asked that we keep them in prayer. He tried to go to Cambry, where we have a ministry site, but even there the bridge to go across was impassable.

We contacted MTW missionary in Gonaives, and he too asked for prayer. He's on the second floor of his home with his wife and 3 boys as the water is on the first floor.

Our dear friend, DouDou, made it to St. Marc. He had to swim through some areas as he tried to leave Gonaives. He is on his way to Les Cayes but there is flooding everywhere.

Thank you for your prayers.

Gustav Relief and Prayer for Gonaives, Haiti

I'm sure you've been keeping up with another crazy hurricane season. I present you with two opportunities, one for giving and one for praying. The first is, if you would like to donate to relief efforts for damage done by Hurricane Gustav, remember my friends Kelly and Tabitha Kapic? I posted earlier about Tabitha's cancer? The Kapics' church in Chattanooga (www.newcityfellowship.com) is a large urban church and has a staff person named Brian McKewon who does disaster relief. See Tabitha's note below if you want to give directly to the efforts.

The second opportunity is for you to pray for our friends in Haiti, especially in the northern city of Gonaives. Pray for our dear friend DouDou as well as the orphans up north. Haitian Pastor Dony St. Germain e-mails:

"Thanks so much for your prayers as Hurricane Fay and Gustav passed over Haiti. Everyone that we know of is well. Lots of road were flooded over and made impassable, but everyone we believe is safe. However, we just received a call from DouDou (Pierre/Peter) that Gonaives is already under floodwater due to Hurricane Hannah. Many people are evacuating Gonaives, including DouDou who was up there visiting the work. You may remember the 2004 flood due to Hurricane Jean that brought the seawaters in that washed away over 3000 people. Pray that this is not repeated and that God will keep our dear friend, DouDou, and all the people safe. The Gonaives orphans are all on the second floor. Pray that Hannah will move away quickly. Forecast shows it sitting over Haiti and moving only at two miles."

Regarding Gustav relief, here's the note from Tabitha:

Dear friends and family,

Kelly and I have donated to the hurricane Gustav response this morning and are asking you to pray and consider doing the same. $50, $100, $200 - all of these amounts are very helpful.

Below is an email from friend and fellow church member, Brian McKeon. Brian coordinates disaster response for our church and has worked on several recent disasters like the Iowa floods, Katrina, the earthquake in Peru and the Tsunami. Our family has become more and more drawn to helping in these situations.

Money donated is tax deductible through our church and will be used for disaster response and rehabilitation. Please do consider if you can commit to a gift today through this or some other organization. If you are in a position to give, please do the following:

E-mail (Tabitha.Kapic@covenant.edu) with the amount you are sending so that I can communicate this to Brian. He is planning the trip and buying supplies. Knowing what he has to work would be very helpful. Alternately, you can contact Brian directly (bmckeon@newcityfellowship.com) or just send something in without contacting anyone. It will get to the right place.

Make your check payable to "New City Fellowship" and write "Disaster Response" on the memo line.

Mail your check to:
New City Fellowship
c/o Brian McKewon (Gustav Disaster Response)
2424 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404

Brian will be taking the first assessment team down tomorrow (Sept. 2nd) or Wednesday (Sept. 3rd). This team will provide immediate help with tarps, food, water, removing debris, etc., but will also be assessing the situation to know what further teams should be sent. Brian is very good at determining what is already being done in a situation (by the Red Cross, FEMA, other churches, etc.) and how his teams can and should fit in.

I want to thank you for even considering this. I know you all give to other things so please don't feel any pressure, Relief work has got my heart and I just appreciate you listening. Please do pray for those in Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and our country being affected by this storm and the one right behind it. Thank you so much!

Warmest thanks,
Tabitha & Kelly