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Jan.17-26. Brotherhood First.

"Final Cut": January 17th - 26th, 2010: pictures with the words:

"Where to start? My writing this has a 2 fold purpose. First to share this tragic
and beautiful experience with all of you since the whole world has stopped still to
watch the horrific aftermath of the Earthquake in Haiti. I know you all are so
concerned about the welfare of our affected brothers. But I'm hoping this has a
therapeutic effect on me as well. I hate being the guy to send out an email thats
way too long and have my reader skip thru because there’s just too much. So I
originally was going to make 2 versions. A short and long. But forget it, I couldn’t
be bothered. Im going to break it down really well and I'm sort of a paragraph and
punctuation nazi, so it should be bearable. Print it and break it down over a few
days. I don’t mind if you share it. Even cut out some fluff and cut and paste just
the good experiences. Im going to break down my day by day, 8 day experience as
best as I remember since it’s sort of all melded together.
First off, we felt the earthquake all the way over here in DR. I was oblivious to the
damage since I don’t own a TV. We do continue to feel aftershocks, which are a
little unnerving. Some say that the aftershocks could continue for months. What
has happened is truly devastating. What was already the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere has become even poorer. We have made our objective
helping our brothers and sisters who have suffered or lost their lives in the
affected areas but also have been giving attention to others who are in need. The
relief committee went and found the Jimani hospital which is very small and
limited in resources overflowing with patients from Haiti. It was decided that in
order to find our brothers amongst the hundreds, brothers who speak Haitian
Creole would be needed. Several brothers from all over the DR who had learned
Creole offered themselves right away and were even willing to sleep in tents for
several days to help our brothers. When these brothers that served as translators
were not working with our brothers they offered their services to the many
doctors in the hospitals to translate for them. The doctors were very impressed
with their willing spirit. They were viewed by so many patients and their family
members as the only hope for receiving attention.
It was becoming a real challenge to keep our brothers under watch since as the
hospital maxed out its walking space in the aisles, not to mention just the rooms,
other spots in the area where opened up as a triage or for patients to recover from
surgery, none of which were hygienic or proper for any human being. One place
was a two story building called the Buen Samaritano. It was converted into a
triage center, but because of the limited resources most people were lying on a
mat on the floor and then later in the open field without shelter, most with severe
injuries. All the patients could do was to wait and watch as the short staffed
doctor staff attended to the most critical. Many were left waiting for hours and
others days. The patients that were witnesses were so happy when the witnesses
found them and they could speak to them in their own language. Since so many
witnesses volunteered themselves, often each witness patient had a witness who
stayed by their side constantly talking to them and comforting them.
The Branch in Haiti continued to send over in different Bethel vehicles some of
the patients that were at the Assembly Hall in Haiti. They sent over the most
critically injured, hoping for them to receive better care in the DR. From Sat Jan
16th – Wed Jan 20th the brothers and volunteers in Jimani and other cities in the
DR where patients were sent, were working around the clock to try to attend to
some 70 patients or so , the majority being Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It wasn’t just a matter of getting them to Jimani and into the hospital, but rather
getting them to Jimani and then have them sent out by transporting them to
better equipped hospitals in other cities in the DR. Because of our isolated
location, often these severely injured brothers had to be transported in the back
of pick-up trucks or vans and travel for 3-5 hours to receive better attention. But
our Haitian brothers are such fine examples of never complaining and just being
grateful for the brotherhood they have. A lot of brothers providing transportation
were willing to stay up all night to drive these brothers to better hospitals. On the
other end in cities such as Barahona, Azua, Bani, San Cristobal, Santo Domingo
and La Vega, there were brothers up in the middle night waiting to receive our
brothers and make sure they got the attention they need.
Saturday Jan 18th we were scrambling putting together the finishing touches of
our Zone Visit Sunday the 19th. 65,000 or so attended at 5 different stadiums
throughout the island. We spent the day cleaning and setting up our 7,000 seat
stadium. So word gets going around that a brother had been assigned to get a
group together to go to the Haitian border to a Dominican town called Jimani. A
group was going to leave at 3am for this border town which is about 7 hours
away from where I live. So I ring the brother and apparently you needed a pick up
truck to join the party. Haiti bethel was driving injured JW’s and bible students
to receive care in Dominican Hospitals. So our mission would be to pick them up
from the border and lay them in the back of our trucks since TONS had broken
legs. I drive a Honda CRV which is a problem. So I asked if there was anything
else I could do and he said: “No, get a truck.” So me and Kerry Stackhouse (Blond
guy with glasses in most pictures by a white pick up truck) were trying to think of
someone to lend us a pick up. Plus it couldn’t be a wimpy one or unreliable
because of the high stakes. So Victor the special pioneer in my cong suggests that
we rent 1 or 2 pick ups. Neither of us can afford that so I phoned my sister. She
gave me the green light to go ahead and get whatever we needed, that the friends
back home would help out. Finding pickups at such short notice was proving
impossible. Its all mid size SUV’s and cars. So I phoned the brother back and
said I was unable but that I'm sure I could help in another way. I had $$ coming
in and they’ll need to eat, and I speak French and Creole. He told me for the last
time: “My instructions are, get a truck or your out”. (And if this email cycles back
to you, I'm so over it. You were under so much pressure and I love you now.) So I
was starting to feel like Jehovah wasn’t blessing this, it shouldn't be so hard. So
me and Kerry decided to try one more agency. She could have 2, 2007 Nissan
Frontiers in 3 hours for 150$ US each, per day. I got her down to 126$ US each
per day when I told her the cause. So we were in! I called the bro back and he
was surprised when I told him I got 2 trucks. So our instructions were to meet
him at his house at 3am to join a 4 truck convoy headed to Jimani.
DAY 1: So its like 6pm Sunday evening and we are packing for what we thought
might be 1 or 2 days. Fortunately I pack like a girl. I took everything. Before we
left to collect the trucks, this same brother rings me and says: “You wanted to
help out? Now’s your chance. Grab a pen and a pad.” We need a generator,
oscillating fans, 50 feet of copper wire, 2 x 5 gallon gas cans, counter top stoves,
latex gloves, alcohol, swabs, pain killers, 3 extension cords, light bulbs, light
switches, 20 feet of chain, a propane gas cylinder, tents and tons of other random
stuff. We had no idea why for half of it but we followed orders. I called up another
need greater close by called Ryan Dixon whom I met 24 hours earlier at the zone
visit, and he wanted in. He said he’d call home to get some start-up $ too. So we
met at our Dominican Walmart and got most everything. The generator and
propane cylinder we were able to borrow from a brother. Didn't find tents. So
then I get another call once were all revved up and its the brother adding a
million more things to the list and re-assigning me to send the stuff with the 3rd
truck which we had since acquired and for me and Kerry to report to Santo
Domingo Bethel by noon the next day to pick up 3 professional emergency rescue
guys from California who were also Jehovah’s Witnesses. They had hopped on a
plane to come help, as well as a Haitian bible student who was one of the first to
get helped out of Haiti. His 14 yo son had both legs amputated and was
recovering at bethel in Santo Domingo. He needed to get back to Haiti and we
were headed that way.
DAY 2: We arrive at Bethel by noon. We waited around, had lunch and heard this
mans story. Finally the rescue guys arrived way later than we thought and we set
off to Jimani at about 4pm.
Bethel loaded us up with lots more medical supplies that needed to get to Haiti
bethel. So Kerry, Esther and one of the rescue experts were in one truck and I'm
in the other with the haitian man and 2 of the Californian brothers. Its a 5 or so
hour drive. The pressure got turned way up when they started getting calls on
their mobiles on the way, that there was an unbaptized publisher trapped under
a crushed Unibank. His father who is deaf had located him and had been sitting
outside the rubble for a few days, trying to get help. So this was a specific
mission for these emergency brothers who came equipped with pulleys and hooks
and stuff. For about 2 hours of the drive, as I'm doing easily 130km/ph on dodgy
Dominican roads, these guys are strategizing on what sort of knots to use when
they get there. “Should we go with the Larson or the full-barrengers?” I dont
know. (Im making up the names cuz I forget the real ones) It was an adrenaline
rush all the same.
So we get to the Jimani hospital by 10pm and there’s a bethel truck waiting for
these guys to get to this trapped person. I stayed in Jimani and never saw them
for 3 or so days. They arrived too late and he died about 4-6 hours before they got
there. There was likely nothing they could have done even if they got there on
time. Would have needed a crane to get him out, the full-barrenger would have
done nothing. Apparently they saw an unimaginable array of body parts in the
nook they crawled thru. Only the beginning.
So I arrive at Jimani Hospital at like 10pm. We had about 12 or so Witness
Volunteers at this point. A special pioneer from France called Antony Gwinner
serving in a town called Barahona, and a special pioneer from Ontario called
Chris Chapman serving in a neighboring town called Duverge. These two
SUPERSTARS were unofficially coordinating this thing. Every few minutes they
would receive calls to their mobiles from Haiti and Dominican Bethel with lists of
injured Haitian witnesses or bible students. So they would compile these lists of
really oddly spelt french names and our task was to set up shop in or around
Jimani Hospital and identify our people to either a) set them up in one of our
trucks and taxi them way further in land to better hospitals where we had
witness doctors and nurses ready, or b) admit them into this under staffed, over
crowded, under supplied hospital and get them stable enough to get them out
asap. This was the mission.
Every 30 minutes or so every sort of vehicle you can think of would pull up with
dozens and dozens of very badly injured quake victims. So we had to scramble to
cautiously interview them to find out if they were ours. Injured victims were
allowed to bring only one family member with them. I say cautiously because at
this point we were trying to stay relatively discreet or undercover. Once people
started to see the help and attention we were giving, suddenly everyone was one
of “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” (Im skipping my first impressions of the hospital inside,
but I’ll go back) So we would go room to room, bed to bed speaking with the
victims loved one or with the victim themselves, if they weren't too sedated. For
this we needed lots of French and Creole speakers.
I would sit next to them and say: “I can’t imagine what you’ve been thru, how are
you feeling? Where were you hurt? At times like this we need to have a strong
faith. Are you Christian? Oh good I'm glad. What church do you attend? Most
answered: “Evangelical, Pentecostal or Catholic”. In which case I would wrap it up
with: “Thats great. Make sure you pray a lot” and then I'm outta there and on to
the next. We would find ones who claimed to be bible students and then we would
ask them what the name of the book is that they use for the study. What color is
it? What do JW call their churches? Questions like these. Not in an interrogating
fashion but more conversational because most thought we were just making
small talk. As soon as we identified a legitimate student, we would place a
magazine at the foot of their bed for us to identify them. Problem is, people would
nick the magazines and read them since most of the literature we had was in
Creole. You might be thinking that an i.d. badge would be better, but this was in
the fetal stage of our operation. Plus the hospital staff would shuffle people
around like crazy and by the minute, the hospital occupancy kept swelling.
First impression when I walked into Jimani Hospital. Shock, depression, despair
etc. Its was appalling. As the pictures will indicate, people EVERYWHERE. Thin
mattresses all over the floor inches away from each other. Loved ones laying in
bed next to their injured ‘whoever’. Plus it was an oven in there even though its
winter. Nearly everyone had an amputated limb. I set foot in there at like 10pm.
So surgeries were done for the day. It looked like a war zone. No one was without
a head bandage an arm sling or a cast.
I guess our brothers had set up shop earlier that day or even the day before, im
not sure. But at any rate, a woman who lived right across the street, about 20
meters away from the front door of emerge, lent us her unfinished house to set
up our camp. It was a 3 bedroom rancher with only walls and a roof. No windows,
no electricity, no plumbing but it had a nice gravel / rock / dirt floor. So we
installed our generators, got electricity going, pitched tents and air mattresses
and that was going to be our home base.
So after we identified legitimate bible students of the 65 patients I instinctively
went into nurse mode. What an infections control nightmare. XL gloves were
nowhere to be found. Im going to consider it a modern day miracle if I don’t come
away with TB, Hep A or worse. So its like 11pm or so and most of our volunteers
are getting ready for bed since at the moment we are under control. We’re not
expecting more patients tonight, and our 7 bible students were having their pain
controlled and seemed alright. Most went to bed except 2 or 3 of us. I didn't
expect to but I ended up working a night shift that same night. Myself and 2
nurses attempted to care for 65 patients and 65 loved ones. International aide
hadn’t arrived as of yet. Im told all the action was in Haiti, but slower to get to the
Dominican side.
People who had not yet been catheterized were peeing themselves or worse and I
couldn't get a bed-pan under them because it was too painful. There were no
soaker pads, just bed sheets that turn cold once you’ve wet the bed. No extra
blankets to be found. Absolute nightmare. One guy about 40 who only had 3 toes
amputated went crazy. We had to bind him at the feet and ankles. His cousin
escorted him who spoke perfect english. He explained to me that his entire family
was crushed when the second floor collapsed and he saw them all die. So he was
in a state of shock. Now he was wrest-less and screaming and I couldn't chance
untying him. I had to help him pee into an empty water bottle with the spout cut
off. He didn’t let anyone sleep in that hallway until we pinned him down and gave
him a shot of something pretty heavy. He was out in 10 minutes.
Neither of the nurses spoke anything but spanish so I was running up and down
the halls bouncing from room to room translating and trying, mostly in vain to
keep people comfortable. Didn't really stop all night. I finally stopped at 6:30am
and slept in a kingdom hall chair until 7:30am. Back to the grind.
There was a massive pile of empty coffins in the courtyard of the hospital. Every
now and again, 2 guys would go pick one up and bring it in.
Sidenote: Kerry was officially a driver assigned to relay injured people en route to
the capital. He did tons of short runs from the Hospital to Good Samaritan, and
when we had no immediate tasks, he shuttled surgeons and Doctors back and
forth. But one of his first assignments came at 5am early Tuesday morning. He
was to go with this young, single Dominican special pioneer, who by the way is
one our new best friends, on an errand. Kerry’s spanish is mas-o-menos, but not
amazing yet. So he understood it was a 3 hour trip to go get food, assuming it
was for our home base. They were to leave at 5am. So kerry and his wife slept in
the rented truck and I went and woke him up at 5am, since I was working a night
shift and was awake anyways. Bye Kerry, see ya in 3 or so hours........He doesn't
return until 6 or 7pm that night. Allegedly, it was 3 hours to get where they were
going and he learned on the way that they were going to buy food stuffs, to load
up and meet some brothers at the port and ship it by sea to Jackmelle, Haiti!
They bought massive bags of rice, beans, sugar, coffee, chocolate etc. That truck
you guys rented for us got food to our brothers in Haiti! It doesn't get any better
than that. I wish we had a picture of the loaded truck. The 3 of them got back
safely but not before crashing the rental into the cement barrier in the middle of
the highway. Fortunately we went with full coverage and 0 deductible. They didn’t
bat an eye when we returned it. He put on 2,100km (1,304 miles) on one rented
truck in 4 days use. Did we get our moneys worth Brookswood?
DAY 3 - Calls were coming in every few minutes from both Bethels with lists of
victims coming in and missing persons. Apart from Jimani hospital there was
also a 2 story building called “Buen Samaritano” (im sure you can figure it out)
which was turned into a hospital and triage unit. Easily 300 patients there as
well. So we had a note pad with lots of Pierre’s and Jean-Guy’s to find. I wish the
names had all been that easy. Logistical nightmare. Finally after like 2 days of
only finding students we found our first witness. Maybe not the first, but first
since I got there.
My first experience at Buen Samaritano was one of my lowest points. Amid the
insanity of going room to room and seeing everyones injuries, I tried to as quickly
as possible determine if they were ours or not. It was hard to show warmth and
feeling when you have an agenda and you are on a major time crunch. Keep in
mind that the sooner we could find our brothers and bible students the sooner
we could get them into waiting beds in air conditioned hospitals with JW doctors
and nurses waiting to give 1 to 1 personal care. So time was against us since
these beds in the best private clinics and hospitals were getting snatched up with
every passing hour. And we wanted them for our brothers.
So my low point was when an american Doctor yelled out for a translator. So I
responded. He told me to tell this patient that the infection was getting worse and
climbing up her leg and that he was going to try one more thing but if not, they
were going to have to amputate. I interpreted and she started to cry and begged
them not to cut off her leg. That leveled me. I stepped aside and had a moment. A
Haitian man, unrelated to the patient saw it all unfold and walked over to me and
said: “Cry if you have to, but thats not what we need from you right now.”
The same doctor I had just translated for, a young guy, walked over to me and
put his arm around me and told me to pray. I said: “That’s what I'm doing”. He
asked me if he could pray with me and for me. I said “thanks, but no.” And I
Within 20 minutes the female patient was about 20 meters away in a mobile
surgical set-up getting her leg cut off. That was the first of about 12 people that I
had to tell they were getting a limb amputated over a span of about 60 minutes.
Some welcomed the news because of the horrific infection and some had
gangrene setting in. Those were easier to tell. One of the most discouraging
things, aside from seeing people crushed literally by this earthquake and seeing
broken bones of all types and bones dislodged from bodies, open wounds, aside
from all of that, seeing the helplessness in the faces of these doctors when they
were trying to patch people up because they didn't always have the proper
medical supplies to do a proper job. They had to bandage them up and do what
they can to make them comfortable by giving them morphine and pain
medication. Within 24-48 hours, realizing that if they didn't receive the proper
medical care, infection would set in. They were left with, 'Do I save the life or do I
save the limb? Over at Buen Samaritano Triage center, I was hanging string from
a tree branch to hang up an IV bag. It was like the Civil War, the 1800s. One 12
year old kid had his privates amputated because of severe trauma. Broken bones
were being set into place out in the open with no privacy...there was none to be
found. The screams were deafening. And we just had to just stay focused and find
our brothers.
There at ‘Good Sam’ I was going room to room trying to find JW’s or bible
students. I saw 2 hispanic DR’s sat on their bums on the floor with a patients
head resting in their laps. The one Doctor was slowly and methodically removing
skin from this mans head with tweezers. His entire head and shoulders were
burnt. It was all white and pink. I could tell he was awake but not flinching one
bit. I asked the doc how they were controlling his pain. As I say this, the man
cranes his neck to look at me to see who is talking. I felt bad cuz I made him
move. But he didn’t feel a thing. The skin was 100% dead.
Good Samaritan was being run by foreign Doctors so it was a bit better run.
Whereas Jimani hospital was being run by Dominican Docs and surgeons and
my impression was it was “amputate first, ask questions later.” I cant judge since
I'm no surgeon. Hence the urgency to get our brothers out of this inferno and into
loving care.
So back to home base in front of Jimani Hospital for a quick lunch. Good
Samaritan and Jimani Hospital were only about a 20 minute walk away from
each other. With every passing hour, our home base was getting more and more
organized. Some volunteers didn't have any nursing skills or interpreting skills,
but they set up the base and in a matter of hours we had a fully operational
kitchen. A team of sisters made up about 30 hot lunches that day.
So on this day, the international floodgates opened. Teams of nurses, doctors,
surgeons, translators, psychologists and just normal unskilled volunteers poured
in. Tons from USA, Canada, France, Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, Chile and Russia
etc. Unicef shirts were everywhere. World vision was there. Red Cross and
Salvation Army were there. There were like 4 huge mobile units, World bank had
tons of people. I met so many unbelievably selfless, genuine, caring, sincere
people this week. I always see those Unicef commercials with Sally Struthers,
“send a dollar, and I’ll buy myself a cheeseburger with it” yadda yadda. I’ll never
mock them again. Those groups got stuff done. Tons of food everyday. Gatorade
for everyone, volunteers and patients, bottled water, snacks, full meals and TONS
and TONS of med supplies and mattresses and crutches which takes me down a
very sad political road, which I’ll get to eventually.
I think it was this Tuesday, day 3 when I met this little boy called Jameson that I
cant stop thinking about. So after lunch I'm back in the mix, nursing and stuff
and I see this 9 yo boy getting his broken legs set into place. He’s being held by 3
men and 2 obstetricians are applying the wet material which dries into a cast.
He’s screaming in agonizing pain. At this point it all kind of goes right thru you.
The screams in the hospital almost fade into the back ground. I move on.
(I need to clarify something. Im not a registered nurse, much less a Doctor or a
surgeon. I am a Nurses Aid with 10 experience at Langley Memorial Hospital in
Langley, BC, Canada. But this week I did a little of everything, which is
frightening. I was shown how to change iv bags, dress wounds, I gave injections, I
took some vital signs and much more. I even acted as a mule for Doctors and ran
to pharmacy and got loads of very potent drugs. Just walked up to the counter
and made my order. “10mg of morphine and hurry! Make that 30mg! And give me
some Vicatin, the whole box will do!”. Not exactly standard operating procedure
back at Langley Memorial. I did dozens of transfers that Cynthia (our
physiotherapist back home) would not have approved of. I hope this email gets
back to you Cynthia. Carrying patients anywhere from 25 to 150 lbs max in my
arms like they were a baby. There were no arjo lifts or sara lifts or anything. Not
even many wheelchairs. You just had to make quick judgement calls and just get
it done.
Within about 24 hours I was “Doctor Steven” thru-ought the whole hospital,
which had its pros and cons. It was great when you had to get tough with staff
and fight for better treatment and flat out refuse a transfer to the refugee camp -
“Doctors orders.” But then it was heart wrenching when every 5 feet you’d be
stopped by a haitian person asking for help for their loved one. Im sorry I don’t
know, I'm not a doctor. That felt terrible.
This same evening the Evangelicals arrive. Im surprised they took this long. They
walk into the hospital at like 6pm or so each with a bible tucked under their arm
as per usual and walk thru the halls singing hymns. How comforting. Some
medical staff complained that they were getting in the way and not being of much
consolation. At any rate, I walk into a common area to check on one of our bible
students only to see her sat up with her eyes closed, head swaying side to side
loving the evangelical songs to bits. Too late, we adopted her, she’s ours, no
turning back. Whatever, move on.
Meanwhile I'm wondering where I'm going to sleep, because although i’ve been
here 2 days now, i’ve not slept yet. And that chair was not calling my name. So
myself, Kerry and Esther and another brother slept in the kingdom hall. (There is
a group in Jimani. 2 single special pioneers. They are the only 2 baptized men in
the group. Attendance of like 20 or so and they also do meetings in Creole.
Ironically, Jimani group had its CO visit this week, but it was cancelled half way
Day 4-6 is kind of fuzzy. Loads of international aide had arrived by now, so things
calmed down considerably. At one point we had no Jehovah’s Witness patients in
Jimani, which was GREAT news. We received word that we had 77 JW patients in
5 different hospitals. Many of which had air condition and some other amenities.
Each hospital had JW physicians, translators and nursing staff to give our
patients personalized care. They also had at least 1 brother and/or sister sit at
their side 24 hours around the clock and the patients loved one had their needs
met as well. They were taken home with local brothers, given a proper bed to
sleep in, fresh clothes and a laundry service was put into effect. You don’t see
that in just any organization.
So we were back at Jimani base just waiting for more orders. Thankfully, but
unfortunately at the same time, on like day 4 or so, lots of new brothers arrived
with pick up trucks to help with patient transport, but now we had no one to
transfer, which is good I guess. We even had a brother from my home town of San
Francisco de Macoris who is a Gynecologist, as is his wife, he owns and runs a
private clinic and teaches in University as well. We had him on staff now, but
with no JW patients to tend to. And there were foreign doctors to spare in the
hospital at this point. So most of the volunteers just hung out at the hub and
visited and waited for more lists of patients from our Haiti head office. A small
group of us just continued volunteering our interpreting services and nursing in
the hospital. Around the clock for a handful.
So after day 5 we had no more JW patients in Jimani and Haiti Bethel was under
full control. They kept back some of the terminal patients and were keeping them
comfortable and also the minorly injured. A group of 24 Jehovah’s Witness
Doctors and surgeons flew into Haiti Bethel. 12 from Guadeloupe and 12 from
France. Guadeloupe Creole is very similar to Haitian Creole. Right in the
assembly hall, they set up an O.R. So we were waiting word on our end to shut
down the Jimani operation. Finally Saturday afternoon I believe, we got word that
the committee had decided to close down, we had accomplished what we set forth
to do. And one of the overseeing brothers gave a very heartwarming impromptu
talk, using some carefully selected bible verses as his outline. We were thanked
and he said, in the state haiti is in now, our haitian brothers are going to need
TONS of continued help. There will likely be a tremendous need to rebuild our
brothers houses. He said raise your hand if you’d be willing to go to Haiti to help.
In a fraction of a second everyones arms shot straight up. It gave me shivers. So
we started to take down our Hub and dismantle it and pack up.
Julie Laviolette and Beatrice Marin are 2 of my heros. No offense to anyone else
there, everyone was key, but these 2 poured out EVERYTHING they had. One is
from Ottawa and the other is from France. They are both single and have
pioneered together for years. They both lived in Haiti for like 8 years or so but left
3 years ago when Beatrice was kidnapped and held for ransom for 58 hours. Now
they continue to help Haitians learn about Jehovah, but from Puerto Plata, DR,
where they serve in a Creole congregation. These 2 sisters were so instrumental
in locating our missing persons. The staff loved them for their effective and
empathetic interpreting and general care for people. We were told over and over
that the Jehovah’s Witness interpreters were easily the best. Tremendous
witness. I worked side by side with them both and got to love them so much. You
don’t meet people like them everyday. What a privilege. As we were wrapping up
the operation, they were trying to sort out what to do with all the equipment they
bought for this. They responded to the call for interpreters. They immediately
went and bought 2 tents and air mattresses and some supplies that they needed
to sleep on. None of these things were things they could afford since they are selfsupported
missionaries like myself and live on a tight budget. So word got back to
me and I was able to buy off them from Langley donations whatever they had left,
minus 1 tent they decided to keep. I didn’t mind the idea of having a tent for the
next time something like this happens. I ran back into the hospital for some more
action and 1 hour later someone tells me that the tent and the other stuff was
gone. Loaded on a truck bound Haiti Bethel. Even better!!!! Again, your donations
did that!
There were so many other amazing people involved, i’m not going to begin to
mention them all. A married couple by the last name of Dittrich serving in
Jarabacoa were phenomenal too. We were all like small cogs in a well oiled
I forget what night but one of the nights at about 11pm or so Kerry had to take a
truck load of injured patients and their loved ones. So he loads up his truck with
2 of our brothers with amputations in the bed of the pick up and a sister with a
broken arm in the cab, along with 3 family escorts. So 6 Haitian JW’s and Kerry.
None of the Haitians speak spanish or english and Kerry is learning spanish and
has zero Creole. So communication was tough. He was meant to drop off 2 at a
hospital along the way and take the rest to San Cristobal which is 5 hours away.
None of us have been to the south before and its night time. There was no room
for him to take a co pilot. So it was up to Jehovah to get them all there safely.
And Jehovah delivered, I have no doubt in my mind. I rang Kerry at like 1 hour
intervals. Im like: “How’s the conversation in the car?” “Hot potatoes” he says.
“We tried for a bit but no one was in the mood.” They asked for the radio. People
wincing in pain as he goes 110 km per hour on really bad roads. I was in bed
back in Jimani, but obviously couldn’t sleep. Plus his mom was phoning my
sister back in Canada for periodic updates. “Don’t worry, your son is just fine.”
He finally reached San Cristobal at like 5am safe and sound. Got our brothers to
the hospital into welcoming arms and slept a few hours at some brothers house.
Remember he had been wearing the same clothes for 4 days by now since his
back pack mistakenly went home. (Thanks to Ryan Dixon, haha) But earlier this
day I got his boxers included in my laundry that a nurse offered to do for me. So
Kerry is on this mission....commando. He was stressing a bit since how is he
going to sleep in someone else's bed either in his jeans which were now like skin,
or naked. Without anyone telling her, the sister handed him a brand new pair of
boxers and a t-shirt. There’s no way she could have known, how do you explain
that? He slept for a quick 2 or 3 hours, came back to the hub in Jimani and got
busy again.
Random little experiences that I forget what day the occurred”:
This Haitian man about 55 years old called Trastama Leraine was at Jimani
Hospital with his wife who suffered an amputation. He helped me interpret on my
first night shift since he speaks fluent spanish. Very educated man. Anyways, I
hadn’t had lots of dealing with him, just exchanged smiles and minor comfort. So
after about 2 days or so, he finds me outside and comes running up to me. He
had observed how our group was getting things done in the hospital. Although at
this point we were not openly revealing ourselves as witnesses for reasons I
mentioned earlier. So he asks me for help and I asked him what I could do.
Trastama asked me to come with him, not so much to interpret but for support to
talk to the Doctor treating his wife to convince him not to use blood. WHAT?! Im
freaking out inside. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Why don’t you want blood for your wife?
Trastama: Because the bible says to take blood is wrong!
Me: Where does it say that in the bible?
Trastama: (Frustrated) Where’s a bible!?! I can show you!
Me: No! I know it says that, but where does it say that?
Trastama: Acts 15:28,29!
Me: Who taught you this?
Trastama: (Frustrated) I’ll show you, where’s a bible?!
Me: No No No, you’re not understanding me. Who taught you that the bible
prohibits blood? What church do you belong to or who do you study the bible
Trastama: I’m Evangelical. I’ve read it in the bible and I don’t want them to give
my wife a blood transfusion.
Me: Hold on right here and wait for me for a second.
So I went and spoke to Marcial Jimenez, a Dominican Special pioneer who was
overseeing transportation and explained to him the matter. All he told me was, we
gotta help this man, he’s not ours, but he’s trying to obey the bibles commands.
So I went with Trastama to speak to the Doctor. I told him that this man has
made an informed decision and accepts the risks of refusing blood. The Doctor
said: “Fine, it’s on him”. So I went to his wife who was on the floor on a mattress
with her records taped to the wall above her. I taped an additional note that said:
“Jehovah’s Witness patient. No blood”. You should have seen the look on
Trastama’s face. Jehovah had answered his prayers evidently. He had run out of
the solution drip they were giving her intravenously so we went to Pharmacy and
grabbed like 8, put them in a box with her name on it by her bedside. Another
happy customer.
Next day our JW Doctor Menna arrived and like I said we had no JW patients to
care for at this point. So I took Menna in to look at Trastama’s wife. He did vitals,
she was improving, pain was under control. He taught me a few things and
Trastama was ecstatic. At down times I was able to witness to Trastama and
explain what it is Jehovah’s Witnesses do and who we are and the nature of what
we were doing there in Jimani. I gave him a bible teach book and a bible to
replace the one he lost in the quake and we exchanged numbers. He called me a
few times each day to tell me how his wife was doing and I’d nip in to see her.
Such a beautiful man. Im not sure what his fate is. He was trying to get to Santo
Domingo, DR but I think its a pipe dream. He has family there and he even has a
dominican cell phone. There’s no way he would have gotten past the 5 or so
military check points in the neighboring towns. Again, man’s inhumanity is
disgusting. At any rate, his number is 1.829.437.7479. And he speaks spanish
quite well. But if he got booted back to Haiti then the call wont go thru. But he
has my number. He promised me he would study the bible with JW’s. I told him
there are so many things that he has been taught that are untrue. You had to be
blunt like that, there was no time for sugar-coating. He promised at any rate.
Reginald Francois is about 28 or so and worked in a bank. He was uninjured. He
also speaks fluent spanish and maybe english. Lots of these Haitians speak 4
languages. He and one co-worker survived out of the entire bank. All dead. He
escorted his sister who was injured in legs. I got talking with him and was asking
him if he felt like God caused this quake. Thats what lots of Haitians were saying,
that God caused it. He said he didn't know, but he told me that he and his sister
were the only survivors. So I shared James 1:13 and told them that God would
never do that so indiscriminately. He allowed it but didn't cause it. There’s tons
more to the story, but thats the gist. So I ran to our hub and got him a bible
teach book and a bible in french. He was so thankful. Our relationship grew over
the next 48 hours and I got to be friends with him.
The local JW group in Jimani conducts meetings saturday nights in Creole. So I
invited everyone room to room. Not the patients but rather the family members. 2
of our volunteers were a married couple called Jared and Jael Kekos living in
Higuey, DR but are originally from Kansas. (Legends both of them) So he was
going to give the public talk in Creole. He only brought one outline which wasn't
so appropriate for the circumstance. It wasn't the “Godly view of sex and
marriage” outline but not far off either. So in about 3 hours he put together an
outline about “Place Confidence in Jehovah and have courage”. I had hopes of
packing out the little Kingdom Hall but it was unrealistic. I invited lots from the
hospital, but everyone was paranoid to leave their injured loved ones side since
the director of the hospital was releasing patients and sending them to a refugee
camp in Haiti. So most were uneasy about going to meeting and leaving their
side. Trastama my “no blood” guy was one of those. On the other hand, Reginald
said he’d meet me at emerge at 6pm and we’d walk together. I got there late at
6:10pm and he was nowhere to be seen. Went to ask his sister, and she hadn’t
seen him in a while. Discouraged, I went to the meeting in hospital scrubs. The
meeting started with only us 5 witnesses in attendance and no one else.
(Hilarious experience by the way.) 5 minutes into it I stand up and see Reginald
walking up the road. He asked for directions and found the KH. He sat down with
the bible I had given him. Found every scripture faster than me. Watchtower
started and I commented in paragraph 2 and he in paragraph 3. Didn't put his
hand up though. It was his first time inside a Kingdom hall. He loved the
meeting. We ended with an attendance of 20. Most of which were regular Haitian
progressive bible students who live in Jimaniand know need to work on
punctuality. By the way Reginald whispered and mumbled during the prayer and
didn't bow his head makes me think he’s evangelical. On the walk back to the
hospital he told me that he feels like his life has no meaning now. We talked
more. Friends for life, I hope. He also promised to study with the Witnesses once
this blows over. Email
Haiti number: 509.3.777.39.28 (Not sure what to do with all those digits)
Domincan number: 829.356.2206
The nice thing out here is that one the one who makes the call pays. Its free for
him to receive calls.
As I mentioned, I met some insanely dedicated volunteers from all over the world
who were there for the same reason as I was. Most on their own dime. One of
these was this guy named Jordy Alvarez. He is about 24 or so, from Columbia but
lives in Santo Domingo, DR. I met Jordy over the phone. I wrote my name, cell
number and emil address on this 9 year old called Jameson Denis’ cast. (More on
him later) I wanted to be contacted if he was moved or transfered anywhere since
he was all by himself and it was unclear as to whether his family survived. So I'm
at our hub across the street and my mobile rings. Dr. Steven? (haha) I got your
number off this boys cast, I'm a volunteer with the World Bank. I said: “I’ll be
right in!”
So I go in and he was taking info to see about contacting his family. So I shared
with him what we had gotten out of Jameson. He immediately was firing off
emails from his blackberry and uploading pics into their database. I took him
outside to our hub and showed him our operation. I said all those people are
Jehovah’s Witnesses and explained exactly what we were doing. He said: “wow,
you guys are really united”.
This was the start of a friendship and partnership between me and Jordy. We
traded about 20 phone calls and emails over the next 4 days doing each other
favors since we each had different connections. (I know you are reading this
Jordy, and I know you have way more connections than me.)
So for a day or so I was helping this 30 y.o. lightly injured patient. I trusted him
when he said he could walk and just needed a bit of help to the toilet. He fainted
in my arms and messed himself. We got him cleaned up and into clean clothes.
Once he recovered, he asked me to help him. He had an expired Haiti passport
with him and has family he can go to in the Dominican Capital. But the problem
is his uninjured cousin was traveling with him and had no documents. The
hospital discharged him and he could go, but what about his cousin? So I took
on this little side mission and went to the hospital director. (So frustrating for
these poor people who couldn't communicate with most people and just kept
getting swept aside.) I explained everything to the director and he said that with
his signature on a drawn up document, that would replace his passport for now.
But there was nothing that could be done for his cousin. The director said to
chance it with the military check points, but there’s no guarantees. He said come
back to my office in 30 minutes and I’ll have the papers for you. So I told this guy
this and he was so happy, but the cousin not so much. So I asked her what she
planned to do if not. She said the has no one or nothing to go back to. So I go
back this guys office in 30 mins and the doors locked. Over the next 3 hours I
couldn't find him, and every time I walked by this man he got excited, but I had
no news for him. (That same scenario could be said for dozens. There was such
So I ring Jordy up to see what he suggests. He said he could talk to the Director
himself but it might not be a good idea since a day or two ago he had big blowout
with him. But that his mom had some pull. So he rings his mom up. He comes
back to me and says that what we need to do is make up a fake document with a
reason for the cousin to go to Santo Domingo, like to pick up a patient or
something and make up some signatures. So he wanted us to draw it up and sign
it. I told him that as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses I couldn't be a part of that. It
breaks my heart, but I cant do something dishonest and illegal. I said I'm
officially leaving these 2 people with you, and I told him that in front of them. “I
cant do anymore, he can probably help you more than me.” Like Pilate, I washed
my hands. (I did the motion too) “Do what you gotta do Jordy.” I walked away.
About 6 or so hours later, we bump into each other again and he says: “Its all
done. They’re on a bus to Santo Domingo.” I don’t approve, but your rock.
On like day 3 or so a really tall young Haitian guy in hospital scrubs runs up to
me really happy. “Are you a JW?!?!” I said yes, how did you know? He pulls out of
my breast scrubs pocket a “Who are JW’s” tract, which only had the top inch
exposed. He’s like: “so am I!!!” And he grabbed his friend and said he is too. So I
ask them, “are you bible students or baptized?” The look Alain gave me was
hilarious. Like: “Get real”!!! Alain is a 4th year med student and has been
baptized for just under 2 years and Bems Clearance is about 26 and has been
baptized for 5. Both are from the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Although Bems
currently lives in Santo Domingo and studies tourism in University. He was in
Haiti for a visit when the earthquake struck. Haiti called for all interpreters to go
to Jimani and any with medical skills. They ran into each other in the streets a
few days after the quake and decided to go together on their own, not under
direction from Bethel. Bems speaks French, Creole, Spanish and English. (BEm;s
would later escort me to Haiti)
So I brought them over to home base and they were thrilled to see all the
volunteer brothers. We took them in and from then on out they ate with us and
did morning worship with us every day.
Bems’ mom lost her house. And a cinder block fell on her head. Aside from
dizziness and headaches, she is fine. It could easily be a concussion, but stuff
like that is getting no attention at this point in Haiti. His family is not in the
Jameson Denis: So I saw earlier this little kid screaming in pain as his broken
bones were set and his cast was applied. Broken pelvis, both Femurs and one
whole broken leg. But fortunately no amputations. But then I saw him a day later
all by himself. I asked him where his family was and it was hard to get a straight
story. He just kept saying that someone was coming for him. Sadly, no one is
coming. We interviewed him and asked him what happened a bunch of ways. Dad
was never in the picture. He lived with his mom and older brother on Delmas #33
in Port-au-Prince. Was watching TV when it happened. Apparently was pinned
under rubble for some time. The story varies, but sounds like 10 hours or so.
Older brother seems to have died on impact. Mom’s where-abouts were unclear.
So I sat with him and tried to comfort him. I tried to distract him with granola
bars and juice. Didn't last long. He soon knew what was up and knew we were
tricking him. He turned unconsolable. We decided to move him since where he
was was awful. Tons of screaming. Fortunately where we took him, a man called
Jean Simon Derelis recognized him. Lived up the street. Jameson recognized him
too and said he works with wires. Electrician. This older man said that there is
NOTHING left of the entire street. Mom missing and possibly dead. All of this
conversation right in front of the kid.
Next day I spent more time with him and we took good profile pictures for the
websites who will try to connect victims with family. Moving him to the other
room was a blessing cuz thats where I met Reginald the guy who came to the
In that room I pulled up a chair at Jameson’s bedside with a pile of literature in
Creole. It was like 8pm or so. Its the picture where my feet are on the bed. I let
him choose between the “God’s Friend” brochure and the “Enjoy life...” brochure.
He chose the 2nd one. I started just with him, but within minutes 2 or 3 of the
other 8 patients in the room started shouting out the answers to my questions.
Before long all but 1 patient and loved one were participating. We did like the first
20 points in the brochure. Nurses and Docs walked in and were loving it since
this was the only room where people were smiling and laughing. God’s word
really does comfort. One of the first few points in there is about man being a soul,
as opposed to having a soul. I hammered that home and one patient asked me
then how does it work then with a soul going to heaven or hell? So I rang Julie
and Beatrice and told to them to get over here stat, with bibles. They came in and
smaller more individual bible discussions took place in Creole. And I continued
with Jameson. I called Kerry on his mobile and told him to bring the camera
quick. He got some amazing footage, pics and vid clips of it all.
Then Chrsitine (my sister) called for like the 26th time that day. So we decided to
put Paris and Micah (my 11 and 9 year old niece and nephew on the line). They
were able to practice their french with Jameson. A little coaching was needed on
both ends, but it was cute to watch. I think Paris was like: “Do you have a
computer? I like playing on the computer”. Hilarious.
Everyone kept a copy of the brochures. I left the remaining ones on Jameson’s
bed and in the morning they were all gone. The bible too. Awesome.
During my study with Jameson, World Bank Jordy walked in with a brand new
transformer knockoff and a racing car for each kid. It momentarily derailed my
study but im not mad at you Jordy. Finally the kid was getting happy. I taught
him how to pray and what to say and how to use Jehovah’s name. So cool.
So unfortunately they wanted to send Jameson away to a refugee camp about 20
minutes over the Haitian border. I wasn't pleased but I couldn't do anything
about it. He didn't need intensive care. Just rest and monitoring. I thought this
was it, so I was pretty bummed out. I packed up his stuff and carried him to the
mini bus. I sat with him in the back row for a bit. Then they tell me that they are
coming right back for another bus load. So I'm off to the refugee camp in Haiti! Its
an orphanage run by Americans called Love a child. Its in a the first town called
Fond Parisienne.
Its not bad. There is an ampi theater, sort of clean washrooms, and some soccer
balls which likely wont get much use for now. The UN turned it into a refugee
camp although they don’t want to admit that thats what it is. Its getting passed of
as a spa. There are dorms but none of the patients wanted to be in-doors. Still
scared of aftershocks. Cant blame them. So basically, when I was there, it was
about 150 Haitians on mattresses under a few trees on an open grassy field.
Many still needing nursing care. There were volunteer Doctors and nurses, but it
was no place for anyone still needing proper care, which in my opinion was the
case for over 80%. D.R. authorities were trying to get rid of these people as quick
as possible.
So when I got back to the hospital, I told any patients’ family that I had gotten
close too exactly what it was like over there. That it wasn't bad, but that it also
wasn't where they would receive better care. So don’t get fooled. Some medical
staff were tricking them into thinking that they would get better care and that it
was more comfortable. Big Lie. It was a challenge to stay neutral. Plus we needed
the medical staff to continue to cooperate and work with us.
Its disgusting how greed take over at times like this. Tons of the relief supplies
were being hoarded at Jimani hospital and they were trying to keep them there as
opposed to move them on into Haiti. And this once the administration achieved
their goal of almost emptying the hospital. Hundreds of brand new crutches were
somehow impossible to get thru the border and over to the refugee camp.
Tidbit: At some point, I forget when, I was in talking with my No blood patient. I
mistakenly thought I was leaving that day so I was saying goodbye. I turned out
saying goodbye like 3 more times. Anyways, I had to give him and the others in
the room one last power-house sermon. No frills no gimmicks. I told them that
they have seen horrific things and I read them this really obscure passage that
I'm sure no ones ever heard of found at Rev 21:3,4. (Fruits of my deep personal
I said that they have seen lots of good hearted volunteers all week, but that thats
not all that God requires of us. He expects us to do his will and caring for others
is only part of it. I said that its only JW’s that are doing God’s will today, even
though many other organizations may be well intentioned, they are not doing
what Christ commanded us to do. To preach the good news. And I said that lots
of religious lies have been taught like the trinity and hellfire and that the only
place they will find the truth is if they study with the Witnesses once they get
settled. One guys face was in dis-belief. He was understanding me but shocked at
what I was saying. He’s like: “what, really?”
And so another listener chimed in and backed up my point and yelled out that
Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only religious organization they saw all week
desperately trying to care for their own and they are the only ones who preach
everywhere on earth. He said it with such conviction, that the doubting guy cut
him short and goes: “Are you a JW?” His face lost all expression, he paused for
like 3 seconds and replied: “Yes”. Big fat lie, but you gotta love it. I just soaked it
all in and laughed. I LOVE HAITIANS!
So we officially wrapped up our operations Saturday afternoon. The brothers
thanked us immensely as I mentioned earlier. We were told that Bethel was
officially shutting it down and that we were now on our own and could do as we
wished, but that it was no longer a Bethel project. Almost everyone left that
evening, and a hand full left the following morning. I hung around with Jared and
Jael Kekos. We couldn’t leave. Too many emotional ties. I had lots of unfinished
business with some people I had witnessed to. But I knew we had to go. Plus we
were spent in every way.
So one of the coordinators rings me from his home a few hours away and relieved
that we were still there. There was a bible student that was discharged without
our consent from Barahona and was put on a bus headed for the border along
with her brother in Law. They had just a few pesos in their pocket. So he said it
was off the books, but that he would feel comfortable if we could receive them
and preferably escort them to Haiti Bethel, where they originally came to us from.
You cant just put them by themselves on public transportation with injuries and
travel bags. Plus we couldn't risk them going missing. Music to my ears cuz I was
DYING to go to Haiti. Bethel is about 1.5 hrs drive from Jimani. Its in a town
called Santos, just before Port-au-Prince. Once I secured Bems Clareance as my
escort/security, Jared and Jael left. So the 4 of us are off to Haiti. (Myself,
Clearance, a bible student and her escort)
We arrived at Bethel by 5pm Sunday evening and dropped off our people. Took a
shower and briefly visited with some of the patients. They had no place for us to
stay and it was too late to get back by public transportation, so we set off for
Bem’s aunts house in Petionville, just outside Port-au-Prince. It was chaos.
There’s nothing left of the capital city. UN militia everywhere. Insane traffic. Plus
we were almost out of cash. Like 5$ worth of Haitian Gouds. People sleeping
EVERYWHERE. We got to his aunts by 8pm or so. At 2am I woke up and couldn't
sleep. As I lay there, there was another aftershock. It was the 4th one that week,
but only the second one I felt. Weird thing is, I didn't even flinch. Was too tired,
too zoned out. The first one I felt a few days ago, I jumped up and ran out the
house in a second. But not the second one, don’t know why.
Morning time. My only agenda was, lets find a cash machine and get me out of
Haiti! Bems wanted to check on his moms house. He knew it was crushed, but he
hadn’t seen it for himself yet. We tried in vain to find an ATM on the way to his
house, which added to my stress level. I had seen enough toppled buildings. We
get to his house and I felt terrible. I had no empathy left in me. I can only imagine
how hard it must be to see the house you grew up in, destroyed. He was trying to
see if he could salvage dress shoes, and his brief case. Nothing. Im like: “I'm
really sorry man, but we gotta go”.
We walked and walked and walked and couldn’t find an ATM. Most are crushed
or boarded up. He took me to his old Kingdom Hall which was standing but
condemned. He took me to an elders house from his old congregation.
Brother Somerville is some man. Most of his house collapsed, the part standing
you cant or shouldn't walk into. He and his wife and mother in law live together.
No one died from their congregation, but most lost their homes. They are
currently sleeping in the patio under a blue tarp tied to trees. We spoke for a few
minutes but I was still stressing out because we were out of cash. So we left our
backpacks there and continued to search for an ATM. Western unions had 6-8
hour long lineups, since every Haitian with family abroad is having $ wired to
them. Any mini marts still open have tripled their prices and have signs in the
window that say “cash only”. So everyone knows that you have cash on your
person. Lovely. We finally find a Scotia bank and it says transaction failed. (That
was another really low point for me) Im stuck in Haiti with no $. Lots of prayer
and supplication ensued. We go into the bank and they tell me I can draw money
as a cash advance on my credit card. Relief. Now to decide how much money. If
its too much, then I'm a bigger target and what do I do butt boat loads of Haitian
Gouds. If its too little and we run into trouble, then we’re back to square 1. I
decided on an amount that I don’t want to disclose in an email.
We make it back to the brothers house and I asked him why after 12 or so days
after the fact, he was still on the street. What has bethel told them? He said that
there are just sooo many like him, that they are just being patient. So I asked
him if he had a passport and could cross into DR, thinking I would just take him
home with me, although I never suggested it. “Why don’t you cross over until this
blows over?” What he answered me I’ll never forget and it taught me a valuable
lesson as an elder myself.
“Im not leaving the brothers”. Wow. Of course you cant. They need shepherding
now more than ever. That is an example worth imitating. I only wish.
So I put in his pocket a donation from the Brookswood, Congregation and he
thanked me. I said thank Jehovah, its from him. I hugged him and we left.
My Haiti experience was so tense and pressure filled that without Bem’s you
would have found me curled up in the fetal position hiding under some rubble.
We made it back to the Refugee camp to check on Jameson. I was a wreck at this
point. It had been 2 days since I had seen him and as soon as I walked up the
man who knows him tells me, right in front of the kid: “Take him. No ones
coming for him. She’s either dead or has left him to get a better home. Its now or
never.” I explained that I cant take him. These cultures don’t really seem to get
that. They think you just take on someone else’s child like its borrowing a bike. I
laid beside him for a bit and phoned Victor, the special pioneer from my home
congregation. As soon as he answered I broke down. I asked him to ask around in
our congregation who could take him. Thats when he quoted me Ps 68:5 about
how Jehovah is the father of fatherless boys. He said you cant do anything and
he strongly advised me to get out of there a.s.a.p. before I went crazy. 8 days was
too much.
One UN volunteer saw my meltdown and gave me the best idea ever. Buy him a
cell phone and keep contact that way. That way I can be informed as to where he
ends up going. So with Brookswood Congregation funds, the next day I bought a
used cell phone off the first Haitian person I saw standing in front of the hospital
in Jimani. It had to be with a Haitian network. Once the deal was done she hands
it over and then informs me that she lost the charger in the quake. Great.
In the mean time, one of my other heroes is a JW called Ryan Dixon from
Columbus Ohio who is serving about 20 minutes from where I live He offered to
come rescue me. He was here for 3 days at the start and went home. He knew I
was fried and had no transportation out of Jimani. So he borrowed DR. Menna’s
Explorer and drove 7 hours to pick me up. Thats what friends are for. I’ve known
this guy for 1 week and not a day more.
So he rolls into Jimani with his wife by noonish to pick me and Bem’s (My
brother and Haiti tour guide) up. So good to see them. I had one last task. Buy a
charger for this phone and say goodbye to Jameson. We had to drive to Croix-des-
Bouquets, Haiti to find a charger. This is where Wyclef Jean is from. As Bems
negotiated with street sellers I started to feel like myself for the first time in days.
Me and Ryan decided to ask people where we could find Wyclef. So I roll my
window down and would stop random Haitians and say: “ I wonder if you can
help me, Im looking for Wyclef Jean. Can you take us to him?.” I got the puzzled
looks I was after. Some didnt know, others said he isn’t here right now. We
amused ourselves.
Got the phone charger and back to Love at Child orphanage to deliver the mobile
phone and say goodbye. When we arrived, Jameson’s shirt was wet with pee and
he was super sweaty. Hadn’t had his teeth brushed yet either. So I gave him a
bed bath, took like 600 more pics with him and said good-bye. I felt okay with it.
He loved his new phone. Thank You Brookswood congregation!!!!!!!!!
As we left I dumped off the rest of our literature. There was no time so I asked 2
young Haitian guys to deliver these brochures and about 500 tracts tent to tent
and they jumped at the opportunity. I’ve got an awesome clip of them handing
them out to each person.
Good bye Fond Parisienne, Good Bye Jimani. The cherry on the sundae was as
we drove out of Jimani, we saw Trastama my “no blood guy” on a park bench just
outside the Jimani hospital reading the bible teach book. Said goodbye for the
4th time and set off. Arrived at home, at 1am.
Exhausted? Just a bit.
Most brothers keep saying what a service we did to our Haitian brothers and we
did. It was such a privilege to be used by Jehovah. (Sidenote: I never met a JW
volunteer all week who was not in the full-time service, although there had to be
at least one. EVERYONE I rubbed shoulders with was a special or regular
pioneer. So if you want to be used by Jehovah to the max, guess what?) But I
don’t remember any names of theirs. (The Haitian brother we helped) I look at the
pictures and they are sort of fuzzy memories. I guess its speaks volumes as to the
amazing job the coordinating brothers did to get our dear brothers the heck out
of Jimani as quick as possible. My biggest bonds were made with the non-witness
patients that I got to know and witness to. And i’ve got a really good feeling about
some of them. I know a seed was planted. And I hope to not lose contact. To say
that dozens invited myself and a few others to visit them in Haiti later on would
not be an exaggeration. And I plan to.
This was an emotional roller coaster. At one point you’d be talking to a victim and
they’d be telling you how they were personally affected and who they lost etc. 2
minutes later. You forgot what they said. There were just too many people with
tragic stories. Sounds cold but its true. We are all looking forward to Jehovah
doing what he promises in Isaiah 65:17: “I am creating a new earth...the former
things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart.”
Oddly enough, I wrote this insane 8 day experience out as quick as I did so that I
wouldn’t forget any details. But I'm not sure I could or would want to. It was such
a faith strengthening experience. We saw Jehovah’s had thru-ought this whole
ordeal. He carried us and our lovely Haitian brothers through it. And it confirmed
that we are the only group on earth that enjoy Jehovah’s blessing and approval.
Thanks again for all your kind and upbuilding comments and your generosity.
With those who contributed so generously, we couldn’t have helped without you
and you couldn’t have helped so directly with us.
In closing, please include the names of these specific people in your prayers. And
on a personal note Jameson Denis."
Warm Christian Love,
Br. S.


Reported by Br. S., himself.

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Slide Show* -Over 90 Pictures

*Children, please, allow your parents to view the slide show FIRST.

Friends, the slide show is current...which will bring you tears of joy and love of brotherhood.
As you know, we cannot be there...donations is a grand way to show your appreciation...see your Congregation Secretary for information.

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Day 14

Haiti Quake - Day 14

It has now been two weeks since the disaster. We heard on the news that they succeeded in pulling out another survivor from the rubble. This is four days after the authorities declared an official end to search and rescue operations on January 22, 2010. Haiti is no longer a hot item in newspapers and televised news. Reporters are pulling out and moving on to other stories elsewhere. The constant roar of C-130 and C-5 military cargo planes flying over our heads we have been hearing is no longer there.

However, as for the relief effort being accomplished by Jehovah and his organization, it is moving forward and continuing to care for the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Today, two more trucks of relief supplies arrived via the Dominican Republic. Two members of the Dominican Republic Branch Committee were on the trucks to offer their assistance. They accompanied us as we went into the city of Port-au-Prince to visit two of our regional relief centers at our Kingdom Halls. Despite the sorrow and challenges that our brothers and sisters are dealing with, we sensed their feelings of joy and security. Families are peacefully sitting together, some are preparing food, some are reading their Bibles together. They are so grateful for a safe place to sleep, as the majority of the homes of our brothers and sisters we visited were either destroyed or are unsafe to inhabit.

Reported by

Day 13

...busy in the relief work...see Day 14...

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Day 12

...busy in the relief work...see Day 14...

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Day 11

Haiti Quake - Day 11

Brothers and sisters who are medical professionals helping an injured patient

There were some really beautiful developments that happened today in the relief efforts here at the Branch. Many of you have been expressing in your e-mail messages to us that you appreciate the regular updates, so here is the latest from Day 11.

Six vehicles arrived in a convoy from Santo Domingo today. Another group of brothers from Jimani also came over to help us. Over 20 tons of relief supplies were delivered to us today, including food and medical supplies. A satellite dish and components for an additional Internet connection was lent to us for the relief effort, and a group of five brothers traveled in with the equipment from Santo Domingo to assist with the installation and configuration of the system. This will help us to improve communications with World Headquarters and other branch offices that have been involved with the relief work.

Now that our Internet service is working better, I have started to post some photos on our site. You have no doubt seen many images of the damage that has resulted due to the earthquake, as presented by the media. Even though I will show a bit of what we see near the Branch, I will try to accentuate the relief efforts that are being accomplished to help our brothers affected by the devastation.

Reported by

Day 10 information, yet...

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Haiti Quake - Day 9

A convoy of five vehicles left Santo Domingo early this morning to bring in more relief supplies, including mattresses, rice, salted fish and other food products. Two of the vehicles carried a group of 12 nurses that flew in from Guadeloupe to assist with the medical relief team. They also brought with them tents, as they learned that rooming arrangements were extremely limited. It will actually be their first time to sleep in a tent tonight, as camping is not common here in the Caribbean, yet they are willing to do it to offer their assistance and not place a burden on the support services here.

One of the largest food distributors in the country has been able to supply the Branch with some items for the relief effort. Yesterday we were able to purchase from them bottled drinking water, salt, pasta and other basic food items to be included in the kits. The supplier is selling for cash only right now, however has made an exception for Jehovah's Witnesses and allows us to take the supplies on credit. "I can trust the Witnesses, I know they will pay," said the owner. "Everyone else says they will pay, but never do." While the Branch was picking up the supplies, there were and additional 10 cases of bottled water sitting near the door. When asked if they were available too, the owner informed our purchasers that they were reserved for another customer. After a few of minutes however, he changed his mind and gave them to the Witnesses. "I know you are doing good work and will make sure this water helps ones in need," he said.

An accumulated total of 70,076 daily food rations have been delivered to our regional relief centers to date.

Reported by

Day 8

Haiti Quake - Day 8

A brother who is an orthopedist helping a young injured boy

We wish to thank each and everyone of you that has sent us words of comfort and encouragement, knowing that you are keeping our brothers and sisters here in Haiti in your prayers. We are still unable to answer personally your e-mails due to the immense work load involved with the relief effort. We offer you again a brief update on the situation here.

Eight days after the original earthquake, at 6:03 AM this morning the strongest aftershock measuring magnitude 5.9 struck Haiti. It was felt by all in the Port-au-Prince area, which made many run out of their homes and rooms into the open areas for safety.

At the Branch, the survival kits are continuing to be prepared. Today, there were 9,972 daily food rations that were either delivered to or picked up by congregations needing help. This brings the total to 62,424 rations delivered to date.

The medical volunteers from Europe (AidAfrique) arrived today. Another brother and myself traveled to the border to meet them, and guide their convoy of four vehicles to the Branch. Upon arrival, they met with our relief committee, then the medical volunteers from the Dominican Republic who made the transfer of files and patients, after which our brothers and sisters from the Dominican Republic started their trek back home. Tomorrow, 14 nurses are expected to arrive from Guadeloupe as support to the Aide Afrique team. A mobile operating block will also be arriving via the Dominican Republic tomorrow. Our brothers who are surgeons and anesthesiologists are standing by.

On Tuesday, two of our trucks made trips to deliver aid in the areas outside of Port-au-Prince near the epicenter: Merger, Gressier, Léogane, Grand Goave, Petit Goave, Jacmel and Cayes-Jacmel. On the way back they were able to pickup two injured in Léoagne and bring them back to our medical relief center working around the clock here. The drivers report that the brothers and sisters receiving such aid have expressed much gratitude for the help and relief that Jehovah's organization is providing.

The efforts made by Jehovah's people to get aid to fellow worshipers and their neighbors has touched many non-Witnesses. In the regional relief center of Gressier, one man said "It seems there really is a true religion." Another man remarked as he observed the food and survival supplies being unloaded at a local Kingdom Hall, "Now that's what you call a religion! People helping each other."

Despite the difficult conditions, reports from the regional relief centers indicate that the brothers are keeping a positive attitude. In most centers the daily text from Examining the Scriptures Daily is considered together. Local elders arrange for meetings and tirelessly work to encourage the congregation members gathered there. Many of our brothers have commented that they now know what Jesus meant when he said there would be earthquakes in one place after another during the last days. Others have said: "Now we know we really are part of an international brotherhood."

Back in 2004 and again in 2008, the city of Gonaives was victim to multiple hurricanes and tropical storms which left much devastation and death. On both occasions the brothers and sisters there received rapid relief from the Branch and nearby congregations. They now felt moved to give back. Unannounced, the brothers from Gonaives arrived at the Branch on Monday with a gift shipment of flour, rice, gasoline, vegetables and cooking oil. This arrival lifted the spirits of many working at the Branch, especially since the kitchen had just run out of flour that day!

We feel empowered by the strength of Jehovah's spirit guiding us in the aftermath of this disaster. Please continue to keep your brothers and sisters here in Haiti in your prayers.

Your friends,

John & Marie

Reported by

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Day 5

Haiti Quake - Day 5

Delivering supplies to a Kingdom Hall that serves as a Regional Relief Center

It is now late Sunday night, and after reading some of the many e-mail messages you have sent us (over 700 showed up in my Inbox after we started to get an Internet connection yesterday), I thought that it be best that I post a brief report on some of the relief operations that have been going on.

The large open air Assembly Hall located on the Branch property in Santo is serving as a base for our relief operations since the earthquake on Tuesday. A relief committee was immediately established after the event, and provides the coordination and direction for all relief operations. The disruption of communication services (telephone, mobile phone & Internet) for the first four days complicated the challenge of determining the needs and offering assistance for our brothers and sisters. Due to that, It was necessary to drive 1 ½ hours to the border town of Jimani twice a day to be able to establish contact to the outside during the critical hours after the earthquake.

Our worldwide brotherhood responded immediately, and aid to the victims was extended. To date, we have received 22 tons of relief supplies. Intense effort by 20 members of the Bethel family, Ministerial Training School students, and other volunteers was combined to prepare care packages for the needy. Today, food provisions for 620 persons were sent out to selected Kingdom Halls. This makes a total of 8,580 people fed to-date under the relief operations.

Dozens of volunteers are helping also to care for the injured victims in a section that serves as a clinic. Today, the clinic treated 48 patients, bringing the total to 170. We presently have 9 medical doctors and 12 nurses that are Jehovah's Witnesses that have traveled into Haiti to offer medical care. Several Branch Offices have offered additional assistance to care for the injured.

Seven more patients were evacuated today to the town of Jimani in the Dominican Republic, where hospital centers are treating the injured, making a total of 32 patients that we have sent there since Day 1. A group of brothers and sisters from different parts of that land have volunteered to come to this town to identify and assist any Jehovah's Witness patients that arrive from across the border, and ensure that they receive needed care.

On a sad note, the loss of life among our brothers has now risen to 117, with another 21 reported missing.

We thank you for your expressions of love and interest you show towards our dear brothers and sisters here in Haiti, and mostly we thank you for the prayers you offer to Jehovah on our behalf!

As time permits, we will give you more updates and share some interesting experiences and stories.

Love, John & Marie

Reported by

Day 4

Haiti Quake - Day 4

Regional Relief Center - Cite Cadet Kingdom Hall

Now 96 hours after the earthquake. Marie and I are well and safe. I am on my 8th trip to the Dominican Republic border town of Jimani, transporting injured brothers and sisters, and maintaining communications with our brothers in the Dominican Republic Branch who are helping enormously in our relief support.

I am bringing back into Haiti our 9th medical doctor, a brother who flew in from the USA to offer his assistance. We also have 11 nurses that have traveled in to work with the doctors. Over 120 persons have been treated at our first aid center, set up in our Assembly Hall.

A relief committee has taken charge of the situation and is involved in sending out food packages to our brothers and sisters in yards of Kingdom Halls in the Port-au-Prince area.

All of our missionaries are reported well, and actively offering their assistance to injured friends in their territory.

This is my first occasion to contact many of you who have written over the last few days, as our Internet connection is now available. We thank you so much for your love and interest in our brothers and sisters, and your prayers.

Love, John & Marie

Report by

Eight Days Later...

We wish to thank each and everyone of you that has sent us words of comfort and encouragement, knowing that you are keeping our brothers and sisters here in Haiti in your prayers. We are still unable to answer personally your e-mails due to the immense work load involved with the relief effort. We offer you again a brief update on the situation here.

Eight days after the original earthquake, at 6:03 AM this morning the strongest aftershock measuring magnitude 5.9 struck Haiti. It was felt by all in the Port-au-Prince area, which made many run out of their homes and rooms into the open areas for safety.

At the Branch, the survival kits are continuing to be prepared. Today, there were 9,972 daily food rations that were either delivered to or picked up by congregations needing help. This brings the total to 62,424 rations delivered to date.

The medical volunteers from Europe (Aide Afrique) arrived today. Another brother and myself traveled to the border to meet them, and guide their convoy of four vehicles to the Branch. Upon arrival, they met with our relief committee, then the medical volunteers from the Dominican Republic who made the transfer of files and patients, after which our brothers and sisters from the Dominican Republic started their trek back home. Tomorrow, 14 nurses are expected to arrive from Guadeloupe as support to the Aide Afrique team. A mobile operating block will also be arriving via the Dominican Republic tomorrow. Our brothers who are surgeons and anesthesiologists are standing by.

On Tuesday, two of our trucks made trips to deliver aid in the areas outside of Port-au-Prince near the epicenter: Merger, Gressier, Léogane, Grand Goave, Petit Goave, Jacmel and Cayes-Jacmel. On the way back they were able to pickup two injured in Léoagne and bring them back to our medical relief center working around the clock here. The drivers report that the brothers and sisters receiving such aid have expressed much gratitude for the help and relief that Jehovah’s organization is providing.

The efforts made by Jehovah’s people to get aid to fellow worshipers and their neighbors has touched many non-Witnesses. In the regional relief center of Gressier, one man said “It seems there really is a true religion.” Another man remarked as he observed the food and survival supplies being unloaded at a local Kingdom Hall, “Now that’s what you call a religion! People helping each other.”

Despite the difficult conditions, reports from the regional relief centers indicate that the brothers are keeping a positive attitude. In most centers the daily text from Examining the Scriptures Daily is considered together. Local elders arrange for meetings and tirelessly work to encourage the congregation members gathered there. Many of our brothers have commented that they now know what Jesus meant when he said there would be earthquakes in one place after another during the last days. Others have said: “Now we know we really are part of an international brotherhood.”

Back in 2004 and again in 2008, the city of Gonaives was victim to multiple hurricanes and tropical storms which left much devastation and death. On both occasions the brothers and sisters there received rapid relief from the Branch and nearby congregations. They now felt moved to give back. Unannounced, the brothers from Gonaives arrived at the Branch on Monday with a gift shipment of flour, rice, gasoline, vegetables and cooking oil. This arrival lifted the spirits of many working at the Branch, especially since the kitchen had just run out of flour that day!

Personal Update

From John and Inez Norman Haiti Branch

:-) Hello!!

The following is what I wrote yesterday--forget am losing track of the
days. Just been informed that over a 100 of our brothers have died as a
result of the quake and no doubt it will rise as time goes by--today is
really the last day to get anyone out alive.

The branch prepared 700 bags providing basics for 2800 meals. Seriously
injured are being transported the a border town hospital--Jimini and
even now they are maxed out n are now transporting them to
Barahona--about 50 miles from the Haitian border. I know one person had
a broken back, another a broken hip, etc. Awful!

Well back to work--please let me know if you get this! luv i

Personal Account

On Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 1:51 AM, Dong
Hi brothers,

I just got in contact with John Goode from the Haiti Branch who told me to announce you that at this time, 7:40 PM local time in Haiti, the Bethel Branch and the MTS students are doing fine where they are located in Santos, Port au Prince. At this time, there´s no report of injuries and no structural damages as the buildings are made to sustain earthquakes and hurricanes.

However, the brothers at the Branch are worry about the situation of the local brothers near the epicenter of the earthquake in Carrefour. There´s one report so far of a witness family with 3 children that are under rubble near the Branch. The brothers are actively searching for them as this report is being made.They fear that more sad reports will reach the Branch as time goes by...

We ask you at this time to pray for the brothers in Port au Prince so that Jehovah´s Spirit can strengthen their faith and love in this difficult time. Keep comforting the families in your respective circuit and congregation in your area..


Personal Account

Firstly, thank you for your loving concern n prayers! We are about 75
at the branch right now n everyone is FINE--right now busy as bees
preparing food n clothing, etc for the many brothers that are homeless,
n injured n in a bad state!.

We have had reports of brothers slightly injured, seriously injured n
dead n missing in the heavily populated areas of PAP--PAP as you may
have seen on CNN is reduced to dust n ruins. Our immediate area n
Cr-de-Bouquet seems to have weathered it pretty good. Have had no
reports of death in our neighbourhood--I haven't seen any houses in dust
on the ground--a few fences have fallen--but is about all on our
street. However, on the road to Cr-d-Bouquets--a new bldg that was 3
stories high is now zero stories high.

When the earthquake hit--I was in the laundry throwing in clothes in a
washer--when a deafening roar surrounded us--then the floor literally
heaved like waves n the washing machines swayed to the right n left--at
first the whole bldg swayed n with us grasping things to stand upright n
run--3 of us were there n I screamed for them to run out n stand in the
doorways--than when it stopped moving--which seemed forever--we ran out
on the grass in the courtyard--the sister standing next to me was
shaking like a leaf--I just hung to her for awhile till she stopped.

John was in the office--thrown to the floor spread eagle and couldn't
get up--crawled up to the doorway n managed to get up n hang on--as did
Robin n Daniel.

Some lighter moments too--Eveyln Thibodeau was watering plants n trees
down by the old Kitchen n our watch dog Wally started shaking all over n
become extremely agitated--she was trying to calm him down when it
hit--then all of sudden she saw frantic students streaming out from the
Dormitory--stark naked--as they were showering for supper. It was a
terrifying moment for all!!

Terrifying is not adequate to described the fear--Paul Rozon ran outside
the kitchen area in time to see the entire structure sway to the right n
left. Amazingly--the following day--the bldg was inspected n there were
no cracks!! Hurray for Design/Bld who insisted on all that steel--PAP
is in total ruins--haven't been out but the reports are bad--on
Delmas--City Bank reduced to the ground n so many others.

Had reports this morning from all our missionaries n foreign special
pioneers from Guadeloupe/Martinque n they are fine--if not a look shook
up. Wilburns in Leogane had part of their missionary home destroyed--so
they arrived at Bethel last night. Yakibonges n Grooms are find--about
3 miles from Bethel--Sabrina Y was able to phone home to Italy this
afternoon n reassure her mother (not in the Truth) that they were fine.
Her mother already had time to phone Bethel n the army!

At present we have the 13th MTS school going n those from Carrefour n
heavy populated areas have had deaths either the in the family or cong.
Some have not been accounted for--Br Phillippeaux over in Bon Repos lost
his only son--at university--haven't found the body--so the parents are
in deep mourning! Relief supplies arrived from DR this morning n by 2
p.m. trucks were ready to make deliveries to Pouplard n Delmas Nord.

We suspect not a few of our young brothers and sisters attending
universities may have died when those buildings crashed to the grounds
with everyone in them. One nice experience--one sister was scheduled to
attend a lecture on psyschology n she decided she did not want to hear
that stuff. As soon as she got outside the entire structure collapsed
before her eyes!

...Now if any want to attend university--they will have to move
to another country--as all their bldgs crashed to the ground!! And
believe me--their parents will work to send them there--that is the god
they have confidence in--Jehovah is kinda of a sideline one.

Very sad moments--Robin buried a 14 year old sister last night--she
considered him like her father as her parents are divorced--the sister's
only child. He had to run around n find a casket n she was buried last
night. We cannot even imagine the parents' anguish nor loss. We have
had many sessions of tears--we will be grieving until the New World!!
Her mother was a trooper through it all!!

Bottom line is Haiti is FINISHED--received its final death knell--this
literally killed the country. However, our brotherhood is as strong as
ever--had 3 deliveries already from the DR Branch--they sent us a doctor
n a emergency clinic has been set up in the class room behind the
assembly hall.
Jehovah really does take care of us!! Monday we had propane n diesel
deliveries--without the usual paper transaction, cheques n requisitions,
etc. (which they usually adamantly demand!--providing Bethel with a
month's supply.

Also, we had a 40' container come in with lit on Monday n it was quite a
challenge for the driver to maneuver that load in our little
driveway--we suddenly realize our little Bethel is growing into a major

Tuesday afternoon John had me taking pictures on the marks on the lawn
where the truck last week had to go up over the curbs n lawn to drive
out of the yard. Said to do the same thing on the following day as that
is when it was scheduled to be picked up. About an hour later the truck
showed up n he drove the trailer out of the yard around 3:30 pm. At 5
p.m two hours later--the earthquake hit n had that container been here
it most like would have caused major damage n turned over, etc. Most of
the family n students n volunteers spent the nite camped out on that
driveway. Happily for us it didn't rain!!

We have our Construction Overseer from Brkln here along with his
wife--Charles n Jennifer Snyder--plus great const workers--from
Canada--Rozons, Bellerives (Lisa n Sylvain) Thibodeeault's, etc. We
have all the PRACTICAL people on hand! Some 'accident'why they are here
at such a critical moment--why we know Jehovah n his angels are running
this work!!Another light moment.
One Canadian couple arrived from Canada--International Volunteers--a
tile layer as we are presently doing remodels in the old residence. After
Terrie West showed him the their room in the new Extension they were
enthralled. Brother said it was the best accommodations they have ever
had doing IV work. About two minutes later--the whole...bldg was
shaken to n fro--as the earthquake hit. Nonetheless, undeterred--said
they were happy to here n help out! Only Jehovah's people respond like

Afterward--I was so keyed up--I worked till 2 a.m. n then crashed in
our bed--at that point was so exhausted didn't care about anything--said
if I'm gonna die--gonna do it comfortably it our own bed. Earlier John
tried to convince me to sleep upstairs then his office--but I refused.
He slept in the office. But Charles Snyder reassured me that the bldg
was safe n could certainly withstand any aftershocks--which by the way
we are still experiencing n are still nerve wracking!!

So that is about it folks! As soon as possible shall fire some photos
off to you!! Telephones are off n on--we have an Internet service--so
that is wonderful as don't think we would be able to communicate otherwise.
Warmest love n hugs to you all.

John n Inez

PS Susan may have forwarded this already--but this evening 3 more
doctors arrived DR--I do believe quite a number of brothers have died or
are 'missing' from Carrefour--a very densely populated part of
PAP--sadly--many young ones at schools or universities!