HOPE worldwide’s Dr. Mark Ottenweller and NYC Church of Christ Evangelist Stanley Dumornay recently traveled to Haiti to assist the Port-au-Prince church. After the quake, disciples gathered together on the church property in the Canapé Vert a region of Port-au-Prince.
Camping out in Canapé Vert
By Dr. Mark Ottenweller
Darkness falls on our Canapé Vert camp in Port-au-Prince. There is no electricity, no lights. People’s screams can be heard in the distance. Did they find a body... or are these cries of pain?
How to describe the pain, sadness and sorrow? As the sun sets, emotions creep into the dark camp and crash down like a violent thunderstorm. The earth shakes and trembles from aftershocks. Fear surges through the camp and becomes palpable. There are gunshots. Is it looting or soldiers chasing people off the streets? How to sleep in this? How do those around the camp sleep? What nightmares do they have? Will daylight ever arrive? Stanley snores, but I’m glad he can sleep.
As the roosters begin to crow, my drowsy mind continues to race. What will we find tomorrow? How will these people survive? I momentarily doze but soon wake up to singing. Every morning the disciples sing and today they are looking forward to a great message from Stanley. It is amazing and so encouraging to be here singing to God as the sun rises.
Later the children awake to milk and cereal as we set up a medical tent to care and treat the disciples’ wounds. One sister has a broken collarbone. There are no x-rays because there is no electricity, but we give her meds and a sling. Another woman was hit in the face by a large concrete block. She is now suffering with dizziness and lots of headaches. What can we do? If she gets worse we’ll have to get a scan somewhere. We’ll try to find a place...
“How to describe the pain, sadness and sorrow? As the sun sets, emotions creep into the dark camp and crash down like a violent thunderstorm.”
I feel so helpless. I pray for God to help and protect His children. God, pour out your Spirit “to bind up the broken-hearted, and comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve” as you promised in Isaiah 61. Is it possible we don’t reach out to the poor and the lost often enough because we just don’t have enough of God’s Spirit? God pour out your Spirit on us, too.
The world is a terrible place full of pain, sadness and sorrow. We all need to visit Haiti in our hearts. It enables everyone to be more radical for God as well as their service to the poor and the lost. Matthew 9-11 says we can all preach, teach and heal people, like Jesus and His disciples.
It is amazing what you can learn while camping out at Canapé Vert.
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