Hat tip– again– to R.D. on this one for following this tragedy so closely. Forwarded is a multi-update from Fr Gregory Williams from different parts of the Mission in Haiti and the tragedy there. You can also follow more on the mission at http://www.haitianorthodoxmission.org/.
Thanks be to God, we have now at least some kind of contact with all our people in Haiti. By inference, at least, everyone is accounted for. Some injuries, some building damage, but no deaths or total destruction for us. For others….
Herewith the latest, all found when I got back to the office after church today:
From Lucien, parish secretary at St. Augustine’s:
The church and the faithful at St. Augustine’s are well. They have lost family members at Jacmel and PaP. Now it’s trauma, stress, frustration. Some local fissures at St. Augustine’s. We just finished reading the service. The southwest part of the Hotel Cyvadier-Plage is broken down. Nearly all the houses have fissures. Fr. Amboise is well; I don’t have information about his family.
Let us mobilize ourselves in prayer!
From Bill Carter:
I have sent a runner to Butt Boyer and I have good new, then some bad news and then again some good.
No-one has been hurt on the property, but the main house has collapsed and in rubble. The good news is your house in still standing. Apparently a woman answered the gate and I’m not certain where anyone living in the house has relocated, but there is someone there. If you need me to pass on a message I can do that.
Things here are beginning to get worse and already violence has flared in ares and thieves are on the move. Please pray for the safety of both Morning Star and Holy Angels.
I’m sure we’ll be in contact again real soon.
From Nicolas, parish warden and headmaster at St. Augustine’s:
Good afternoon, Father! I am truly sad, papa, in these days. Our country is on the route to disappearance. We have lost many friends and close ones of our relatives at Port-au-Prince. Mikael and Philippe were saved by the grace of God. They both have injuries, Philippe far more serious. Mikael and Philippe were lodging in the same place in a house, which was totally destroyed. They have already found 45,000 dead at Port-au-Prince. There are many more in the rubble; according to our information here possibly as many as 200,000 dead. At Jacmel, at present, they have recorded more than 2,000 dead. We have many friends, school-children, who have been found dead in the direction of the city of Jacmel. At the moment of the earthquake, I was at ICOSA (St. Augustine’s School), in the office, but God saved my life; I looked death in the face. We have damage at the school, at the church, and to the apartment under construction above the office. We are continually uneasy because of the little tremors which continue each day, every 2-3 hours. Philippe is still on his sick-bed. Mikael is making efforts [I don’t know what he means by this]. After the earthquake, there was no transport. Mikael, Philippe, Edgar [another parishioner] and other students from the are had to return to Jacmel on foot [about 50 miles from where they were living]. It took them three days, but thanks be to God they made it back. Many houses damaged or entirely destroyed at Cyvadier, but no deaths. There are wounds, grieving for close ones. I spoke with Fr. Amboise and Tines (his house is destroyed). The university where I studied is completely destroyed, many students dead. The capital of Haiti is completely destroyed, the town of Jacmel partially so. Many sorrows, papa — your prayers!
From Mikael (parishioner at St. Augustine’s):
Glorify Him! My papa, I am truly stricken by the earthquake. My house where I lived in Port-au-Prince is truly destroyed. I am injured, but not too seriously. I need the aid of your prayers. For the moment I am at Jacmel. All my belongings were lost.
To those of you who have already responded with funds as well as prayers in this crisis, our heartfelt thanks. And to all of you, a reminder that this is not a “today” crisis, but a disaster which will require years for anything resembling recovery. We have received already one indefinite $200/month pledge in response to the situation (in addition to a larger immediate donation from the same person). We need many more! Please bear in mind that the big NGOs will raise millions with our without your help. Little, perhaps none, of that will ever trickle down to be of any immediate assistance to your brothers and sisters there. Rest assured that whatever you can contribute will go directly to assist people who are your brothers and sisters. HOM has essentially no administrative overhead, apart from my travel costs.
In Christ Jesus,
Fr. Gregory Williams
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The Saint John of Kronstadt Press
The Haitian Orthodox Mission
The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation/Agape Community
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
1180 Orthodox Way
Liberty, TN 37095-4366 USA
Catalog of books & recordings: www.sjkp.org
Information on the Haitian Mission: www.haitianorthodoxmission.org
Information on Church of the Annunciation: www.annunciation.us