A good friend of mine, who has an orphan ministry in Haiti, sent me a news article today (see below) from a Miami newspaper concerning the devastation brought about by Hurricane Ike. The pastor featured in the article (Pastor Charles) works with the orphan ministry.
Let’s remember to pray for Haiti as they seek to recover from the devastation brought on by Hurricane Ike. It is in times like this that we weep with those who weep, do what we can to bring relief, pray to God to bring healing and restoration and look solely to the Cross of Christ.
For, in the face of calamitous events like this, we must keep the Cross of Christ central, for it is our only consolation and vindication.
From the Miami Paper…
Today at 12:48pm
As the wind howled and rain tore through the Haitian village of Messailler, Charles Amicy huddled on a dark staircase with his family.
Amicy and his wife tried to console the group of six children, three of them his own. As they wept, he encouraged them to pray.
As the floodwaters raged around their two-story home, they sang religious songs to help block out the screams of neighbors.
”It was the darkest night of my life,” said Amicy, 48, a Presbyterian pastor, recalling Hurricane Ike’s wrath early Sunday morning.
‘People were crying, `Save me. Save me.’ There was nothing I could do.”
The family, three orphans living with them and a maid, clung together for hours as water crept up the walls of their home.
They survived, but so many others in Messailler and the nearby poor oceanside town of Cabaret — grandmothers, pregnant women, babies — weren’t spared.
Bodies of the dead were scattered on the grounds of Amicy’s five-acre compound, a former sugar cane plantation turned religious retreat where local children learn, orphans feel loved and the faithful flock to church.
Amicy’s 10-year-old son, Allan, saw several corpses that had been dumped by the river onto the grounds of the compound.
”This has had a big impact on his life,” said Amicy, who lives in Port-au-Prince during the week and at the compound on weekends. “He cries. He doesn’t want to sleep alone.”
The horror began at 2 a.m. Sunday.
Amicy was awake, praying in his second-floor bedroom, when his 25-year-old nephew ran in, saying he heard a “big noise.”
Amicy hurried downstairs and toward the front door to peek outside. As he reached for the doorknob, he felt water on his feet, coming through the cracks of the door.
Then, the door collapsed. Water came rushing.
Amicy ran toward the first-floor bedroom where his three children, three orphans and a maid were asleep.
He ordered them all upstairs.
The children — ages 3 to 18 — were crying.
At daylight, Amicy walked outside.
What he saw, he will never forget.
”Houses washed away. There are no more walls. Everything is flattened,” he said.
“Everywhere you look, devastation.”
Toilets were flushed down the river, tires shred to pieces, tables floated away.
Also stolen by Ike: More than $300,000 in prescription drugs from the compound’s pharmacy and five vehicles used by the ministry, including a school bus, a dump truck and a van.
After assessing the damage and handing out spaghetti to hungry storm victims, Amicy knew he had to somehow get his family back to safety in Port-au-Prince.
But phone lines were dead and cellphone service spotty.
So they started walking.
Barefoot, with only the clothes on their backs, Amicy led his family up the hills, away from the water, on a four-mile walk to a main road. There, they were picked up and driven to the city.
Even after all the devastation and heartache among Haitians, Amicy’s spirit remains unfaltering.
”We will rebuild,” he said. “I don’t know how, but I know that God will help us.”