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Driving to Port-au-Prince

We’re in Port-au-Prince tonight. Safely behind the walls of a missions compound. Our team of ten is mostly youth pastors – bloggers telling the folks back home about this trip to Haiti. Clint and I are leading it.   We woke at five to try and beat the Santo Domingo traffic. The sugarcane f…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
We’re in Port-au-Prince tonight. Safely behind the walls of a missions compound. Our team of ten is mostly youth pastors – bloggers telling the folks back home about this trip to Haiti. Clint and I are leading it.
 

We woke at five to try and beat the Santo Domingo traffic. The sugarcane field-lined roads looked good for the first few hours of our trip into Haiti today. But as we began to wind our way through assorted small towns, we found ourselves having to navigate myriad speed bumps, potholes and assorted obstacles.

 
We entered the border town of Jimani and pulled into a field hospital set up under a tent. And at that point we were thrust into the confusion and pain that is post-earthquake Haiti.

 
Rudy was lucky to live when the building fell on top of him. He escaped with a broken leg. The nurse said, “He learned to speak English by watching the TV. Ask him to sing for you.”
 
When I asked him, Rudy jumped right into a soulful rendition of “Redemption Song.”* And when we were ready to leave, he offered to pray for us.
 
In Fond Parisien, we met Pastor Prophete and toured the hospital where our medical team has been bandaging the wounded. We stopped to talk with a woman who had been trapped in the rubble for two days. She spoke in hushed tones.
 
“When our house first begin to shake, I ran for my two baby boys. I grabbed them in my arms and tried to protect them. But then the walls fell and the cynder blocks crashed against them. Both of my boys were killed.
 
I couldn’t move in the rubble and my husband thought I was dead. He ran off somewhere out of his mind. But some man heard me calling out to Jesus and eventually they dug me out and brought me here.”
 
Her husband sat behind her stoically. I asked if we could pray for them both. It took a while, but the Spirit came and began to overwhelm him. He began to moan and then wail in grief as we prayed.
 
And everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve seen that piercing grief bubbling just beneath the surface. We ended the day talking to a group of about 40 pastors. I asked if they would share some of their stories with us.
 
The first man began to share about seeing his young wife die.
 
The stories continued. One of the last pastors shared that he saw God miraculously rescue his wife, carrying her through the air away from a crashing wall.
 
Why did one die and the other live? I don’t have answers, but we’ll keep offering our consolation and prayers.
 
Tomorrow we’ll spend the day helping the survivors in Port-au-Prince. Life goes on.

Comments (7)

  • I cannot even imagine what it must have been like for these poor people, they suffered so much and grieve so much loss. i am very encouraged by these people pouring out their love to God, that is incrediable faith and trust, I wish I could have been there with them for that day just incrediable. I know God will surely hear and bless these people in love. I surely would have been there clapping and singing God,s praises and love along with them

  • How wonderful that you were able to give that man the freedom and atmosphere to grieve. What a gift. And isn’t it ironic that your wailing (as I related to it based on your blog a few back) has flipped over to this man and through it you’re able to comfort him.

    And life does go on; the Olympics Opening Ceremony is happening now; but they’ve remembered Haiti.

    Be well, be strong and be authentic as that’s what these folks need.

    Praying nightly for your group, Haiti and the WRers.

  • I was thinking the same thing, Diane….about your grieving, Seth. “….able to comfort others with the same comfort we receive from God…” Praying for you all.

  • blessing upon blessing to you all… why, indeed?… there are no answers. Only the promise that this life is not all there is… may the God of all comfort be with you and give you each mercy and strength to comfort those who mourn from such deep loss… may He work the miracle of mercy and hope and joy that only He can bring…

  • Thanks for a great update Seth- many prayers for the Lord’s strength and spirit in you as you lead the team and comfort the people.

  • This is a picture of true joy in the midst of suffering. Yes, we grieve. Yet we know the God we serve is gooooood, his love endures forever (Psalm 100 belongs to this precious man). May the Lord bless him for his continued faith and trust.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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