A mother living and serving in Haiti gives us a firsthand account of the devastation and destruction there.
Tara Livesay, mom of 7: The sun is about to come up. The aftershocks continue. Some more noticeable than others. There is no way to even begin to share the things we've heard and seen since 5:00 PM Tuesday. To do so would take hours that we don't have to give right now. Some of them feel wrong to tell. Like only God should know these personal horrible tragedies.
The few things we can confirm: Yes, the four-story Caribbean Market building is completely demolished. Yes, it was open. Yes, the National Palace collapsed. Yes, government buildings nearby the Palace collapsed. Yes, St. Joseph's Boys' Home completely collapsed. Yes, countless, countless -- countless other houses, churches, hospitals, schools, and businesses have collapsed. There are buildings that suffered almost no damage. Right next door will be a pile of rubble.
Thousands of people are currently trapped. To guess at a number would be like guessing at raindrops in the ocean. Precious lives hang in the balance. When pulled from the rubble, there is no place to take them for care. Haiti has an almost nonexistent medical care system for her people.
I cannot imagine what the next few weeks and months will be like. I am afraid for everyone. Never in my life have I seen people stronger than Haitian people. But I am afraid for them. For us.
When the quake hit, it took many seconds to even process what was happening. The house was rocking back and forth in a way that I cannot even begin to describe. It felt fake. It felt like a movie. Things were crashing all over the house. It felt like the world was ending. I do not know why my house stands and my children all lie sleeping in their beds right now. It defies logic, and my babies were spared while thousands of others were not.
There are friends and coworkers that are missing. People whom no one can account for. People we work with and love. There are more than I can name, but in particular, we wait on one single friend who lived near the Hotel Montana -- which has reportedly collapsed. The horror has only just begun, and I beg you to get on your knees -- I truly mean ON YOUR KNEES and pray for the people of this country. The news media might forget in a few days -- but people will still be trapped alive and suffering. Pray. Pray. Pray. After that -- PLEASE PRAY.
|Tara and Troy Livesay are country directors for World Wide Village, a Minnesota-based charitable organization providing Christian education, health care, nutrition and micro-enterprise opportunities to children and families in Haiti. They have lived in Haiti for four years.|