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January Earthquake Updates

1/29 YWAM Haiti update – Staggering losses

Sixteen days since the earthquake! Has it been that long? Days run together with short nights and little sleep. First there was the numbing reality of the situation, almost like a nightmarish dream you couldn’t wake up from. I think I had a bit of denial of the reality that the earthquake really happened. Yet there was no escape from the shocking reality that it was true. The destruction and death was everywhere and reported death totals were grossly underestimated. The death totals are much higher than realized. For the people who ask me how I know this, my response is simple; “Where are all the people?” There were approximately three million people in Port-au-Prince before the earthquake, 60 to 70% were left homeless, I ask again. Where are all those people now?

By the approach of the second week I was asked to serve on a committee for the organization of the refugees that were expected to flood into the city of St. Marc. We planned, we prepared but no one came. Again, where are all the people? Refugees are reported to be in big numbers in Cap Haitien, Gonaives, but in St. Marc, which is actually closer to Port-au-Prince (PAP) than either of these two cities, we’ve had no massive wave of refugees. After a week of registering victims in St. Marc that are staying in homes and churches, we have located 3,000. We are still registering refugees and feel there maybe as many as 4,000 to 6,000 currently in the city. With over 2.5 million people left homeless, where are all the people?

We are finding in PAP groupings of people in fields, streets, and city parks. They are lost; no shelter, no supplies, still trying to figure out what to do. Thank God it is the dry season. Left out in the elements during rainy season would only have led to more deaths! These victims don’t know where to go or how to get anywhere. Many are too fearful to enter their homes to retrieve precious goods, money, or legal documents due to the continued after shocks that are still felt, yes even today.

We have been scrambling to formulate plans and preparations to receive these victims that are left in PAP but with no leadership or structure, it has been difficult to accomplish a lot quickly. Yet, help is on the way! Some would be content to let the need go unanswered, but we feel a call to proclaim that this is the hour for change and we must respond! In St. Marc, YWAM has linked with the local administration, non-governmental organizations, private foundations, churches and the UN to ready the local schools as temporary housing for those who are still sleeping in parks and streets in PAP. A ship is scheduled to arrive Monday, Feb. 1st, at the St. Marc port. This shipment brings 43,000 lbs of rice, a 40′ trailer of assorted food and equipment and two 20′ trailers to assist an orphanage with food and materials to make repairs. Currently, in St. Marc, churches are being funded to feed hundreds of people daily. A once gutted and retired hospital has been re-enforced and repaired and our first medical team aided the sick just this past week.

In PAP we have located land to develop temporary communities that we will be ministering in for many days to come until the city is rebuilt and they are back on their feet. Our YWAM medical teams are treating 300 plus a day in front of the National Palace. They are also strategizing on the lay outof temporary communities and ways to further assist as they transfer from a crisis team to a relief team. By this weekend we will have 130 plus volunteers working in PAP, St. Marc, and Gonaives!

Right now we are assembling tents, 16x14ft., to be shipped in. We have 200 ordered and a team of people coming to set them up. Each tent will cost approximately $300 USD which includes shipping. The first batch of tents could arrive as early as Feb. 10th. We plan to house people in schools and churches until then. The plan is to ship another order of tents directly following this first order. We need your help to get these tents here as quickly as possible. The order was placed in faith as we know they are needed and God will hold back the rains for only so long. By giving to YWAM Haiti “Relief” you will be contributing to see these tents purchased, delivered, and set up to provide temporary shelter for one to two years!

Let us know today if you can help make this possible! Below is the information on where you could send your funds to see this effort advanced.

Taking the High Places!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

If you would like to help you could send a US dollar contribution payable to YWAM Haiti Relief:

YWAM Haiti
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501

If you would like to send funds through the internet you may give through this link;

https://www.ywam.org/secure/donations/donate.asp?project=10

For more information of what God has done in Haiti I would like to invite you to read my book, Taking the High Places

http://www.ywampublishing.com/p-1054-international-adventures-seriesbrtaking

1/24 Update from YWAM Haiti – Working nonstop

All of our full-time staff have been working nonstop for two weeks now. When the earthquake hit and we realized we were all safe here in St. Marc we kind of laughed and thought, wow! Then in minutes phones rang telling us of the devastation in PAP. For the first week those of us who were on the ground were stunned, numb emotionally and simply lost. We began to rally but it was so enormous we were all lost as to how to respond and as days went by it only got bigger and worse.

By the second week we were non stop busy implementing assistance, coordinating teams, and doing the job! Nights were long, going to bed at 1-2 a.m. and waking up at 5 a.m. unable to sleep, needing the time to do all the work.

As we enter the third week, I see a lot more groups coming together, plans formulating, long term and short term. I believe this coming week will be a week of transition. We want to move from crisis rescue to systems and goals based in long term recovery. Our frontline people need healing but they will still feel the need to get back out there and deal with the challenges and there still will be some. I believe things will slowly stabilize this week and routines leading to recovery will be seen and implemented. Many people will find this difficult as it will feel like jumping off a train that is moving 100 mph.

Please pray for all our staff and the many victims who need surgery and medical attention as it will be a crucial week, a difficult week when we will all need the wisdom, mercy and grace of God.

Taking the High Places!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

1/23/ Update from Terry – Food flights

Food found! Yesterday we found 300 sacks of rice and 50 sacks of beans for sale! We are distributing some of it to an orphanage that had none left! Food is hard to find and very expensive. We have also shipped sacks of rice and other food items through the Dominican Republic on vehicles and with Agape Flights, a mission air service flying in to Port-au-Prince (PAP). Yesterday we located 900+ refuges through the local church. These refuges have been sleeping in churches or with church members since the day after the earthquake. They have also depleted all their resources and they are hungry. We are beginning our program of giving funds to local pastors to hire cooks and purchase food in the market. This program will allow us to offer faster help and assist in keeping the economy cash flow moving, but we wonder if they will even find enough food at this time.

Cash flow is a big problem as the banks of St. Marc have not yet opened but they have been able to assist Western Union where there are lines of people waiting a block to two blocks long at every location. Many people are hungry and they have no money to purchase anything. The good news is that we saw one station receive fuel yesterday.

Victim Registration Begins in St. Marc! We have been asked by the local Haitian Administration to operate the Earthquake Victim Registration program for all earthquake victims currently living in or coming to St. Marc as refuges. We are systematically registering people by zones/neighborhoods. Currently there is an estimated 3,000 refuges in the city with hundreds still in PAP calling relatives seeking food and shelter. With this registration program we will be able to locate, track, and distribute aid as it arrives or is made available. Our list will be passed to the Haitian Administration, UN and NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) to assist their efforts to offer assistance as they can.

In churches alone, we have located 900+ earthquake victims who have no resources. Our assistance to these churches begins today. This is just one project that YWAM relief funds are contribution too.

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and giving. The need is even greater than we thought. Every day new things are being discovered and it is overwhelming. If you would like to help in a practical way through a financial contribution please make your US checks payable to YWAM Haiti and mail to; YWAM Haiti, PO Box 236, Akron, PA 17501 or give online at https://www.ywam.org/secure/donations/donate.asp?project=10.

Time is short and the crisis is still very real! Thank you for your contribution that is enabling the love of Jesus Christ to be felt through YWAM Haiti.

Taking the High Places!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

1/19 Update from Terry – Miracle rescue

Yesterday our YWAMers in Port-au-Prince came upon people seeking help and a four-month-old child was discovered pinned under a building. Our rescue team from YWAM sprang into action. After some time the child was removed from the rubble and rushed to a makeshift hospital. She had a large cut on her head, and once there everyone tried to find a relative. After asking where the baby’s mother was, the people with them said she is still under the building. The YWAMers rushed back to hear people saying that she was under the building, dead. Our YWAMers began to dig to find her. To everyone’s surprise they found her ALIVE! She was extremely dehydrated and will need hospital care but it seems she will recover!

YWAM St. Marc’s gym has become a makeshift recovery ward for the overflowing hospital. Yesterday a doctor asked one of our YWAMers “What are they going to do with all these orphans.” He claimed that none of the children at our center had known living parents and the orphanage caretaker is not in the country. “Would YWAM take these children?” he asked. One of our volunteers spoke with one young boy who was actually thought to be dead! He had already been placed in the morgue in a closed room with the dead. After placed there and the door closed, morgue workers heard a knocking on the closed door and were shocked to see that this young boy was still alive!

Strategies are forming on how to best cope and minister during this situation. It is very intense and difficult, but let us all pray for the children of Haiti.

I want to thank everyone for your giving and your prayers. They have been a source of strength and encouragement along with the presence of God with us.

Taking the High Places!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

The greatest need at the moment is money. If you would like to help you could send a contribution payable to YWAM Haiti “Relief” and mail to:

YWAM Haiti
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501

If you would like to send fund through the internet you may give through this link; https://www.ywam.org/secure/donations/donate.asp?project=10

1/17 Quake update from Terry – Organizing relief

City is beginning to Organize; Today I meet with various leaders to begin organize refugee centers. YWAM has been asked to chair the logistical support of the schools that will be transformed into temporary shelter for refuges. As a result we need a lot of management type people and maintenance volunteers.

Port of St. Marc update! I also spoke with the port today as they were sitting in front of the gate waiting to see if any ships would come. They looked pretty discouraged as the port is cleaned and empty and still no aid. They were a little encouraged when I told them a ship is soon to be loaded and come. Is it? I spoke with Caribbean Transport and today Bill Coleman, owner, suggested I do a charter of a smaller ship that could carry 20 trailers. It could be loaded quicker and move faster. He is to give me an estimated cost of shipment tonight or tomorrow. So, who would like to send a trailer of AID? We would suggest sending canned or bulk food items, wood, tin, generators, work lights, these kinds of things. If you are interested or are already in the process of putting together a trailer, you can contact Bill Coleman at cartrans@myacc.net 888-763-2999. We would suggest emailing a short note of what you want to ship and questions you may have first.

Strategy to shelter and feed 6,000 through the churches! Today I believe God gave us, YWAM and a core group of pastors, some real solution to the potential large number of refugees coming from PAP. Each church believes they could take in 50 to 60 refuges in homes or within their church buildings. They can provide the shelter but the cost for food? Yet, if we could hire cooks to come in and make food daily doing all their own purchasing of food etc in the local market, it would be very efficient and creative. This would also bring healing to the economic infrastructure of Haiti while minimizing security risk yet providing a healthier living environment for recovery. With the church members contribution of providing housing it would only cost $2 USD per person per day or $120 USD per 60 people per day.

This program is a short term solution that would end for the first wave of refuges three weeks after they arrive. At the end of the three weeks the people should have the ability to return to PAP to begin again or integrate within the city of St. Marc through job creation by some other work opportunities.

I love this program as it shares the burden with the Haitian church while also reviving the economic infrastructure that is so fragile especially with all the free aid coming in. In addition we would like to introduce medical outreach teams to the different churches to minister to the physical needs of the refuges and the church would offer invitations to uplifting song services and messages by local or missions groups.

Some 6,000 people could be impacted through this three week program with the cost of only $252,000 USD. We would like to invite people from all over the world to participate in this program. How many people could you help get back on their feet emotionally, physically and economically? One person would cost $42 USD for 3 weeks of food and housing.

If you would like to help you can send your contribution payable to YWAM Haiti marked “Relief” to YWAM Haiti, PO Box 236, Akron, PA 17501 or send through the internet by the following link https://www.ywam.org/secure/donations/donate.asp?project=10.

Taking the High Places!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

1/14 – 2 days after the Haiti Quake by Terry Snow

Dead lay in the streets, possibilities of mass burial sites talked about on the radio. People wandering the streets, city parks now filled with people camping out in them. The situation is worse than I could have imagined!

Yesterday we sent an investigative team to Port-au-Prince (PAP) to take a first hand look at the situation. I will not easily forget what Rodney Gephart and Wayne Snow said when they returned; “The situation is worse than it has appeared on TV!” My heart sank and instead of crying I felt a numbness come over me as they began telling me of the dead, the buildings that had collapsed and then to hear that they could not find any information on who is doing what as far as coordinated efforts for immediate response and long-term recovery.

Our Leadership Team went late into the night trying to assemble all the data and strategies on how to begin with assisting the victims of the earthquake of 1/12/10. Praying for strength and wisdom from God! We know He has a plan. We have seen him take us through many floods and other situations that were greater than we could bear in the past and by GOD’s grace, mercy and power we will see this through! How immeasurable is His love! Nothing is impossible concerning Him!

Today’s goals are:

  • Establish communication hub (Connect with US Embassy, coordinate with any known relief teams, communicate with volunteer teams and individuals who are emailing)
  • Establish routes to receive and send aid (money, supplies and volunteers)
  • Check out and establish staging points to house and feed volunteers (probably need portable housing)
  • Immediate response – Look for opportunities to run street soup kitchens (Use street vendors to make hot meals to give to anyone in need. Buy purified water.)
  • Prepare for Security concerns (yesterday the people were stunned, today they will be starving!)

The ground underneath me just trembled once more as I close this email and I am 60 miles away! Many people have asked how they can help. We need funds to kick in quickly. Until the shipments of additional relief supplies get open money is all we can work with. We have connections to food wholesalers in St. Marc that can assist us, but we also need to purchase vehicles to get mobile. Many vehicles were destroyed so we need to find and purchase quickly!

If you would like to get involved you may make a contribution over the internet and the following link https://www.ywam.org/secure/donations/donate.asp?project=10. If you would like to send a USA Check you may make it payable to YWAM Haiti, designate it to “Haiti Relief” and mail to:

YWAM Haiti
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501

If you are sending in a contribution we would like to hear from you immediately so we can put those funds into affect before they arrive. Please reply to this email with the amount you are sending.

Thank you!

Taking the High Places!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

The next day: Aftershocks and fear

Every 30 minutes to an hour the house rumbled and shook from the aftershocks of the earthquake that has devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince (PAP). It was hard to sleep wondering if you should run, wait or ignore it. All I could think about was the thousands that had no where to sleep in Port-au-Prince 60 miles away from our city, St. Marc.

We were up early to see the video footage and pictures of the Presidential Palace destroyed and so many other buildings we once knew. We feel in some ways as helpless as the victims in Port-au-Prince in the since of shock and not knowing what to do or where to start. Communications are still out. The airport is closed for today so we have decided to send in a observation team to see what connections they could make.

Haiti has no infrastructure much less a crisis management team. I suspect that PAP is crying even louder this morning as the reality of their situation tumbles on them.

We are thinking through how this impact will affect St. Marc and the population here. Fuel, electric communications, food and construction supplies all route through PAP. Today we are ok, but what about in a few days or week. Where are the refugees going to be going since there is little living space in PAP?

Pray for us and our observation team!

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

The quake – first report from YWAM Haiti’s Terry Snow

At 5:05pm I was sitting with our leadership team when the room began to tremble. EARTHQUAKE! We quickly realized that this was an abnormal rumbling. We have experienced minor trembles in times past but not like this one. We all bolted to the exit. Soon we saw everyone out in the center of our campus field as the earth continued to tremble. One of our walls had some plaster begin to shack loose, but then it stopped. Thank God!

The city erupted with screams and shouts! Most of our cell companies were down, electric went off, but then one of our new DTS student’s cell phone rings. People are telling him that many buildings have fallen. There is much destruction in the capital Port-au-Prince!

Due to phone communication we are unable to reach our YWAM Center in Gonaives north of us, but we feel they are most likely ok as the earthquake’s center was 10 miles south south west of Port-au-Prince.

Our survey teams we sent through St. Marc have reported back in with the good report that all looks safe in our city, St. Marc!

Let’s pray for the many people in the capital. We have received word that many housing units have collapsed and government buildings as well, but still no clear reports. Everyone only had 45 minutes before the sun set and now they are pretty well in the darkness.

Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti

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