Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti.

It has been a whole week since the earthquake happened-I can't even believe it. It's been really hard to process everything, but I think I'm finally going to try now.

The day the earthquake happened, my cousin Nikkie and I went to my little sisters school to watch her soccer practice. It seemed like a any other normal day...
My cousin and I went to the upstairs of the highschool to go to the bathroom. While we were up there, we looked out the window of the bathroom, which overlooks a part of Delmas, and started singing "You're the God of city...Greater things are yet to come in this City..." then the bathroom started to shake. I thought it was just a big truck passing by that made the bathroom shake..so my cousin and I continued singing. It then started shaking violently, so we held tight to each other and tried to walk as far as we can to the exit. The upstairs of the school rocked back and forth and I was convinced that we were going to die. We both started crying out to Jesus and tried to work our way out the door, but we were soon stopped because all the lockers fell down infront of us. We just held on to each other and prayed that Jesus would be with us. After about 10 seconds...it stopped. We ran down the stairs and people were shaking, crying, laughing- there were so many emotions.
At the time I had no clue how serious the earthquake had been. My mom, our friend Patty, Nikkie and my sister were all on the school campus and nothing happened to anyone there...so we had no clue how bad it was outside. We heard that a house had fallen accross the way, but I don't think we even began to comprehend how bad it was around the country. We were told to stay on the school campus for a while, so we waited there for about an hour or so. We decided after some time to walk home. As we began to walk home, we realized that the roads weren't as bad as we thought, so we ran back to the school and got our car.
As we drove down the street, people were crying, many were praising Jesus, others were just sitting on the side of the road with blank looks on their faces. When we arrived at our orphanage, a clinic had already started outside of the boys home. People were coming in with missing arms and legs, gashes on their heads...it was then that I realized that this earthquake was way bigger than it had appeared to be. I hadn't even walked into to the boys home yet when Dana walked up to me and said that Daphne was ingured and had broken her leg. Thats when I lost it...I ran around trying to find her while trying to pull myself together cuz I didn't want her to see me cry. After looking everywhere, I found her being put in the back of our white truck, next to another injured man that was dying. She started wailing asking either Navi or I to go with her to the hospital. Navi couldn't go, so I jumped in the back of the truck and laid next to her, trying to calm her down. All she wanted was for me so hold her close, and she slowly dosed off while we sped away to the hospital.
When we got to the first hospital, the hospital was so packed with people that they practically started another hospital outside. We waited there for a while with Daphne and the man that was dying...the sight of all those people suffering, waiting to be seen, was heartbreaking. Jonas, Willie E and I had gathered around while we were waiting to be seen and started praying for the people around us. Marval came shortly after and told us that we should try another hospital. We left the man who was dying because he was already being seen by a doctor, and tried to get Daphne to another hospital.
The next hospital was 10 times worse than the first one. There were hundreds of people laid outside the hospital waiting to be seen. The place smelled like blood. There were only 2 doctors that I saw that were trying to treat all these people. We tried to get to Daphne to the front where the doctors were...We looked around for the doctors and while we were looking for them, I saw a little boy laid out covered in blood. He couldn't have been more than 7. I just remember looking at him and having this gut, horrible feeling in my stomach. A doctor finally looked at Daphne and said that her case wasn't as serious as all the rest, so they just wrapped up her leg in cardboard and sent her home. Right before we were about to leave, I saw this lady standing infront of the little boy that I had just seen, with a blank look on her face. Willie E told me that the little boy had just died...
Everything felt so surreal and STILL feels so surreal. That night seems like a crazy blur...no one slept that night, running around, working in the clinic. It was insane.
At one point of the night, maybe around 4 in the morning, my mom came up to me with tears in her eyes and told me that our friend/co worker and sweet sister Erta was no where to be found. Her parents went to her school where she had been at and the school at collapsed. My Mom and I collapsed to the floor and wept. "It's not true...Erta can't be gone," were the thoughts that went through my head over and over again. We weren't allowed to tell any of the girls till the morning, just because all the kids had been through so much already in one day. I sat with Daphne, trying to put her to sleep, but the tears wouldn't stop. The girls kept asking me what was wrong and I couldn't tell anyone. It killed...but beside all the pain, all of us who knew had to keep pushing forward. It was the hardest night...but Jesus pulled us through.
Early in the morning the next day, right before I was about to go and tell the girls, Marval told me that he got a phone call from Erta's parents and she was ALIVE! Her and her brother who had been in the School had gotten out miraculously and were ALIVE! The Lord is SO good! It turned a painful, tragic day, into a day of hope...The Lord is so faithful.

There are so many things that have happened this week that would probably take me another three hours to write down. There are so many things and so many questions that are left unanswered. Like why did he choose us to live? Will we ever see certain people again? The only thing that we can find true hope and peace in right now, is that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is always faithful. He is doing so much and here and there is no other place that I would rather be than right here in Haiti. To God's name be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


  1. Really puts things in perspective to those of us stateside. Thanks, dear Ari, for taking the time to share your thoughts. You and your family are in our hearts and minds 24/7. Love you!!

    Doug and Kathy

  2. Ari,

    Thank you so much for posting what you wrote. That is an incredible account of what happened (you ought to write the whole story down one day). I had no idea that you guys thought Erta had died...thank You, LORD, that it was not true. She is alive!

    It's such a joy to hear that God protected and continues to provide for you guys. My family, my church, and I will continue to pray for all of you.

    Your brother in Christ,

  3. Ari, my heart breaks and rejoices with you and your family! We know many still cry out and yet what joy to see God move! I am very thankful for your accounting and imagine it helpful to share. We are contantly praying and rallying resources to respond. You will see us in due time and He will provide as only He can. I believe God is so very pleased He has entrusted such an extention of His compasson and care to the people of Haiti through you.
    Hoping and believing for Him to be known and evidenced in Haiti!!!
    Dan Bradford

  4. Ari,
    I leearned of Child Hope through our friends the Friesens whom you met in Russia. I have been so unbelievably moved by what you have written and what your father is posting. You are an incredible young woman and I have been touched by the story of how you came to Haiti and now through this tradgegy how God is with you every step of the way. God Bless you, your family, MDL, all the workers and the entire country as you move forward with God lighting the way. Your sister in Christ, Stepahnie

  5. love you ari. thank you for telling us your story. continuing to pray for you!! :)

  6. Dear Ari,
    You are my inspiration and I am so proud of you. I keep praying for you, your family, all the kids and all volunteers around you.Many blessings
    Love always,
    Gloria San Jose Daims

  7. Reading this sent chills down my spine and flash backs through my mind.
    -Actually, i had a similar experience with a friend of mine. He was in school in PAP at the time, and when he didn't show up within a couple hours I panicked. Eventually he showed up- God is good!
    Praying for you!