Friday, November 5, 2010

Hasta La Vista Tomas

The NHC says Tomas will be moving through the Windward Passage in a few hours meaning, as a far as I can tell, that this is over. In our neighborhood in Port-au-Prince all we experienced is a little rain, no wind, no lightning.

This morning Delmas 75 was nearly deserted, very little traffic. Only one machann was out. Normally this street is packed with vendors and people going about their day. But it was so empty.

Many people have told us you can tell whether or not it is safe to be out based on the machann's. So when I ran an early morning errand I took note. I kept expecting something to happen; for the rain to become torrential, for the wind to blow with furry. Despite the ominous skies and the disaster predicted by so many nothing happened.

It is now 2:30 and our biggest problem is that the schools generator is out of diesel and we are trying to conserve power. When all is considered that is a good problem to have.

For me there are big take-aways from Tomas. First, the situation in Haiti was and is extremely precarious. It is that way because aid organizations and the international community have responded poorly to the needs of the most affected here. More temporary homes (wooden that can last 3-5 years) need to be built. More skilled-aid workers are needed to implement public health plans. Haitian bureaucrats need training to one day be able to do these things themselves. More coordination is needed by groups trying to do meet needs. More! More! More!

It is not another remarkable disaster that is going to further harm this country but a poor effort by us at meeting its needs now. Illnesses happen, but the do not become epidemics if you have good sanitation and an effective public health system. Hurricanes are going to affect this country but they won't be as catastrophic if people are not living underneath layers of tarps, tents and bed sheets.

Secondly, based on this experience I once again am affirmed of the power of prayer. I will explore this more in a later post, but I am convinced that the intercession by so many believers around the world had an impact. However, to tie it to the previous point; I wish that the same effort that believers put in praying against disaster would be put in praying for restoration and reconciliation of the world now! For the restoration of Haiti physically, spiritually, politically, economically and socially. 



  1. Hi Ben and Katie, I've been reading for a while but have not commented because I'm usually holding a sleeping baby while I read. After reading this post, I'll commit to 30 days of prayer for Haiti, praying for "the restoration of Haiti physically, spiritually, politically, economically and socially." Starting today. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I live in Dallas and went to Baylor so it's been fun to read your blog.

  2. I, too, read often and sometimes share blog posts on FB. We pray for your ministry there, and we have supported a child through Compassion for many years. Still, it is good to know more ways to pray. Often I love more specific needs but God is teaching me that a generic prayer is good overall praying for Haiti in the ways you mention are just as specific.

  3. I totally agree with both of your points.... When I read the post about the precarious nature of Tomas I thought WOW LOOK AT GOD ANSWERING PRAYERS. We are still praying... Missy



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