Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Submitted by Karen Smart
on Mon, 5 Apr 2010
The baptism was on wednesday (previous)
The Mexican flag was an activity for the primary and in the stake center.
On Sunday we took these pictures. It was awesome.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
100% of our donations went directly to LDS chapels in those cities. When I left the Stake Center on Friday night, the members were just starting to pack to the trucks. Most of them were there until 12 - 12:30 AM. Original the Stake President thought we would be okay with 3 vehicles to deliver the supplies. We had so much to take that we doubled that number to 6! According to the report from the Stake President, over 3 tons of food/supplies and 2500 liters of drinking water was distributed among the 5 cities by our caravan. At about 6 AM on Saturday morning we had a caravan of 6 vehicles and 18 people at the Stake Center ready to go. Basically, each vehicle was destined for one city. As we got to each city, the assigned vehicle would stay while the rest of us would keep moving on. I actually had the opportunity to visit all cities but one (Arauco). The round trips ranged between 11 and 15 hours - depending on which city we were assigned to - and we will all do it again if we are asked to. It was an awesome experience to see so many helping hands and happy faces. For those that would like to see some pictures of the trip, I have put a website together consisting of photos from both my camera and the Bishop's camera - I haven't received pictures from anyone else in the caravan yet. You can see those pictures here:
For those that would like to put a face to my name, I'm the blond-haired guy in this picture (my bishop is the one with the hat on):
I could sit here and tell you about all the sad things that I saw, but you get that in the news and I would rather tell you about the good things that are happening.
Chile is uniting as a whole and peoples lives are changing (most for the better). Sundays' fast and testimony meeting went about 15 minutes over without a single pause between testimonies (our average attendance is only 90 people). Faith is growing stronger, not only here but in your homes as well. People are getting to know their neighbors and friendships are being created!
Never before has the country united so strongly for such a cause. People are giving and sharing what they have. The countrywide (maybe nation or worldwide - not sure) telethon set a goal to raise approximately 30 million dollars between Friday and Saturday - at last count on March 6, the total donations received was over 60 million dollars!!! WOW! Think about that, when was the last time you saw a telethon raise more than double the amount of the goal that was set?! Yes, there is a lot of work still to be done and it will a take a while for some of the areas to get rebuilt. People are still without water and electricity, others don't even have a home, but there are a lot of good things happening and I can't help but have hope for a better tomorrow. Thanks for the many prayers that have been offered in behalf of Chile and the people here, they are being answered daily.
Tom Woodworth, Temuco, Chile
Here is where Temuco is on Google Maps:
View Larger Map
From MM Sally:
Here is just the essential part of his story:
Hola familia y amigos,
What a week it has been. First, so all know, I am fine as well as all of the missionaries in Chile, including the Elders on Easter Island and Robinson Crusoe and President May´s son in Concepción. Thanks to all who sent their love and well wishes. We truly were blessed, Elder Murdoch and I. It was a little before four in the morning when the earthquake hit. My companion had often felt little tremors during the night, but I never wake up. He looked over, wondering if I had felt it this time but obviously this time I did. We sat in our beds and I said a prayer. I do not know why but I was incredibly calm and able to peacefully offer the prayer. At the end of the prayer, the earthquake had stopped. It was very very violent and powerful and exaggerated by our location: we live on the 9th floor of a thirteen floor building. I will never forget the feeling of being thrown back and forth as the whole building was jerking every which way. I was able to be calm even though I was thinking, waiting, for the building to collapse. I was sure it was going to happen and just waiting for it. My companion said the only thing he was thinking was: "is it going to collapse or is it going to fall on the side." I personally was just waiting for the abrupt feeling of the building collapsing straight down to the ground. Believe it or not, whether we are crazy or not, we did not leave the building. I do not know why thinking back, but the building seemed to have survived just fine without damage, as has been confirmed. Several things fell in the apartment. Considering we are missionaries, there are not many things in the house to fall besides books. The biggest things that fell were a door that was already off the hinges and the camping stove we have in the kitchen. The stove falling was very very loud. I had recently cleaned the stove rigorously, not having been cleaned for a life time, and I turned off the propane tank. On Friday night, Elder Murdoch was going to cook some soup but at the last minute, he lost all desire to eat, and never turned the gas to the propane tank on. If the connection from the tank to the stove top had been open, there probably would have been an explosion. There were a few other things, like bottles and vases that were very close to falling but stopped on the edge of the shelves, like a perfect goal in paper football. The refrigerator moved a few feet and miraculously the microwave above did not fall. Not a single dish in the apartment broke.
After the initial earthquake, we called the district leader, sang the hymn "Master, the Tempest Is Raging/Paz Calmense," said a prayer, read from the emergency plans in the area book, and shortly afterwards, we went back to sleep. Elder Murdoch was nervous, understandable, and could not sleep well but for some reason I was just fine and thought about Jesus Christ on the boat with His apostles in the sea of Galilea. He slept through the tempest peacefully, without problem, so I figured to do the same thing--granted a boat is different than an apartment building :) -Elder Daniel Squire, Santiago North Mission
From Rob Mangels:
My son wrote in his letter that his first thought was to go to the bathroom as he had been raised in LA. where we have hurricanes and that is where we are encouraged to go. In fact we spent one night all huddled in the bathroom while riding out Hurricane Andrew in "92". Well that didn't work out to well as the sink fell off the wall and blocked his way in so he went back to the beds and grabbed his companion and they knew what they had been taught and they knelt and prayed together until the quaking stopped. I'm not bragging just telling you his story. When the quaking stopped they grabbed their wallets and hurried outside into the night along with everyone else. Again, having had experience with disasters such as hurricanes I knew that after such events that power is out and communication is down and everything else is in chaos. So I knew that when the opportunity came that we would hear from our son. We didn't hear from him but later that evening on the day of the quake his Mission Presidents wife sent a short email letting us know that all missionaries were safe except for the ones on two islands off the coast. A couple of days later they reported in and all was well. So as that one Brother said that if we just sit back and wait on the Churches plan to be able to get into action we will get the information that we want to hear. We just have to trust in the Lord.
From Jolene's son:
This is from our son in the Vina del Mar mission. He is a zone leader in the Bolleto zone.
3:30 AM - Villa Alemana, Chile (Rumble, Rumble) Elder Stratford: Elder Pleytéz, do you feel that? Elder Pleytéz: Yeah...that´s actually pretty strong RUMBLE RUMBLE CRASH Elder Stratford : Oh my gosh... Prrcskkkk CRACK! Elder Pleytéz: It´s getting stronger!!! ***Elder Stratford jumps off the top bunk and fumbles to get under the door frame SNAP!*** Elder Straford : Elder Pleyte´z get under the door frame! Now! **House comes to life, and starts to dance Hip Hop****Elder Pleytéz stumbles to the door frame*** Alright well I was going to try and write it like I story but I can´t accurately describe it. Goodness gracious that earthquake was intense. Here´s what went down. We were sleeping...and I woke up because the bed was moving. I thought Elder Pleytéz was just moving in his sleep, but then It start moving stronger and I realized that it was not Elder Pleytéz. We stayed in bed for like ten seconds until we realized, this thing wasn´t just some tiny little quake. I flew out of my bed to get under the door framed and yelled at my companion to do the same. I stood on one side of the door frame, and my comp stood on the other side, and we put our hands on each other´s shoulders to support ourselves. The house started throwing a tantrum. We were sure the house was going to fall to pieces because it was shaaaking, and violently. As soons as I got under the door frame I said in a raised voice "Heavenly Father, please..." I kind of caught myself off guard saying it, I was almost like a little child yelling for his mother. However, my instincts shouted for a divine help, I think even an athiest would have. Like I said, we were almost sure the house was going down. We were up on the second story and couldn´t decided whether we should try and make it down the stairs, we didn´t because we figured it´d be better to fall on top of everything rather than have everything fall on top of us. So we stayed their under the door frame. I had a minor preoccupation, I was only in my [underwear] as this was happening, so I imagined myself standing on top of a pile of rubble in the street, in just my [underwear]. That would have been slightly awkward.
Eventually the shaking stopped, and miraculously the house did not fall. There weren´t any serious damage to the house either. After the shaking stopped, we realized that our cell phone didn´t have any more minutes to call our zone, so that worried us. We remembered that a member had offered us a minutes card a few days back, they only lived around the corner. So we took off at like 3:45 Am into the street to the members house. We got there, asked how she was and everything, she was fine. We asked her if she could give us the minutes card so we could call the other missionaries, however she didn´t have it, and the phones were all dead anyways. At that point we couldn´t decided whether we should run to all the missionaries pensions, or wait a little bit. We went back to our apartment and prayed to ask what to do. We felt that they were all fine and that it wouldn´t be a good idea to set out into the night at 4 am, especially because the street lights were out. Everyone was out in the street flipping out. So then we tried to go back to sleep, however our nerves were a little jumpy, and there was little aftershocks like every 3 minutes, and every time their was one our hearts jumped. It was hard to sleep after that haha. We got up again at six and went to the missionaries pension that isn´t too far from us, it´s in an area called The Liahona (yes, there´s a little mormon school called the Liahona, so everyone referes to the area as the Liahona, it´s not an official name though). They were all fine. Both of our district leaders live their, so we assigned Elder Sloop (the district leader) and his Companion Elder Fuhriman to go to the pension of Elder Reyes and Elder Martinez in Castillo Blanco. Elder Pleytéz and I went over to the Hermana´s pension. All four of them were scared half to death, but fine. All the Elders were fine. So that was good. Intense night. When we were walking back to our pension we ran into our bishop and he said the ward would be in the chapel during the day with food and water just in case we needed anything. We stopped by just to see everyone, they were all happy to see us. It´s actually really cool being a missionary, the members really worry about you. In the chapel they had the news playing on the TV, that´s when I saw some images of what happened in Concepción, the 8.8. Incredible, I was in awe. Where I´m living it was a 7.4. We spent the day passing by people and seeing how they were, trying to be of comfort. First we went to Daniela and Cristina´s house to see how they all were, they were all fine, but turns out their Dad was working in the mines in Rancagua when the earthquake happened, and they hadn´t heard from him. They were all worried sick. He got home yesterday though. Turns out he actually got trapped in the mines with some other guys, they all managed to crawl out somehow, some of them with some pretty serious injuries, he was fine though. We also passed by the less active we had taught a long time ago, she´s like 90 something years old and lives alone. So we went to see how she was, she was fine. We spent the day passing by people. Where we live there wasn´t a whole lot of damage done, from what people explained to me a lot of the buildings are built on some kind of spring that helps the buildings move with the earthquakes, from what I understood. They used some construction terms I didn´t really understand. That´s why there wasn´t a whole lot of damge. But in other parts there are buildings and houses made of Adobe and stuff, so all that stuff was crushed. Here we were left without power and water for awhile, they got it back up going though. Actually, on Saturday night we were the only house that had power on the whole block. Everyone was kind of confused as to why....haha. We knew why. Right now we´ve got water and power, the water is coming out of the faucet totally filthy though. They going to cut the water again on Wednesday for awhile while they fix everything. So we´ve filled up our bathtub, trash cans, and a bunch of soda bottles with water so that we´ve got enough. We´re trying to get enough for us and enough to possibly provide water for some neighbors that may not prepare for it. The water is actually pretty gross though, ´we´re going to have to boil it and then throw some chlorine in it I think. I definitely have a clear vision of why the prophets tell us to have food and water storage. People are losing their minds down here. They´ve rushed all the grocery stores and swept them of all their food and water. You can´t find a single water bottle in any grocery store, it is nuts, and they can´t bring any more food in, all the roads are messed up. People are resorting to buying coke now. Luckily, my companion and I are smart and are resorting to the juice isle. The coke is going fast, but the juice isles are full hahaha. But it´s crazy. Apart from their not being food, there´s not any money to buy the food that is left. None of the ATM machines have cash, they´ve all been cleaned out, and I actually have an awesome story about that. So on Saturday, my companion and I were doing contacts, and one of the assistants called us to tell us to have our zone call their families and tell them how they were. The problem is that we didn´t have minutes on our phone to communicate with our zone, and we only had like, 2 dollars left (end of the month). We decided to go down to the center to try and find some minute cards for our phone. We go down, and it is chaos, we hadn´t noticed it because we live far from center, but it was crazy, people were rushing the grocery stores. We went around to every single ATM machine trying to pull money about, but found nothing. So then we resorted to trying to just use our cards to buy the minutes, but all the systems were down, and they told us even if we could buy the minutes, the phones were down anyways. So we realized that we wouldn´t be able to communicate with our zone, nor with our families because we didn´t have any many. So then we left and tried to wait for a bus, we had 1 dollar left, we used one dollar to get a bus to the center. We waited....and waited...and waited...No bus came. We realized that the buses had stopped running. We were pretty far from where we lived too, so we got worried. We said a prayer, and told Heavenly Father that we had know idea how we were going to contact our zone, call our families, or get home, but that we needed help, and we asked for it. After the prayer we started walking back home, despite of how far it was. After about 10 minutes of walking, a car pulled up and a man rolled down his window "Hey you guys need a ride?" We got in right away and he started driving us back home. He started asking us a little about who we were, where we came from, what we were doing, he explained that he had mormon friends and that he knew all about "John Smith". Eventually the conversation led to what we were currently doing in the center, and we explained how we needed to get hold of our families. He whipped out his cell phone and asked me for a phone number, I had him dial dad´s phone, he did. I left a message on dad´s phone, and on the message I explained a little about how crazy it was and how no one could get money. When I hung up he was like "So you guys need money?" He whipped out his wallet and held out $10,000 pesos chilenos, which is like $20. I tried turning him down like twice, but he insisted and the whole time I knew I couldn´t turn it down, because it was the answer Heavenly Father was giving me to my prayer. He dropped us off in our sector, and left us with the $20. I almost broke down crying right there, because previously I had been feeling desperate and helpless not knowing what to do. We didn´t have money, couldn´t get money, had no means of getting back home, nor had any means of communicating with anyone, not the zone or the president or our families. We were alone. However, because of a prayer Heavenly Father turned everything around. All you need to do, is ask. What parent, there child asking for bread, would give a stone? Asking for fish, would give a serpant? It was an extremely stressful day, in the end we got ahold of everyone, and we organized a time where we would call our families. We went Sunday night, when I called dad. Everything is going good though. We´ve got food and water. We´re still short on cash but the system for the credit cards are working, so I´m able to just use my mission atm card to buy food and stuff. I kind of wanted to buy food for two weeks today but the assistant told me I´d be out of here pretty soon. We were originally going to have transfers today, but now we´re not because of what happened. They´re going to happen next week. So that´s what´s going on down here. Pretty exciting stuff right? So if you don´t have food or water storage, repent and get it. Because situations like this aren´t very cool. Being a missionary, it´s not nearly as scary, because we know the church has our backs if anything gets too out of control. But if I were the Father of a family living here, and had no access to money, food, or water.... I couldn´t imagine the fear I would be experiencing. If we don´t prepare, we´ll definitely have reason to fear. If we´re prepared, we´ll be at peace, even in moments of disaster. It´ll be like that on judgement day to I imagine. When Christ descends out of the sky, and people realize they have no more time to add good works to their book of life, and no more time to blot their sins out. When there´s no more time to prepare and you´re left with what you´ve got, that´s when it all comes out. Who was wise and prudent, and who was foolish. The best part is, it´s all our choice. We can be fools and let it all catch us unprepared, or we can be ready. I know that the living prophets recieve revelation for us today, and that if we follow their every command with exactness, we´ll be alright. Take care everyone, chao!
That's all for now. When more MMs pass their news along, we'll put another update here.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This is one missionary's email for the week preceding March 10, 2010. It includes pictures which will be at the end. He is serving in Rancauga, Chile; currently in Chepica.
(Edited for grammar and privacy content)
- So this week was a bit different than the other weeks, you know with the town destroyed and all. This last week I was dressed in a tie for less then 6 hours the whole week. Lots of service. In the beginning of the week I was in Nancuaga, with other elders to pass the time together in a safer environment, but that felt like prison because we could not get out and help. No service. Nothing. So we got back to Chepica Tuesday, and our chapel was full of clothing and food, since the Catholics lost their church, they were using ours for a help organization. That was awesome and for two days we helped out with that; organizing clothes and food to distribute.
Here lots of houses need to be rebuilt, and to do that the families have to move everything out of the house, destroy what remains of the house, and then start rebuilding. They need tractors to destroy the houses and in small towns like here, they don´t have them. So that work is moving slow. Winter is going to come in a month or so. That’s the scary part, people left without homes for winter.
We have been working with one family whose house is destroyed, instead of waiting for a tractor, we used wheelbarrows and shovels and took out all the dirt so they could start rebuilding. Yesterday about 35 youth and adults came from a branch in San Fernando to help us out. We took them all to this house and finished removing the dirt quickly. So that was sweet. Got a picture of that.
We have also done a lot of inactive member visiting. Good news, not a single member lost their house or job, one sister got a bad black eye, buts that’s it.
The problem right now is more inside the branch. Our branch president, who was not the strongest type of member, got mad and inactivated himself. -So that’s bad. Only 8 members showed up to church yesterday. I thought the earthquake would wake people up to come closer to God, but that has yet to happen, but I still think it will.
So right now we are basically at ground zero, No branch president, like 6 good active members, no investigators, So we have a ton of work to do. But I am so freaking excited I am here in Chepica right now. I have felt such a strong sense of belonging here. I am so determined not to leave this place until there is the assistance of 30 active members. That is my dream. I am going to muster out all the faith I have, and hopefully Heavenly Father will bless Chepica.
My thought: I was reading in Alma 12 or 13, and it talked about those who harden their hearts receiving the smaller portion of the word, and those who soften their hearts receiving the greater portion. Those with little knowledge are extremely susceptible to the temptation of Satan. That would be why Adam and Eve fell, they had little knowledge. But it says they became like gods knowing good from evil. Knowledge is what prepares us. It's how we can overcome temptations, and a large part of our purpose, until we become like God.
For that reason, Personal scripture study is so important.
I love you mom and Dad, and family, thank you so much for your emails and letters. Dad, I have really loved your thoughts on following the example of God to lift others and tell them that you love them.
- Elder JW (name removed by administrator)
Here are the Pics he sent
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Dear Friends and Family,
Here's an update based on my latest conversation with Mark.
He felt that yesterday was one of the best days of all and that usually means that he felt he was able to help in some way. Mark is not one to enjoy thumb twiddling. The team always starts with a prayer and ends with a prayer. I believe that their prayers and those prayers and well wishes from all of you have been a sustaining factor in this endeavor.
Some of the team members drove to a poorer part of Port au Prince (hard to imagine...). LDS church members in that area were contacted ahead of time and told that a medical clinic would be set up in the chapel and to let their families and neighbors know. So there was a good crown there and they worked from 10 am to 5 pm with no breaks. The team now consists of 6 doctors, 1 operating room nurse, and 2 mental health specialists since some departed on Sunday.
They saw lots of dirty wounds and gashes which needed attention. These people had not been in contact with medical personnel for the last 11 days except for 2 guys who had pins put in their broken legs earlier. So they did follow-up consultation with these men. The team did diagnose a new broken leg during their clinic, too. Mark saw 2 babies that were dehydrated and vomiting so they got them started on rehydration liquid. He also saw two brand new babies (only a couple days old) that were born in these crazy conditions in Haiti.
When there is a head or other injury that will need future attention, they write with a felt pen on the gauze what the diagnosis is and what has been done or needs to be done. That way the next group of docs and nurses (whoever they are) in the coming days and weeks will have an idea of what has been done. Continuum of care is not a definite in Haiti.
They also saw just regular fevers and colds which come with daily existence and are heightened when you are living in refugee conditions in tent camps or just out in the open.
One woman with diabetes came in with a wound on her leg, the size of 3 footballs. The wound was so infected and diseased and the doctor who took care of her removed pounds of dead tissue which he put in a bucket. The healing can either start now or she will eventually need an amputation due to the wound, diabetes, infection.
The rest of the team members delivered food during the day and worked on other projects. They even took a couple boxes of food to one group of the US military which for some reason had not received their food allotment yet. They were most appreciative and very hungry.
The best news of all is that it was confirmed that little Fedeline with the scalp injury and burns is now at a burn center in Miami, Florida. Medical Teams International were the ones that arranged for her transportation there.
Many of you ask what can be done. Mark continues to share that this country will need our monetary donations to one agency or another. He also feels that rehabilitation doctors and plastic surgeons are going to be very important in the coming months/years. He also hopes that organizations like Habitat for Humanity will have a strong presence there as the country rebuilds. Construction workers will be needed.
See the pictures, taken by Deseret News photographer, Jeffrey Allred, which provide an amazing visual of the extent of the destruction in various parts of Port au Prince. See also a photo of Mark (gray shirt) helping a patient with leg wounds in the chapel yesterday.
Mark has met an LDS Bishop who also runs an orphanage there. He said there will be thousands of new orphans in this country. Like so many of the orphanages, it will need rebuilding and resupplying. Mark will try to get a list from this man of what needs to be done. I think every orphanage in Haiti will need help to get back on their feet.
He also shared that it seems like additional shipments of supplies are not the best answer right now. It has become a nightmare finding secure locations for these shipment supplies to be stored. He reiterated that the supplies which have been delivered or will soon be delivered just have to be stored and then allotted to those in need. If this isn't done carefully, they could fall into the wrong hands.
Once again, he thanks the staff at Corvallis Family Medicine for making it possible for him to take this journey. It would not have been possible without his partners- Doctors Bruce Thomson, Aaron David, Jared Nelson, Lara Gamelin, Ed Piepmeier, and Bette Lenehan, who covered his call and saw his patients. And thank you to Shelly Hunt, Office Manager, for rearranging the schedules. He's also appreciative of the flexibility of his patients who had all their appointments adjusted.
He plans to fly directly from Port au Prince to Salt Lake City at 5 am tomorrow (Wednesday), arriving at SLC airport around 10 am. He doesn't know when his connection to Portland will be yet, but it is scheduled for that same day supposedly.
It will be wonderful to have him back home again.
Alice in Oregon
Saturday, January 23, 2010
A missionary mom's husband is a doctor and has volunteered to help the Haitians. Here is some news from her which she passed on to us:
Her name is Alice, and she writes:
January 22, 2010
Dear Friends and Family,
Here's the latest update from Mark following last night's phone call.
Yesterday was spent seeing patients in the morning at the clinic and trying to get the 12-year-old girl, Fedeline Mon Fleury, into a hospital so her burns could be treated 24-7. Mark drove around for a couple of hours with the little girl, the girl's mom, and an LDS church leader in Haiti. They went to the US embassy, a military facility, the UN (not sure what he meant by that except maybe it was the location of the United Nations presence in Haiti), and no one could help. Finally they were referred to a US military hospital unit close to the airport and the doctors there agreed that she needed to be sent to Kings Hospital which is also close to the hospital. Medical personnel from Medical Teams International (formerly called NW Medical Teams) which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon were helping to staff this hospital and doing a tremendous job. So Fedeline can stay there but we don't know for how long and the doctors all agree that she needs to be treated for her severe burns in the U.S.
Here is her photo:
At the same time, I received an email here on our home computer from Dr. Rob Sheridan who is in Haiti with Partners in Health. This is another great non-profit co-founded by Dr. Paul Farmer whose story about his work in Haiti was documented in Tracy Kidder's book, Mountains Beyond Mountains. Dr. Sheridan, critical care surgeon, who actually now works with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (not Galveston's Burn Unit), emailed us that if we can get Fedeline to Boston, they will take care of her and do the necessary surgeries and skin grafts that she needs. So when Mark called I relayed this great news to him and he asked me to email Dr. Sheridan and ask him to visit Fedeline at King's Hospital. The next step will be trying to get her to Boston and we have some leads on that. I will know more when I talk to Mark tonight. Communication is complicated via satellilte phone, emails, etc. I hope they can talk directly today.
At the same time, another severe aftershock hit and endangered the work going on at the Sacred Heart Hospital located close to LDS church/medical clinic where the team was seeing patients. Many severely injured patients were laying around waiting to be seen at Sacred Heart. Can you imagine having a broken leg and not being seen for 10 days? So Mark and others went there and moved the people who had femur fractures. There were 13 of them with femur fractures and they carefully loaded them into 3 pickups and took them to a hospital that could see them. If you have a femur fracture, you aren't going to be able to be walking the streets to find a hospital... They had to leave the fibula and tibia fractures on the grounds of Sacred Heart. Some of the femur fracture patients were taken to the University Hospital and some were taken to the USNS Comfort, a US Navy ship that has a crew of 850 trained to provide 1000 hospital beds and 11 operating rooms. This will make such a big difference. If you want to know more about what the US is doing, open the attachment. This was provided to me by Peggy Peirson, the Emergency Management director for our local county.
Mark shared that the name of the game right now is INFECTIONS, internal and external. One woman he saw yesterday had a gash across her forehead which went down to the bone. And on one side was an abcess of pus 1/2 the size of a baseball. Mark's impressions continue to be that it looks like a bomb dropped on every street. There are so many people with deep cuts filled with lots of dirt. Every house seems to be built of concrete and that means that most of the living people in Port au Prince probably had concrete of some size fall on them. He feels that the real savings of life now will be to keep people dying from infections.
I keep thinking about that young woman, volunteering at the clinic, who survived the earthquake. She was sick when the earthquake hit and hadn't gone to her university class. It crushed and killed her 80 fellow students and the professor. Mark says that there are many college kids volunteering to help at the medical clinic because their university classes has stopped completely. I'm wondering if there is a possibility that US universities would consider taking some of these college aged kids if homes were provided. I know that this happened to Loyola students in New Orleans during Katrina. This young woman told Mark that they would probably be out of school for 2 years while the university was rebuilt. Any thoughts on this? Haiti will need educated and trained individuals to help with the recovery and I hate seeing these youth get set back 2 years.
He and other members of the team are heading out to another city or town today that has not received much medical attention. He commented about how teams from all over the world are working together- Israelis, Spaniards, Cubans, US Military, Mennonites, Argentinians, and others. That's wonderful and shows the human desire to do good. It's just sad that it takes a major catastrophe to bring people together.
Many of you have asked, what you can do. Mark feels that what they need are specific supplies like sutures, antibiotics, pins and plates for fractures, casting material. He said the best thing to do is to send money to a trusted cause. We recommend the following:
LDS Humanitarian Services http://give.lds.org/emergencyresponse (the team Mark is with)
Healing Hands for Haiti http://www.healinghandsforhaiti.org/ (Dr. Jeff Randle, the director, came on the same team as Mark)
Partners in Health http://pih.org/home2.html
Medical Teams International http://www.medicalteams.org/sf/home/Haiti_Earthquake.aspx
Doctors Without Borders http://doctorswithoutborders.org/index.cfm
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund http://clintonbushhaitifund.org/
Catholic Relief Services https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3181&3181.donation=form1
Mercy Corps http://www.mercycorps.org/
Habitat for Humanity International https://www.habitat.org/cd/giving/donate.aspx?link=227
God's Little Angels http://www.glahaiti.org
American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43181aa0/?vgnextoid=15c0c5a210826210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
I know that there are many other great organizations. But there are also new, fraudulent ones that have been recently created so stick with those that are tried and true. Mark shared that Dr. Jeff Randle, the director of Healing Hands for Haiti (2nd on the list) came over on the same team and Mark says he is a great person. Healing Hands for Haiti runs a Rehabilitation Center in Haiti for those with disabilities. Mark feels that this will be a crucial facility in the future with all of the amputees, injuries, etc. that have occurred.
There is much good happening over there, it's not all disasters. Here's a link to my cousin's daughter, Jill Wilkin, who was united yesterday in Portland with "Sammy", a little Haiti boy that they have been trying to adopt for over 2 years.
Look at the relief and joy in Jill's face!
All for now.