Matt Harrison has been asked to blog for Lutheran World Relief while he is in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Here is an excerpt from his post yesterday.
Last night was traumatic for the 1500 Haitians here at the medical compound.
Around 6:00 p.m. a tremor shook the area. Everyone fled for their lives into the yard in front of the buildings. There was widespread mourning and weeping, fear in the eyes of little children, and old men looking skyward and shaking their heads. All the patients had to be re-triaged because they had pulled the I.V.s from their arms.
Amputees crawled out of a makeshift recovery ward in an open-air chapel. It was pandemonium. LCMS Missionary Ted Krey (nephew of LWR Board member Phil Krey), quickly urged all of us clergy to make our way among the large crowd, comforting and praying with the people. The three languages among the people are Creole, French, and Spanish. I came upon a little girl and her mother. The child was but five or so, with a pelvic body cast that extended down both legs, as well as an arm cast. She was terrified. I reached down to touch her and bless her in the name of Jesus (it’s so important to have one’s clericals and crucifix on), and she grabbed my hand, and pulled on my arm, pleading with me. I sat with her for twenty minutes. I prayed, I tried to speak comfort to her and her mother. I sang “I am Jesus Little Lamb” and her breathing slowed. Finally Brazilian Missionary Pastor Walter chanced by in the melee. “Walther, what does she want.” “She is asking if you have
some way to take her and her mother away from here.” I did not.
But she had been cared for, her life spared. Many others have not been so fortunate.
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