News from Rene

1-13-2010 Today at 11:18am
Hi Everyone.

I lost power and lost the entire note that I’d written. I may be briefer with this one…

Our visiting team, our children and I were at the office when the first tremor hit. It took a couple of seconds to realize that it was an earthquake, by which time I was falling on the floor and screaming for my children (I didn’t know their exact location). That first tremor seemed to last forever and it was sooooo violent. It was certainly the most terrifying moment of my life and I am so grateful that the peace of God rules my heart and mind.

Lex was in Leogane at the UN headquarters there when the earthquake hit. That, of course, was heart wrenching for all of us, as there was no way of contacting each other. As he made his way back home (partially driving, partially walking) he witnessed the horror of seeing so many bodies along the street some people severely injured and others already dead. Knowing that we were likely in the office, he was very concerned about the structure falling on us. We were all greatly relieved upon our reunion.

One of our preschool teachers was killed. Many of our staff and students’ families lost their homes.

A young girl 2-3 years old, was struck in the head when a concrete wall fell. Her skull was split wide open, but no medical help was available. She was close to death when they carried her away.

The group visiting spent the night in the Forward in Health bus. Our family laid in the yard along with the orphans and the many neighbors that joined us.

Some of the “after shocks” most certainly were earthquakes themselves. It was horrifying in the dark listening to the orphanage crash down behind me.

We are still experiencing tremors and would appreciate prayer for them to stop…permanently!

There must have been something like a small tsunami, because the ocean rose all the way up to our well at the very back of the beach house property…about 125 ft higher than normal. Everything on the property has been destroyed, including all the surrounding walls.

Bathrooms at the orphanage are not accessible so we now have people relieving themselves in the yard. And we don’t want people near the buildings or walls, so it’s pretty concentrated. Sad, since we’ve worked so hard to train the Haitians to use the bathrooms.

We have NO food available for distribution. A container of Kids Against Hunger food is expected in about 3 weeks…unfortunately it’ll be about 3 weeks too late.

We will use the chapel to house some of the homeless families in Grand-Goâve.

We expect school to be closed for quite some time, as we all dig out and determine where to go from here.

Today, January 13th, there are still several tremors occurring every hour. Please pray. Anyone wanting to help with the tremendous financial burden of providing relief to people in urgent need, as well as rebuilding much of the mission, may make donations to Mission of Hope. Checks may be sent to PO Box 176, Merrimac, MA 01860. If you prefer to use a credit card, go to to make a donation online.

That’s the update for now. Again, thank you everyone for all your encouragement and prayers.