I wanted to update the blog with the things that have been happening since the Hurricane. Unfortunately I don’t have time to blog but I am cutting and pasting the past several Facebook posts so you know how better to pray.
We are still in need for funding as we try to tackle the destruction before us. If you feel led to give – here is a link: http://bit.ly/NWHCMDisasterRelief
Jody Owen Castillo added 4 new photos. 1 hr · – TODAY
We are getting ready to be hit by another big rain storm. Several of the townspeople have gone to the mountains. The orphans are starting off in the cafeteria tonight. We’re showing movies to take their mind off the storm.
PLEASE pray again for us tonight. SO many people in town & on campus spent all day getting rid of mud & water… and now we might get hit with it all over again tonight. It won’t take much to flood again as the ground is saturated already.
We are all so tired…..so very very tired. And as heart broken as I am over the constant destruction and desperation – I know I’m one of the “lucky” ones…
I don’t have to hold my children all night as they cry & shiver. No… my kids are dry.
I don’t have to worry about what they will eat tomorrow because my charcoal is soaking wet and my rice & beans are now buried in mud. No… we have a gas stove & storage depot.
I don’t have to worry that they won’t have drinking water tonight since the pipes have been broken for days. No…I bought water bags.
I don’t have to sit in the dark and worry about what is happening around me – unable to see if a flood is headed my way. No…We have flashlights, diesel, and can run a generator.
I don’t have to sit in fear – unable to find peace – or strength – or courage – or faith. I don’t have to sit alone tonight and wonder where God is? Or if there’s even a God? Or whether our God is good or not?
No…I know who Jesus is & He will hold me close & He will fight for me & He will make His presence known to me & He will make all things work for His good & He will give me the peace, strength, courage & faith to keep doing good even when it doesn’t feel good…..even when I feel so ill equipped to be His true servant here.
No…..I am one of the lucky ones.
LORD PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON HAITI!!
Jody Owen Castillo added 24 new photos. 4 hrs ·
Oh my heart! What a mess! My clinic has 13 inches of mud in EVERY room! Momma Gigi and the staff told me I wasn’t allowed to see it this morning until they got some work done because it would just make me cry. Well I cried anyways.
Thousands of dollars worth of formula, medicines, lab equipment, and medical supplies ruined! We are the only stocked clinic in a 3-hour drive. We have people walk as much as 5-8 hours just to be treated here.
(these are just a few of the pics since it’s taking so long to upload)
Pierre just knocked on our door! The river has swelled and knocked down some of our walls and gates! The orphanage courtyard, the school courtyard, the basketball court, and the clinic have had knee deep water. The river is raging! So many children scared on campus. Not going to lie – it makes my heart race a little too.
We are so thankful for so many Haitians coming to check on us & working these wee hours of the morning to redirect water – to keep it from getting to our homes.
We’ve moved the orphans three times now. We should be able to keep them in the cafeteria tonight if the rain will let up.
God HAS protected our homes on campus. When the hurricane happened it was our homes that were in the path. Somehow – someway – the canal that always overflows our front yard is DRY! The Haitians were running to our yard afraid that we looked like the front of the campus because of that canal. Even on dry days it’s wet! You hear what I’m saying? It’s bone-dry for the first time and it’s pouring down rain. GOD IS HERE!!!
If this is what it has done to us – I am crying for those who live closer to the river. We built walls around this place last December. They said it if weren’t for the walls – even though some are falling – we would be completely underwater.
Please keep praying that the rain will stop!!! Please pray that God will hold the rock walls up with His mighty hand!!
Here are a few pictures – it’s so hard to see at night and it’s very dangerous to walk around. Momma Gigi fell and scraped her knee while carrying orphans from their flooded yard to the employee homes up on the hill. Pierre, Smith, the security guard & a few others working with them have fallen several times trying to redirect the street water from coming on campus.
** COMMENT FROM ME: Thank you so much for crying out on behalf of the people here! I’ve been in tears all morning just trying to wrap my head around the destruction – just feels like one thing after another. Stories are coming in of how others spent their night in fear – even I had some myself. But I also can cling to Jesus in those moments and many of them don’t know He’s there. I can’t imagine facing the things that they do here without Jesus to hold onto.
**COMMENT FROM ME: Thank you guys SO MUCH for your prayers! The sun has been out for the past few hours – first time in several days!
THANK YOU JESUS FOR PUSHING BACK THE FLOODS!
The men worked from 2am-9am to redirect the water to go down the street and into the ocean.
Just as quickly as it came – it has receded quite a bit. Sadly there is mud EVERYWHERE now. We haven’t had piped water in a few days. So no real way to clean it off sidewalks or the clinic floor or the supplies that got damaged – or your own feet for that matter. It’s thick and it’s slippery.
There are places where the mud is 3-4 feet tall. There are places if you don’t pay attention you’ll sink in mud up to your thigh. The cleanup is a nightmare BUT everyone is safe today…wasn’t sure that would be the case after last night.
I can’t thank God enough for the online army of prayer warriors that He has given this mission and this village!
We are calling ALL prayer warriors to go to bat again for the people we love here.
We have picked four homes and are READY to rebuild…. BUT it won’t stop raining! The rain over the past few days is more than what we got during the hurricane…we just don’t have the wind & rising sea levels to go with it this time.
Rivers are overflowing, homes are getting flooded, & people have been shivering & wet for several days. No one came to clinic today and our employees are having to stay at home so they can bucket out the water & the mud. The roads are starting to become impassable again. 🙁
It sort of feels like we’re starting back over at zero. Only even fewer people have homes now.. and the ones that do have lots of damage still waiting to be fixed.
The hurricane has come and gone – but the suffering still remains.
Please pray for Haiti.
I received these pictures late last night. The Labaie Campus is about 2.5 hours a way from us. Last summer I moved the orphans from that campus to our main campus in St Louis du Nord. So thankful they are not caught up in the flooding.
Praying fervently for everyone else who is.They were not affected by the hurricane but we’ve had pouring rain off and on for 3 days. I will be visiting there soon to assess their damages as well.
La Baie had an orphanage with 30 kids that moved to our main campus in the summer of 2015. The hurricane may have missed this part of Haiti, but the hard rain we’ve had the past few days has drowned it. As of yesterday, the mud that was dry is now wet, and there is 5 feet of water in the mission’s church.
Jody Owen Castillo with Jose Alexander Castillo and Pierre Dieuphete. October 18 at 1:48pm ·What an interesting morning to say the least! While doing clinic I had a family friend from Port-de-Paix – Dr. Agabus – come knock on my door. He said the “future president” of Haiti wants to talk with you.
So Pierre, Jose, and I walked across the street to the hotel where he was hanging out for the day. We spent about an hour there talking.The table was full of candidates for senator, finance, police, customs, etc. I think they were really surprised that I spoke Creole & that I was SO inquisitive. I told him about what I’ve seen from previous officials and asked how it’s going to be different? There are government teachers who never get paid. The roads are so bad and every “future president” says they’re going to fix them. . How will it be different? What exactly is your platform and how will you carry it out?
I teased (but not really) that the candidates show up before elections and then we never see them in our zone again until the next time to vote. I explained how we are the only ones who walked around town to find out how everyone was doing after the hurricane but not one government official reached out to our area.
He laughed and said: WOW – you are an American on the outside and a Haitian on the inside! I made the whole table laugh A LOT – but I also asked very direct questions! If he will do what he says he’s going to do – He has my vote. (Except I’m not Haitian and I can’t vote). LOL!
I told him seeing is believing and then as we walked away I yelled to Agabus – “Get his phone number for me so when he becomes President I can call my good friend and remind him of this conversation”! They all laughed again!
We’ve had about 300 Applications for Help turned in SO FAR. Our committee met today to discuss where to start. I wish it were as simple as closing your eyes and picking at random… but it’s not.
Do you try to fix as many small repairs (replace walls & roofs) as you can with the funds you have? Or do you tackle the ones in complete devastation that have to start from the ground up…. but you can’t help as many because it’s more money? Or do you do a little of both? What if the ones in complete devastation have more children living there than those smaller homes you could fix more of?
Here’s what I know to be true for any of us. It’s easy to go ahead of God. It’s easy to feel pressure to make a decision and we don’t wait upon the Lord. It’s easy to let what’s urgent take the place of what’s important. Not everything that’s urgent is really important. Not everything that’s important is really that urgent.
As missionaries – as anyone really – it’s easy to have all these seemingly urgent day-to-day things happen that take up all your time – and never get around to making the important decisions that will leave such a lasting impact.
I have been PRAYING over these papers and reading through them multiple times…. I mean MULTIPLE times trying to hear from God which direction to go. Today after our meeting I felt like the path was clearly laid out before us.
We have picked 2 of the most effected zones to start with. Tomorrow & Wednesday we will verify all the information, meet with the families, our foreman will come up with the budget, and we will GET TO WORK! We hope to begin construction on Friday
Please pray for us over the next two days as we meet the families in these two zones. Pray that God will make it clear who we are to help in each area. Please pray for wisdom and discernment as we verify the information written on the papers. Please pray that our presence there will be a reminder of God’s goodness… whether we are able to help them all or not.
Jody Owen Castillo added 15 new photos to the album: Church Giveaway Oct 16, 2016 — at Nwhcm, Mole St Nicholas Church. October 16 at 5:34pm ·
Today was another beautiful Sunday! I love to hear our church members sing. Even on our good days – I don’t think we sing as loud or stay as engaged during worship as they do. There’s so much to learn from the beautiful people here.
We passed out sacks of rice today after church. Everyone was SO thankful. Several said that they knew God had heard their prayers because they didn’t have anything for their kids to eat today. He saw their need and HE responded.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Momma Gigi….
When Levi was little he loved to hang out with Momma Gigi. He would eat at our house and then find his way to hers. I remember him coming back and saying: Oh man. I went to Momma Gigi’s house and she didn’t have any rice. This is two days in a row.
When I heard that I went to her home. Sure enough – it had been two days since they had eaten. I asked her – Why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t feed your kids? Why didn’t you say you needed some help?
She responded: You’ve already done so much for my family. I cannot ask you to do anything else. Before you came into our lives we went 4-5 days without eating. We will be fine. God knows our needs.
Me: Don’t you ever question God? Don’t you want to ask Him why your life is so hard?
She Responded: Who am I to question God? He knows more than me. He sees more than me. He is faithful. Whether it’s a good day or a hard day – I know God is with me – and that’s enough. I trust His decisions. HIS will be done.
Thy Will by Hillary Scott
I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
Jody Owen Castillo added 21 new photos to the album: Karenage Food Giveaway — at Nwhcm, Mole St Nicholas Church. October 11 at 6:28pm ·
Karenage Fishing Village hasn’t had water since Tuesday. They’ve lost several boats, animals, gardens, & a few homes along the shoreline. They sit at the lowest point of the bay.Today a group from our church visited their zone and passed out our applications for help.
With the help of their community leader, they also passed out 90 bright green cards to the poorest people in that zone. Hope Health Action (HHA) located near Cap Haitian donated rice, beans, IV’s, & water bags this weekend. We are SO THANKFUL for the way they filled in the gap – since we have been trying for over a week to get our food truck here!
We spent last night breaking those bags down so we could pass them out today.At 4pm we took a truck to Karenage – we sang together, prayed over the people, & reminded them that God’s eyes are still upon them.
Then as we collected each card they got: 1 bag of rice, 1 bag of beans, & 10 sacks of water. Elirose took care of the beans, I took care of the rice, and Asher & Malaya each counted out 5 bags of water. Then we handed everything to Agenor & Momma Gigi who collected cards and passed everything out.It couldn’t have gone smoother! We had our system set up in the back of the truck – everyone knew their job. Their community leader also helped us create a line and they actually stayed in it – for the most part
GUESS WHAT JUST ARRIVED?
MY COMMENT: So we loaded up our military truck yesterday and the weight of everything broke something on it. We asked 20 drivers if they would come here and they all said no. They said the roads weren’t worth the risk. But the 21st driver said he will try and with God’s help – He knows he will make it! He’s going back for a second load!
Today was one of those days where nothing went right. If something could break – it broke. If something could disappoint – it did. We haven’t had water since Tuesday when a big pipe broke during the storm. It tricked us a few days ago and was on for like an hour – but then it went back off.
And even though it’s Haiti and “that’s life” – when you are so exhausted – when you feel so dirty & sweaty – when it’s 5am or even 7am before you can shut your mind down to sleep – – when your other emotions feel so tense ….. even a mosquito bite feels like a bear bite.
Wait….this isn’t a pity post. Keep reading…..
So today we had our normal Women’s Bible Study. I wasn’t sure how many would even come – as I know at least half of them lost their home or had significant damage. I was walking over to the cafeteria and they had already started. Normally I’m early – since I lead it. But today – like I said – was just one of those days.I walked in – and there were 30 ladies ON TIME!
Not only were they ON TIME – BUT they were so deep in the midst of prayer – that no one even noticed I walked in. It was a prayer that went on for 10 minutes with hands in the air waving back and forth and thanking Jesus for His goodness.Do you know how humbling it is when your bad day would actually be a great day if it were theirs?
These sweet little ladies needed me to get it together already! So…..I did.! And instead of a lesson today – we played BINGO. That’s right! BINGO!
And for a solid hour: we laughed and we laughed – and we forgot about our day – and we forgot about what we were coming home to or lack there of – and we forgot about what we had to do tomorrow- – we even forgot where we were.
As they left I was waiting for them to sit down beside me and tell me all that happened to them this past week. I was mentally preparing for it. But do you know what they did instead?
They took a deep breath as they got up from the tables, they smiled at each other, they gave me a kiss, and they THANKED me for playing with them today.
I asked Momma Gigi – what happened? I was expecting to be there all evening hearing about their struggles. And do you know what she told me?
Momma Gigi said: You know when you have a playtime like this – where the mood is so light & joyful – you just think to yourself …. I don’t want to ruin it by thinking about MY problems. Today just isn’t about me.(yep……yep…….yep……. humbling right?)
Jody Owen Castillo with Jose Alexander Castillo at Nwhcm, Mole St Nicholas Church. October 9 at 1:47pm ·
Though many feel SO empty this week….
Benches & Hearts are Full this morning.
Praises are STILL being Lifted High.
Read together at church:
1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
–Though they may NO longer have a place to dwell…. There is ONE place that can NEVER be washed away.
Psalm 27:4-6 I ask only one thing from the Lord. This is what I want: Let me live in the Lord’s house all my life. Let me see the Lord’s beauty and look with my own eyes at his Temple. During danger he will keep me safe in his shelter. He will hide me in his Holy Tent, or he will keep me safe on a high mountain.
–Though they lost their animals, their birth certificates & official papers, their gardens & boats – their livelihood, as well as most of their belongings…. God STILL protected their lives!
The Lord will keep you from all harm and He will watch over your life.
–Though the town hasn’t had piped water – “drinking water” – since Tuesday…… The living water STILL quenches their thirst.
14 But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
–Though they are literally exposed with fences & walls down, roofs gone, and no real security for their family…. God is STILL the keeper of the night.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.