Serving in Haiti - Day 2, part 2
Mar 12, 2010 by Tiffany Derr | 0 Comments
People were afraid to enter the building. As 600 Haitian ministry leaders (pastors, their wives, and directors of children's programs) gathered at an event for Compassion International on March 10, 2010 there was a hesitancy about separating into groups. This reluctancy came about because it would have required one group to be located on the second floor of a building with a concrete roof. Since the earthquake, the idea of being inside, especially under a concrete slab roof, is terrifying for most Haitians. Having seen hotels, banks, and several story buildings reduced to piles of rubble, there is an awareness that four walls and a roof are not the protection they were once seen as.
Our wonderful host was the first to tell us of this phenomenon. Upon arriving at her house, she sat with us and explained the earthquake from her own perspective. The first comment she made was "I want a smaller house." Though she had no structural damage to her house, she discussed her desire to sell the house and move to something smaller so she would feel safe. In fact, our arrival marked the first week she spent under her roof since the earthquake. She went on to explain that the Haitian people used to have a goal of building large, middle-class homes, but now they desire small, safe houses instead. A concrete ceiling symbolizes the deaths of those who were crushed and the uncertainty of the future. People question if they are safe. One pastor relayed that is biggest fear of going to sleep is wondering if he will wake up. People are changing what they put their faith in. They are searching for God and turning away from material possessions. The churches are filling, but services are being held outside for the comfort and safety of their congregations.
So we want to thank all those who have provided tents and the funds to get them. Right now they are exactly what is needed. They provide shelter and won't bring pain if they collapse. It is a source of comfort, but will only serve as a transition. Tents are spread throughout the dry riverbeds, gulleys, and gutters, and the rainy season begins next month.