Friday, January 15, 2010

Facing the Unknown

Jan 13, continued

Jayden has rocked himself to sleep in the pack and play, placed strategically under the doorway in the kitchen. Since our kitchen has a wood ceiling and two exits we decide that it’s okay to sleep inside for the night. Many of the other MAF families are sleeping outside on the streets, too afraid that their houses might tumble down around them due to aftershocks. Trying to sleep on a piece of cardboard on a gravel street right above a ravine with a two year old just doesn’t seem feasible. Too tired, and too emotionally spent to fall asleep, Jay and I continue to talk till 1:00 a.m.. When we feel like we are ready to lie down we pull a rubber mat into the kitchen and throw on some comforters. Jason is still wearing the same clothes he was wearing the day the earth quake happened so I convince him to change. We also brush our teeth, if only for normality’s sake. After pouring our hearts out to God we lie down and fall in an exhausted sleep. Three hours later I’m wide awake and get the feeling we might be experiencing another tremor soon. I lay, eyes wide open for a long time, but nothing happens. Eventually I fall asleep again. At 5:30 I wake up again and this time feel a tremor several minutes later. I wake a sleeping Jason and stand up to grab Jayden. Thankfully the tremor is just a mild one and we soon lay down again. I can’t fall asleep after that but I don’t feel tired either. At 6:00 we all are wide awake and I make two sandwiches for Jayden, but he doesn’t feel like eating. I’m not hungry either, so I give the sandwiches to Nicholas and Sabboule. Not sure what to do next we walk over to the program managers house. There we are told that all but three pilot/mechanics and a mechanic/IT specialist will be temporarily relocated. Just getting connected by internet to the world outside is a real blessing. Although I don’t have time to reply to all the emails and comments, reading them and knowing that so many people are thinking and praying for us is a real comfort. Jason and Marc Williams head out to the orphanage once again to see what they can do. I walk back home with Jayden and get the final things ready in our house. I finish packing two suitcases, Jayden’s pack and play and little stroller and one backpack. It’s hard to pack not knowing for sure if we are able to leave and not knowing where we will be going, and not knowing how long. What’s even harder is telling Anoud and Denise we might be gone indefinitely. Anoud seems to handle it okay, but Denise keeps telling me she’s so sad we might be leaving. We give them money for the next few months and what’s left of our food supply. “I’m glad you are taking care of us by giving money and food”, Denise says,” but I’d still so much prefer you were here”. I nod sadly, not knowing what to say. At 1:30, three vehicles are ready to leave. This is my first time driving through the main streets of Port au Prince and the devastation is astounding. So many buildings completely demolished, vehicles crushed, people wandering aimlessly. Thankfully the bodies that had been previously lying on the sides of the streets have been removed and I don’t have to see them. I’m told later they were picked up by front loaders and placed in dump trucks, because there were just too many to know what to do with. I’m horrified at the thought, but some of the estimates are that 100,000 people died so I’m sure making that decision on what to do with the bodies was a difficult one. As we drive on I see many people walking with dust masks. Before long it becomes pretty obvious why. Jason already suffering from a chest cold prior to the earthquake starts to cough nonstop. What’s even harder to hear is Jayden’s little lungs trying to cough up all the dust in the air. My throat gets extremely sore and I wish I had thought to bring bandanas to wrap around our mouths. Half an hour later we arrive at the domestic terminal where the MAF airplanes are kept. The gates are locked and they don’t allow us in. Mark Williams, Todd Edgerton, and Will White are locked inside the terminal and talk to us through the gate. We all decide to go to the international terminal instead. They walk there via the runway and we drive around the outside. The control tower is damaged, the glass is missing, and the terminal has many severe cracks. Around the airport all kinds of people are sitting with backpacks and suitcases. It takes us awhile to get in and then we wait on the edge of the tarmac. The runway is extremely busy. Helicopters take off and land in 30 second intervals and military airplane after military airplane comes in. We see soldiers, UN Peace keepers and News Reporters. The place is just swarming with people. I put the pack and play down and try to find a place to sit. We can’t sit too close to the terminal building because it’s just too cracked and they fear the vibrations from the large aircraft could make it tumble down so I finally give up and sit on the dirty cement. After waiting two hours we finally receive news that Missionary Flights International was unable to land at the Port au Prince airport, to pick us up. Only military airplanes have permission to come and go. We pick up all our luggage and then walk back through the crowds of people to our cars. Time to head back again. Too tired to feel any emotion we silently drive back. Since our home has no water, the fridge is off and everything has been closed off we join the other MAF families for the night. After a supper of crackers and cheese and a couple mini chicken wings we crash out on the couch. As I close my eyes to sleep, I sigh, a couch has never felt this good before.


  1. Grace and heart breaks for all of you and for the people that must live this reality second by second. Offering Prayers and sending love from the Prairie.
    Kay Marie

  2. praying for you, as you face these great challenges.
    your writing is amazing. thanks for sharing.
    God bless

  3. Dear Jason and Will
    I've begun comments several times and then not finished them. There just seems to be nothing we can say. You are in our thoughts and prayers constantly.
    Love Brody and Carolyn

  4. Although it is tough your plane could not land, it is a good sign that the airport was too busy. There is so much need! It sounds like a lot of help is on the way. Thanks for sharing again. Love, Mary

  5. Kembe ferm. You guys have been thru so much. May the Lord richly bless your next moves. Thanks Jason for being Jesus's hands to minister with the needle as you did. Wil your blog is awesome. You put me right back in Haiti again and again. Can't wait to meet you guys one of these days. I trust that you all can leave for a break soon.
    Tell the whole gang I'll be praying for you all.

    Paul H in Seattle

  6. Dear Jason, Willemien and Jayden

    We are all thinking about you in this difficult time. So happy to hear that you are safe. Thanks for keeping your blog so uptodate! We hope to hear from you soon.
    Love from Kristin, Marieke, Whitney, Nathan and Tyler Bisschop

  7. Hi, We are thinking about you and hope you are at a safer place soon. It must be so hard to leave all the people behind and to know that they face an unsure future.We are praying for you. Casey and Dineke Broekhuis.

  8. All the best. We are constantly thinking about you and the people of Haiti. Thank you for keeping us up to date.

    Jaap, Cornelia, and kids

  9. Dear Will and Jason,
    We watch your blog for updates almost every hour for updates just to make sure that you all are still doing ok. Too bad that you couldn't leave, but God's timing isn't our timing, as hard as that is to think about right now. Much help is on the way for Haiti, the whole world's hearts are breaking for all the poor people in Haiti. We try to keep up to date with the world news online and so many people are donating all their savings to help out Haiti. Even children are donating whatever they can, it's very heartwarming to see that in this world full of wars and troubles, we all can band together to help our fellow man in need during this terrible tragedy.
    we hope that you all may be given the courage and strength to go on in the next hours, days and weeks. As you have to leave and all these people who are really in need now must be left behind. It's absolutely heartbreaking! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all the time. A line from one of the psalters keeps running through my mind 'In the home and by the way, He will keep thee day by day."
    The LORD has truly kept you all safe, may we all give Him the praise!
    With all our love, and lot's of hugs from Marnix and Corine

  10. Dear Jason, Will, and Jayden
    Thanks Will for messaging with me on skype last night. The kids keep asking if you guys are ok everytime I go on the computer. Especially Casey is quite worried because he understands more then we realize. We sincerely hope and pray that you will reach safety today.
    Love Casey, Annedien, Casey, Victor, and Sidney

  11. my thoughs and prayers are with you. love your friend barb stebbings

  12. Dear Jason, Wil and Jayden, God is our Refuge and Strength, a present help in trouble... may you (and the other MAF families too) experience His nearness giving you strength for each moment of each day, so that you can continue however and wherever you are to shine His Light out to those who don't know Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you - also in your hour of need. Love, John and Jennifer Jongerden and fam.

  13. Dear Jason, Will and Jayden;

    Wow! I just don't know what to say! Just remember God is near! How exhausted, and confused you must be. We will keep praying for you all that a way can be found to bring you home. Keep looking up. Like Jennifer said "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble!"

    Love Henry and Jenny

  14. Dear Jason, Will, and Jayden,

    How I would have loved to have spoken to you by phone the last few days to encourage you in the midst of circumstanecs that defy description! The more we hear and see what has happened, the more obivous it becomes to us that the Lord spared and protected you in a most extraordinary way. Let that encourage you even in the midsat of your present circumstances. This God is your Refuge and Strength, and your very present help in trouble. And therefore you need not fear! (Psa. 46:1-2). Pease be assured of our love. You are on our mind all day, and we are praying repeatedly for you--as well as for the hurting and wounded people surrounding you. Keep courage! The God whom you may serve is a God who will never forsake the work of His own hands!

    With all our love,

    Pastor, Joan, and Sarah Elshout

  15. We are praying for you in California. May God undergird you with incredible strength and stamina. May He give you wisdom and discernment and may you see His hand move on your behalf.

  16. Hi guys

    It is so hard to put into words what we are feeling for you. Many people phone here and ask if you are the same Krul as us and they want you to know you are being upheld in many prayers and thoughts. May God continue to uphold you in His loving care. You are in our constant thoughts and prayers. Have a big hug from us all and please give Jayden a big fat kiss.
    xoxoxoxoxo Ron & Anita

    (Carlye wants me to write that this is from her and Gemma too!) xoxox Gemma and Carlye xoxoxoxox

    Much love from us

  17. Willemien, Jason and Jayden.
    so relieved to hear that you are all doing good, and thinking of you in the coming days, hopefully you will be safe. take care
    Janine VM

  18. Elise and Lute-Geert VerdouwJanuary 15, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Jason and Willemien, we're so glad that you and Jayden are alive. Words can't express the sorrow you are going through, although you can express it rather good, Willemien. I remember the answers you gave to the questions of the pupils from my classes in Holland. Now I have another text for them to read. It'll bring this disaster closer to them and realize we are blessed so much. God bless you and keep you. He did and always will do. With God nothing is impossible! May God be very close to you and the people of Haiti.

  19. Jason, Will and Jayden, I am SO relieved to know your family is ok. I thought about you as soon as I heard what happened. I'll pray for you and all the people of Haiti.

    Denise Baye
    Abbotsford, BC

  20. I'm sure it's very diificult to find anything positive in your situation, but I'm thinking that Denise and Anoud felt a little blessed at seeing you arrive back at home once again. Hoping that your family manages to maintain good health through the remainder of your journey

  21. praying for all of you!! thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Josh.1:9

  22. Willemina and Jason.
    I am glad for you that you were able to leave today. God go with you as you still walk a difficult road. We are here, trusting God for his care for us. This all is so unbelieveble. We are hurting inside. I read your story in het:Reformatorisch Dagblad on line. They translated your story and that's how I found your blog.
    Love and blessings. Coby de Blaeij

  23. Hi Will, Jason & Jayden
    You still are constantly on our mind, and I have a hard time concentrating at work, because our thoughts and prayers are always with you. May God spare and keep you in this difficult time.
    Love, Jerome, Leanne & kids.

  24. Jay and Will
    Thanks once again for the update. Mom and Dad keep up posted too with anything new, but reading it is much different then hearing it from them. Dad has just let us know that you have arrived in Florida, and we are very happy and thankful to hear that!
    We love you and are praying that God will give you strength as you now deal with all that has happened.
    Give the Jays a big hug from us!

    Love Anthony and Sherilyn

  25. Dear Jason, Wil and Jayden:

    Very good to hear you are in Florida now! We'll keep praying for you and the people of Haiti.
    Tim & Amy and family

  26. We just want to let you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you every day. May God give you courage, comfort and strength during this difficult time. We wish you all the best.
    Corrie Jelier

  27. Dear Jason, Will and Jayden,

    We just visited your mom and dad, and heard that you're safe in Florida. We're so thankful! You guys have gone through so much in these last couple days. We continue to pray for you all and for the people in Haiti, as well as for the many organisations that offer help!
    This afternoon we sang Psalter 127: 1 & 8 at our closing meeting at school and I would like to pass it on to you. :
    God will our strength and refuge prove,
    In all distress a present aid,
    And though the trembling earth remove,
    We will not fear nor be dismayed.

    Be still, ye nations, bow in fear,
    And know that I alone am God;
    To us the Lord of Hosts is near,
    Our fathers`God is our abode.

    God bless,
    Uncle Matthew & Auntie Margo

  28. Dear Jason, Will and Jayden
    We gather from one of the comments that you are safe in Florida.(?)We are so thankful to hear that.
    Thank you so much for your honest and open accounts. You have been through so much, but you have 'grown' us all in your ordeal. We hope that you are able to get some rest and recover.
    Our thoughts and prayers remain with you guys and all the people of Haiti. The news accounts are appalling!
    Sending lots of love to you all.
    Your friends in South Africa

  29. Hi! I'm glad to hear you managed to leave Haiti. Your weblog covered a fullpage in the Ref.Dagblad - the dutch newspaper today.

    Groetjes, Joyce & Jacco & girls
    in Holland