Thursday, January 14, 2010

Going Through The Motions

January 13
Helicopters fly low over head and even the noise of their rotors makes me cringe. Everyone is skittish. We’ve felt so many aftershocks I’ve lost count. My body is on red alert. Nothing sinks in. Survival. It’s come down to that. I don’t let Jayden out of my sight and every shake and quiver I grab him and we run outside. The stress is taking a toll on Jayden. “Walls fall down,” he says. “Rocks fall down. Big mess.” He sounds like a broken record, repeating the same sentences over and over again. Loud noises scare him and he clings to me. What to do? The house is still a mess and needing to do something, I slowly start cleaning things up. Denise comes and helps me, even though I tell her she doesn’t need too. “Just a little work,” she says. “We will just clean up a little.” Although still frightened that walls will cave in any second, the normality of just cleaning and organizing helps. I slowly calm down and even allow Jayden to have a nap in his own room. He’s exhausted and sleeping in a pack and play in the middle of the house, just doesn’t work. Thankfully while he sleeps, I don’t feel any tremors. Neighbors who’ve driven down Delmas show us pictures of what they’ve seen. Bodies lying alongside the streets, some covered in sheets and some not. Crowds of people just walking and walking, either searching for loved ones, or just not knowing where else to go. The pictures of the Caribbean market where we normally shop for groceries are horrific. Twisted metal shopping carts, pieces of the checkout counter, and all other un-identifiable objects in one heaping pile of rubble. The store is always packed and we shop there every week, we could have even been there that moment, since we often shop after Jason is finished work. The thought is sobering. Even the security wall that fell down on the side of our house could have been a lot more serious. An hour earlier three little boys were playing right alongside that wall. Nicholas, Sabboule and Jayden. If the earthquake had hit an hour earlier they could have been under all the rubble. I shake my head as if to clear away those thoughts. God is still in control and spending time worrying about “what ifs” is useless. Jason spends some time trying to fix the more serious problems with the house. During the earth quake our two big bottles of Propane used to power our stove had fallen over, snapping the line. Our hot water tank had also fallen over breaking the water line there. The security wall that collapsed not only made our home easily accessible for anyone it also burst the water line running through it in various places. After working for awhile, Jason realizes the damage is too great for him to be able to fix. The tools and supplies he needs just aren’t available either. So we are left with no stove and no running water. City power will be off indefinitely, so we are thankful that our solar panels will bring enough power in to run the bare necessities. No gas for vehicles and no diesel for our generator, makes the situation even more difficult. With Caribbean Market completely devastated and substantial damages to Eagle our grocery supply has been caught off. No drinking water, no food, how much longer can we live this way? Thankfully, we have about 20 Gallons of drinking water stored in our depot room and a clay urn that we can use to filter dirty water to make it drinkable. The food issue is not as easily resolved since I have no way to cook anything. Only a couple slices of bread left, and snacks. One of the other MAF families gives us a half a loaf of bread to add to our supply, but everyone has a family that needs to eat. Still suffering from shock Jason and I have no appetite whatsoever, and just grab a small bite to eat here and there, the bare necessities to keep us going. Jayden however eats well, something for which I am thankful. Jason spends the afternoon helping people at the orphanage I used to help out at with the weekly feeding program. Basically they’ve turned the boy’s home into a hospital and treat as many people off the street as they can. At 5:00 all MAF families get together for an emergency meeting. At the meeting I hear that Daniel, one of MAF’s national staff that works at the hanger is presumed dead. I can’t believe it. Daniel is my age, 24 years old and has helped us out a lot culturally and running errands with us. I liked him, he was our friend. He was a strong believer and planned to be a missionary in Jeremie after he married. While the earth quake struck he was in a class at a university that collapsed. An eye witness says they saw him fall and nothing has been heard or seen from him since. Mark Williams tries to comfort us to say that he’s in a much better place now, but I just can’t comprehend that he’s gone. Three of the other MAF national staff have not been reached by phone, but cell phone service is almost non- existent. They all lived very close to the center of the quake and we pray that they are okay. As we go over emergency procedures, the three storey concrete home we are in starts to quake once again. Everyone instantly jumps up and runs down the stairs out onto the street. After this we don’t feel comfortable meeting inside and get some folding chairs and put them in a circle in the middle of the rocky, dead end street. At the end of the street, there is a giant ravine full of small concrete shacks. As night falls, we see candles and hear people singing and praising God. I’ve never met an atheist in Haiti. All though many suffer from all kinds of superstitions, they all believe there is a GOD, who is in control of the entire universe. They aren’t interested in scientific explanations of how earthquakes occur. “God moved the earth.” They don’t question or are angry. They sing and praise Him. I feel a shiver crawl up my spine just watching and listening. Even in the midst of this destruction, God is present, and I can feel Him. I shift my attention back to the meeting and find everyone comparing notes of how much food supply they have. With the UN focusing on their own losses, and grocery stores and markets closed, access to food will be a problem. The unknowns are there as well. Will people begin to riot when they run out of food? Will looting and plundering start to happen now that many walls are broken down? Is it safe for the men to leave their families at home? At the end of the meeting it’s decided that all non-essential staff should be evacuated, starting with families that have small children. Since Jayden counts as a small child, we need to pack. That night Jason and I walk around our home in a dream, moving stuff, covering stuff up and deciding what to pack. 50lbs each, we are told, is what you can take. Never putting much value in material possessions and having seen so clearly the slight step between life and death, nothing seems valuable to me. We end up just packing some clothes, shoes and toiletries and leave the rest. When Jayden finally falls asleep, I sit on the floor as Jason recounts his day. He seems shell shocked. “We picked up injured people alongside the street”, he says, “and gave them rides. Then when we got to the orphanage there were just hordes of injured people. Someone asked me if I knew how to do stitches and I said I’d done it once. That was all it took to get me the job of stitching people up. With very little no how and no anesthesia I got to work stitching up these big gashes. While I stitched, people were screaming and others helped to hold them down. I just had to do it though. As a fire fighter our job was to get people out and get them ready to be transported to the hospital. Today I was the Doctor. Then when we were driving home people were calling us to stop and help at an apartment building. Looking down a crack into three storey’s of rubble and just seeing body parts was very hard. When we tried to help everything started shifting and it was too unsafe. Without proper equipment there was nothing we could do. The people helping to dig said they hadn’t heard anymore screaming for the last couple of hours.” He stares off into space for awhile and then says. “If we really leave tomorrow, I’m going to cry. Everything is so unreal now, but when this really hits me, I’m afraid I will cry.” I don’t respond and just sit there staring wide eyed in front of me. It’s like we are in dream, just going through the motions, but nothing is really registering. “I might cry too”, I finally respond.


  1. Will, we are very relieved to hear that you, Jason, and Jayden have not been injured or worse from the quake. I cannot imagine the devastation, and the horrific tragedies and loss the people there are facing. We are praying for you. Love, Cath.

  2. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all. May God give you much grace & strength, peace & direction for each moment. God bless your family! ~Dorcas

  3. You might cry when you leave, but I am crying now, thinking how afraid you must be and wanting to do what's best for your baby. We are praying for you and so thankful that you are safe. we will continue praying.
    Brendon & Jodi (Bisschop) Weening

  4. Dear Will, Jason, and Jayden. We cannot stop thinking about you guys. I've been checking and rechecking the blog for updates every hour since I got up this morning. Thanks so much for keeping us updated. Please contact me as soon as you can Will.

    love Casey, Annedien, Casey, Victor, and Sidney.

  5. Thanks for sharing these painful images with us -

    We watch from Pennsylvania and can't believe our eyes -

    I can understand your expression of going through the motions - it is allowing your to focus for now

    BUT at some point, you will need to let some tears out -

    We shall be crying along with you -

    Khyra and Phyll
    P.S. Max from South Africa sent us

  6. Dear Jay & Will & Jayden,
    What an unbelievable time for you. We pray for your continued safety and, should you need to come "home," we'll all be here to hold you close as you sort through all your feelings. Your story just makes me cry. Love you guys!
    Robert, Sandra & family

  7. we are very glad you guys are safe! Is there anything we can do to help, like an agency to donate to? - Sarah

  8. Willemien,
    You are famous in Holland.
    Op HET journaal van Nederland, het nosjournaal zei de presentator aan het einde van de reportage over Haiti, U kunt op het ooggetuigeverslag lezen van de Nederlandse Willemien Krul!!
    Arie en ik keken elkaar aan en zeiden, dat is onze Willemien.
    xxx sterkte Margreet

  9. Thanks for updating your blog, as difficult as it must be... We are praying... and our hearts are crying for Haiti and all of you,
    We love you! Uncle Crhis & Aunt Judy

  10. We are crying and praying for you as we read this.
    Love Adam & Annie Slingerland

  11. Dear Will and Jason,
    What a difficult time this must be for you all! Your heart breaks when you see all the devastation, and yet you must do what is safe for your family. It must be so hard to see all those helpless people and know that there just isn't alot you can do to help them. Our hearts are breaking for all of you and the people of Haiti. May God be with them and you as the days pass, life still goes on, and the difficulties also. Please know that absolutely everyone out here is thinking about you, many are praying for you and the people of Haiti.
    Sending you lot's of hugs and love from Marnix and Corine. xoxoxoxox :)

  12. When I read the blog I felt shivers run down my spine...but thanks for updating us. I'm glad to know that you and the two Jays are doing fine. Hope to hear from you soon.

    xoxo Henrietta

  13. glad that you are able to update us on the situation ,cried when I read it.May the Lord be with you and comfort you all .
    love Auntie Jeannie

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  15. Lieve Krul family, 'die in de Schuilplaats van de Allerhoogste is gezeten, vernacht in de Schaduw van de Almachtige..' 'k Bid voor jullie..

  16. I want to express my gratitude to you for sharing your story. Your steadfast faith in the face of terrifying uncertainty humbles me. That you've witnessed to others and continue to feel and know God during this time is inspiring. Through your words here, you have witnessed to me, awakened me. Praise God! My family will pray today for your family's safe return home.

    Love a sister in Christ.

  17. Thanks for keeping us updated! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with ur family and the rest of those in Haiti. May God continue to be with you in each moment giving you strength and encouragement through this tragedy.
    your cousin, Drew

    ~Psalm 121

  18. Dear friends,
    Your blog link was sent to us from a friend. Our thoughts & prayers are will you all. Reading your blog makes it so real, yet we really can't comprehend fully what you are going thru. May you be given to feel God's nearness and strength in this very difficult time. Having young children of our own, we can understand how scary it can be for Jayden & for yourselves to keep him in your site ALL the time! Even though we don't know you personally, we are thinking of you & praying for you all. Anita, your sister in law, though is my husband's first cousin, so we do know of your family :)

    Friends in MI

  19. Thank you so much for updating your blog once again. We also were crying for you and the decisions you must make so quickly. Know we are keeping you in our prayers daily. Love, Jim and Ruth Beeke

  20. Thank you for keeping us posted. This is clearly an overwhelming tragedy, and we hope and pray that you and the millions of unfortunate people of Haiti will be given the strength, faith, and courage for the way. Love from Jaap, Cornelia, and the kids.

  21. Will, I love you all lots! I hope everything works out and that God will give you the strength to do whatever He puts in front of you! I love you all! I am praying for you and all the people of Haiti

    Love you!!


  22. My friend Max from South Africa sent me..I am relieved to hear that you have survived. we are sending our love and prayers
    stay safe
    Asta and mommi

  23. Dear Krul Family,

    I have been following your blog for quite sometime, now, but never commented. I have really enjoyed seeing what the Lord has been doing through ya'll in the lives of the people in Haiti. (I have a heart for missions and would like to be a missonary some day.)

    When I heard about the earthquake there, I was terribly worried about ya'll and checked your blog. I was really, REALLY glad to see that ya'll were all alive and well. I have been and will continue to pray for ya'll!

    May the Lord bless ya'll!!
    I love you!
    Faith Schatte from TX

  24. Dear Will and Jason, I just can't stop checking your posts all the time. I should now, though, as it really is the middle of the night here. Please know that I translated this post also and will give or email it to the rest of our family here to keep them updated. You are in our prayers. Love, Mary & Robert.

  25. Dear Jay, Will & Jayden

    Mom just phoned and said you'd blogged. We were so thankful to hear that you were spared. We were flying back from BC and saw it on the news on the plane. We were so shocked and worried the rest of the way. Right away Ron phoned when we got in and Mom said she had just heard that you were all spared.
    May God give you the strength to continue on there and safe travels to wherever you will go in the next few days.
    You are in our constant thoughts and prayers. Much love to you guys.

    Love Ron, Anita, Gemma and Carlye

  26. Dear Jason, Will and Jayden, Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this unsettling time. We were so happy and thankful to hear that you had been spared - God is good. May He continue to watch over you and go with you. Thanks for the updates!
    Bill Joyce Beeke and family

  27. Jason, Will, and Jayden, and all your Haitian friends: Just to let you know we're thinking of you and praying for you! PTL you are well. Be content in knowing that God never makes a mistake. God will never leave you nor forsake you. Keep looking to Him.
    Johanna Arnoldussen

  28. Hi Will, Jason, and Jayden...even though we don't really know eachother yet I still wish you guy's all the best during these tough times. -Matt

  29. Dear Jason, Will & Jayden
    At first light, I logged on to see if you had any news for us. Thank you so much for sharing it all.
    Our thoughts are so with you all at this time and I hope and pray that you will feel the strength, encouragement and prayers coming your way from across our planet.
    Thank you so much for sharing your accounts of what must be enormously painful, scary and surreal. I am so thankful that there are people like you in the world who tell it like it is - allowing us all a glympse into the reality of such a tragic event.
    Be strong, consider yourself hugged and know that our prayers are with you all.
    Much love
    Caryl in South Africa

  30. Krul Family;
    We do not know you but we heard your father speaking on the news about the earthquake and that you were safe.
    Through facebook God has led me to this page and from here I can encourage you.
    We pray for your continued safety, and for all the Haitian people, that they may be granted the relief they so desperately need.
    Blessings to you from fellow believers in Chilliwack.

  31. Hi will, praying for you all. I just heard that a friend of mine had relatives in Haiti who managed to get a flight out via the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince on a military hercules plane. Not sure if this info is helpful or not, thought I'd pass it on. Jennifer Slingerland

  32. Dear Will, Jason & Jayden.
    We're so glad to hear that you're okay after this devastating earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all the time. May God give you strength and support in this very difficult time. It must feel so helpless not being able to rescue all those people trapped in the debris. We keep checking your blog all the time. Take care.
    Lots of love from Jerome & Leanne, Brandon, Eva-Marie, Wesley, Mitchell, Jordan, Rylan & Breanna.


  33. Thank you for sharing your story. Especially about the people of Haiti who are singing praise. It speaks of what God is doing around the world. I hope that you return safely, as well as those who have become your friends and are currently missing. Our prayers go out to your family and the people of Haiti and the mission team.

  34. Thank You Jason you have given us on the site description of Haiti now,1000's are praying with Jesus and the suffering people of Haiti

  35. My brother is with MAF in DRC - I will be praying for you and your family during this time.

  36. Tako and Frances SlumpJanuary 15, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Dear Jason, Willemien & Jayden.
    We are thinking of you daily and keep you and the people in Haiti in our daily prayers!
    Love Tako & Frances, Esther Rebekah, Joshua & Sarah Slump

  37. Dear family Krul,

    Praying for you and thinking of you and the people of Haiti in this difficult time. We pray God may give His grace and what is needed, also the daily necessities, to go thru all this. May He be your Strength and Refuge.
    Kind regards,
    Arie & Aline Wessels, New Zealand

  38. Dear Krul family, Words cannot express my sympathy and heartbreak for everyone in Haiti. So much love and many prayers are with you all. May God bless and keep you and all His precious children in Haiti in Haiti in His loving care and protection- Sina Pipkin, Greensboro North Carolina