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Showing posts from February, 2010

Weekend of prayer and repentance in Haiti

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This was starting the day I left Haiti on February 12th.

Haiti - "A Call To Fasting & Prayer" from anthony gehin on Vimeo.

It was in the place of the Carnival. I left Haiti last year during Fat Tuesday. It was crazy then. It was a different kind of crazy, a holy crazy this year. I hope God continues the revival of this land.

The earthquake in Chile is crazy to me. I've been to Santiago, Chile. It was my first trip to another continent. It was 1993 and my first flight in a Boeing 787, but we landed at such a small airport, but in the country's capital city. Now another country I've been to, where I saw God at work, has been hit by a huge earthquake. There was also one in Japan and one off the coast of Argentina yesterday. I pray these countries also, though more prepared for such acts of nature and not facing as much loss of lives, will, like Haiti, turn to Jesus.

Here is a short video of Jesus time in a tent hospital, courtesy of the Livesay blog. These people la…

emergency shelter for Haiti

There are many ideas on how to provide shelter in Haiti. This group, Shelter2Home wants to provide temporary shelters that can be incorporated into permanent structures. I'm sure that means the upfront costs are higher. Here is their 8 minute presentation.



The permanent solution is being done in partnership with REACH at a Catholic orphanage in Haiti called Pwoje Espwa, whose blog I've been following before the earthquake, because they built an earthbag house, which survived the quake. The technology REACH is using comes from Virginia based Stucc on Steel. It's a revival of stucco but on metal lathes. Because they use galvanized steel, they bury their walls into the ground and foundation to provide earthquake and hurricane strength.

cinema review - The Train (1964)

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John Frankenheimer had the privilege of directing the last great black and white action film, The Train, starring Burt Lancaster in 1964. I have to agree that it is a great film. It is greatly filmed and asks great philosophical questions, typical of the era's existential angst.
Image via Wikipedia
The struggle in the film is the struggle by the French resistance to prevent a trainload of great art from being sent to Germany before the Allies arrive. The protagonist is Burt Lancaster, who doesn't even attempt a French accent. The antagonist is a German colonel played by Paul Scofield who cares more for art than for humans, even fellow German soldiers. The poster for the movie captures that pretty well.

It was filmed big which fit well with it's love for trains. The massiveness of those vehicles are felt throughout the film. I don't think I have witnessed multiple train collisions and derailments in a movie before. He used real, full-sized trains to crash into each other a…

one video from my Haiti trip, Feb 2010

This footage was taken by Pastor George Small of Horizon Christian Fellowship in Fitchburg, Mass. He took a lot of footage. I'm impressed by how he was able to distill the essentials down to 10 minutes.




If you can sponsor a Haitian child for $30 a month through Mission E4, please contact them at MissionE4@yahoo.com

Degaje - Make it work

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Degaje is the Haitian Creole phrase meaning, "make it work." In a country that is so dependent on foreign assistance and without any substantial manufacturing, when a piece of higher technology breaks down, there are no replacement parts and either it is made to work or left to decay. When I was in Port-au-Prince last year I was impressed with the welder at the Calvary Christian Fellowship Orphanage.
From Haiti, Port-au-Prince
His personal protection for welding consisted of flip flops for his feet and dark sunglasses for his eyes. That was not out of ordinary for some people in the US, but his power source for this arc welder was an example of "degaje."
From Haiti, Port-au-Prince
It looks to me like a battery with lots of metal wire coated around it. In principle, perfect, but nothing I've seen stateside.

On this most recent trip, I had to live out "degaje" in small ways. After the earthquake, the American style toilets in the Leogane orphanage of Mission…

getting stuff done in Haiti

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Who is getting things done in Haiti?
We were impressed with the Canadian military. I saw Samaritan's Purse tarps in use and trucks on the road. I saw Doctors without Borders and Gynecologists without Borders. We were frustrated with the U.N. One U.N. rep told our team leader, Scott, that they would give us 5000 emergency shelter kits to distribute. Our team was then formed with the intention of distributing all these over a few days. When Scott returned to Haiti with us, the UN could offer us no more than 1000 kits. They also changed the timelines and distribution points on us at a late hour. They held a 2 hour coordinating meeting that concluded nothing. Haitians are fed up with their own government as well as the UN.
The UN did deliver to us 1000 shelter kits.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010
But they went to the wrong location and refused to listen to the Sri Lankan officers with them who knew where we were and would not move until Scott drove back with the Sri Lankans to prove he really w…

Walking through Leogane, Haiti February 2010

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Leogane was only a few miles from the Haitian earthquake of January 12th. Hence, it was the most destroyed of Haitian cities, over 80%. Here is what I saw.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

The corners of this building were reinforced to keep it standing but the walls just fell and the cement roof collapsed.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

The neighbor's place, a pile of rubble that used to be something much bigger.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

Like an avalanche of cement rubble, but actually a home or a business destroyed by the 50 seconds violent shaking.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

A primary school no longer teaching.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

Some of the better temporary shelters we saw.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

I can't tell how many levels this used to be.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

Only the gate and a corner left.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

Some children were crushed and killed in this school at an afterschool program.

From Haiti trip Feb 2010

This car was parked outsi…