Hurricane Matthew

We were walking home from church on Sunday when John and I first caught wind about the hurricane headed towards Haiti. Maybe it was because we had just sat through a three-and-a-half-hour service in a language we didn’t understand, or maybe because we are from the Midwest and have never experienced a tropical storm, but both John and my ears perked at the exciting news. Not necessarily exciting in a good way, but we were far from afraid. We live in a fully concrete structure, so we weren’t too concerned about ourselves. Immediately, we started sharing ideas about going out to capture pictures and stories of the storm’s destruction while being able to be first responders to people that needed help.

The rest of Sunday was spent making preparations around the yard and house, but that didn’t mean much for John and me, and before long everyone was just sitting around waiting for the storm to hit. John and I were on the roof when we felt the first trickle of rain.

“No…” I hear John say then laugh, “This can’t be how it starts. This is way too anticlimactic.”

I’d love to tell you that over the next day we chased and endured a near-fatal storm like Bill Paxton in Twister. I’d love to say we led a safety boat that floated down the road and saved everyone from the tops of their houses. I’d love to say that my childhood dreams of becoming a rescue diver came true. In fact, hurricane Matthew ended up being, for us at least, no more than a long, slow rain and mild winds. Haiti is a fairly small island, but we are in the central plateau, which is the middle portion of the country surrounded by mountains, and the peaks helped to dull the storm. John and I ended up spending a little over two days sitting on the porch reading, writing, and watching the rain come down.

Tuesday afternoon we felt the onset of cabin fever and had to go on a walk. We journeyed out to the front of the property where the main road meets our path. My immediate thought was epic slip and slide. Much of the neighborhood was meandering about too. Little kids were splashing in playing in the mud puddles, and for a while we joined them. The brave souls that dared to drive on the slick mud laughed at us gleefully witnessing barefoot white men playing in the mud. We walked up and down the street a little bit, but it was still raining, so we eventually went back inside to dry off.

So, that’s how our hurricane experience was, for all of you who were worried. It was mostly just a little boring and slightly disappointing. But, When the rain finally stopped, we walked around to check on our neighbors, especially the ones who we had met with before and had printed out family portraits to give them. We sat and talked with them and listened to their stories. Then discovered that the storm hit hard for a few towns in the south, and they haven’t even been able to count the dead. But, you probably know more than we do, because news is very limited here, but we know all of your prayers and concerns helped protect Pignon and the northern part of Haiti, and thank you for that, and thank God for that.

We plan to go south as soon as practical with some of the Many Hands for Haiti staff to help distribute some needs and help in any way possible.

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