Earthquake in Haiti

Earthquake in Haiti We have just experienced an earthquake here in Jacmel, Haiti. I heard that the quake happened in Port au Prince, but we certainly got hit hard even 3 hours away from Port with a huge mountain range between us. I am still in shock! I have never experienced anything like this ever. I just wanted to write down this experience with the details so that I don’t forget it. This is serious. I have seen people crushed beneath their houses that fell upon them. I have heard of people in our neighborhood that are now dead.

This all happened at about 4:30 PM. It is now 9:30 and we are still getting tremors that have caused further damage to some homes and buildings. Our power is out so I am writing this on a word document and will post it as soon as we get power. Here is what our experience was like:

 My wife and I were sitting in our bedroom writing Thank you cards to all our supporters. Our children were outside on the upper terrace of our home playing. All of a sudden, we heard this massive rumbling sound and everything started shaking. Being the fact that we are new to this home, our first thought was that something was wrong with the water tank on top of the roof and that it was overflowing or something. So, I ran out back to turn off the pump, but as I’m running I feel the whole house shaking like crazy, I see things crashing down around me, and I’m thinking that the water tank is not just overflowing, but that it must be falling off the house. But then I see the half built house next to ours dropping concrete onto the ground and so I knew that this was an earthquake. I ran back inside yelling, “Its an earthquake…Its an earthquake!!” Our kids were running inside at the same time screaming and crying with fear. We all met in the hall in this dazed and confused manner and simply did not know what to do. So, we just held hands and prayed to the Lord that He would protect our lives. We comforted our girls letting them know that God was in control of our lives and so everything would be ok.

 Though it felt like hours, I think it really lasted for about one minute. After it stopped, we went outside and heard people everywhere yelling and screaming and running all over the place. I was thankful to the Lord that we were safe. We prayed again and gave thanks to God for protecting us and watching over us. Then, we went out to the people in the neighborhood to find out if anybody was hurt or needed help. We were told of several people whose homes had collapsed. I met my friend Daniel (a neighborhood teen that I have befriended). He told me that his cousin was trapped in a house with his legs crushed. I immediately ran over to the place where he was talking about. I brought Isabela with me while Maria and Susana went back to lock our gate.

When I got there, I saw the concrete home caved in, and stuck in the middle of this concrete was a man. I could only see down to his torso because his legs were crushed inside the collapsed home. Thank the Lord that after about 15 minutes of many Haitian guys chopping away at the concrete, this man’s legs were able to get free and they came out still attached. He was conscious as well. They carried him to a safe place and laid him on the ground. People were swarming all about him, so I jumped in the middle and told everybody to push back and have only one person talk to him to find out if he was able to move or anything. I told them that I have a car and that I could take him to the hospital. They all told me to get my car asap and come back. So, I ran back to my house with my friend Daniel to get my car.

When I got back, my wife told me that she just got a call from our friend Fenel stating that there home suffered a huge crack in the foundation and they have nowhere to go. So, of course we invited him and his family to come stay with us. She also received a call from our missionary friend Danny who runs a children’s home that has 20 children. He said that one of the kids broke his ankle, but other than that, everyone is ok. I grabbed some sheets to take in the 4Runner and a jug of water so that this man could get water. When we drove back, the people there said that he was already taken to the hospital by somebody else. So, I asked if there was anybody else that needed help who was injured. They told me to drive a little further down the road where more houses had collapsed. So, I took Daniel with me and went further down. We were stopped by a guy who was telling us to come over and help. We went over to where a house was collapsed. I walked on the roof where many others were there with pick axes trying to free a person who was trapped inside. We were told that one person had died and the other was trapped. I couldn’t do anything. I told them that I couldn’t do anything, but that I was willing to take anybody to the hospital who needed medical attention. There were already several people on the collapsed roof with pick axes trying to free the person. I felt extremely unsafe standing on a partially collapsed roof, so I got down and went on my way trying to find anybody who needed to be brought to the hospital. From what I saw of the situation, it was going to take a long time to get that trapped person out. All that we could see was his hand waving through the collapsed concrete and steel bars. I pray that this person was able to get out alive and that nobody else got injured in the process.

As I was driving around, I saw several collapsed houses, but was told that nobody else was injured. I found out that my friend Daniel’s house also had collapsed. So, I got back to my house where my wife and daughters were standing outside. We prayed again and asked the Lord to protect lives all around us.

 Every half hour or so after, we would get some ground tremors which of course would cause us to run away from the house. It is 10PM now and we are still getting tremors. Our friend Fenel and his family came over and we filled all our air mattresses so that we could all sleep outside since we are not sure if it is safe yet to be inside.

About an hour ago, we had another tremor and then we heard a huge crash just across the road and down from us about 50 yards. We all went down to see what had crashed, although I already knew. It is a building that is in the process of being built. They were working on the second floor. Well, time to start all over again since the entire roof caved in and took out the second floor. Sadly, this was going to be a medical clinic for the people in the community.

 Thank the Lord that my Mom happened to call just as I was inside getting ready to take that guy to the hospital. I was able to tell her that we were all ok, but that there were many around us that were not ok and that we were trying to help them. Immediately after that phone call, the power went out completely and phone lines went dead. I know that if she had not heard from me, she would have been a nervous wreck.

So, we heard that this earthquake happened in Port au Prince, but that is all we know. I don’t know how widespread the damage is. I heard from my missionary friend Danny that here in Jacmel 2 huge hotel/resorts have come down. I also heard from my friend Fenel that the earthquake also reached St Marc which is about 3 hours north of Port au Prince, and we are 3 hours south of Port au Prince with a huge mountain range separating us. So, I am only assuming that the damage is great throughout much, if not all of Haiti. This is so surreal.

All that we can do in this moment is pray. We thank the Lord who holds our lives in His hands. We thank Him that He has spared our family from death and disaster. And we pray that lives are preserved all throughout Haiti during this time of crisis. We pray for our other Global Outreach missionaries who are just outside Port au Prince. We pray for my friend Oscar and his family who are near Port au Prince. We pray for the children at Tytoo Gardens orphanage that also is not far from Port au Prince. We pray for our employee Melita and her son. It is moments like this where I clearly see how temporal life can be. We are not in control of our destiny. I am so thankful that my God has the final say in what happens to me and my family. In Him alone do I find comfort and strength. Please pray for us here in Haiti. I fear that the damage is going to be great.

16 thoughts on “Earthquake in Haiti

  1. I’m so grateful for your updates, many prayers are being lifted up for everyone in Haiti- and especially for you as you begin a very intense and unexpected ministry in your community!

    I am trying to get information about disaster relief and will be eager to join in if the opportunity presents itself.

    I am so happy your home is safe, it’s very beautiful and I know what a comfort your open home will be to the community as you love on them (and FEED them!!) I’m so blessed to hear that the beans and rice we sent are going to GOOD use!!!

    The Lord be with you~
    Love, Kristi Hughes and Family

  2. I want to send items to help you. Should I still send them to the address in florida along with a check for the shipping? I called the number and left a message also. What else can we send to help with the victims besides items on the list that you needed for the orphans? Dawn Smith Po Box 235 Brookwood Alabama 35444 205-556-8285

  3. I will be praying hard for you guys, I’m from Florida Bible Church and a lot of m friends there have family in and from Haiti so it’s really been on my mind. I don’t have much money but I can help send food and clothes to the country if there is a missions group gearing to head over there. I’ll have to contact the pastor to find out. God bless you all for jumping right in there and helping the people, hang in there and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you…and help is on the way. Reading our blog had my heart racing, it was like reading a story of some post-apocalyptic world…except it’s all real. To me it sounds scary, I can’t imagine being IN that like you were. Godspeed.

  4. Cody,

    We are relieved that you are OK and that your home is standing. We were so happy that you had found a nice home and were finally getting settled in Haiti. I am so sorry for this terrible turn of events. Please give our love to Maria and the girls.

    We will keep you all in our thoughts and hope that help is on the way. The world is aware of your plight and President Obama has pledged to do all that he can to help. I know the coming days and weeks will be difficult as the extensive damage is assessed and the human suffering escalates.

    Please let us know what we can do to help. If passing on information is useful, we can do that. The state dept has set up a number for American citizens to use to locate family members in Haiti. You may want to have someone let the State Dept know that you and your family are fine and how they can reach you. I assume all cell service is out and I know your generator runs on gasoline which will be in short supply.

    Be very careful about the health concerns that often come in the wake of such a major, natural disaster. I hope you have enough clean water and food to last until the roads are clear and help arrives. You may need to conserve resources for your family until you know when supply routes are back in service. Let us know if we can communicate anything for you when you are able to post again.

    We are so sorry about the loss of life and all the tragedy that has befallen the Haitian people.



  5. Cody & Maria, We are SO thankful your family is ok!! We’ve been so worried. We are praying for the thousands who are grieving the loss of a loved one or the loss of the little bit they had. I can’t imagine this devastation in an already desperate country. We are praying for you all!!!

  6. Thanks for your postings Cody; I was watching to see how your area fared. Pastor Dave Oppertshauser and the team from Sauble are up at Mission Of Hope and have reported by email that no one on the team got injured there as well.

    What an amazing event to live through and what a great opportunity to serve others in their hour of great need.

  7. Cody and Maria, I just stumbled “the Lord led me” to your blog as I was looking up tytoo gardens children. I came on a mission trip in November to the mission of hope. I am very concerned for tytoo gardens and so pleased that you are helping them…they needed you. As soon as you know anything about the condition of tytoo gardens could you please let me know. I know you are so busy always and even more so now. I just need to know that Jesse and the other children are okay. Our prayers are with you and we will be sending support in any way we can. Blessings~ Autumn

  8. Cody and Maria-

    I am so happy that you guys are okay!!!!! I’m also so thankful that mom was able to reach you right away. We would have been distraught to even have to go an hour while not knowing if you were okay. Fortunately when Dad called me he was able to say, “There was an earthquake but they’re okay” in the same sentence.

    We will pray for you guys and the people of Haiti. I work with a lot of people who have family in Haiti so, needless to say, today was a pretty somber day for everyone.

    Please be careful down there……….Give the girls EXTRA hugs and kisses from Aunt Kerri-Anne, Uncle Fabio and their cousins. We love you and we thank God that you are safe.

  9. Dick and I have been praying continually since we heard of the quake. PTL that you are safe. We will continue to lift you and the people of Haiti up in prayer. I know He will do amazing things through you during this time of tragedy. God bless you all and keep you safe. Love, -sandy

  10. We are so glad that you are safe and sound! We will continue to pray for your safety and that of your neighbors and friends. We, of course, have been in very close contact with Danny and the Mangines. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Take care, friends!
    Rick, Lisa
    Dan, Stephen and Sammi Smith

  11. I am glad to hear that you are safe and sound! God is so good!
    I was wondering if you knew if the Brother’s Barber Shop in downtown Jacmel was still standing?

  12. I pray for those people who have been injured in Haiti. the earthquake in Haiti is one of the word disasters this year. I just hope that they would be able to recover soon.

  13. Maria and Cody,

    Hi! I want to know the best way to get in touch with you. My aunt in Louisianna is doing a drive with the schools to help Haiti and she asked me to ask you what is the best way for them to contact you so they can send you help. Please let me know so we can set it up. Blessings and strength! ana maria

  14. I just randomly came across your blog, and just wanted to send my well wishes to you and your family. The images that are being broadcast to us daily are probably nothing compared to what you are going through right now. I know it will take time, but I hope that Haiti recovers soon from this disaster. Best of luck to you all…

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