Feb 20 2014 Haiti fire update from Lifeline Christian Mission


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Feb 20 2014 Haiti fire update from Lifeline Christian Mission

  1. 1. Having trouble viewing this email?Click here Dear Friends,   A special thanks to everyone who has encouraged us and sent funds for the Fire Relief and those who have offered hands-on help!    Here's an update on the Grand Goave Fire/Loss:   It is still vivid in my mind what happened yesterday and from our lips praise continues.    About 8:40 a.m. one of our Team Coordinators came to our door, got Bob and I and said there is a terrible fire in the shop.  Bob went out immediately and I followed.  Bobby had just gone out. The billowing black smoke was huge in the sky and I saw all the Haitian staff running toward the shop building. As I walked out through the school corridor I saw the flames; they were immense and I saw Haitians pulling things out of the way so they wouldn't burn.  They were trying to pull one generator out with a chain; they got it out successfully later but not before it was severely damaged. Two generators were destroyed and were in flames.   There was one thing that was a bit humorous to me: I saw a hand-full of Haitian staff running out of the administration office at the end of the shop building carrying all their computers, printers, desk chairs, etc.  They were afraid the fire was going to race down to their room! Quick thinking!   But what hit me was the sense of "there's nothing we can do!!"  We knew it was an electrical fire and in the U.S. we'd call the fire department and step back out of the way.  Not here!  But what I hadn't considered was how the Haitians would race to the aid and take charge. While Bob and Bobby were making decisions and directing people, the Haitians were "in the thick of it" -literally!!!  The first thing they did was remove as many items as they could from the area, including the empty fuel barrels and welding equipment (for the roof trusses, doors for the homes and the beds that we make). They got the tractor, the dump truck, lots of empty containers and sped back to the construction site of the new children's http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/...6c61&c=b8487db0-3322-11e3-9512-d4ae52710c75&ch=b9602f40-3322-11e3-965f-d4ae52710c75[2/20/14, 11:00:39 AM]
  2. 2. home for loads of dirt and sand to smother the fire.   The flames were up through the tin roof; praise God that Bob had constructed this new roof with steel and not wood!    Bobby's immediate concern was the danger and the live electric still feeding in from the public electric company. Bob was concerned about everyone's safety.  There was a drum of fuel in with the burning generators.  It could have exploded at any moment and the entire track of buildings, including our #10 food depot which was just refilled with the ABC food from containers that arrived in the past 5 days, and Depot #9 that contained about half of the 10,000 Bibles from Gideon's Canada!  But the greatest concern was the safety of the people.  Most onlookers didn't realize that drum was there. They soon got it out!   In addition to all the staff that came out to help and some to pray and watch, we had the local radio station here, the police, the U.N., the Mayor of Grand Goave and others I recognized but couldn't remember their names to see what was happening.  It was a major turn-out.   Bobby called Adam and asked him to call the electric company and have the power cut off to Lifeline.  We had a live feed of power into the burning area and the wires, the box, switches, etc. all burned up.   The work team here from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Canada went to the dorm area grounds and began praying.  I called the Lifeline U.S. Staff, gave them a brief synopsis and asked for the email to go out for urgent prayer. About that time the kids from the school started flooding out of the classrooms and so we had to get the school director to move them back to the land behind clinic for fear of explosion.   But again, what amazed me was how the Haitians knew what to do!  They knew "no water on an electrical fire" and knew to smother it!  So some of them went up on the "hot tin roof" (literally) and began the bucket brigade of dirt/sand and they were pouring the dirt right through the burned roof onto the flames.  Within minutes the fire was out.  Some of the heroes in all this were the Haitians who http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/...6c61&c=b8487db0-3322-11e3-9512-d4ae52710c75&ch=b9602f40-3322-11e3-965f-d4ae52710c75[2/20/14, 11:00:39 AM]
  3. 3. kept going in to the area with the tractor and truck to bring in dirt and to pull things out of the way.  We were overwhelmed with how valiant and committed these men were to getting this under control.  About this time Bobby told us that the electricity still hadn't been turned off by the power company.  Finally within a few minutes it was off. Those men were working there in this highly dangerous area and no one could have stopped them.  At one point we tried to get them to come out because of the live electric feeding in but then everything was okay.   Then Bob seized the opportunity to have a circle of prayer with everyone that we could get into the circle who was present on the grounds; even Bobby was able to stop for a minute and join us. This included the officials, press and many onlookers, as well as our faithful church members and staff.  Bob first praised God for the safety he provided and then thanked everyone for their help and prayers. It was a very wonderful time of praise, glory and honor to God for his divine protection.   When the dust had settled, literally, and the cleanup was all done (the Haitians kept working and tearing out the roofing materials, and the dirt from the smothering of the fire, the remnants of generators, and cleaning up), we had lost 2 generators valued at over $50,000 and a 3rd one was terribly damaged.  The roofing will need replaced and all wiring and everything that is needed to hook us back up to public power is gone. Some of the wires even burned under the ground.    Our immediate concern, after the fire was out and everyone was safe, was electric to pump water for the work team of about 40 people.  Bobby was able to hook up a small portable generator to the well pump and we had water but no electric. A second concern was our freezers and refrigerators, filled with food.  The need for a generator was urgent.   So Bob and Bobby, along with their driver, took off for Port au Prince to find another generator.  The problem was money to buy it.  One of the work team leaders had his bank card and had enough room to loan us to get a generator so they headed to Port au Prince with the box truck, fully prepared to buy a generator.  Unfortunately, the credit card wouldn't go through due to the amount of the transaction (his card had a limit on international transactions).  So they went to the bank to try to get the money via a phone call to the U.S. to the credit card company, but there was a limit on such transactions, even though there was plenty of money available in his account!   (Note:  Bobby Curlee has a really bad knee problem; in all of this he is wearing a knee brace and experiencing terrible pain.  Today he finally got crutches and is using them; as I type Bobby is working to get more hook-up done for the new generator and Bob is out at the new children's home site).   In the meantime, I had contacted a fellow missionary who we often collaborate with relating to containers and food importation. He has an account in Haiti and, praise God!, he had the money in his bank right here in Haiti and loaned it to http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/...6c61&c=b8487db0-3322-11e3-9512-d4ae52710c75&ch=b9602f40-3322-11e3-965f-d4ae52710c75[2/20/14, 11:00:39 AM]
  4. 4. us.  Bob got to his bank 5 minutes before closing, picked up the bank check, and then got back to the generator dealership just as they were locking their doors at 4 p.m.  Bobby called and said that he didn't think we were going to get it - they were locking their doors in 3 minutes and they wouldn't even begin preparing the generator for us to take until they had the check in hand. At this point we thought it was not going to get done the same day.  Back in Grand Goave, we were all praying!  About 4:30 Bob called and said "We are in the box truck, the generator is loaded up and we are ready to leave Port au Prince".  Hallelujah, God is good. I cried!   At 7:30 p.m. last night Bob, Bobby, and the Haitian guys all rolled in with a new generator and by 8:30 p.m. Bobby had us hooked up temporarily with a new 70 KW generator!  Praise God. For those who have never lived in a country like Haiti, where the traffic is unbelievable, everything is hard to accomplish, and businesses don't operate like they do in the U.S., it is hard to comprehend what Bob, Bobby and the Haitians had to go through yesterday.  But all praise to God because He just opened one door after another.   We take so much for granted!  Not having electric in Haiti impacts so much: no water to drink, can't flush toilets, can't run fans, can't pump water for the public, can't make blocks or mix concrete, refrigerators (including the one in clinic holding insulin) were warming up, can't continue welding trusses or doors for the homes or children's home, and the lack of security lighting.  All  those things we take for granted at home!   When all is said and done we are going to probably have a loss and need of about $100,000 but already God's people are responding.   So our praises to share with you today in this update: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. This didn't happen at night while we were sleeping. The drum of fuel didn't explode. No injuries. Friends who prayed. Workers who put their lives on the line. Work team members who ran around putting ice in coolers and ice chest so we could have water later in the day if we needed it. Work team members being willing to loan their finances to fund a $21,000 generator. (Bob talked them down from $25,000!!!!) Those who have given or pledged funds. Lifeline U.S. staff who are there to keep communications going and seek relief for the needs. Enoc our head welder/shop supervisor who loaned his own, personal portable welding equipment this morning so he could continue to build trusses and beds for children. The opportunity to give God praise and glory for His divine protection, via http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/...6c61&c=b8487db0-3322-11e3-9512-d4ae52710c75&ch=b9602f40-3322-11e3-965f-d4ae52710c75[2/20/14, 11:00:39 AM]
  5. 5. the local media and to the community officials as we prayed in their presence. 12. And our Great God for all of the above!!!!!!!   God bless you and thank you!  Gretchen L. DeVoe Lifeline Co-Founder    Lifeline Christian Mission   ||   Restoring hope among the nations  Haiti | Honduras | El Salvador | Cuba | Panama | Guatemala | Navajo Nation | Canada | USA   STAY CONNECTED     www.Lifeline.org   Forward this email This email was sent to missionsrvcs@gmail.com by news@lifeline.org |   Update Profile/Email Address | Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy. Lifeline Christian Mission | 921 Eastwind Drive, Suite 133 | Westerville | OH | 43081-3363 http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/...6c61&c=b8487db0-3322-11e3-9512-d4ae52710c75&ch=b9602f40-3322-11e3-965f-d4ae52710c75[2/20/14, 11:00:39 AM]