Pa Janm Bliye, 12 Janvye 2010

Never Forget, January 12th 2010.

At 4:53 PM on January 12th, 2010 an earthquake hit Haiti with a magnitude 7.0.  Several 5.0 and higher magnitude aftershocks happened in the days following.  This earthquake was devastating, and I am sure that you all remember seeing the horrific photos in the media in the days and weeks following.

Today, I want to share with you the story of that day from the eyes and the heart of our Assistant Director Rithza.  Rithza was in Port-Au-Prince that day and here is her story, in her words.  (She asked that I only edit to translate it into a more readable version for the English Language)

My name is Rithza Pierre.  I grew up with my aunt in PAP, because my mother passed away when I was 8 years old.  I would like to share with you my experience from January 12, 2010.  

I was in school that day.  I was 17 years old.  My school was very strict about leaving school early for any reason at all.  Even if you were sick they would not allow you to leave early.  That day I left early because my Aunt was coming to Haiti on the 13th and I was so excited to go home and prepare for her arrival, to welcome her.  That day the gate man did not even question me as I left school.  When I arrived home my grandmother asked why I was home early and I told her that I didn’t feel well.  I was standing and watching T.V. when the earthquake started.  I felt the house shaking and I thought it was a big truck driving by, I continued to watch T.V.  Then the second shaking was very hard.  I cried out so loud asking my aunt “What is that!”  Her answer was to get outside, it is an earthquake!  After running outside one word I remember I said was “God, I know I will die, but please save me, please.”  While standing outside I was watching the house I was in moving up and down.  One of my uncles that lived with us was not home yet.  I was crying so much because I couldn’t communicate with him, worried about where he was and if he was safe.  I slept outside for 3 full days, and on the 4th day my aunt and I went to hospitals searching for my uncle.  We passed by my school that day.  Laying on the cliff were my teacher, and all of my friends from school.  All of them dead.  Waiting for the machines to come and scoop up their bodies and dump them into a truck.  I could not stop crying.  The tears were of sadness and also tears of joy, I was giving all glory to God.  I did not have any close relatives die that day, (We did find my Uncle and he was ok)  All I could do was help people now.  There was no clean water any where so we started giving water to people in my village.  

We slept outside on the ground for a full month before finding other shelter.  In July of 2010 my aunt moved us to Arcahaie, she was frightened to have us in PAP because the situation was very bad.  There was no food, no water, and people were suffering all around us.  

Through all of this I just want to thank God for everything He does. 


I just want to thank God for everything He does?  How often do we do that, especially in times of crisis or tragedy.

Today, I want to thank God that He guided Rithza out of her school that day.  The Holy spirit was present in her.  He knew that there was a much bigger plan for Rithza and He needed to show her what that was.  Through all the tragedy that day we know for a fact that if the earthquake had not happened she would not have met and married Rodnald.  She would not be part of 7:10 Foundation today.  She is such an amazing asset to us, and God knew her servant heart.

Pray for the hearts of everyone today, on this 8th anniversary of the earthquake that stole so many lives.  Pray that everyone might have the same peace as Rithza, and that all glory is given to God in all things.

When you ask God Why…….

Since I was saved just over 10 years ago, I have not found myself in serious question as to the
“why” of much.  My family has suffered some very tragic losses, and through the mourning I have been able to always find peace in the Lord.

This week has been a very hard week.  First I am going to rewind to New Years Eve, so January 31st 2017.

My dad called both my sister and I that morning, and for whatever reason both my sister and I missed the call.  Later that afternoon he tried again.  At about 3:30 I answered the phone to hear my dad describe some pretty scary events that were happening in our family home with my mom.  She was delirious.  Seeing things that were not there, and having conversations with no one.  I was in Perham at a friends house so I was very close and went right over.  The things my dad was describing scared me into thinking that my mom had suffered a brain injury, or a stroke…  After some conversation she agreed to go to the emergency room in Perham.  While we were getting into the car she recalled falling down the stairs that morning (going from inside to outside) and hitting her head on the stairs when she landed.  Now I was even more fearful.  She had been sick for 10 days prior and the day before (the 30th) she was finally well enough to have a Christmas celebration with our family.  She seemed tired, but normal.

We were brought right in to the ER, the nurses assessed her and the doctor ordered a CT scan of her head and neck right away.  Blood was drawn immediately also.  There was no waiting, no question that she was going to get the care that she needed.  Her scan came back normal, so no head injury was suspected.  We waited for blood work and urine samples to be tested to try and learn more about why she was seeing a half squirrel/half rabbit in the corner of the room… and a little pig with a straw hat on the counter top.  When the blood work came back the doctor informed us that she had very concerning results.  Her heart enzymes were elevated, and her kidneys were not functioning properly.  She needed a bigger hospital that was more equipped to dig deeper into cause and treatment.  An ambulance was called and she was transported without wait to a larger hospital about 2 hours away.

My sister and I followed her up and stayed with her during her intake and additional testing.  When we finally left that night we left in peace, knowing that the professionals had a good take on what was happening and how to treat her.  She was hooked up to fluids to flush her body and get her rehydrated from having the flu for so many days.  She stayed in the hospital for 3 days.  Her hospital room was private, with a couch and a reclining chair.  On the wall hung a big screen TV and a private bathroom was in the room.  The nurses cared for her on a regular basis, aids brought her water and juice, hospitality made sure her room was clean and brought her 3 full meals a day.  By the end of the first full day the hallucinations disappeared and she was on her way to being healthy.  Her meds were evaluated and dispensed as needed.  My mom is home, she is alive.

Wednesday January 3rd. An accident involving a moto occurs.  On the moto is one of our translators mother.  One of our builders Mother in Law.  Our assistant directors very close friends mother.  She has a traumatic head injury and is in need of urgent care. Our Director and Assistant Director Rodnald and Rithza tell me at 5:00 that they have just spent the entirety of the day trying to find a hospital to take her.  The first hospital they went to turned them away, there wasn’t any available beds.  The second hospital they drove her to assessed her and told them there was nothing they could do for her, they needed an ambulance immediately to get her to Port Au Prince and to a specialty hospital.  They did give her a bed, but didn’t do a thing for her.  They did not help to facilitate transport, or help to find a hospital that could or would take her.  Rithza tried calling an ambulance service in Haiti only to find out that the transport would cost $150, and needed to be paid up front.  The family did not have $150.  They also knew that she needed an MRI and this was going to cost anywhere from 200-400$… IF they could get her someplace that would take her.

Thursday January 4th.  The hospital that Venilia was in kicked her out.  The same hospital that told us that we could NOT transport her that only an ambulance could the night before, is now insisting she leaves.  The desperate family drives her north to another Hospital. Phone calls were made in advance and this hospital said they had room and would take her.  An hour and a half drive later with a critically ill, unconscious patient, and they are turned away yet again.  The trek to Port Au Prince is made..  They go to a good hospital in Port Au Prince that a scan and care could be given, but they were yet again sent away.  Dying, unconscious, critically injured patient in tow.  With no money they take her to a general hospital.  They accept her.  Although the do not have a bed, so she was laid on a sheet on the dirty, cold, concrete floor.

Friday January 5th.  It is determined that we can go to a specialty radiologist clinic and have an MRI done for $278 dollars.  7:10, Grace Malnutrition Clinic, and Children’s Lifeline came together in record time to make sure that this need is met, and the money is sent from our village in La Digue to the clinic in Port Au Prince.  The lab knew that the money was coming but refused to do the scan until the money was there.  The money arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon, and they are told “sorry, we are closed”.  Ven is taken back to the general hospital where just a few short hours later she passed away.  A dirty, undignified, helpless death.  While I believe that her brain had died 2 days before based on the symptoms and bodily actions, it doesn’t justify the manner in which she was cared for by the numerous health care facilities in Haiti.

3 days.  3 days she suffered while all of Haiti health care chose money over life.  Not one facility took value in her life.  In the lives she touched, supported, and loved.  Not one.  My mom is given immediate, intentional, kind and loving care.  My friends mother is thrown away like todays trash.  She wasn’t any less loved by her family than my mom.  This, this has made me ask why.  What is your plan with this Lord?  Why was she valued so much less, when she is loved just as much?  Why does someone who loves the Lord and her family deserve to die such a terrible disgusting death?  Then it moves bigger for me.  Why does a country that has SO MUCH do nothing but COMPLAIN all the time.  Health care is expensive, health care isn’t available, our government doesn’t care about the poor.  I call BS.  (and forgive me for the language, but I am wound up)  Do any of you have any idea how well you have it?  I went a full year (2017) without insurance.  I was still given care.  I have a ginormous bill to pay but guess what, I was NEVER turned away. I had the option to be treated and billed later.  My husband has a debilitating auto immune disease, the medicine without insurance for him was $5000 a month.  Guess what, there are people and companies and organizations that care and he had his medicine every month for $50.  Available and without prejudice.  How can so many people whine and complain about such abundant blessings.  Can any of those people please be forced to see what it could be like? Why.

I am deeply hurt and saddened by what happened with Madam Venilia.  A 57 year old mother, grandmother, wife, sister, friend.  I pray for her family, for peace in knowing she is in a glorious home.  I pray that if they do not know Jesus that they will find Him so that they can be reunited one day with her.

I am also mad.  So while I usually have encouraging scripture and photos to help you get through these blogs, tonight I just do not. I have photos of Venila dying on the dirty floor but they do not show her in the way that she lived her life.  Can you pray for me?  Can you pray that I will have peace and understanding in this tragic awful situation.  Can you pray that my question to God, why, can be turned into a teaching moment and the veil of confusion be lifted?


Blessings to you and yours.  Please offer thanksgiving for the blessings you have.