this is an email going round the jw's, contains several accounts
Here are some new reports that I received today about our brothers in Haiti. For those unfamiliar with the geography of the area, Haiti shares the island with the Dominican Republic which is referred to as "DR" in the report. Also, note that the pictures referred to did not come through so I can't pass them along. Sorry.
Haiti Disaster: Report from Elder in Dominican Republic : 14th January 2010
I’m sure you are all as hungry for news as I am. Still, we can’t give into spreading sensationalism or unfounded rumours. I will give you what I have confirmed to date and what I have heard on the news:
There are now 11 confirmed dead among our brothers. Some of those lived near the collapsed Hotel Montana and were friends of a local sister.
As mentioned before, the assembly hall of Port au Prince is being used to help the injured. It is also serving as a refugee camp. The DR branch sent a doctor to the border and some of our brothers have been transported by truck to the border to meet him for treatment. Because of the communication problems it is difficult for the Haiti branch to reach all areas and get news. The local elders are working hard to account for all the friends. Brothers from the branch in Haiti go to the border twice a day where they can get a cell phone signal in order to relay information to the DR branch. Food and other supplies have been sent to the assembly hall.
Because of the lack of heavy equipment brothers are digging out families with their bare hands. Although their first interest is their immediate family and the friends in the congregation, they are helping anyone they can everywhere they can.
A brother named Jonathan working at the Haiti branch tells us that all the missionaries are alive and doing fairly well. They haven’t heard yet from all the special pioneers, but those who have been able to report in are doing well. Some Bethelites are sleeping outside out of fear because of the numerous aftershocks. As reported before, the Bethel itself withstood the shocks although there are some cracks in the walls. However, some of the block wall surrounding the property has collapsed. Although his report doesn’t state how, some Bethelites have lost all of their possessions. Kingdom Halls are still standing and are being used as relief centres. There is no phone service at all in the country now. However, there is 'spotty' Internet access and the friends try to take advantage of this when they can.
News agencies report that gunshots have been heard in the streets, but I have no reports as to why or if this is hindering the relief. According to one report conveyed to me, some doctors fear for their lives as family members threaten violence if their family is not treated first. Such a contrast with our brothers who have learned to put on the new personality. (Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-11)
If the brothers follow the pattern of other disasters, they will hold the weekly Watchtower study for 30 minutes or so on the weekend and then continue to render aid where necessary. Relief centers will always start the day with some spiritual thoughts including the consideration of the day’s text, and then a prayer. Once the rescue work is finished the brothers will begin to bring comfort and spiritual assistance to all who wish it in the area. (see reports of previous disasters below)
It is too early to start to send people in as they would only represent a burden on the already scant food and water supplies. Right now our best offense is to keep praying for our brothers and to contribute to the worldwide work, knowing that money has already been taken from this fund in order to help out and more will be needed later. Also the construction fund will need a boost as the reconstruction work starts.
We are okay, Bethel family okay. These are pics I took as driving through north part of city as coming back after quake. I was coming back from visiting KH construction sites in center of country. We thought the truck lost a tyre and pulled over, but noticed it was a quake when the walls next to the road started coming down. We send our love and will keep in touch Jonathan & Marnie
This is a website run by a Bethelite in Port au Prince.
Here is a bit more news from a different source.
The Branch coordinator in Haiti is a brother from Montreal named Brother Norman. He and his wife have been there for at least 30 years. All the phone lines and most cellular towers were down but they wisely had a satellite phone to make contact with the Society. He says that the reinforced concrete floors of Bethel rolled like waves during the earthquake but when it finally stopped there wasn’t a crack. Haiti has no building codes to speak of but when the International Construction Volunteers built the Bethel and the Circuit Assembly hall next door they built it to American building codes ? and then some. As a result the buildings were not damaged though I’ve heard some of the wall that surrounds the property fell. There is also an MTS class going on currently and all of the brothers are fine. However as regards the brothers and sisters in Port au Prince no doubt the picture will be grim and it may take weeks to know the full story. In the Dominican Republic across the border the brothers felt the quake but apparently there is no ... or minimal damage.
The Toronto French congregation meets at my hall and many of the brothers and sisters there are Haitian. No doubt a scary and emotional time for them.
Report from Brooklyn Bethel - received news from a brother staying at branch in Haiti, all accounted for, seems to be no damage to the branch buildings, they have water, stock of food, fuel and generator running. Reports from brothers have not started coming in yet.
Otherwise, I spoke with a Haitian sister in my cong. she spoke with her cousins there and they told her two sisters in their home sadly died. Another Haitian sister in our cong. is still waiting on news of her husband and relatives.