Thoughts Between Sundays

Some of what crosses my mind between Sundays


Hopital Ste. Croix

I am not a primary source of information about this.  But here is a story to share.  It is the story of the Parkers, a couple from Austin, TX who have been in Haiti since the fall working at Hopital Ste. Croix in Leogone, Haiti fixing the guesthouse and coordinating the mission teams that have come to work in the area to provide basic medical care for those in the area.  John and Suzi are the parents of one of my best friends,also a Presbyterian Minister in Austin, have never met a stranger, and hospitality is one of the things they do best.

Suzi was finally able to send an e-mail this afternoon, and I post part of it below:

Hopital Ste. Croix is standing.  John and I are fine.  The administration collapsed under the guesthouse, and our apartment collapsed under the story above.  We have nothing we brought with us to Haiti, but since we have done a lot of cleaning in the gusthouse and hospital, we can find what we really need.  Someone who was here gave me some shoes, and I found another pair or reading glasses that will work, so I have what I need.  John was caught under the wreckage for about 4 hours, but the roof above was supported by the lintel of the slinding glass door, which held up the second floor, so he was uninjured except for a small cut on the top of his head…

At night we sleep in the yard behind the hospital where the bandstand was.  It has fallen, as has the Episcopal school.  There are 2-300 people who sleep in that field at night.  They sing ymns until almost midnight, and we wake up to a church service, with hymns, a morning prayer, and the Apostle’s creed.  The evening sky is glorious.  In the field there is a real sense of community…

I have never understgood joy in the midst of suffering, but now I do.  The caring I have seen, the help we have received from the Haitians, the evening songs and prayers.  Are wonderful.    The people will survive, though many will die.  Please pray for us.  And pray that we and the hospital can be of help to the people here.

There are the words of the Psalmist that describe the earth shaking:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

The Parkers will fall asleep tonight to a lullaby of hymns and awake to a litany of morning prayer and the Apsotle’s creed.  As they continue to work to help those they can, we, their friends and family continue to pray for their safety until they are home.  We will pray for the hospital, and that it will be of use.  We pray for the country in ruins, for a people who, as Suzi puts it, will survive, though many will die.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, information, including how to donate financially, is here.

The Prayers of the People for Sunday will begin with the prayer written by Bruce Reyes-Chow, Gradye Parsons and Linda Valentine.

God of compassion
please watch over the people of Haiti,
and weave out of these terrible happenings
wonders of goodness and grace.
Surround those who have been affected by tragedy
with a sense of your present love,
and hold them in faith.
Though they are lost in grief,
may they find you and be comforted.
Guide us as a church
to find ways of providing assistance
that heal wounds and provide hope.
Help us to remember that when one of your children suffers
we all suffer;
through Jesus Christ who was dead, but lives
and rules this world with you. Amen.