News about Kim and Patrick Bentrott, GM Missionaries in Haiti
Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:43 PM
Hey everyone. I hope this reaches you all. First of all, Kim, Solomon, and I are safe and healthy. We were in our apartment (the top of a three story house) when the earthquake hit. We were able to get down to the second floor by stairs and then jump/meander our way down to the ground floor over the wreckage. The ground floor was crushed as were the staircase leading out of the house, and the balconies. However, our living space held up well. Anyways, everyone (all 7 people) living in our house made it out alive. Also, there was a group from Tennessee visiting CONASPEH and all members of the group made it out alive too.
That’s were the good news ends. Port-au-Prince is a disaster and there are countless people that are dead, injured, trapped beneath wreckage, and homeless. Most people are setting up little communities in the middle of the streets and on the sidewalks because they are either displaced or too scared to go back into their homes. CONASPEH, the organization that we work for, has been completely destroyed. We made it over there yesterday to find the worst possible scene imaginable. The building (6 stories) has completely collapsed and countless people were inside at the time of the earthquake. Several bodies have been pulled out already but there are dozens more inside. It is devastating to say the least.
Currently the three of us are staying about an hour up the mountain from Port-au-Prince in a town called Kenscoff. The owner of the guest house that we lived in for three months has been an amazing help to us and has taken us to this town. We spent last night in a little hotel and he is making arrangements for us to stay with a pastor in Kenscoff. Tomorrow we will go back to PAP to see if we can find the Villiers (the heads of CONASPEH who are both safe) to see what plans they are making. We are also hoping to stop at the U.S. Embassy to talk with people there as well. For now I would say that we are uncertain what the future holds for us. Our house and organization have been destroyed and even if we wanted to we probably cannot leave Haiti because Solomon’s adoption is far from complete. We would like to continue to help with relief efforts, but things are complicated due to security and having to take care of our baby. We will let you know what happens when we can. Currently our internet is working at the hotel but phone service is basically non-existent in Haiti right now.
Please keep the people of Haiti, especially the CONASPEH community, in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of your concern and prayers. Please forward this to whoever might be interested as internet connection has been inconsistent. Take care.
Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:27 AM
We are ok. We aren’t able to call easily since our phones are either jammed or completely down. WE are now staying in a hotel in the mountain town of Kenskoff. We were able to retrieve our computer from our apartment yesterday and are blessed to be able to reach out in this way for a few days.
We are safe. The country is in ruin and chaos. We lost so many friends. OUr work place was flattened with all my students inside. I had just given them a class and told them “see you next week.” I pulled some of their body’s out of the rubble yesterday. Yesterday morning there were still voices inside, but we all were having a hard time reaching them. The one person we pulled out alive yesterday bled to death on the way to the hospital which is more like a place were people go to die because they can’t even begin to treat the people lining up for help.
All my medicines, medical supplies, lab was buried under CONASPEH as the 6 floor building now is one huge rock pile. I’ve never felt like such a worthless tool in all my life. I had a car full of injured on Tuesday evening trying to get them to the hospital that wasn’t even opening their doors because a wing had collapsed killing several of their doctors and they didn’t have staff or resources ready to see the mobs coming to be treated. So instead Patrick and I carried bleeding people back to their families so they wouldn’t be alone.
Its a small miracle we are safe and alive… that the group that was visiting is safe and alive. I’m not taking it lightly and despite being refugees trying to figure out where to sleep each night, where to get food for Solomon, and what to do next, we are counting each moment as an incredible blessing.
I’ll write/blog more as I get caught up on e-mails and letting people know information as we get it. A friend in the city has taken us under his wing (he as a family with small children as well) and showed us a hotel high in the mountains to stay for the next two nights. Yesterday patrick and I retrieved a few things from our apartment building, jumping at every groan as we did the stupid thing and REENTERED a building that had partially collapsed… but thanks to that, we hopefully will have e-mail for a few days and can stay in contact since the phone systems are either jammed or down completely. The next day or so we’ll try to get ourselves together and make a plan, find our bosses (who survived) and figure out where to go from here. There is more need then ever, but the safety situation may get very tenuous the longer the masses go without food and shelter. Everyone–no matter whether their house fell or not, is terrified to go inside. The streets are packed with people just sitting… stunned. Tent cities are going up in all areas that had some space. Parks are filled, our work out center constructed a big tent in the soccer field for people to come stay. The supermarkets all collapsed, so far the street markets haven’t gotten going yet… so food will be the next big crisis. I am hoping the water treatment centers didn’t completely collapse and can start services soon. Yesterday there was none.
Please pray for Haiti if you are so inclined. We are ok, are safe and are taking things one day at a time.
January 14, 2010, 9:44am
Dear India and Felix,
I’ve been trying since the earthquake to call, but our phone networks are down. Yesterday Patrick and I snuck into our apartment–that miraculously didn’t crumble when our apartment building went from three stories to two in one big crunch of the first story. The landlord got out–not sure how… but no one in our apartment complex was seriously injured or killed.
I’m sure you know by now that Patrick, Solomon and I are safe. Patrick and Francoise Villier are safe. The entire group miraculously is safe. had they been on time for dinner, it would have been another story.
CONASPEH is flattened with all nursing students inside. It is in complete ruin. Francoise and Patrick lost one of their foster care kids inside. Pray for them.
Patrick and I got the group to the American embassy yesterday. The embassy was planning on shuttling people 100 at a time to Santa Domingo, and from there AA would take them back to the states. So they all had a plan on getting out.
Veniel–the manager of the guest house, has taken patrick and I under his wing and took us up the mountain to Kenskoff last night to find a hotel to stay in. We’ll be here for two nights and try to figure out where to go next.
We spent most of the day at CONASPEH helping remove bodies and rescue the last few voices inside the rubble. We haven’t been able to contact the Villiers since yesterday morning. The phone system continues to either be completely down or jammed.
We’ll stay in contact. We hope to head to Port au Prince today or tomorrow to find the Villier’s and see what we can do to help.
Pray for us. Pray for Haiti. The horror and tragedy here is beyond description. Such huge loss of life. Such devastation.
For reflections on our life at hand, visit our blog at www.kimandpatrick.blogspot.com
January 13, 2010 at 7:36pm
Follow this link to the news story and broadcast of a Cleveland Channel Five interview with Eric Bentrott – Patrick’s brother. http://www.newsnet5.com/news/22228392/detail.html
Kim, Patrick and Solomon are safe – but also have lost there home and all their possessions …
Susan M. Sanders