Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is so much worse than we could have ever imagined...

To all,
We are sending this email to give an update on the information we've received so far. We spoke with Kevin McClellan right after the earthquake struck yesterday as he was traveling from Grace Village in Titanyen, where we are building the new orphanages and feeding center. He was OK and unhurt. He told us there was a lot of houses completely destroyed in Titanyen and cracks in the new highway being built on the west cost of Haiti. I don't think he understood the extent of destruction in Port au Prince and became concerned about getting back to his house to check on his daughter. We have been unable to reach him since then.

I was able to call Jean Fils-Aime,'s director in Haiti this morning around 6am. His house collapsed but none of the 12 people who live with him were injured. They all slept out on the streets and said most people would not go back into buildings even if the were still standing because of the fear and aftershocks. He told us he had talked to our orphanage director at our orphanage in Cite Soleil. One of the children had a piece of concrete land on her and she was taken to the hospital... the other 29 children and caretakers were OK. The school that they stay in had substantial damage.

We have not been able to get ahold of the director from our orphanage in Titanyen so we have no word on the 23 children there. We also have been unable to contact our ElderCare director or the directors of the school in Cite Soleil or Lespinasse so we have no word. I have tried multiple ways and have called hundreds of times today but with no success.

We have received word that the Providence Guest House has been destroyed. Providence guest house was run by Gertrude Bien Aime, who ran the Notre Maison Home for handicapped children that we visited over Christmas. We've been told that the guest house collapsed. Notre Maison home for the Handicapped children and St. Joseph's for abandoned children suffered heavy damage - there is no word on the children's condition. At this time, Gertrude is still looking for her daughter who was in school at the time of the earthquake. We have heard that Joanna, who was staying at the guest house is OK.

This is so much worse that we could have ever imagined and the information we continue to receive is not getting any better. This is truly an unbelievable event that we still cannot comprehend. Before the quake, only 30% of the people in Haiti had access to clean drinking water and now there is even less water available. We have one water truck staffed and will be running again when the roads are passable and we have another water truck that was shipped down last year that we want to put into service. We are also working with Feed My Starving Children to ship an emergency container of food to Haiti. I will be leading a small contingent of volunteers to Haiti hopefully in the next week.

We are asking all our friends, families and supporter to please pray for Haiti. Pray for strength, pray for healing, pray for mercy, pray for relief. Pray that God uses this horrible situation to shine His light on the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Pray that through their suffering, God will provide hope and a future for the people of Haiti.

We are in desperate need for additional support and ask that you will consider a sacrificial gift for the least of these. All donations are tax deductible and can be made on line at or by mail at Healing Haiti, 2629 South Shore Blvd, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.

Thank you... please pass this on to your friends, families and coworkers.

Ke Bondye Beni'ou
Jeffrey Gacek and Alyn Shannon


  1. Jeff & Alyn,
    wow...I don't know what to say! My heart hurts for you two...all that you have done and the people to whom you have grown so close! Unbelievable! I'll keep praying! ):
    -Denise Trudeau

  2. Jeff, I am glad to hear you are OK! This is such an unfortunate event. Our prayers go out to all in Haiti at this time. God Bless you and all you do for the people you service.

    -Pete Amberg, Bird Island, MN

  3. I happened to find your blog in search of news about Notre Maison orphanage, which had an association with some friends of mine, Dr. Keith Flanagan and his wife, Jan. I visited Haiti as part of a Christian Veterinary Mission group back in 2000 and am pretty sure Gertrude was still there. Still hoping to get word that Keith and Jan are OK, if you hear anything please post! They are longtime Haiti residents who have done so much good for the people of Haiti, and their animals.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this! I have stayed at Providence Guest house and will be praying for Gertrude. Do you have any word on the Sister's orphanage? My prayers and thoughts are with you!
    Sharon-Franklin, Tn

  5. We are praying and so grateful for your updates. I am a friend of Joanna's from the Haiti Mission Project Board and we were supposed to be leaving tomorrow morning for our trip...those plans have been cancelled and we'd definitely be interested in your thoughts after you go. We'd like to do as much as we can. we've been supporting and helping with Notre Maison and St. Josephs creche. If you hear word about the kids please let us know.
    Lindsey Burken

  6. Jeff, Thank you for sharing this information. As we hear about all the devastation on the news I had been wondering. We have a small team from my Church in Haiti right now. We have heard that they are ok but are praying for their safe return. I'll be adding those mentioned in your note to my prayer list also.
    Renee Becker (UpFront)

  7. I do not know you and found your blog by searching for bloggers in Haiti. I am adding a link to your blog in a special section on my own blog. I want you to know that I am praying for you and for all the people in Haiti.

    Dear God,

    While I cannot always understand the things that happen in our world, I pray that you will be with all the people in Haiti and those outside of the country who are waiting to hear from loved ones. I pray that all those who are hurting, grieving, in pain, suffering will feel your embrace and know that you are there beside them and that you weep with them. I pray that those who lost loved ones will feel comforted in knowing that you were there when their loved one lost their life and that you have taken them home and that they have no more pain or fear. I pray for strength for the rescue workers, the missionaries, the communities, all who are working countless, endless hours to bring stability back to this devastated place. I don't have much to offer but I do have the strength of my prayers and my faith in your love and comfort.


  8. I saw on the Christian Vet. website that Keith and Jan Flanigan are ok. They were not hurt.


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