Pete and Carol Verhey and Harold and Twyla Van Wyk were in Haiti the beginning of July with Mobility Worldwide. They were able to safely leave the country after the assassination and have returned home safely. Read below as they reflect on their week.
After a safe landing on the grass landing strip in Pignon, we arrived at the MH4H campus. It always feels like coming home again to us. We had a quick lunch and climbed into the tap tap to visit some PET cart recipients we knew from a few years ago.
Pastor Samuel’s wife was in her home and her cart needed lots of work and she asked if we could fit it with a back shelf so it would be easier to take her wares to market. Harold was all over that and a plan was made. Next we saw Eleone, a very plucky older lady that received one of the first carts given in 2016. She has used her cart well but is now bedridden with much pain in her legs. She was so happy to see us and told us she had been praying we would come. She was waving her hands and praising the Lord that we came. She is still such a “bubbly” lady and smiling from ear to ear. She told us that she doesn’t have time to die! What a testimony!
“…we arrived at the MH4H campus. It always feels like coming home again to us.“
We then went to the market which is now located in a new area. We saw an unoccupied PET cart and Christi asked around. She found out that 2 weeks ago the lady who owned it got word, while at the market, that her 8 year old son was killed on the road in front of their house. She hadn’t been back for it since. We went to visit her and then took the truck to pick up her cart and bring it back to her. She was so very sad and then we circled her and her family and prayed and brought them rice, beans, etc.
Our next visit was to Mari Nitha. She has diabetes and has lost one leg and the other has a bad infection. It is very hard for her to get around. Even cooking is difficult and her neighbors are no help. We brought her food and some charcoal and prayed with her. These precious people are a testament of how hard life is in Haiti
Friday morning, Twyla stayed on campus organizing all the parts to make diaper packets to give to the Haitian sewing ladies. The rest of us went to LaVictoire, to distribute mobility carts. We were met by a gentleman we recognized from a previous distribution. He had this huge grin on his face as he recognized us too. He is now the head of the disabled organization in the city and, with a couple other young men, have started an orphan ministry. We see time and time again how God uses the independence these mobility carts provide to further his kingdom.
We went to Hinche on Saturday .A place we have been many times. Because of road improvements it only takes a half hour to get there versus 1 1/2 hours before. We brought with us 12 carts and did lots of repairs. After getting back to campus, Pete and Harold worked at some cart repair and Twyla and Carol organized the huge pile of crutches that had been donated. We washed them and put them in pairs. Now when we go on a PET cart distribution we can take some with us. The crutches we see are in pretty bad shape. In Hinche one of the new recipients had a cast on his arm. The rubber tip on the end of his crutch had a hole in the bottom, which caused the tip to slide up the length of the crutch leaving the metal frame of the crutch exposed. Because of that he slipped and broke his arm.
We went to dinner at a pizza restaurant with Ewand and Erilner, the PET cart technicians employed by Many Hands. They took their families too and we had a wonderful time together.
We went to church Sunday morning and then had a lunch buffet in Pignon. We felt very little effects from the hurricane. Some of you may have been worried about us but we are fine. It is pretty hot here but we can sleep cool. We thank God for this wonderful opportunity to be blessed by our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
Sunday evening we enjoyed a 4th of July celebration! Tom Dent, one of the staff here, grilled burgers and Haitian hot dogs (we think they were made with chicken or who knows). We played patriotic music and played bean bag toss. Later we had a sing-a-long with one of the interns who plays guitar and has a beautiful voice. It was a really great way to end our day.
After our pancake breakfast Monday we took off for Thomasique about 2 hours away, much of which was a BUMPY ride to say the least. Nine carts were distributed to very worthy people. One little 12 year old was very bowlegged. She was very serious and wanted to be able to crank the cart and she passed with flying colors! One of the others sang to us before we prayed with them. He made up a song, thanking God for us bringing them these blessings.
In the afternoon, we distributed food to past cart recipients. We saw the young lady that Pete gave the first cart to in 2012. It is amazing to see the change in Juvelin. She is 19 now and going to school and is very independent and healthy. She recognizes us right away and that means so much. After we bring food we always pray with these dear people who have touched our lives. They bless us as much as we bless them.
After we got back to campus Twyla and Carol finished cleaning and pairing up the crutches and figured out a plan to hang them on the wall of the cart warehouse. Harold and Pete worked more in the cart “graveyard” rescuing parts that could be reused. We had our Covid tests here on campus so we are able to travel on Thursday.
“They are a people of strong faith in our God, we know He is in control and has all their names engraved in His Hands. “
We have so enjoyed spending time with these hardworking interns from Northwestern College. They are amazing young women with huge hearts. It was so fun talking and sharing with them at the end of each day.
Wednesday morning we awoke with the news that the president of Haiti was assassinated and there was potential for much political unrest in Port-au-Prince and other larger cities. The decision was made to stay on campus today instead of our planned trip to San Raphael for our last distribution of carts. We are planning to board the MFI plane tomorrow morning here in Pignon. We need to make a stop at Cap Haitan for customs, so we are asking you to pray for safety through that process.
We have felt your prayers as we have been privileged to spend time with the people we love and care about. Please pray for our Haitian friends as they once again have to live with the uncertainty of life. They are a people of strong faith in our God, we know He is in control and has all their names engraved in His Hands. Our love and prayers will cover them