Saturday, January 16, 2010

the latest from Ben

From an email Ben sent to family:

Thanks for your payers, there is in fact a lot of work. My MCC interview (http://mcc.org/stories/podcasts/world-shaken/))was the first time I broke down since the earthquake but it sounds like a lot of people were moved by it, so thats okay. The violence has been isolated and if you have a big distribution that is not done right it's going to go badly, so far that's been blown out of proportion by the media. There is a lot of solidarity among everyone here that is not been captured by the news. Most of the rescues that have happened have been by Haitians pulling their neighbors out of the rubble, the outside emergency is helping in factories and big places that had a lot of people.

Last night I came across a group that had just found a kid that was stuck but they didn't have flash light or a hacksaw so I was able to help them with those and they got a live 6 year old kid out who was weak but okay. A lot of the people who have been working don't have simple things like hammers, saws and picks but they've pulled a lot of people out alive. Right now we only have a little food to give away that we were able to score from the countryside and we've been distributing food to only a hundred people. We're carrying it in backpacks and doing it all secretly. We're trying to buy and secure more food to distribute from the D.R. and the countryside.

Today Alexis is working for IOM processing information about the IDP (internally displaced people) camps that are springing up all over the city.

We just set up internet and a solar panel at our house, about 12 or 15 MCC and other volunteers are sleeping in our yard. We've also had several chances to evacuate but feel safe here and so far are okay. It would be really easy for us to get to the embassy and they are keeping people there who want to evac. People are also driving to the DR to get out.

Peace, Ben

I would add to what Ben said about the media that we all need to make sure that we're not criminalizing or demonizing the victims of this tragedy. People will do what it takes to be able to feed their families and when they're truly desperate, those actions might become violent. However, that doesn't make them any less human or any less deserving of our sympathy and aid. Ben is right that we've seen an astounding amount of love and solidarity in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Also, our MCC people made it in today.

Love to you all!

5 comments:

Joanne said...

You guys are doing awesome, awesome work.... please keep us posted on how we can support you from here. We are praying for you all the time. Love, MJ

Megan said...

I really liked this article from BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8463180.stm

It seemed to me to be a compassionate telling of how Haitian people are coping.

Keep up the good work Ben and Lexi!

erin said...

Thanks for the updates guys. Even though we are so far removed from the situation, it is heavy on our hearts. Sending lots of prayer your way.

Julie Staples said...

I have been praying for you two and will continue to do so. Asha plenty. Julie

Joie said...

Thanks SO much for sharing this from both of you. And thanks for what you're working on. I was sitting on a train in Delhi reading a newspaper article about your city and praying for you all day yesterday. Continuing to pray - keep up the good work and thanks for staying there and serving while you can. God bless you!!

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