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Saturday, January 16, 2010

From Nutella's mother, in Haiti

Nutella is the pseudonym of a longtime non-blogging participant at RevGalBlogPals, and I learned today that her parents are in Haiti. She writes:

Hello Songbird,
I'll email you the email we received from my parents just yesterday.  IT's quite remarkable and might be useful.  Feel free to post to any preachers who can use it.  I'd ask you mention they are in Leogane (pronounced LAY oh Gone) not Port-au-Prince, only because they are actually closer to the epicenter and no aid has arrived  in their town.  We're trying to get the word out that aid hasn't left Port-au-Prince.  Hundreds are injured and no medical supplies at all.  doctors working without gloves, antibiotics or anaesthesia.  Parents are fine but sleeping outside like everyone else, without anything at all, and trying to stay until aid arrives to help direct it.  Please pray for them and all who have not received word of their loved ones well-being.  The situation is rapidly getting desperate over there as people are running out of food and water and others are dying of infection.  That said, my mom's email paints a wonderful picture of God at work in the midst of tragedy.  I'll forward it to you.

Please let the RevGals know how dear they are to me and how thankful I have been for their preaching support and their prayers now.  I'm so busy I'm not sure I'll get to the site, but I hold you all dearly in my heart as you prepare for worship tomorrow.  And thank you thank you thank you for your prayers and support!  It means so much to me.

Very sincerely,


Many thanks to Nutella and her family, who will surely be in my prayers. And now here is her mother's first-person account:



Using som,eone’s computer without using a bright screen, so
I cannot tell aoba

Ut my mistakes.  I
will send one msg to all, so some information will not mean anything to you.

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 foiund 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 shortlthe roof above was
supported y the lintel of the slinding glass door, which held up te second
floor, so he was uninjured except for a small cut on the top of his head.

Everyone connected with the hospital is alive except that we
have not heard from  Mario..  Several people lost members of extended
family.  Alber’s daught was injured but
is fe, will recover fully.  He saddest
news is tat Marie Yves has died. In the earthquake.  Motr and Chrislet are fine.  The Ste. Croix church is cracked, I don’t
know how badly.  Eye clinic looks fine.  Pere Kerouin’s house looks OK, Pere FanFan’s
house looks OK with some damage, Pere Pierre’s house is damaged, but stll
standing.  Doctor’s quarter’s and
penthouse are fine.  If we can get it
open, John and I may try to move in there for a while.  At

At night we sleep in the yard behind the hospital where the
bandstand was.  It has fallen, as has theEpiscopal
school.  Thee are 2-300 people who sleep
in that field at night.  Thy sing ymns
until almost midnight, andn 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.
Of course, we are the only blancs there.
A group from FondWa arrived in Leogane today and will sleep there
tonight.  Janine the head cook brought John
and me spaghetti from her home in Darbonne 8 miles away.  We shared with the group from FondWa.  They have some money so they went out and
bought rice, etc, and we will eat tonight.
People have shared with us and we are getting a chance to feel how the
Haitians really live.

The injuries we have seen at the hospital are enormouse,
skulls exposed, one woman died in the yard.  Another women’s leg was cut vertically to the
bone, with muscles showing.  Doctors
worked and saw over 300 people with cuts, fractures, etc.   Today they are not, but worked hard every
day since the quake.

Of course, we have seen looting.  The end wall of the guesthouse by the shared
drugs fell and it was open to the outside.  My friends can imagine how I shouted down
about 20 looters in the guesthouse.  Righteous
indignation works wonders, as does a tiny bit of pushing people to get out.

John and I do not know our plans.  We need to talk with the board, but have no
phone.  We have Joey’s phone, with
battery that needs charging.  Our idea is
to stay as long as we can b helpful, then get out of the way.

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.



  1. Nutella, thank you for allowing this to be shared, and Songbird, thank you for posting it.

  2. Thank you for sharing, Nutella. Prayers will continue and now, we will pray specifically for the folks in your mother's note.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this - on many levels. First, because I am preaching on Haiti and the lectionary readings tomorrow. Second, because I spent the summer a few miles outside Leogane doing seminary field ed in an Episcopal parish there, and so I know this place and have met the priests mentioned. Furthermore, I'm wondering if Nutella would be willing, if she is able, to pass along any information about Darbonne, as I have heard nothing of my friends there and dire things about the region. Thank you so much.

  4. Sarah SSM, I'm not sure if Nutella will read this right away, but I'll forward your comment to her. I'm just taking a look at your blog. I hope you will hear something soon.

  5. Prayers to you and yours and Haiti.

  6. Nutella, thanks you so much for sharing this story of horror and hope. Prayers and prayers and prayers.

  7. Thanks, Songbird. I appreciate it. This is just breaking my heart.

  8. Nutella & Songbird: Many thanks for this. I used part of Nutella's mom's piece to close my sermon, and was told by many that it was really helpful.

    My prayers continue for Nutella's family.

  9. The father of one of our Sunday School children is aboard the Canadian naval ship Athabaskan which should be off Leogane now. The ship was loaded quickly, and may not have a lot of supplies on board, but reports tell us the crew will send everything and everyone they have ashore to help in any way possible, and coordinate more relief supplies. We talked about this with the children, and during intercessory prayer the whole congregation said the Anglican LItany for the Dying. I also shared some of Nutella's mom's words in my sermon. Prayers continue.


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