As we traveled down the road and out of Port-Au-Prince, there was a change from the dusty, dingy streets crowded with people to a lush, verdant landscape running parallel to the sea. Peppered among the amazing scenery provided by nature was another amazing scene, building after building shattered and pancaked.
Leogane was at the epicenter of January’s devastating earthquake. Estimates say that 90% of its buildings were destroyed and 20,000 to 30,000 people perished in this township alone.
Today was spent getting supplies to a school in Leogane so they can rebuild. The College Frere La Rochecafould was completely destroyed. The school of approximately 400 students, deriving mainly from three orphanages, was hoping to be open again by this past Monday but due to lack of finances it is still a massive pile of rubble and rebar.
I heard that at the time of the quake there were about 200 students on campus. They all happened to be in three rooms. The entire building collapsed in the earthquake except those three areas. After the students safely escaped those rooms caved in as well.
I found it overwhelming as I walked through an entrance and noticed a mathematics book open on the ground. On one of its childlike pages a light blue butterfly left a dotted trail as it fluttered across. Amid the rubble in one corner lay a child’s shoe amidst several strewn school books. I wandered away from the other staff for a few moments to compose my emotions.
As I watched men unload construction supplies from the truck a few children gathered. One little boy had a grin on his face and a dance in his step as he begged me for a photo. After taking his picture he did another dance in excitement.
Immense joy in the midst of intense destruction.
I was reminded again of God’s love for the people of this place. Just last week as Benny was getting estimates for the cost of rebuilding at the school he then received word of a donor in England looking to give to a project for the same amount. An answer to a prayer we had not even had the chance to pray yet. A school helping a school. A God orchestrated moment.
Those seem to be abounding here in Haiti.