Shane Bowers, along with other members of Christian music group, Julian Drive, was in Haiti on a humanitarian trip with Holt Director of Donor Engagement, Kris Thompson, when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit. The following is Shane’s recap of the day’s events and the devastating aftermath….
By Shane Bowers, Julian Drive
Montrouis, Haiti—We had been here for a few days visiting the Holt Fontana Children’s Village and loving on the kids. As we arrived at our hotel yesterday and stood there recapping the day we had with the beautiful children, the ground beneath our feet began to shake sideways and up and down. We all froze in fear and didn’t know what to do. The car we had just gotten out of was shaking up and down like a toy, and a concrete wall next to us swayed back and forth. The quake felt like it lasted a minute or two. In reality it was closer to 35-40 seconds.
Holt Fontana Village Director, Mansour Masse, said he’d never experienced anything like this quake in all his years in Haiti and was just as startled as we were. We knew that the earthquake must have done serious damage to the city of Port-au-Prince, and we were heartbroken for the people there. I uttered prayers for those who might have been in much worse situations than we were. Fortunately we were able to get a quick message out to our families before we lost all communication.
The ensuing hours were filled with continuous, strong aftershocks. Each time it would happen, the residents would scatter from underneath the shelter. Fortunately we had power at our location and were able to watch updates on CNN. My heart went out to those affected only 40 miles away in Port-au-Prince.
I was deeply saddened when I thought about how many more orphans were made by the days’ events and thought about the children at Holt Fontana Village. We received word from Mansour that the children were distraught but were doing fine.
My biggest worry had been whether or not we’d make our flight out on time, but when I thought about leaving millions of people behind in devastation, I became convicted. I prayed to God and kept uttering prayers all evening long for the people of Haiti.
As I sit here today there are still uncertainties, but we are safe. There will be hundreds, if not thousands more orphans here. They need our help. My desire and passion for these beautiful children has only grown exponentially.