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Missionaries in Haiti Cope with Trauma

In a country growing increasingly desperate for food, water, and medical supplies, organizations push forward to treat the wounded.

Eighteen tons of emergency supplies from World Vision arrived in Port-au-Prince Friday night. The organization's own offices in Haiti suffered heavy quake damage; the main office is no longer usable. Operations continued from a second building.

World Vision posted Twitter updates Friday night in 1-hour increments:

8:26 p.m.: Most powerful moment today-unsafe hospital forces wounded of all ages outside. People everywhere.

9:03 p.m.: We just need more help. There's not enough water, food or medical supplies. And it's absolutely unacceptable.

10:10 p.m.: An extremely long and emotional day - so many children on their own. Tomorrow brings hope of more supplies.

Medical missionaries return to Haiti

The first team from Medical Teams International arrived in Haiti Friday. The team includes Dr. Joe and Linda Markee, who served as medical missionaries in Haiti for many years. An orthopedic surgeon will lead the second team on Sunday.

Accounts from missionaries living in the midst of disaster

Mennonite Central Committee, an organization that has worked in Haiti for 50 years, has nine international staff and seven Haitian staff in Port-au-Prince. Staff members Benjamin and Alexis Depp ran from their home as it shook, returning just long enough to grab bandages before going to the aid of others.

"We didn't sleep last night as we were pulling and digging people out of crumbled houses in our neighborhood," wrote Alexis Depp in an e-mail on Wednesday, January 13.

Benjamin gives an emotion-filled firsthand account via podcast the night after the earthquake.

Adventures in Missions' Dominican Republic director lives four hours from Port-au-Prince, and is coordinating immediate relief efforts.

Ron Pierre, board president for Baptist Haiti Mission, had a clear telephone line with one of their missionaries in Haiti long enough to grasp the severity of their situation. Several of their churches and schools were completely destroyed, some personnel killed.

"…[T]he conditions in Haiti are desperate and deteriorating by the moment in spite of all that we hear relative to the aid that is ‘pouring in' from the US and other countries," Pierre wrote in his blog on Jan. 15.

The following is ann excerpt of what Pierre learned from missionary Chris Lieb:

Our hospital is filled with people 250-300 people lying in the halls, many, many with serious injuries that need immediate attention, more people outside and surrounding areas with a constant flow coming in.

Our doctors are exhausted, most all of our staff are assigned to the hospital.

Chris gave out about 100 very large heavy duty tarps today to be used as temporary shelters and it got very ugly as the last ones were dispersed. The actual process of giving out aid is going to be quite dangerous the longer it takes to reach the people.

Chris commented that he has seen things over the past several days that he hoped he would never see and would chose never to see again.

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