AQ 3 - 01.22.10

On Sunday – BQ – Dawn & Trevor sang a duet in church (with Dawn at the piano & Trevor on guitar):
“I lift my eyes up, unto the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the maker of Heaven & Earth.”

At Christmas time Trevor flew from CA to CT to spend the holiday on the east coast with family & friends. We four flew in from Haiti. It was a rare two weeks of being a family of five reinvesting in relationships & being strengthened for the new year.

Mike & Angie (20 & 18) met the five of us in Haiti as the new year began. We had a very full week of encouraging Haitians at medical clinics, orphanages, schools, in their communities & in our home.

On Monday & Tuesday we were to go to the island of La Gonave. I would be training pastors & other leaders on how to reach children using a particular method of teaching. We all drove to the port 1 ½ hrs away. The waves were covering the wharf. People just stared. This was very unusual weather. It hadn’t occurred to us that we might not be able to go to the island because the ocean was so choppy. This never happens.

As we drove back to Port-au-Prince I began feeling sick – motion sickness – off balance. This, also, was very unusual for me. (After the quake I found 3 other women who had felt motion sickness the day before.) We dropped Trevor off at the UN where they were setting up work for him for the weeks to come. At home, through the night, & in to the next morning I felt sick. I stayed home for the first time since we returned to Haiti. There was no room in the car for me anyway. Dawn & Pria went to school. The three others went with a nurse friend to check the babies in the community. Then they went to “His Home” orphanage.

I cleaned the house! It felt good to get things ready for a great second week with Mike & Angie. I swept, washed the floors, did the laundry, got a new can of propane for the stove & baked 9 lbs of chicken using a new recipe. On the stove were pots of Haitian vegetables that the family hadn’t yet tried.

The girls were late coming home. Usually, if I’m home, I’m trying to get one more thing done before the girls get home, so the door is usually locked when they arrive & I come running from some other room. But, today….

But, today I was waiting for the girls to come in. The door was unlocked, they came in & Pria sat on my lap under the archway by the steps to the upstairs. AND DAWN STAYED WITH US to hear what Pria wanted to tell me about her day (instead of immediately putting her things away, etc.).

There was a loud, deep rumble & the earth shook & shifted. It seemed to go on forever. As it continued it was like walls of ice crashing against each other in the Arctic Sea - smashing, breaking apart & falling away. I couldn’t move my feet; I could only throw the girls down under me & under the archway. Five stories of concrete & tile came down on us. I thought our legs would be crushed but our upper bodies might survive. My head was hit so many times. I looked at my hands that were covering the girls’ heads. My hands couldn’t protect them from anything. Yet, we were not crushed. Five foot ceiling slabs came down. Our heads were embedded with concrete, except for Dawn’s. She’s the only one in our family with thick hair! Breathing was difficult. The living room set was thrown against me, & the furniture became kindling as it hit my legs. I saw Dawn’s left hand sticking out from under her. It still looked beautiful. How could this be? It was an absolute miracle. I’ve determined that there must have been a great big, strong angel standing over us, & smaller pieces of rubble were being sifted through his wings & landed on us.

They said the 7.0 quake lasted 30 seconds. I said, “No, no, no” the whole time. Maybe I thought I could stop it. When the first quake ended I said, “Go, go, go.” There was no way this earthquake was going to obey the textbook rules & leave us safe under that “supporting” beam.

I threw the girls towards the opening in the outer wall. Pria & I had lost our shoes. Dawn had hers. Our floor had sunk. Pipes burst. I ran through sewage & glass from the broken windows & sliding doors. Yet, I have almost no scrapes on the bottoms of my feet.

We ran & jumped over a wall that Trevor later said was impossible to do & still be alive. I found a box in the woods & put it on one foot. My feet hurt so much & were so bruised. A second tremor brought down the rest of the building, & the rubble tumbled toward the wall we had just jumped over. Afraid that the wall would bust open I said, “We have to go up. We can’t outrun it.” We were on a small mountain side. So Dawn said, “Tree.” She threw Pria & me up & had no energy left to get herself in the tree. Her brother & others enjoyed teasing her about being buff, so I said, “If you’re as buff as they say you are, prove it!” & she did J Dawn gets the buff award for the year.

We put our heads against the strongest tree limbs, so concrete & rock would hit the limbs & not our heads. We prayed & told each other how much we loved each other. Fortunately it sounded familiar instead of surreal like everything else around us, because we tell each other often how much we care. We sang & waited & I planned.

There was a high, long wall below us & a mass of humanity screaming & crying at the bottom of the mountain. We heard gun shots. Looters already? Security guards warning looters?

The rest of the apt. building spilled in to the spot where we had stood, as though it was a funnel with flour being poured into a bowl. There were a few people in the apt. on the top floor where the parking lot was. They were all able to escape out the front. Our apt. faced the back.


I have to stop writing for the moment. I’ll answer a few of your questions:

I am no longer “June of Juvenat,” but I do still exist J& will soon redefine the June of 2010.

Frank & I received a new towel in one care package, like newlyweds beginning our lives together. Our address right now is my parents’ : 208 Riverbank Road, Stamford, CT 06903. Please don’t use our FL address for anything.

Dawn & Pria begin school on Monday at Christian Heritage. We don’t know how long the girls will be attending, but we are so thankful for this excellent school that will accept our children mid-year. It is very hard for them to have attended school on a Tuesday & abandoned all their projects & classmates the next day. Frank will return to Haiti shortly. Maybe by the time my driver’s license arrives I’ll be able to use my legs to drive. We can’t get passports until I have a driver’s license, either. Though, at the passport office this morning, the agent was on the phone trying to find someone who had authority to consider our situation & find an immediate solution: “Did you read the newspaper yesterday? Well this is the family from the front page. Can’t you do anything?” They couldn’t.

Our story is one of God’s protection & grace. There’s much more to our story, & there are so many other stories out there that need to be told. Continue to pray. I believe rescue workers will be changed for the better after working with these beautiful people, the Haitians of Haiti.


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