Back to Port-au-Prince during the Weekend of Prayer

President Preval designated Friday Feb. 12-14 a weekend of prayer and all businesses were closed. We drove back to Port-au-Prince on that Friday (lucky we bought gas Thursday afternoon), and the road over the mountain from Jacmel was much better although still only one lane in some places. An especially dangerous curve had a crack with a drop off of over 14”.  Further down the road almost at Carrefour we had to stop and pull the car over because the street was filled with hundreds of people chanting and praying.  Coming into Port-au-Prince I began to notice the word Jesus spray-painted on the front of buildings, houses, doors, and gates.  Holy Trinity is one of my favorite churches, and we also buy crafts at their shop that we can’t get anywhere else. When we saw before our eyes the complete collapse of the beautiful church it was almost too much to bear. The historical sculptures, paintings, and murals were bent and crumbled and we noticed that someone had begun to put the small pieces of rubble from the murals into color-coded piles. The National Cathedral was even more devastating. It was strange that the churches we visited, including Sacre Coeur, still had a standing crucifix while the main structures were collapsed, and always someone walking by praying to Jesus.  In Croix-des-Bouquets, children were varnishing recycled metal crucifixes. Down at Champs de Mars in front of the National Palace, in lieu of the cancellation of Kanaval, the tent encampment had grown and the streets were filled with people singing, dancing, and praying in solidarity while all around them the buildings were crushed and live wires hung to the ground.

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