Posted: February 6, 2010 in Uncategorized
I find it difficult to believe that the estimated death toll so far is at 212 thousand.  As I drive through the city and see large building pancaked on the ground, it is clear that recovery efforts have not yet started there and that it is conceivable that the death total could easily rise to over 250 thousand people.  That is one quarter of a million people killed as a result of the earth shaking for about one minute.  It is almost unfathomable.

I as well find it hard to comprehend the injuries that we at Heartline are still seeing:  Large open wound, infected amputations, legs and arms that have not been properly set and casted, faces and bodies scarred as a result of hot cooking oil that came in contact with them as they were cooking.  

At least three times a day I try to sit in a corner of what has become our field hospital and observe my surroundings.  This is what I am seeing and hearing during these times:

  • I am seeing our nannies and workers who just over three weeks ago were caring for the Heartline children, now helping with the care of the injured.  They are helping to feed those that can’t feed themselves; they are changing beds and washing a mountain of clothes and sheets; they are emptying bed pans; and helping others to the toilet, they have stepped up to help as needed.
  • I see people who just over three weeks go were going about their lives now lying on cots with arms and legs in casts and some with amputated limbs.  I the other day looking at a boy of about 10 years old who has had one of his feet amputated felt deep  sadness.  Who could have imagined that just just several days ago he had two feet and perhaps loved to play soccer and run with his friends and now he is learning to get around on crutches.
  • I twice a day see a church service as the people gather together and sing and pray.  A guy comes in with a little keyboard and the injured and families have church.
  • I see smiles on so many of the injured who are digging deep to come to grips with what has happened to them and endeavoring to move forward.
  • I see the Haitian and volunteer medical personnel working with care and kindness as they treat the injured.
  • I see a house and yard that once was our boys’ house filled with lively, active boys now filled with injured people lying on cots under tarps tied together.  And I wonder what changes will be temporary for Heartline and what changes will be permanent.


Pictured above are two of our nannies putting  cots in place.
Yesterday Heartline brought in 30 new cots which were acquired through the generosity of GLOBAL REFUGE INTERNATIONAL and now all the patients are on cots and not on mattresses on the ground. 


There are, no doubt, thousands of groups and organizations doing what they can to bring relief to the people of Haiti.  It has been my experience, after living in Haiti for 20 years, that the so called big guys, the big big relief agencies show up and help many and do care.  But for us at Heartline we see so much caring, and sharing and giving and sacrificing among individuals and small groups.  Caring and sharing and giving that has a personal long term touch.  (I had to leave the computer for several  minutes to meet with two groups that have just come looking for help.  The food and supplies that I was able to give them came from people, that we didn’t know who came by over the past several days and said, "I have some supplies, do you need anything."

To cite just a few and by no means all of those that have been examples of caring and sharing, let me list:

  • The Haitian people
  • Jeff, the water truck guy (don’t know his real name), who among other things brings truckloads of water into the slum areas where getting water is difficult.  We several times contacted him to see if he could bring a truckload to the Brothers of Charity in a slum area.  They were running a hospital and helping people,  but they had no water.  Getting a 3000 gallon water truck in there was no easy task, but he and he people have been doing it.
  • Another Jeff, (don’t know his last name) who cared enough to contact us to see if we needed supplies and through who we were able to food, soap, toothpaste, and tarps to share with others.
  • The amazing people at URBAN RESURRECTION who have been proactive to helping with numerous items.
  • The several people that I don’t know who come by with supplies and give them to us.
  • Zack and the crew at REAL HOPE FOR HAITI who have shared supplies and people and are just incredible.
  • A couple of military guys that somehow found us at the request of adoptive father Tom Golden and brought supplies.
  • The amazing group of volunteers in the States that have helped coordinate getting supplies and people to Heartline.  We have never done this before, yet we have plodded along and are making a difference.
  • The amazing in Haiti Heartline people who have done whatever has been asked during this time of crisis.
  • The thousands who have given financially so we here can be free to help the victims.
  • The volunteers who have come from the States to give of their time, expertise and resources to help the people of Haiti.

We are so thankful to these and others who have and are continuing to help Heartline make a difference.


  • So many thousands have fled the cities for the country side that families that once perhaps had to care for 5 or 6 people can now have several more who have fled the cities 
  • I can’t even imagine the number of jobs that have been lost as a result of the earthquake.  People who once worked in schools, businesses, government offices, and private homes that have been destroyed now find themselves jobless as well as perhaps homeless


Clearly Haiti is no longer dominating the news as it was for a couple of weeks after the earthquake; but please know that the work of Heartline is going on and even today are clinic is busy with people coming in and the hospital continues to take in new patients.  You generous giving is still very much needed.   Please click here to donate.

John McHoul

  1. Jane says:

    I heard of Heartline through my sister Kate who is friends with Joanna. Beyond money which I have donated, are there friends of yours here in Seattle, Washington that I could coordinate efforts with? It\’s impossible to project into the future of course, but I was thinking of coming down (if just to bring supplies) in April as I should have enough airline miles by then (God Willing). I am a teacher and have a week off then. I also speak a bit of French. Keep doing your wonderful work–you are not forgotten over here!

  2. H. says:

    You are not forgotten. We check your blog every single day, along with others, to know what to pray specifically for. My husband is an experienced general contractor with experience building in Mexico and all over the USA, as well as working disaster relief with the Red Cross and Christian Aid Ministries. Please let us know if the time comes when you need someone to do general building work. If we can, he and our 17 year old son will be on their way to help at that point. In the meantime, we pray.

  3. Paul says:

    Hey John, my name is Paul Barnett and my wife Lissa was supposed to be joining your group yesterday (2/5). I am sure that she made it, but I have not heard from her and was wondering if you could confirm that she is there safe and sound. Thank you.

  4. John says:

    Paul she made it and is doing well and it has now been about 10 years since you were at our house in Haiti.Jane, you can contact Tom White who lives in Sunnyside, WA at <tom.white>

  5. Paul says:

    Thanks John, I just got a an e-mail from her a little bit ago. I know…it is crazy how that has happened, me being there as a kid and now her there…I hope to return one day. Hopefully sooner than later. Thanks for taking care of her and thank you for your heart for the Lord and the Haitian people. You are all in my prayers and thoughts. In Christ, Paul Barnett

  6. Chris says:

    You are not forgotten in California, either. We read your blog every day, and others, and we keep sending our drops in the bucket as we can. We also pray like mad dogs, a saying around here when you pray with all your heart and soul for someone. You\’re linked on our blog all the time, too. This weekend, we\’re raising money for you through a blog challenge. Everyone who posts a celebration of simple blessings and lets us know, we put $2 in the pot for Heartline. We\’ve heard from both Jen\’s and Jonna\’s moms. Please tell them their moms are proud as can be of them. So far, we\’re up to $100 and it\’s going on all weekend. People from Canada, Japan, Scotland, both coasts of US, the Phillipines, are reading about your work and hopefully following the links to your blog. God\’s continued favor shine upon you and your cavalry of heroes. Love, Chris from Enchanted Oak in California.

  7. John says:

    All of you have been and are so very supportive. You are truly the hands of Jesus to us!

  8. Nancy says:

    John, bless you for your wonderful work and for taking the time to let us know how things are going and how we can pray. I am a fellow Calvary Lutheran member with Joanna T and have been keeping up with all of you. I believe "Jeff the water truck guy" is Jeffrey Gacek of Healing Haiti, another amazing Minnesota ministry. Thank you, John!

  9. Unknown says:

    …and we thank the McHouls for being the driving force behind the scenes. We know how they gave it all every day prior to the quake(s) and, after giving all when the time to step up came, they dug even deeper. I have said it before; you guys are my heroes.Chris and Bev

  10. John says:

    Yup, that\’s him.

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