'Prayers are needed'

Terry Roberts
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Haitian earthquake Newfoundlanders escape harm following devastating earthquake

Several Newfoundlanders living and working in Haiti have escaped injury following a devastating earthquake that rocked the already impoverished Caribbean country Tuesday evening.

Springdale native Karen Huxter, a volunteer who has been operating an orphanage in Haiti for the past 15 years, contacted her family not long after the earthquake.

Springdale native Karen Huxter, who runs an orphanage in Haiti, is one of several Newfoundlanders who escaped Tuesdays devastating earthquake unscathed. Submitted photo

Several Newfoundlanders living and working in Haiti have escaped injury following a devastating earthquake that rocked the already impoverished Caribbean country Tuesday evening.

Springdale native Karen Huxter, a volunteer who has been operating an orphanage in Haiti for the past 15 years, contacted her family not long after the earthquake.

"We are all OK," Huxter, 64, stated in an e-mail to her family.

Two Glovertown men who were in Haiti trying to drum up business for their fishing company, Golden Vista Fisheries, also escaped harm, but just barely.

Brothers Emerson and Vaden Oram were in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. They safely evacuated their hotel and spent the night in the parking lot with about 50 other hotel guests and hotel staff.

Emerson's daughter, Corina George, said family members endured several anxious hours, waiting on word from Haiti.

Vaden finally managed to make a call on his cellphone at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. He said they were safe inside a gated compound, which surrounds the hotel, and there was food and water.

The hotel sustained some damage, but was still standing. Officials closed off the building because of fears about its structural integrity, and the threat of aftershocks.

"When we got the news they were safe, everyone's emotions just broke loose," Corina said.

Vaden relayed stories of death and destruction, Corina added.

"He said one lady came up to the fence and said her whole family had been killed, so they let her inside."

Corina said the family is concerned about how long the supply of food and water will last, and when the brothers will be able to leave the country.

"It's just a waiting game right now," Corina said.

Reports indicate that thousands of buildings were reduced to rubble, and the country's prime minister said Wednesday that several hundred thousand people may have died.

The quake registered a 7.0-magnitude and struck just before sunset Tuesday.

Several thousand Canadians are believed to be in the Caribbean country.

Huxter is among them. She established the orphanage in the village of Deschappelles - a settlement located in the centre of the country - 15 years ago after visiting Haiti and witnessing the struggles faced by children in the area.

She has since established a Christian ministry called Hands Across the Sea - Haiti, or HATS-Haiti for short. The ministry is funded by donations from Canada and the United States, and has since established a school that is attended by more than 200 students.

Huxter reported there were no injuries in her village, but there was some damage to the buildings. She said they planned to sleep away from the buildings Wednesday night.

"I don't think many of us will actually sleep, but we will be together in sure safety," she wrote.

"I am so very thankful that we have solid foundations and the buildings are all standing, including the new construction."

Huxter said the orphanage, which is home to about 15 children, held up well and "they can all sleep as usual."

She ended her e-mail with the following message - "Haiti did not need another huge disaster. Prayers are needed."

Huxter's four siblings, two daughters and grandchildren were relieved to hear that she was safe.

A team of 14 volunteers from a church in Yarmouth, N.S., was also safe, Huxter reported.

Huxter's brother, Don Huxter, still lives in Springdale. He said Karen has committed her life to the children of Haiti, and he doesn't expect that

commitment to change because of the earthquake.

"I admire her very much and am quite pleased with what she's doing," Don Huxter said.

troberts@thetelegram.com




HAITI FACTS

Location - In the Caribbean, on the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola.
Population - Just over 9 million;
Life expectancy - 60.78 years
Religion - 80 % Roman Catholic
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, and initially occupied by Spanish settlers.
In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on the island. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti.
The French colony was initially very wealthy, but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation.
Haiti became the first black republic to declare independence in 1804.
The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. Some 80 per cent of the population live under the poverty line.
After much violence and delays, Haiti inaugurated a democratically elected president and parliament in May 2006.

Organizations: Golden Vista Fisheries, Christian ministry

Geographic location: Haiti, Caribbean, Springdale Glovertown Port-au-Prince Deschappelles Canada United States Yarmouth Island of Hispaniola Spain

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Recent comments

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Cheerbear....money and resourses. I agree, you won't get far on prayers. It would be interesting to come back after one year of prayers only...won't see much change, no new buildings, homes, roads etc. Strange how some people believe that if you say a prayer before you go to bed, the next morning the school will be back to pre earthquake status. Get real....

    • Tabi
      February 07, 2011 - 18:39

      Sometimes it isnt about money that we pray. Prayer itself isn't to plead with God its a way we give ourselves hope and raise the spirits of those who need it most. It may not seem like God cares at time but he will take care of his own in the way he knows best. Dont critizces what you choose to misunderstand.

  • Cheerbear
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    It's not prayers they need, it's money.

  • Anon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Haiti did not need another huge disaster. Prayers are needed.

    Adults shouldn't have imaginary friends.

    No, international relief aid is needed. Tell the RCMP and RNC to give all the money they (got) from people in operation razorback to haiti for relief efforts.

    And shame on the Telegram for not allowing comments on those kinds of stories.

  • S
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Right now a prayer will do nothing. Anyone can pretend to do that. Getting in the car, going to your local Red Cross or going online and donating $20 (Like I did yesterday) will.

    • Tabi
      February 07, 2011 - 19:01

      Bravo Buddy, thank you for flouting your good deeds in the face of those who don't have the means to give. Sometimes praying is all we can do. I'm not saying what you did wasn't a good thing, what I am saying is that for those who are in despair and need to have lifted spirits it's knowing that there are some caring people in other parts of the world who care enough to lift their thoughts and hearts to them is good enough. You may not share the same opinion but you have no real reason to put down other people for what they believe.

  • Barbie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    It is really too bad that people are so unbelieving in the power of prayer. Open your mind and your heart...you will be amazed at what God can do. You will never know until you try.

  • Kate
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    cheerbear and frank... People in Haiti and the people from this article are getting real! I don't care what you both think, they do need people to pray for them. No im not a spiritual person, but i do belive that if you pray it gives them the hope that they need. Sure they need the money and the resources but the way that frank is looking at it, isn't being positive. With the prayers,money and resources that we can give, they will be so grateful and thankful for it. No, if you pray it's not going to bring things back to the way that they were but all they need is hope to make it just a little bit better.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Cheerbear....money and resourses. I agree, you won't get far on prayers. It would be interesting to come back after one year of prayers only...won't see much change, no new buildings, homes, roads etc. Strange how some people believe that if you say a prayer before you go to bed, the next morning the school will be back to pre earthquake status. Get real....

  • Cheerbear
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    It's not prayers they need, it's money.

  • Anon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Haiti did not need another huge disaster. Prayers are needed.

    Adults shouldn't have imaginary friends.

    No, international relief aid is needed. Tell the RCMP and RNC to give all the money they (got) from people in operation razorback to haiti for relief efforts.

    And shame on the Telegram for not allowing comments on those kinds of stories.

  • S
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Right now a prayer will do nothing. Anyone can pretend to do that. Getting in the car, going to your local Red Cross or going online and donating $20 (Like I did yesterday) will.

  • Barbie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    It is really too bad that people are so unbelieving in the power of prayer. Open your mind and your heart...you will be amazed at what God can do. You will never know until you try.

  • Kate
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    cheerbear and frank... People in Haiti and the people from this article are getting real! I don't care what you both think, they do need people to pray for them. No im not a spiritual person, but i do belive that if you pray it gives them the hope that they need. Sure they need the money and the resources but the way that frank is looking at it, isn't being positive. With the prayers,money and resources that we can give, they will be so grateful and thankful for it. No, if you pray it's not going to bring things back to the way that they were but all they need is hope to make it just a little bit better.