An amazing account of God’s blessings in Haiti in the midst of disaster.
Story as was told to Steve Graffeo, Haiti Assessment Team, Community of Christ, March 11, 2010.
On January 12, 2010 Ostane Sainteme, pastor of the Carrefour Sceau d’Eau congregation of the Community of Christ in Haiti arrived at the Petionville church site to meet up with the Mission Center Financial Officer Michel Rosier for a meeting.
When the Haiti earthquake hit at 4:53 pm, Michel was in his car heading to that meeting and was running late that day. Members remember last seeing brother Ostane on the second floor of the Petionville school building waiting for Michel to arrive.
Since the quake, brother Ostane had been missing and was thought to have died under the rubble at Petionville. His family had not heard from him since the quake.
When the assessment team was in Haiti in February, we were made aware that Pastor Ostane had lost his life, and that his body was still under the rubble.
On Thursday March 11th, brother Daniel Dime was sitting at the gates of the Petionville site, sitting as he normally does protecting the rubble of the church and school from outside scavengers. At about 11:00am, up the driveway to the church came a man. Brother Daniel could not believe his eyes. It appeared to be brother Ostane walking towards him.
I interviewed Brother Daniel and here is what he told me:
“I could not believe my eyes, I yelled to the others to come, I began touching him all over to see if he was real. And when the others arrived around us, I lifted him up over my head rejoicing. Most of the others thought it was a dream. We yelled, ‘Praise the Lord, our brother has come back!’”
As Michel Rosier and I received the call that morning March 11th about the miraculous news, we drove immediately to the Petionville site to speak with our brother that had been found.
Here is what brother Ostane recounted to us in his own words:
“I was on the second floor of the school waiting for Pastor Michel when the buildings started to shake and sway. I jumped from the second floor to the ground here, and as you can see it is cement. I hit my head and I didn’t know where I was. The school and the church building were collapsing and there was dust everywhere. I couldn’t see anything and I didn’t know where I was. I can just remember the large cloud of dust. I started walking through the dust and that’s all I remember. I have been in the streets walking for weeks not remembering who I was and I didn’t know where I was going. I do remember not being very hungry for days. I believe I was in shock. I think that with all of the dust and the confusion, none of the others saw me leave the church site and they thought I was dead under the rubble.
I finally began regaining my senses and remembered where I lived and headed home. I live in Carrefour which is far away from here. My family was overjoyed to see me and told me that everyone thought I was dead. I had no way to communicate with brother Michel or others, so I set out from my home yesterday to come here today and tell everyone that I was not dead.
I am alive.
The Lord has blessed me!
Benit soit Dieu.”