In fact, amid all the hardship and heartbreak, many Haitians found comfort today in a familiar ritual -- gathering for Sunday services. They were held today in the streets, because the churches have been destroyed.
"Why give thanks to God?" the Rev. Eric Toussaint asked. "Because we are here."
Amid episodes of disorder in Port-au-Prince, there were acts of kindness as people banded together with community spirit.
In one such scene, a 13-year-old boy named Stanley fed an elderly woman, a stranger, her medication.
Outside Port-au-Prince, the suffering was just as grave, if not worse.
Reporters were just beginning this morning to hear about towns like Jacmel, a city of 40,000 outside of Port-au-Prince, that's reportedly 60 percent destroyed and has received little or no aid.
Damage in Leogane, Haiti, was even worse.
At Jimani, the only functioning border crossing between the Dominican Republic and Haiti this morning, the usually quiet outpost was jammed with people, cars and a virtual catalog of world aid organizations whose exhausted workers are leaving as fresh troops are coming in.
Desperate Haitians were trying to get past vigilant Dominican border guards. Those who had passports and could get through were bringing their worldly possessions. There were also trucks carrying injured Haitians across the border.
By contrast, when an ABC News crew entered Haiti at the border crossing Wednesday evening, there was hardly anyone there and no stream of refugees at all.
Near midday today, the tiny border hospital in Jimani, Dominican Republic, was overwhelmed as a steady stream of seriously injured Haitians were unloaded from vans and pickup trucks in desperate need of the most basic of care.
The hospital already had 32 beds and more than 200 patients, and the rate of arriving patients seemed to be increasing. Most patients were sprawled on the floor. An American missionary nurse said she brought eight patients there because hospitals in Port-au-Prince were turning patients away.
There are doctors from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at the facility but there seemed to be little organization. The only X-ray machine was being wheeled through the jammed corridors and used without any protection for those nearby.
The staff was trying to transfer patients to Santo Domingo, but they couldn't keep up.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a quick visit to the Port-au-Prince airport Saturday. In an interview with ABC News' Kate Snow, shown today on ABC News' "Good Morning America Weekend," she defended the initially slow pace of aid.
"I think that the government was devastated," Clinton said. "There was no central authority. Everybody coming in pretty much had to wing it. We're beginning to see some coordination being imposed on the situation."
Haiti's tourism minister, Patrick Delatour, told ABC News' "Good Morning America Weekend" that Haiti's government buildings were destroyed.
"Not one ministry is standing," he said. "Today, you have a president that is homeless. As a minister, I am homeless."
A crowded conference room in a police station was where all major decisions were being made.
"You see how we are functioning," Prime Minister Bellerive said, showing ABC News around. "We don't have office. We don't have secretaries. We don't have cars. We don't have communications for four days."
American officials insisted that more help is coming.