May 12, 2010 Haiti

Update May 12, 2010

Four months ago today, Haiti was hit with a devastating 7.0 earthquake, leaving as many as one million dead, and millions more homeless and hungry

Foreign personnel and aid poured into the country, but there was no one to meet and guide them to where the need was and many left frustrated because they came to be a blessing and were unable to accomplish what they came to do. 

We were blessed that our house and church were standing and all of us at Light Ministries, rolled up our sleeves and began to help rescue those buried in the rubble and immediately scramble for bare necessities for those with nothing.  We helped with food and water distribution, tents and medical aid. 

Haitians organized themselves into small associations that watch out for one another as they looked at long-term homelessness and a growing threat of hunger

Days were long (and still are) as we sort out what needs to be done and with whom.  How do you explain to those who have never been here that, on every open space of land, are homeless shelters, often only a tarp or a bed sheet separating neighbor from neighbor – babies, children, old people, sick and hungry, as well as strangers, criminals, even rapists and murderersall jammed together in makeshift tents…everywhere!  

The outpouring for Haiti was second-to-none, but within weeks, the food supply and tents began to run out and deceit and corruption began to show its ugly face again!  Criminals played on the fear in the people’s hearts.  They would tell them to run to the mountain because a tsunami was coming.  The people ran!  Then they heard this was a lie and came back to what was left of their homes and businesses, only to find that the thieves had stolen everything that they left behind… These stories abound! 

Billions of dollars were pledged from around the world to rebuild Haiti, but dollars in the bank mean little to families who are desperate for immediate aid while the world waits for them to somehow become independent

Today, there is little money to buy food and clean water, let alone school uniforms or housing or even a little tent; there is neither running water nor electricity.  Port-au-Prince is still run entirely on generators.  Rubble lies in piles where it fell on the traffic-clogged streets.  This is life in Haiti now… four months later. 

New disaster stories have flooded in from around the world and Haiti has somehow gotten lost among the archives. It is important not to forget the Haitian people.  We must keep Haiti on the Front Page! 

Even though there are huge challenges every day, I am amazed as I think back over the past four months at what the Lord has done in Carrefour!   

Since the earthquake of January 12, we, together, have:

Sheltered and fed hundreds of homeless Haitians staying in our yard

Set up clinics in our church and three other locations

Housed and fed over 200 doctors and medical personnel from several countries who staffed our clinics

Treated over 20,000 people in the clinics, doing surgeries and amputations and transported the seriously ill and wounded to other hospitals

Offered our clinics to those medical people who had no place to work because their hospitals and clinics had been destroyed

Organized Emergency Management Teams when no one else was doing so

Fed between 8,000 – 10,000 people on a regular basis

Distributed many tons of food, water – 100,000 meals, including military field rations, and 10,000 jars of baby food

Bought and distributed needed supplies with Thousands of Dollars raised in the  U.S. and Europe

Set up donated tents for temporary shelter

Hosted Media Production teams to help keep the Haiti disaster in front of people

Purchased land to set up temporary housing

Watched over 2,000 new Believers grow in their newfound relationship with Jesus Christ!

All of this in four months!  What is ahead? 

We must continue to be strategic.  Carrefour can be rebuilt with urban planning in mind, to make it a more livable and disaster-resistant city.  Haiti should be able now to develop its own construction industry!  We are in talks with those who want to come to Haiti to build a housing factory and give it to Light Ministries to operate.  What a blessing for our city and for our jobless people!   

A prominent Haitian leader is interested in partnering with us to get cement crushers into the country and get to work!  He is also working with us to get the remaining vehicles, generator and gates for the property out of customs.  It looks like we cannot get them out for less than $12,000, but he will help us cut the bill where we can!  We are grateful that God has ordered our steps and that there are Haitians in high offices who are willing to help us move forward.  This man is not greedy!  He doesn’t need the money!  That’s a miracle in itself!   

Our priorities now are to finish the church with air conditioning, tile, paint, lighting and chairs and finish the upstairs rooms.  Then we will secure the adjoining lot, paving it and setting up the large tent for children’s ministry and church service overflow, but we must put sanitation, water and toilets in place, and buy the tracks and rollers to install the big gates which are now in the port. 

Yesterday, we put up the stakes on the first piece of mountain land!  The land can now be excavated.  We will drill wells, set up showers and latrines, then we can set up the other large tent for a kitchen for people living in tents, to be also used for Bible classes during the week for the mountain people.  Then, of course, we must make provision for roads, sidewalks, sewers and everything else necessary to establish a new City on a Hill!  

Some of these projects have already been promised to us; others we must find the money to complete.  Right now, we are looking at approximately $1,577,000 (which includes the remaining balance of  $47,599.00 on the mountain land) just to get started!  

At the same time we move forward to rebuild, we must continue to provide water, food, clothes, medical attention and education for the extremely poor among us, plus maintain normal ministry expenses as well.  I’m so glad that our Father in heaven owns it all!  This is not a challenge to Him!  So we continue on… 

We have teams who are standing by, ready to help.  We just need funds so they have something to work with when they arrive.  If you want to help with a specific project, such as air conditioning, floor tile, ceiling tile, paint or chairs, please let us know and we will have Pastor Joe Werner coordinate it!  

Will you be a part of God’s plan for Haiti?  Will you continue to help us reach out to the poorest of the poor?  Will you help us feed and house and give healthcare?  Will you help us prepare our people for a new Haiti?  Will you pray for us so we will make the right choices to rebuild Carrefour into a Model City?  Will you continue to show our people that you have not forgotten?  Will you? 

We are confident that out of the rubble, beauty will rise and we will see with our own eyes a new HaitiOut of the darkness, LIGHT will shine!    





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