1.3 million are said to be living in the temporary camps in Haiti, nine months after a devastating quake leveled the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Although it is making headway in recovery, the United Nations notes that the country is still struggling with reconstruction and rebuilding a government.
However, Haiti has successfully avoided a second-wave disaster of epidemics and social unrest. The people’s resiliency has been astounding. There are hundreds of reports of a spiritual revival taking place amidst the squalor of the temporary housing sites.
Earthquakes all over the place, it seems.
And each seems to blur further the memory of the previous.
So a reminder about Haiti seems in order:
Three months have passed since the earthquake struck Haiti. In that period of time, three other significant earthquakes of greater or similar magnitude struck Chile, Taiwan and, just this week, China.
However, the road to recovery in Haiti seems so overwhelming. “The extent of the damage and the people who have been left homeless, and the many who are still recovering from injuries is of a tremendous magnitude. That need still exists,” said Ron Sparks of Baptist Haiti Mission.
Much of this is due to the poor infrastructure which existed in Haiti prior to the earthquake. According to Mid-Hudson News Network, “It was certain pre-exisiting economic factors that led to the amplified devastation which occurred in that impoverished country.”
Sparks said other countries hit by earthquakes had internal support through resources and jobs. But in Haiti, “They have no jobs. They have no food or medical care beyond what’s brought in and offered to them.”
Building from the ground up will be a slow process.
Thus, Haitians are looking for hope.
This quote breaks into the story:
“Well, here it goes, boys!”
Stephen Shankster called out some final instructions and bits of advice as we pulled up to a wide field that was now serving as a “tent city” – neighborhoods of sheets draped over crossed poles or sticks, housing thousands of Haitians who have lost their homes and their few possessions.
“This is a moderately sized tent city,” Stephen explained. “There’s probably around 3,000 people living here.” Stephen is a German Baptist who has volunteered with Christian Aid Ministries in Haiti for the past five years and is fluent in Creole. Seth and I, along with four CAM missionaries and two Haitians, were in the back of a covered truck filled with hygiene kits, tarps and other relief materials. The living conditions in these cities are beyond deplorable. The hastily erected tents are stacked almost on top of each other and there is no running water and no sewage. The only food and water they receive is brought in by relief organizations or the U.S. military.
“Back up against that wall, really close,” Stephen called out to the driver. “Closer! It has to be narrow enough that only one person can fit through at a time so they don’t mob us.”
“Looks like we chose the local bathroom to hand our stuff out,” Daniel Horner, another German Baptist working with CAM, observed as he gingerly alighted from the back of the truck. By now a crowd of curious onlookers was quickly closing in on the truck. Their wild eyes emanated desperation. For a moment I could feel their anguish as I looked into their eyes and I saw myself. These were people, just like me, with hopes and dreams for their futures. Now by circumstances completely out of their control they were here in this squalor, existing little better than animals.
At first the distribution went relatively smoothly….
Ah, but now you shall have to visit 3 Guys in Haiti for the before and after portions!
A catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter in a highly-populated area struck the nation of Haiti on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. In the month after the earthquake, reports indicated that more than three million people were affected by its devastation, including over 200,000 dead, 300,000 injured and 1,000,000 left homeless.
What neither you nor I have heard anything about is what happened in Haiti one month later on Feb. 12, 2010. It is the stuff of news, good news, but there is no evidence on any major news organization Web site that the event ever occurred. None of the major television news organizations covered it.
This is the news from Haiti you will not hear. It is good news.
With the global humanitarian initiative to aid the Haitian people in their recovery from disaster, countless people have assisted in concrete ways. They have delivered supplies, pulled people from rubble, brought food and water, treated the sick and injured, buried the dead and made every effort to bring order to a land of turmoil. Haitians have witnessed the hand of God at work in the presence of so many people willing to put their lives on hold to help.
Source: News from Haiti you will not hear — I encourage you to read the whole story!
Christian Aid Ministries has over 30 patients at their recovery hospital in Haiti. Five nurses, an EMT, and several translators give personal care and attention for each patient.
Some of the patients are in the skin grafting stage. Thankfully a neighboring facility has plastic surgeons who are willing and waiting to help with this. Skin grafting helps speed up the healing process for patients with large, slow healing wounds.
Physical therapy is also a big need with so many amputees and patients with other physical ailments. Lisa Miller returned to the CAM base in Haiti to serve as a physical therapist at the recovery hospital.
The need for cash donations to help the hurting in Haiti continues to be urgent. If you would like to donate by card or check, I have more information here. 100% of your donation will be used for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Project.
If you’re asking me, sure. I’ve got plenty of it. And you can assume that when you read here at my blog.
Timothy Egan, one of the Opinionators over at the New York Times, also has bias:
From out of the ordered suburbs of Idaho to the grim chaos of Haiti came 40-year-old Laura Silsby — fleeing creditors who had foreclosed on her home and ex-employees stiffed of their wages.
To the Caribbean she went with nine other self-appointed missionaries and an audacious plan: they would “gather 100 orphans from the streets,” of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, according to an outline on the Web site of Silsby’s group, New Life Children’s Refuge.
The children would be whisked across the border into the Dominican Republic. Food, shelter, legal permits: the basics would be worked out by divine blueprint. For now, they needed funds — tax deductible!
I don’t know if Timothy Egan admits to his bias, but just in case, I’ll admit him to it for him. (Or something like that.) 😆
I imagine you have your biases as well. And I’m sure WorldNet Daily does as well, so I’ll offer this piece of theirs as partial counterbalance to Timothy Egan:
Her foibles and frailties notwithstanding, Laura Silsby – backed by the Rev. Clint Henry and his 500-member, Idaho-based, Baptist Church – is probably the best thing that’ll ever happen to these waifs.
Whatever were Sillby’s plans for the children, these were far and away better than what’s in store for them if they remain at home.
Well, opinion pieces aside, here’s a news piece from the BBC (which we hope is unbiased, but not with a lot of hope): Haiti poised to free last two American missionaries
A judge in Haiti has said the last two Christian US missionaries being held on suspicion of abducting children after the earthquake may be freed in days.
Bernard Sainvil told Reuters the case, which involves 33 children, should be closed this week because there were no criminal grounds to pursue it.
“No criminal grounds” — so how will Timothy Egan deal with that?
I don’t plan to try to find out.
Hopefully Laura Silsby will get her creditor and employee woes ironed out.
More importantly, though, hopefully the Haiti children will get the help and opportunity and love and homes they need.
Maybe Christian Aid Ministries will help in that.
Oh, wait. I should say that hauling children not your own across international boundaries is a really dumb thing to do if you don’t have all your authorization ducks quacking in a row. That goes for Mark Roth, Timothy Egan, Laura Silsby, Bernard Sainvil, Bernard Sain-Vil, and/or Christian Aid Ministries.
World Magazine, that is.
The need for sturdier buildings in Haiti is the next challenge for rebuilding after the quake. As the hurricane season approaches, hundreds of thousands of displaced earthquake survivors will need to find shelter.
One organization has this long-term goal in mind, even as it currently provides for the immediate needs of the earthquake survivors. Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), an Anabaptist organization based in Ohio, has been making sure that survivors get the food, water, temporary shelter, and medical attention they need while also looking ahead to see how it can help the country rebuild and ensure that the destruction of Jan. 12 does not happen again.
When it does come time to begin building, CAM will supervise and provide materials while the local communities build their own houses. The organization stresses the importance of getting the local people actively engaged in the construction process because it gives the community pride of ownership of the project and creates jobs to many of the unemployed.
There will also be a micro-loan system in place to help earthquake survivors start their own small businesses. Many of the local people have lost their jobs as the factories have been damaged by the quake. With a low interest loan and classes on starting small business, Haitians have a chance to make a living. From there, the organization plans on rebuilding clinics, schools, and churches.
Source: Building blocks