Haiti: One year later

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Restoration of the Petit Goave church building was completed using Alabaster money for materials and a Work & Witness team from Findlay, Ohio, USA.

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

January 12, 2010, 4:53 p.m. — I will never forget the time or place. It felt like a semi-truck and trailer had run into the building in which I was working at a desk. My chair was thrown across the room into the bed as the seminary building shook violently. I tried to get up but was thrown back onto the bed, and I sat there until the earthquake ended. As I made my way out of the building I was met by Bill and Martha Dawson, our field strategy coordinators. We toured the seminary campus and soon noticed a great cloud of dust rising up from the mountains and the valley where Port-Au-Prince is located. The sounds and sights of those moments and the hours that followed will stay with me as long as I live.

Haitians call the horrific sound of the ground shaking "goudougoudou." That rumbling sound, on January 12, 2010, killed over 200,000 people and left more than a million people displaced, living in tents and under tarpaulins. Even as Nazarene Work and Witness teams move into Haiti, the larger reconstruction of the country envisioned last March has yet to get off the ground in a significant way.

In November 2010 Haiti was hit again by Hurricane Tomas, which passed between Cuba and the Island of Hispaniola. Even before Tomas, the United Nations said Haiti needed 100,000 more tarps and blankets than it already had in stock in the country.

A severe cholera epidemic that began several months ago has infected more than 170,000 people, killing more than 3,600.   

On November 1, the Church of the Nazarene delivered 12,000 doses of antibiotics to clinics in Haiti. The clinics will use these antibiotics, which are in short supply in Haiti, to treat cholera and other infections.

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) provided funds to purchase these medications, and NCM staff and volunteers continue to distribute relief supplies such as water and other daily use items to those in need. NCM has been providing aid to this nation continuously since the earthquake. The Haiti Water Project, our effort to provide clean water for the people, continues.

Where's the hope?

It is found in God, the Haitians themselves, and their extended family in the Church of the Nazarene around the world. People who have been praying, donating, and working on site to help rebuild churches, schools, and parsonages provide encouragement to Nazarene Haitians. These brave and deeply committed people continue to serve God and their countrymen.

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries is reporting the following from the immediate crisis response phase:

Just over six months after the earthquake, the Church of the Nazarene has distributed:

  • More than 425,000 pounds of food
  • 8,000 Crisis Care Kits
  • 50,000 pounds of water
  • 20,000 pounds of additional relief supplies, including generators
  • 50,000 pounds of medical supplies and children's vitamins (through Nazarene medical clinics and mobile medical volunteer teams)

Throughout the country, including all 11 Nazarene districts, more than 4,000 families received food, water, and hygiene kits through Nazarene distribution efforts. This includes families in more than 75 specific communities.

These immediate relief efforts drew to a close at the end of August 2010, while intermediate and long-term relief efforts continue. Community gardens and safe-place camps are just two examples of how work continues toward long-term sustainability in Haiti.

To underwrite this effort, NCM has raised $4.5 million (USD) because of your generosity. This does not include any funds contributed through specific Haitian partnerships. Our goal as a church is to continue meeting the needs of Haitian Nazarenes in 2011, building on the courageous and determined efforts of those who have done so much in the past year.  

For a closer look at the situation in Haiti go to the link below to watch a video and share it in your local church, compassionate ministry center, or university chapel. It is a story that is still unfolding and will be for a long time to come.

(To download this video, go to the Nazarene MediaLibrary by clicking here.)

On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Haiti and the Board of General Superintendents, I would like to express profound gratitude to those who have given generously and sacrificially to this worthy cause. Your gifts are still needed for the long-term needs of the Haitian people. Simply go to www.ncm.org/haitiearthquake to learn how to be part of Haitian recovery.

Keep our Haitians, missionary personnel, Work & Witness teams, medical teams, and relief workers in your prayers.

J.K. Warrick, chair
Board of General Superintendents

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