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Building Hope in Haiti

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By Lori

The view is incredible.  It is amazing to see the structures that have been built in place of all of the destruction after Haiti's earthquake just a handful of years ago.

 

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne, approximately 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010.

 

By January 24th, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. Death toll estimates range from 100,000 to 159,000 The government of Haiti estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.

 

Many countries responded to appeals for humanitarian aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams, engineers and support personnel. Communication systems, air, land, and sea transport facilities, hospitals, and electrical networks had been damaged by the earthquake, which hampered rescue and aid efforts; confusion over who was in charge, air traffic congestion, and problems with prioritization of flights further complicated early relief work. Port-au-Prince's morgues were overwhelmed with tens of thousands of bodies. These had to be buried in mass graves.  As rescues tailed off, supplies, medical care and sanitation became priorities. Delays in aid distribution led to angry appeals from aid workers and survivors, and looting and sporadic violence were observed. On January 22nd the United Nations noted that the emergency phase of the relief operation was drawing to a close, and on the following day the Haitian government officially called off the search for survivors.

 

Visiting the site where most of the destruction occurred left us heavy hearted.  It is certain that the broken concrete and rubble is the final resting place of many.  The lost are not strangers...they are loved ones.  Fathers, Mothers, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins and the list goes on...The people of Haiti still mourn for the lost but are striving forward to rebuild not only their homes but their lives while all along, keeping alive the memory of their loved ones.

 

We were privileged to come along side Don Shire (Don Shire Ministries), a gifted Christian trumpeter with a passion for mission’s mobilization worldwide.  He introduced us to a local Pastor, Lineus Cenor.  Pastor Cenor runs an orphanage in the city but has a church just on the ledge of the ravine that was hit hard during the earthquake.  The area was devastated but the Lord spared the pastor and it is his mission to help others in need and give them hope for their future.  Thanks to local donors, we were able to provide funds to build a home for a widow and her two daughters (see photo).  The cost of the home was $5000.00.  The widow was living in a tent above the ravine where her husband lost his life in the earthquake.  We felt honored to be able to meet this widow and her two daughters.  They could not give us enough hugs and thanked our group over and over again.  The conditions of the tent city where they were living were deplorable.  There is no running water or bathrooms.  Garbage and debris has been spread everywhere.  The area is ripe for cholera and other diseases including malaria.  The economy has been left in ruins so unemployment is at its peak.   

 

As of January 2012, USAID reported that of the 1.5 million people that were displaced, 550,000 remain without permanent shelter.

 

On August 25th, 2012, the recovery effort was hampered due to Tropical Storm Isaac, impacting Haiti’s southern peninsula.  There it caused flooding and deaths according to local reporting. In late October, second tropical storm, Hurricane Sandy, killed 55 and left large portions of Haiti under water.  Please continue to watch for more information and photos as we were able to visit one of the villages that was under water for weeks.

 

Friends, there is still so much to do.  Please consider coming along side us and helping those in need throughout the world.  Please share our message with your friends and family.  All too often people say to us, we never even knew you were in Neenah, Wisconsin!  Please follow and share our messages on Facebook and Twitter.

 

If you would like to help support the builing of a home in Haiti, please send your support to International Children's Fund, POB 583, Neenah, WI  54957 and add House for Haiti to the memo line.

 

Thank YOU for all you do and please know that
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!

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