Back on Monday, January 25, Servants for Haiti sent its first team to work in post-earthquake Haiti. Three people, including two members of the SFH board, stayed between one and two weeks and accomplished a great deal. Here is a “diary” of their trip, mostly reprinted from an earlier blog from before this new site came online:
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010:
They brought with them four heavy duty tents for the orphans, a water purifier, medical supplies, diapers, infant formula, and food: tuna, peanut butter, and more. They also brought money to purchase food and water. The money was especially helpful because the larger aid agencies had not yet made it to the Cite Militaire and Village Solidarite neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince. Your generosity has made all this possible.
Thursday, Jan 28, 2010:
The team managed to get to the Dominican Republic to buy food. They purchased enough to supply the orphanage for a few weeks!
The smell of decaying bodies is still evident.
One child from KKO has been hospitalized for dehydration.
The US Army gave our team more tents to protect the children. These are desperately needed to protect them from the elements.
The Army also supplied the orphanage with some water. No food has been received from the larger aid services, so any food we get is because of your donations.
Our missionary friends, Karl and Ann Olsson, brought food and drink mixes over.
Pastor Rigaud (for those who don’t know, the school and orphanage were founded and are run by him) has arrived back in Haiti after a few days in the US. He had accompanied the four adopted orphans to FL last week. With him, he has brought a small generator that will be used to run the water filtration system the team brought with them.
A member of our team got another generator and some water from the US Army. The new generator will supply other essential electrical.
Friday, Jan 29, 2010:
Here is a text message received just this morning from one of our board members in Haiti:
Tonight I walked over to the school with Jacnel (who works for Pastor Rigaud). Usually at this time the streets are crowded, not tonight. It was a ghost town, no one was on the street, it was empty. Still people aren’t sleeping in homes that appear safe. There are makeshift cities everywhere but few are lucky enough to have real tents, most are made from sheets. The kids and staff continue to sleep outside and seem to manage amazingly well. The staff is unbelievable with how they are handling things. Everywhere we go people are praising God for saving them. So many have no idea what the future holds for them, no home, no job, nothing.
This kind of strength is yet another reason why we love serving our Haitian friends.
Saturday, Jan 30, 2010:
Today had lots of positive activity. Here’s a summary:
- The orphan that had been taken to the hospital for dehydration has been released and is well.
- Every night, our friends at the orphanage are making rice and whatever else is available. They feed anyone from the neighborhood who is in need.
- Our SFH team worked hard making connections and collecting supplies at the airport. In the end, they came away up with more medical supplies, diapers, water, blankets, food, and toiletries. A good haul!
- The team also went to a local hospital for some meds to treat conjunctivitis, which many of the children have contracted.
- Very exciting partnership news: World Vision is going to be using the CJRA school and the adjacent Bethlehem Baptist Church as a distribution point for food for the entire area. They will be distributing 5,000 boxes of food, each of which contains enough to feed someone for a month!
- Rigaud Antoine has been working with a Haitian judge all day to help facilitate more adoptions. (As we’ve said on our web site, you can contact SFH if you are interested in adopting a child. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a packet of information.)
This is all great news. We are very excited to see people going to great lengths to help our Haitian friends. We are thrilled and humbled to be part of such a great worldwide effort.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010:
One member of our team in Haiti returned Sunday night.
Meanwhile progress continues to be made. There was a distribution of water from the school and church yesterday. This should help prepare for the large scale food distribution that World Vision will be doing later in the week. People from SFH and WV met to plan this effort. They have been collecting names of people in the Cite Militaire and Village Solidarite neighborhoods who will be given food. As was mentioned in the previous post, they plan to distribute enough food to feed 5,000 people for a month.
Pastor Rigaud continues to work through the adoption process for the children in the orphanage. While four children have made it to the US, we hope that more can find their permanent homes soon.
Church was held on Sunday, just one service at 6:30 AM. There were 1,000 in the congregation, compared to the usual 3,000.
Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010:
Behind every great man is… his mother. In this case we’re talking about Pastor Rigaud Antoine’s mother. For those of you who are unaware, Pastor Rigaud is the driving force behind the CJRA school and Kingdom Kids orphanage. His mother is an amazing presence at any time, but she has truly stepped up in this disaster.
She and Pastor Rigaud’s sister live next to the church and school. Following the earthquake, they created a tent city in front of their homes to accommodate about 1,000 homeless neighbors. People with nowhere else to go are sleeping there and holding on to what little they have left.
Meanwhile, our team is searching for additional sources of food for the people living there.
Thursday, Feb 4, 2010:
We have been able to buy food to supply “Grandma’s Tent City” (see previous post). People in the neighborhood of KKO have also been fed with food purchased by SFH.
World Vision arrived today and distributed food boxes to 1700 people in Village Solidarite, using the school as a base. They will give out the same amount each of the next two days.
One of the two people from SFH that are in Haiti is planning to return today.
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010:
The three team members have all returned to the US.
Things are going as well as can be expected down at the school and orphanage. Thank God, we still have not heard of any serious casualties among the people we work with or serve there. With the exodus of people to the countryside, it may be a long time before we know the fate of all our friends. Some we may never know about.
Pastor Rigaud is still doing what he can to expedite adoptions. Food, water, and medical care are still in short supply. People are still living in tents, uncertain about their future.
Of one thing they can be sure. Servants for Haiti will always care and will be there for them if at all possible. We plan to send another small team as soon as commercial flights to Haiti resume.
Your help will go a long way to ensuring that we are doing as much as we can. In return for your generosity, we pledge our greatest efforts to help the children and all people of Haiti.
God bless you all…