Haiti – Update from Rick Ireland 3/30/2010
Recently the pastors of the West and South Districts impacted by the earthquake met to review progress to date and to look ahead. A lot is going on. Over the past couple of weeks, 6,500 food packs were passed out through the pastors at 27 church locations. Each food pack contained enough food for a person for a week.
Most of the pastors there had benefited from a grant program initiated by the Haitian Relief Steering Committee. Pastors who lost homes they owned were eligible for a grant to assist in taking down the homes and clearing rubble. All pastors with homes in the earthquake were eligible for a grant to assist in building temporary structures until more permanent solutions can be implemented. The temporary homes are already going up. Money has also been authorized to assist Mission staff and Child Care staff. The money not only helps the pastors and other staff, it provides much-needed jobs as people are hired to assist. Following the meeting each pastor received lunch, a bag of food, a case of water and other items.
Another popular program has been a series of health and immunization clinics run by Haitian doctors and nurses volunteering their time. More than 600 have been immunized, and hundreds have been treated in these free clinics.
A major challenge on the horizon is the rebuilding of damaged or destroyed churches and schools. In some locations one or the other building is repairable but in many locations all buildings have been ruined. We are looking for ways to provide temporary structures until buildings can be replaced. So far three damaged churches have been repaired. In two of those locations the schools had minimal damage, but in one, it was totally destroyed. The schools will be able to use the church buildings on a temporary basis.
Keep Haiti in your prayers. The hard work has only just begun. It is going to take years to fully recover.