I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the earthquake. It remains etched in my memory just like when I was in high school English class when the vice principal made the announcement that President Ronald Reagan was shot. Now, just as back then, I knew something serious and important had just happened.
A 7.0 earthquake is a powerful force. In a country of makeshift housing developments and with a lack of good building standards a shiver ran up my spine signaling to me that we needed to move into action, now.
It took days for me to hear a report from my friend of 15 years who pastors a church in Haiti. It was soon decided that Bright Hope had to send two staff members to hand deliver thousands of dollars in cash, as the banks were closed, to meet the food and emergency needs of people in our partner churches. I would soon leave myself to visit and encourage our church partners, the workers and victims of the earthquake.
The earliest reports from our contacts were coming back with scary stories of destruction and massive loss of life. “Driving into Port au Prince [ground zero for the earthquake] was surreal. Dead bodies lined the streets, piled on top of each other like garbage”, said Pastor Jephthe.
But we couldn’t take time to ponder the dead, we needed to move into action for the living or else Death would snatch even more of the weak and wounded.
Fortunately, Bright Hope had a container of food already on the ground when the earthquake hit, and we sent hundreds of thousands of dollars that turned into food relief, clothes, tents, Biblical counseling for those dealing with the loss of loved ones and the trauma that follows a loss of everything you have ever owned. Over a million dollars of medicine was delivered by Bright Hope to clinics and churches that turned into makeshift hospitals. Tens of thousands of Haitians were helped through Bright Hope’s relief efforts.
The ministry efforts continue today with our microloan program helping people create small businesses and expand their ability to care for their own family needs. Thousands turned to God and rededicated their lives to Him during the aftermath of the earthquake. Those new believers in Christ are growing in their faith in churches helped by Bright Hope.
You may be hear this week from major media outlets, on the one year anniversary of the quake, about the problems that have not been addressed in Haiti or about those agencies that haven’t used their donations wisely. But I pray the successful results and stories of healing and restored hope, like those at Bright Hope, won’t be lost or ignored.
For me this week is about consoling my friends in Haiti who are remembering the loss of friends and family, and celebrating how God used our efforts to bring temporary relief and eternal hope through pastors across Haiti for tens of thousands.
To provide a microloan for a Haitian family, food for a poor child, or a school supply kit for a needy Haitian boy or girl, click here: http://bit.ly/grSy90