Haiti Outreach – 2010
After the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12th, a number of you sent funds to the ministry, specifically designated to help the Haitian people. Thank you to all who gave sacrificially so that we could purchase much-needed supplies to take across the border. Following is a brief report on how the funds were used and how your prayers and giving blessed and encouraged others.
Our first trip with supplies was on February 25th. Tony and I left Puerto Plata early in the morning with the pickup truck loaded with groceries and Christian literature. We stopped at Montecristi at the home of sisters Danilsa and Delania and enjoyed an encouraging visit with them and long time friend and supporter, brother Eugenio. The following morning, we were joined by Danilsa, Delania, Eugenio and a group of 30 fellow believers who travelled all the way from Santo Domingo to go with us into Haiti. Our team arrived at the border town of DaJabon on an open border market day, so there were thousands of people buying and selling and crossing the border from Haiti into the Dominican. We gave out over 75,000 pieces of Christian literature in Creole, French and Spanish. People were very receptive, even asking for extra copies for their family and friends.
Crossing into Haiti, we were met by Pastor Paul Michelin, who oversees our small school in the Haitian town of Ouanaminthe. Ouanaminthe, like many other Haitian towns, has been flooded with refugees from Port au Prince. Thousands who lost homes and family members, and were severely traumatized by the earthquake and the numerous aftershocks are seeking help and support from relatives in other parts of the county. Praise God, we were received very well. At Pastor Paul’s church, a meal was ready for our team and it was so wonderful to see Dominicans and Haitians fellowshipping and getting ready to work together. The meal was prepared by Teresa, from Port au Prince, and some other Haitian sisters. Teresa is just one person whose life has changed dramatically since January 12th. She lost her home, restaurant and livelihood, as well as three precious children in the earthquake. She had with her two orphan girls, children of a neighbour, who now look to her for care. I was amazed that this dear sister was able to serve us with a smile and such love for Jesus after suffering so much. I wondered how many of us could do the same. Praise God, we were able to bless her and help to pay the rent on a small room for the next 6 months, as well as provide her with some food and supplies.
As well as ministering in Ouanaminthe, we rented a small jeep to make a trip to Cap Haitian. In Cap Haitian, we visited the hospital where there were many victims of the earthquake. It is difficult to put into words what it was like to see so many people crowded together with severe injuries from the quake – people missing limbs, and children with burns all over their bodies – such suffering was hard to take. We prayed with people and gave out literature and supplies. After Cap Haitian, Tony and I remained another 4 days in Ouanaminthe, ministering at the church and encouraging the brethren as best we could.
In March, I made another trip into Haiti with 21 yr old Roberto. As well as deliver more supplies, Roberto had the opportunity to share with the youth at Pastor Paul’s church. Having suffered the pain of rejection and shame of being illiterate himself, Roberto’s testimony of how the Lord led him to the Centre to receive an education at 13 yrs of age and how giving his heart to the Lord turned his life around, really ministered to the young people. He had a captive audience and blessed many.
In April, Ferne Holmes and Berylanne Carisse, from Port Hope and Barrie, Ontario accompanied me. We delivered large 45 gallon containers of organic soup to Pastor Paul, for him to distribute to needy areas. It was a first time visit to our small Haitian school for Ferne and Berylanne, who prepared some crafts for the children.
Each visit, I continue to meet people displaced from Port au Prince, suffering both physical injuries and inner trauma. Lord willing, we will continue to make relief trips into Haiti throughout 2010. I am asking God to bless you abundantly for your kindness, prayers and support that made these trips possible. Please see the web site (www.llnm.org) for more pictures from Haiti.
In His service,
Richard Brochu and DR team