Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Preparing for Haiti

It was only January 12 that an earthquake struck Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Already one of the poorest countries in the world, Haiti is now struggling with forging a path for its future. While the government is doing its best to lay a new course, the people and children of Haiti struggle to find their own new normal. A normal that consists of few jobs and living in makeshift shelters in the ever-growing tent cities in around the capital.

In less than one month, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church will be sending twenty missionaries -- including myself -- to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Working with Praying Pelican Ministries, we will be help with construction projects and visiting an orphanage. In light of so much damage, and so many affected people, what can we hope to accomplish in just six days? What difference can we make?

While we won't know what projects we'll be working on until we get to Haiti, our coordinator says we can expect to be working on a temporary shelter for a school at the Mariani Baptist Church. Without the shelter, the children will have no place for school beginning in September. Many Haitian families see their children's education as the only way for them to escape poverty. By building a temporary school house, we can help make the dreams of those parents come true.

We have been told that the orphanage may have 75 to 100 children. For as little as many Haitians may have, these children have less. They may have friends, and a staff that cares for them, but they are missing a parent's love. Now, there is no way we can fill that void in one day of playing soccer or reading books, but we can show these children that there are people around the world that do care for them. It is an opportunity for us to reflect God's love on some of His most deserving children.

But shouldn't the Haitians help themselves? Aren't there hundreds of charities already in Haiti trying to help these people? Yes, I believe the people of Haiti are struggling to help themselves every day. And yes, there are millions of international dollars going into Haiti to help them emerge as a stronger, self sufficient country. But there will still be children that may not have a school building, and there are still children that won't have a mother or father to kiss them good night. We are blessed with both families and employers that can let us go for a week. For six days, we can be the the loving hand of God for some of these children.

The missionaries can use your prayers through the month of July, as we prepare for the trip, and August 7 through 13 as we travel to Haiti. Please also pray for the people of Haiti, especially the children, that they may know God's love in their lives.

If you would like to support this trip financially, you can make a tax-deductible donation by using the "Mission Trip Fund" field at These funds will be used for missionary air travel, lodging and donations to the Praying Pelican construction projects.
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