You may not want to read this unless you want to be made aware. Because being made aware means you have to make a choice. You have to decide if you will sit idly by or if you will do something. Anything at all.
USA Today interviewed Mark Driscoll, a pastor from Seattle, who witnessed post-earthquake Haiti firsthand this week. Again, you may not want to read this. But if you do, click on the link to the PDF below. Then, come back for some updates from our connections in Haiti.
If you weren’t aware of the reality of sex trafficking before you read that, you are now. It is a reality in our world. You can watch this YouTube video about an organization trying to do something about it that our pastoral team connected with:
BOTTOM LINE: it is a terrible reality of our world. And it potentially will become a greater and greater threat to Haitian girls in the aftermath of the earthquake in the coming months.
Another reality in a country like Haiti is that communities of faith have drastic influence on the health and safety of the people. So, let’s pray together for God to grant us wisdom as to what our long-term strategy needs to be to serve Haiti. Haiti is news-worthy as a ratings-booster right now, but last night’s election showed that other stories will trump the devastation there (maybe rightfully so, not sure), but the effort to rebuild Haiti will be a necessity for years to come.
Here’s an update from two connections we have there:
Haiti Update, January 20, 2010 – From Dr. John Sullivan
Subject: Feeding Begins and Response Plan Takes Shape
The Florida Baptist Convention’s four-member assessment team was awakened this morning by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake tremor that struck 35 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Although the four team members and a medical team from the Arkansas Baptist Convention scrambled to get outside, there was no further damage to the Convention’s mission building and no one was injured.
The Arkansas medical team – comprised of doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians – accompanied the Florida assessment team to various locations yesterday and today to provide medical assistance working out of Baptist churches.
On Wednesday, a Florida Baptist and International Mission Board team began distributing food near the El Shadai orphanage in Bon Repos, located north of the Port-au-Prince airport. The private orphanage is managed by Marie Prinvil, a former Florida Baptist Convention employee.
Dennis Wilbanks, an associate in the Convention’s Partnership Missions Department, who arrived in Haiti on Sunday evening, was able to purchase limited supplies of food from distributors in Haiti. Wilbanks, who has led several disaster relief efforts in Haiti, called upon his network of contacts in Haiti to secure the foodstuffs.
As the U.S. government readies to airlift thousands of orphans and refugees from Haiti to Miami, Florida Baptist staff members are working to assist in receiving, processing and re-settling these refugees.
On Wednesday, the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes began making preparations to receive, house and care for 100 Haiti orphans. The Convention’s Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center campus near Leesburg is expected to provide the housing facilities. The Alabama Baptist Convention has agreed to partner with the Florida Baptist Convention to meet the needs of the children and families when they arrive in Miami.
This weekend, the Convention’s assessment team members are expected to leave Haiti to meet in Hialeah to meet with representatives from the Florida Baptist Convention, International Mission Board and North America Mission Board. The four will provide first-hand assessment reports and help the mission leaders to develop a comprehensive response plan of how Southern Baptists can address the many needs in Haiti as soon as possible and as long as needed. While the team is away from Haiti, the Convention’s indigenous Haitian missionaries and pastors will continue to coordinate the distribution of food.
Also to be available this week on www.flbaptist.org are two brief (2 minutes or less) downloadable videos to encourage Florida Baptists to pray and to give to the Haiti relief effort.
From the Clark family
JAN 20TH_We had another big shake this morning…we are OK and the house is standing. We lost internet until just now. We have had a full morning getting a medical team of 10 set up to work. They are now treating some wounded. They will be with us for several days.
JAN 19TH_I want to thank each of you for your prayers, gifts and notes of encouragement. They mean a great deal to us. Today Roger went to visit Pastor Jeanty. He and his wife are OK. Their house is partially fallen down and the church is completely destroyed. There were people at the church starting to clear away the rubble because they want to start having open air services in the church lot by Sunday. They had door to door (or tent to tent) ministry last Sunday and had 280 new converts. So, they are anxious to have a place to meet, even if it is out in the open. We praise God for this couple and the evangelistic calling God has on their lives. Also, today, we did the ‘routine’ of charging telephones, filtering water for the neighbors and just talking with folks that come by to see how we are. Everyone is still very shaken, in need of a place to share their story and find a sympathetic shoulder. And so we try to be the ears of Jesus as well as the hands and feet. Tomorrow we a medical team of 10 arriving. We will house them and deliver them to several locations to work. They will be here about a week. Pray for strength as we serve the needs of those who are serving. We will close this update tonight with another thank you to each of you. Know that we feel your prayers and love as do the people of Haiti.
JAN 18TH_Several have been asking just how to designate their gifts that they are sending to us through Elim Fellowship. At the moment there are 2 accounts set up for Haiti. 1. called “Haiti Relief” is a general account that will be disbursed by the directors at Elim. Some of this may come to us and some may go to other aid organizations that Elim partners with. Giving to this account is fine, but we will not hear about your specific gift and will be unable to personally thank you. 2. OUR ACCOUNT – is called, “Roger Clark – Haiti Relief”. Funds designated this way will be placed in our project account for us to disburse as we see the needs here in Haiti. We will be given a listing of all gifts to this account. So, just keep this in mind when you are sending your gifts and designate them accordingly.
Here’s a pic of some of the kids Roger and Margaret are serving there in Port-au-Prince: