we landed in port-au-prince, haiti, just before lunch yesterday (wednesday). it’s interesting to be here again, and both engage on my own terms, and also see everything anew through the eyes of the team i’ve assembled for this trip. we drove around quite a bit, and i’ve been encouraged by what i see on the surface: some (certainly not all!) of the rubble is being cleared, we saw simple construction projects taking place (like walls being built), and there was quite a bit of commerce taking place (in the process of people selling things on the streets in greater numbers than they were in late february). it was also great to see tarps covering some of the bedsheet tents in the almost-without-number tent cities.
but beneath the surface of progress, the story is pretty bleak.
speaking with people (particularly the group of pastors we met with last night), it sounds like much of the initial aid (in terms of food and water) has stopped. the pastor i met with said that the primary need of the people in his community is food, that people are starving and have no idea where food for the next day is going to come from. there’s still no infrastructure here (other than the church), and people are fairly desperate.
at dinner, AIM paired us up with a small group of pastors they’d invited to join us. i had a wonderful dinner and conversation with pastor wilnord pierre, a 30-something pastor who planted his church about 5 years ago, and has a congregation of about 60 people. he also runs a school out of his church (with about 100 students). he’d spent a dozen years working as an interpreter (for the u.s. army, and then for the u.n.), and his english was great. it was so cool to be able to talk, just the two of us, without passing every comment through an interpreter.
wilnord is a man of great faith, and certainly not a complainer. he wasn’t looking for a handout, but is seriously hoping for a church who will partner with him and his church. i’m hoping and praying that in the weeks to come, i can find that church partner for him. i’ll blog more about this another time; but let me know if your church might be interested.
it was also great to reconnect with geftay and john, two of the wonderful interpreters who worked with us on our february trip. such amazing guys, with a heart for god and their country. they are working tirelessly to help bring restoration to haiti.
no rain for us on the first day (it’s rainy season now, and we were told to expect quite a bit of rain every day). but we’ll see what today holds. thanks for praying for our team.
if you would like to help us, there are a few things you can do:
– follow the team on our facebook page or twitter feeds. all our media stuff (posts, pics, etcs) will be aggregated there.
– pray for us.
– give. we’re trying to raise $35,000 to hire a few haitian church leaders to run the church to church program from the haitian side.
6 thoughts on “haiti, day 1”
Tell John hello for me. Can’t wait to see him in July.
Blessing Marko. Hoping to be in Haiti soon as well.
Cool story about Wilnord. I have a meeting tonight to start walking about our next trip to Haiti in the fall. Since this looks like it’ll be an ongoing thing (probably 2 trips a year), our church’s board wants us to come up with an overall plan for Haiti. Part of our discussion tonight will be about partnering with a church through Church To Church or if we should be flexible to go wherever AIM determines the greatest need is. Wilnord’s story that you shared will be good to pass along tonight. Thanks, Marko!
Hi Brother Marco.
I had a wonbderful week with AIM. A team came to help my church, specially a family in my church that their house was broken by the earthquake.
I hope to hear from you
Wilnord Pierre volunteered to translate for our Army Medical team while I was there in January and February. He is an exceptionally honest and dedicated man. The key for Haiti is education. If nothing else comes out of this but interest in Haiti’s schools then something good will have come from the terrible earthquake.