Thursday, January 14, 2010


By now, everyone is aware of the horrific tragedy in Haiti after the devastating earthquake on January 12. Most of you are also aware that Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, just barely struggling to exist. Many mission and relief efforts were already under way before this disaster; in fact, many of those ministries have suffered great losses as well. On the news yesterday it was reported that the Red Cross has run out of supplies in country although more is on its way. Relief is on its way, as a matter of fact, from all over the world, but it will take extreme amounts of volunteers and supplies of all kinds. Speed is of the essence to save as many people as possible. Beware of fraudulent agencies that tend to feed off of such tragedies, but give in any way you can, as much as God directs you to give, to those agences who are legitimate and well-seasoned in disaster relief.

Everyone is aware of the Red Cross, and your church may be involved in some other ministries involved in Haiti.

Matthew 25 Ministries, headquartered here in Cincinnati and playing a large part in many disaster relief efforts in the past, has responded quickly and is ready to go as soon as the cranes have reopened the ports. They are accepting the following items:
1. Cash donations
2. Canned and nonperishable food
3. Personal care products
4. Cleaning products
5. First Aid Supplies

World Vision has a long reputation for its aid work; there were 370 staff in Haiti before the earthquake; cash donations are requested.

Compassion International is another well-known ministry with staff already at work in Haiti for a long time. They have broken down the approximate costs for relief measures as follows:
  • $35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.
  • $70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.
  • $105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.
  • $210 gift helps care for two families' needs.
  • $525 provides relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.
  • $1,050 gift cares for 10 families' needs.
  • $1,500 helps rebuild a home.
  • $2,100 supplies 20 families with the basics for three weeks.
Samaritan's Purse, founded by Franklin Graham, is another ministry already on the ground in Haiti and with a long track record in disaster relief.

Of course, there are many other good agencies and ministries. In any case, help is needed as soon as possible.

Our first line of assistance, no matter what else we may or may not be able to do, is prayer. Pray:
  • for the people in Haiti, of course, that the greatest number possible will be saved from death and further suffering
  • for family members of the dead
  • for all the aid workers, that they may do the greatest good possible
  • for wisdom for those in charge as they assess the most urgent needs and the best way to proceed
  • that rescue teams will soon find survivors and bring them to safety
  • that the cranes sent to open the ports get there in a timely fashion, are able to quickly and efficiently clear the wreckage at the ports, fish the cargo cranes out of the water and get them open for business. Otherwise, chances of unloading precious cargo are slim to none.
  • for good weather so that the thousands, maybe millions, who are now without shelter have a better chance of health, and so relief workers have a better chance to make headway
  • for health workers and provisions; many of the hospitals have also crumbled
  • for the spiritual and emotional needs of the people
  • for rebuilding everything

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