The following post comes from CBF field personnel in Haiti, Steve and Nancy James.
You will no doubt be hearing about how little progress has been made after Haiti’s 2010’s devastating earthquake and how there are still perhaps as many as 400,000 people still living in tents. The tents are not secure, which makes women and children especially vulnerable and a concern. You will hear about misappropriation of funds from governments and the real question of “Where has all the money gone?” These are very important issues and ones we should all be concerned about.
We want to reassure those who have given compassionately and lovingly through the American Baptist/Cooperative Baptist churches that they have been very careful with how the money is used to help in this very serious humanitarian crisis. Because of the personal relationships that have been built over the years with the missionaries and their partners, there has been a trust and accountability that are not often seen in government or secular organizations. There are exceptions of course, but your gifts are used to help those in need and are not just a “handout.” They are prayerfully considered and documented.
There is a continued effort in rebuilding with many homes and a school and church rebuilt, but the scope of the need is still staggering. The need for housing continues. On the positive side, much has been done, but it is mostly seen in the lives of individuals and small groups. Our ABC/CBF partners working in Port Au Prince and Grand Goave, in the earthquake epicenter, are working closely with our Haitian Baptist leaders and co-workers helping with health care, clean water projects, Community-Health Evangelism, and Self-Help Groups empowering women to help provide for their families.
With the help from Conscience International and many CBF/ABC teams, many “rubble homes” have been built and are now being lived in by those who lost everything in the earthquake. These families are grateful to be living in their own homes and not in tents as they had been. Forty-eight students displaced from their universities that were destroyed have been able to continue their education in the north at the UCNH (Universite Chretienne du Nord d’Haiti) thanks to scholarships donated for students from the Port-au-Prince area.
The people of Haiti are the drivers of what needs to be done in their country, and we as their partners are here to encourage them, pray for them, and build networks that help support them when needed. Personal relationships are the key to lasting change in Haiti, and working together with you and our brothers and sisters in Haiti is Kingdom-building as well as nation building. Giving to partners who love Jesus is the way to build programs that change neighborhoods. Partnering with those who love Jesus provides a way to continue to build trust, accountability, and transparency in the workplace. Wrongs have hope of correction and transformation through His forgiveness. The following quote says it perfectly, “It’s not how much we do that counts, it’s how much love we put in the doing.” Mother Theresa.