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Report on Journey to Carrefour Haiti June 2010

6 Jul

Haiti Journey June 2010

Provided by Steve Stewart, Founder & President of Impact Nations:

One week ago, we completed a to Haiti. While many of the activities were familiar (medical clinics, feeding centres, training leaders), there was nothing “familiar” about this Journey.
Although all of us read articles, looked at pictures, watched television special reports, the impact of actually being in Haiti was beyond what many of us imagined. Statistics, even photos simply cannot convey what has happened to this nation. Every member that I spoke with was greatly challenged and moved by what we experienced; yet all of them were glad and thankful to have come at this great time of need. We gave and we received. We taught and we learned.


Children living in Tent Cities

What stopped the feelings of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster was learning to simply focus on the person or family in front of us. There is an indomitable will to the human spirit. In the midst of the countless tragedies surrounding them, they keep moving forward, determined that tomorrow will be a bit better than today. We encountered so much joy in the midst of suffering–one night I stood on a platform and watched as a thousand people sang and danced their jubilation and thankfulness to God. In the press of such need, the smallest gesture of help was received with gratitude.

Many team members have written eloquently of their experience. You can read some amazing stories. Let me offer only a few highlights here:

  • We treated about 2,000 people in our medical camps. In one refugee camp, we encountered the sickest children. A huge number of women were suffering from infections.
  • Our project team was busy every day building a roof for an outdoor kitchen that feeds over 300 people a day; a house was painted with weatherproof paint (a necessity for the hurricane season that is about to begin); drainage ditches were built around tents; a soccer field in a tent city was levelled and cleared of glass; collections of tools were purchased and a too co-op was created to help make the men in the tent city more employable; tarps were put up, roofs were repaired. Practical and powerful demonstrations of love.
  • We are helping to set up some very small “micro-businesses” that will allow some people to move from the totally dependent (and seemingly hopeless) situation in the tent cities as they begin to earn income. As one woman realized that she was being offered “living hope” and a way out of the despair of the tent city, the transformation in her countenance was astonishing. I have no words to accurately describe it.
  • 48 people from four nations came together–31 of them were on their first ever Journey–and in only a few days became a cohesive, supportive and effective team.