A Cholera epidemic, that followed the devastating earthquake and hurricane in 2010, dominated the early winter news in Haiti. Over 2000 people died of Cholera. HLMS responded to the Lutheran Church of Haiti’s desperate pleas for funds to buy serum to fight the disease. HLMS immediately answered the request and a catastrophe was avoided with the medicine. More funds followed and, in total, about $25,000 was given by HLMS to fight the disease. As a result, the epidemic was contained in the northern area of Gonaives, the worst hit with Cholera and where medical staff treated over 6000 cases. .
Further good results:
– The people did not know how they got Cholera. But they were educated about
cleanliness, latrines, clean drinking water through LCH (Lutheran Church Haiti) TV and
radio stations. Now, over 11,000 people have learned how to prevent Cholera.
– HLMS is studying the possibility of setting up a permanent water filtration
program of Biosand Water Filters for Haitians to have clean drinking water.
During this past year of crises, mission teams found that school children were hungry with many having no supper and many more having no breakfast. So, the Trinity/ Hope School Feeding Program was expanded. Now over 13, 500 school children are being fed every school day. Already this year over $9000 has been sent by HLMS for this important feeding program.
The removal of rubble after the earthquake has been slow but ongoing. Heavy equipment is lacking. HLMS has sent in its big containers some big, heavy equipment items (bulldozer, front end loader, a portable welder, several generators ) to help in this essential work.
LCH lost over 55 churches in the earthquake and so, the rebuilding of churches became the focus. An emergency fund appeal was begun with an appeal letter sent out to churches, congregations. HLMS was able to have 20 churches built through the generosity and support of donors. Now by the end of May, 38 of the destroyed churches have indeed been rebuilt with donated funds. The rebuilding goes on.
Over 3000 Bibles, in their Creole language, have been distributed to Haitians. The Christian Church is gaining influence in the Haitian society. New believers are witnessing to others and TV and radio stations are spreading the word of God 24 hours a day. They are bold in their worship and confronting the voodoo religion. There is a hunger for God’s Word – the Bible.
In 2010, HLMS sent 3 huge 40 foot containers to Haiti, each full of clothing, shoes, medicines, utensils, tools, linens, school supplies, sewing machines, large machinery etc. Also included were hundreds of mats laboriously made from plastic milk bags by volunteer ladies. And volunteers eagerly packed the containers. Now, on May 16, HLMS sent its first container for 2011, again full of supplies eagerly awaited. Over 36,000 Haitian earthquake victims have been blessed by receiving these goods from HLMS.
March 1 – 14, 2011 a construction team of 13 men (the Dashwood Team) traveled to Haiti at their own expense for the purpose of starting to build a new large church of the LCH in Gonaives because their present one is very over-crowded But due to unforeseen circumstances, this construction was held up, and could not proceed beyond the foundation at this time.
Current Projects: (needing prayerful and financial support)
• Ongoing feeding programs for school children
• Medical assistance and humanitarian assistance programs – more cholera medicine needed
• Seeking to provide a water treatment program with Biosand Water Filters for clean drinking water to prevent disease.
• Theological education for lay pastors is vital. The LCH has begun to address the problem of illiteracy, of lack of training and theological education among the willing lay pastors, through courses, classes and visiting pastor educators with help from HLMS.
• Spreading the message of the great need amongst the poor of Haiti. Making fellow believers aware in our churches of the great humanitarian aid and spiritual support that we could provide with your help in donations and support of HLMS work.