February 17, 2010

UPDATE: Hatteras Helping Haiti – the trip to the island


We are at a loss for words to share what we have experienced during our recent trip to Haiti.

Bob McBride, Dwight Burrus, Johnny Wallace, and I traveled to the earthquake-ravaged island two weeks ago.

How can you describe the smell of rotten flesh or the blank stare of a traumatized child as he mindlessly plays while his parents' bodies are burned in a nearby alley? Men scavenging through debris in hopes of finding love ones? Amputees, orphans, or a widow's grief? Tents and lean-tos that you wouldn't shelter a dog under, much less thousands of hungry, weary humans? Streams of urine? Pigs and women washing in shared waters? Lines of women half a mile to a mile long, holding each other up so they don't lose their chance to get a little food?

Each of us experienced times of utter loss of our emotions. We were at times undone. What do you say to a wife and mother who has lost two children and a husband, a grandmother who is now raising three children after their mother and father and two other siblings are gone, or a father who is willing to give up his son for adoption so that he may have a better life?

We could tell you story after story of the trauma of the men, women, and children, but we won’t. We believe you get the picture

Even though life is so raw in Haiti since that seven seconds (that's all it took), and it is likely to get much worse with the onset of disease as the rainy season draws closer, we believe there is enough evidence to say Haiti is on the verge of a new day.

Whereas voodoo and witchcraft have virtually chained people to living in fear and darkness, the earthquake has caused “a Holy Fear” to come upon them. The collapse of Port-au-Prince and the reign of fear have brought about new life in the streets. You have to look to see it, but we feel Haiti has started to experience the great spiritual revival, depending on how the established church in Haiti responds, it could change the course of this country forever!

The reports are coming in of many people turning from their former beliefs to God. The churches are experiencing dynamic growth. Everywhere on the streets Bible verses are being quoted by those who did not believe. The church represents order and hope to those needy people who have lived for generations without either. A new order is possible. President Preval, weeping uncontrollably on Friday's national day of prayer, and thousands upon thousands sitting along roadside gatherings or in churches are solid proof something very different is happening.

What can we do from here?

We can pray for a Godly government to be established and pray for the nation as a whole. We can seek direct connections in Haiti. This is of incredible value as it cuts through the bureaucratic mess the United Nations has made. Support the local churches by enabling them to feed the overflow they are experiencing, rebuild the church schools, or support a family financially -- it costs only a few dollars a day.

But, most importantly, do not grow indifferent to the need of the Haitian people.  So often this is exactly what happens as the days go by.  Even tonight’s news barely mentioned what could be the world’s greatest natural disaster.

(If you want to contribute to The Church on Hatteras’ efforts to help the people of Haiti, you can make a donation by mail to Haiti Account 700011628, The Church on Hatteras, PO Box 1175, Buxton, NC 27920. Or you can drop it off at any East Carolina Bank branch. All donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact John Head at 252-216-7807.)

February 8, 2010
UPDATE….Hatteras helping Haiti

Four Hatteras islanders arrived on Haiti last week to assess the needs after last month’s devastating earthquake of 17 church orphanages, overseen by a Haitian man, Mac-Onel Georges, whom members of The Church on Hatteras have worked with for several years.

The islanders are church members John Head, Bob McBride, Dwight Burrus, and Johnny Wallace.

“I'm sure that most of you, like I, have had your heartstrings tugged at what we've seen in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti,” John Head said in a message to islanders about the trip. “I am asking that you join with me in a local effort to help the people of Haiti.”

Head met Georges while on a 2005 trip to Sri Lanka to help with the relief efforts there.

Head says that Georges was traveling to the U.S. to raise money for the children in the non-denominational church orphanages that his family started in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. They feed, clothe, and educate hundreds of children. 

In December, 2006, Bob McBride went to visit Georges and returned overwhelmed with the needs of these people and, especially, the children. 

“Mac-Onel's hope,” Head says, “is that educating the children of Haiti will give them a vision for a better future for themselves and their country.   From Bob's return until today, we have supported this ministry aiding the children of Haiti.”
The four men from The Church on Hatteras plan to assess the needs of these churches/orphanages that Mac-Onel oversees and bring back information to those interested in giving of their finances and time. It is their long-term goal to send a group to Haiti every month during the rebuilding efforts.
Head notes that, as with all of the church’s other efforts in Sri Lanka and in Pascagoula, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina, every penny donated will go directly to the needs of the people. All of the volunteers pay their own way or have separate events to raise funds for their travel expense.
If you want to contribute to this local fellowship’s efforts to help the people of Haiti, you can make a donation by mail to Haiti Account 700011628, The Church on Hatteras, PO Box 1175, Buxton, NC 27920. Or you can drop it off at any East Carolina Bank branch. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information, contact John Head at 252-216-7807.


(This report comes to The Island Free Press from John Head.)
We arrived in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, on Haiti around 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 and were greeted with great thanks. The people within the churches have great hope.
Today Pastor Mac-Onel took us to see some of the church schools here in Petionville and then to Port-au-Prince to an orphanage. This orphanage has swelled with children. It needs a new school building, but the children still have joy in their eyes and their smiles.
The destruction on the way and in Port-au Prince is truly unbelievable. The sights, sounds, and smells are at times overwhelming. Family members are still digging in the debris to find loved ones three weeks after the earthquake. Three, four, and five-story buildings lay flat on the ground. It is hard to comprehend how the Haitians will rebuild when almost every building still standing is cracked.
As we walked through the city and tried to absorb the destruction, we came across a young boy who looked to be working on some copper to sell. However when we spoke to him, we found that he had lost both his mother and father and was just beating the ground -- to keep himself busy.

A photographer for a newspaper saw the traumatized boy and began taking photos. Afterwards we all talked, and he said he had not seen such trauma, even in Sri Lanka. We all were deeply moved.

Brother Mac will try to get the boy to one of the city orphanages.
The humanitarian need here is overwhelming.
Please, I beg you to not this day slip by without fervent prayer for the people and children of Haiti.

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