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Volunteers continue with help for Haiti

Volunteers continue with help for Haiti
Members of Grace Bible Church meet local residents during a recent mission trip to Haiti.

When an earthquake rocked Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, news of the devastation and human misery inflicted on the poorer brother to the Dominican Republic was transmitted across the globe in seconds hardly longer than the 18 seconds it took the temblor to wipe out almost 300,000 lives.

Response was immediate. People from all over the globe reached out with money, medical supplies, food, and clean water.

Scenes of the destruction filled our TV and computer screens for days. The horror that became an everyday reality for the Haitians moved many to act, even to go to Haiti to assist.

But the inevitable happened. Interest in Haiti gave way to other news and events. The world moved on. But the plight of the Haitians remains.

In October 2010, nine months after the earthquake, a group of volunteers from Grace Bible Church in La Vernia, led by Mission Leader Sandra Shaw, flew to Port-Au-Prince, having connected with a church in Carrefour, an area just outside Port-Au-Prince.

The group’s mission was to assist the local church in its efforts to minister to the people in that area. That trip changed the lives of the volunteers and is helping to reshape the ministry of Grace Bible Church.

For five days, the volunteers worked alongside Haitians to tear down and haul away the destroyed home of one of the church members. It was the only home damaged in the entire block of small, concrete homes. The roof had collapsed and the walls had buckled. It had to be broken up with sledgehammers and picks, then shoveled into buckets, then loaded onto a dump truck. Thirteen people from the United States worked with 15 young Haitian men to complete the task.

That is how it is in Haiti still. Thousands of damaged buildings still need to be removed and rebuilt. Hundreds of thousands of people still live in tents or shanties in massive tent cities. Clean water is scarce; disease is on the rise; hope is giving way to resignation that little to nothing will be done in the near future.

That is why Grace Bible Church went to Haiti in October 2010 and why it went back in March 2011, and why it will go again in June and October of 2011, to do what they can to bring relief from the suffering to as many people as possible, and to rekindle the fires of hope by sharing the Gospel that Jesus lives, even in the midst of tragedy. Each time members of the church go to Haiti, extra bags are carried, filled with medical and dental supplies, hygiene items, shoes, flip-flops, T-shirts, and anything else that might bring some relief to the people of Haiti.

With each trip that Grace Bible Church makes, the Haitians are developing increasing trust in their new friends, and they are opening up more about what they refer to as “the catastrophe.”

When asked what they need, they most often respond with “Please pray for us that we will not lose our hope,”or “Can you help us go to school?”

Grace Bible Church has responded to both requests. Prayer for the people of Haiti is now a regular part of the daily routine for those members of Grace who have been to Haiti. And nine young Haitian men are now in school thanks to the generous donations of recent trip members and members of the church.

Members from Grace, led by Senior Pastor Erin Weaver, will return to Haiti this coming June and would like to carry with them as many medical, dental, and personal hygiene supplies as possible. If you would like to help, you can do so by donating hygiene supplies toothpaste, soap, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, etc. at the display located at the Dollar General store in La Vernia April 9 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call the church office at 830-779-5200.

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