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Ministries focus on refugees across Haiti


As Christians in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, continue to recover from the January earthquake that leveled their city, Churches of Christ are expanding relief efforts to assist refugees spread across the Caribbean nation.
The population of Gonaives, a small city about 106 miles north of the Haitian capital, has exploded, and refugees continue to arrive, said Gueston Pacius, a minister in Gonaives.
“Families are relocating and children are going to live with family members in other parts of the country,” said Monica Gautney of Manna Global Ministries. The Indiana-based ministry works with a school in Lagosette, Haiti, that provides education and hot meals for more than 300 children.
Meanwhile, churches and ministries continue to distribute aid across Haiti:
• In a seven-day period, church members helped load and ship 291,500 pounds of food and relief supplies to Haiti, said John Kachelman, minister for the Judsonia, Ark., church. Haitian Christians in Gonaives have loaded containers of food and transported it to displaced people who have received little aid thus far, Kachelman said.
• The Estes Church of Christ in Henderson, Tenn., restructured its annual spring break medical campaign to accommodate more patients, said church member Jesse Robertson. The Estes church supports Son Light Children’s Home in the Santo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. This year the medical team treated more than 2,000 patients.
• Abilene, Texas-based Global Samaritan Resources donated two water purification systems to Haiti and plans to install others near villages and orphanages in the Port-au-Prince area.
The units have the capability of purifying 25,000 gallons of water or more a per day. Global Samaritan plan to send workers to Haiti to teach Haitians how to operate the purifiers — and to stress the need for clean water, said warehouse manager Gordon Dowell.
• Fort Worth, Texas-based Rapha International sent a 40-foot container with tents, a generator, medical supplies, exam tables, crutches, walkers and other items to Haiti. In the future the ministry plans to offer micro-loans and food preservation workshops to help Haitians become self-sufficient, said worker Marilyn Holland.
• Workers with Louisiana-based White’s Ferry Road Relief Ministries are giving food to refugees in Cap Haitien in northern Haiti. “Each time we start a food giveaway, we end up stopping when the crowd gets to unruly,” said relief worker Dave Heath “There are a lot of hungry people here.”
• Church members from the Jamaica School of Preaching and Biblical Studies traveled to Haiti. The team coordinated its efforts through Jacques Phanor and Ivio Rosier, graduates of the school who work with Haitians living on the islands of Turks and Caicos.
The group visited congregations in rural northern Haiti and gave assistance to church members housing refugees in their homes.
They also traveled to Port-au-Prince and visited church members clearing away rubble from the Delmas 28 Church of Christ, which collapsed during the quake.
Churches in Jamaica have endured devastating hurricanes, said Gladwyn Kiddoe, director of the Jamaica school.
“The Lord and his people have rebuilt destroyed buildings in Jamaica,” Kiddoe told the Delmas church members. “The same will happen in Haiti.”

Filed under: International

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