Ministry President Bas Vanderzalm says Medical Teams is working with a local partner. "We're working in one of the largest camps outside of Port-au-Prince where people have moved to resettle because their homes were destroyed. There are about 120,000 people now."
It's called Canaan, or The Promised Land. But Vanderzalm says it wasn't very promising. The camp had no clinics, schools, churches or infrastructure. So, Christians decided to do something about it. "Haiti Christians have felt led to move into the area and begin churches, to reach out to the people who are there. We have gone with them and are providing a clinic and health care alongside these churches."
Working with the local church is vital. "People not only receive physical help, but they also are offered opportunities for people to pray with them; many of them do engage with the churches as well."
This kind of disaster tends to encourage people to look for guidance. "People need spiritual care and support. Many of the questions they're asking, I think, can only be answered in the context of faith in God. At the same time, if all we do is address the spiritual needs and aren't concerned about the physical needs that people have, I think it's an incomplete concern and compassion for people."
According to Vanderzalm, there's a reason they're working through local partners. "By doing that, we're building the church structure in Haiti itself. Then, when we're finally through, hopefully the work we do will continue on and will have long-standing Kingdom implications because what we've done has been invest in churches and believers on the ground who will continue to do this work for years to come."
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