Haiti (MNN) — On January 12, 2010, a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the tiny Caribbean island and caused many Haitians to seek answers. Life as they knew it, for many, ended that fateful day.
But January 12, 2014 is a new chapter for Haiti, according to Compassion International.
Spokesman Tim Glenn says they marked the four-year anniversary of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake on Sunday with ten new multipurpose buildings. Construction may have taken a long time by Haiti standards, but for good reason.
“We had to bring in international experts to meet these international codes and make sure that the quality was better than anything else that was being built in Haiti,” Glenn explains.
“These buildings had to be high-quality and had to be able to withstand an earthquake in the future. [The] problem is that so much of the construction that’s in Haiti…they don’t know how to create or how to build buildings that are up to international code.”
The buildings aren’t just Child Development Centers for Compassion-sponsored kids, Glenn adds. These buildings will also act as schools, churches, and community centers for villages affected by the 2010 earthquake.
Compassion hopes to send a simple message about the Church, and by extension, the loving God they serve: “When disaster hits, go to the Church…. We want to enable the Church to be the response to those opportunities,” Glenn says.
By making sure the buildings are up to international code, “I think it sends the message that the Church demands quality; the Church demands excellence; and…the safest place in this country is for your kids to come to this church and be here, especially in the time of crisis.”
Funding for Compassion’s rebuilding efforts came from their General Disaster Relief Fund. Although the financial needs have been met, Glenn says many children still need sponsors.
“There are kids who are in dire need of somebody to speak messages of hope into their lives right now,” he states.
“That’s one of the most beautiful things about being a sponsor with Compassion. You get to speak hope and love and peace and truth into the life of a child in poverty.”