Haiti (MNN) — For many ministries, the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake has caused a swell in needs and in numbers. Medical ministries have been flooded with patients, and children's homes are overflowing with orphans; yet still only a fraction of adults and children are getting all of their needs met.
Kids Alive International is just one of the many ministries who saw a dramatic spike in individuals helped post-quake. Kids Alive had programs in Haiti before the natural disaster hit, caring for a variety of Haitian children. But when the quake orphaned thousands of children, most of whom had become homeless in a day as well, Kids Alive began taking on as many as they could manage.
Al Lackey with Kids Alive says the program spiked to roughly seven times its size once the quake hit. "We were about 30 children [before the quake], and now we're well over 200."
The Kids Alive Children's home alone is approaching 90 children now. Quick accommodations have had to be made over the last several months to make room for the other 100+ children. Buildings have been rented to serve as child housing, and a building project for the Kids Alive Boys' Care Center, scheduled to open January 2011, is underway.
The Boys' Care Center represents one new ministry geared toward street boys. When the former Project Pierre Toussaint in Haiti was dissolved and forced ex-street boys back to the streets, donors of the project came to Kids Alive for help. Kids Alive took over the boys' care and is now developing a long-term program to meet thier educational, physical and spiritual needs.
The new building will take care of some of the space issues, but Kids Alive has also had to take on multiple more hands to effectively nurture and care for these kids. Their staff has quadrupled since the quake. Costs, of course, have also increased.
"It just takes a whole gamut of work that needs to be done: from schools, to medical care, counseling (some of these kids are coming out of traumatic situations), and teaching them about Jesus and love," says Lackey.
Despite the heavy workload, Kids Alive has managed to keep up care for more than 200 children. Many of the kids who entered the program a year ago have already committed their lives to Christ as a result and are on their way to becoming the future leaders of Haiti.
The Kids Alive ministry in Haiti has made significant strides, but there are still thousands of children who have been orphaned and made homeless due to this uncontrollable disaster. These children cannot be helped if they're forgotten.
"We in the Western world are quick to respond to a need immediately, and then ready to move on to something else," says Lackey. "It's my hope that the church will give a second look at Haiti and say, ‘There are incredible needs. There is incredible potential, and there's a wonderful church there that needs our help.'"
The primary response needs to be prayer, says Lackey. Pray against the satanic influence on the country. Pray for wisdom and resources for the ministry of Kids Alive. Pray for provision for all the homeless and orphaned children of Haiti. And pray that those who have made it inside the Kids Alive walls would come to know the Prince of Peace.
Financial assistance cannot be forgotten, either. If you have not gotten involved with the rebuild efforts in Haiti yet, or if you responded last January but have not contributed since then, consider doing so now. You can sponsor a Haitian child through Kids Alive. "That's the way we fund the sustaining costs," explains Lackey. "[You] can literally join the efforts of the Haiti earthquake relief efforts and begin to invest in one specific child [through sponsorship.]"