Child sponsors press for answers in Haiti

By January 22, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — The fate of sponsored children in Haiti is still an unknown as the catastrophe has hit all aid groups hard. Compassion International helps about 64,000 children and families in Haiti. They're having a difficult time assessing what's happened to their children.

Communications Director Kathy Redmond says many of their projects in Port-au-Prince have been affected. "When I say 'affected,' I mean basically destroyed. The pastoral staff and the families of the kids [were] killed."

That makes analyzing their program and the sponsored children difficult. "What we're trying to do is send people out to those areas–our staff members who have already suffered such huge losses within their own families. It's very difficult to actually get information together."

Redmond says that 75 hurting staff members trying to figure out what happened to 12,000 sponsored children is very difficult.

She's asking child sponsors to be patient. "I don't want any of our sponsors to think we're holding information from them at all, or that we know something that we're not telling them. It's just that we have to be accurate with our reporting, and right now it's just really difficult."

However, Redmond says one thing is certain: "Quite a few of our children who are in our different programs — including our leadership development program — have died."

Redmond says while they try to sort out the sponsored children, Compassion is reaching out with aid. She says while aid was waiting undelivered at the airport because of inadequate infrastructure, Compassion hasn't had those issues. "We have our infrastructure, which is our churches. So we've been able to get a lot of the relief supplies into our churches; the community has been able to turn to the church."

Because of that, the church is uniquely ready to share the Gospel along with physical aid.

In the meantime, prayer is needed for the staff. "We just received reports that our staff is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted."

Redmond is asking you to support Compassion International. "A week ago, the world finally woke up to Haiti. But we've known about Haiti for the last 40 years. When it's all said and done, a lot of the rescue teams will go there, and when they're done, they'll leave. But we weep for the people of Haiti, and then we stay."

If you'd like to support Compassion International's work, click here.

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