Five years since devastating earthquake hit Haiti

By January 13, 2015
(Photo courtesy Compassion International)

(Photo courtesy Compassion International)

Haiti (CMP/MNN) — Five years ago today, an earthquake flipped the lives of Haitians upside down, and almost everything they had come to know was destroyed.

Haiti’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed over 250,000 people. Even more were injured. Homes, businesses, schools, and churches collapsed, and more than a million people were suddenly displaced.

Compassion International started a Disaster Relief Fund, and generous and compassionate donors contributed more than $31 million for Haiti’s recovery. The fund allowed Compassion to provide for immediate needs such as food, water, and temporary shelter, as well as establish long-term recovery efforts.

One of the long-term needs has been for post-traumatic counseling. This has given children and their parents who are enrolled in their program new hope and joy that the earthquake took away.

Compassion has also provided training for job opportunities and loans. With an interest rate of just 1%, parents have a way to provide for their families by starting up small businesses. Over 450 small businesses and thousands of jobs have been created because of these loans.

Finally, Compassion has built 25 schools and is in the process of building 5 more. Each school is earthquake- and hurricane-resistant.

Why build schools instead of homes for the homeless?

First, Compassion said mortgages and titles in Haiti are unreliable, if not nonexistent. Most people rent or even sublease their homes. They did realize building homes would be a good idea, however, with newer and sturdier structures, landlords would look for greater profits and in the end, kick families out.

Second, and most important, without rebuilding the schools, Compassion would have lost their ability to provide holistic child development programs to more than 25,000 sponsored children and their families.

Schools have provided a sense of safety, joy, and progress. The new school buildings are spreading hope and healing through Jesus Christ throughout a nation that desperately needs Him.

Continue praying for families who lost everything. If you’d like to sponsor a child, click here.

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