Haiti faces more disaster, Christians motivated

By February 16, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — It's been just over a month since the 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti. More than 250,000 people died. Even more were injured. Some continue to be among the walking wounded. Infections are common and now life-threatening.

While lives are still at risk, Compassion International Communications Director Kathy Redmond says many have already forgotten Haiti. "We've already seen the media turn their attention elsewhere. We need to maintain our focus on it. We can't have ADD when it comes to Haiti. We need to keep our focus on it, and if the media doesn't, then definitely the church should — Christians should. We cannot turn our back on Haiti."

Compassion isn't. They've been in Haiti for 42 years serving more than 64,000 children and their families. Country Director Guilboud Saint Cyr says they'd like to help 75,000 children and their families, short-term. That's a huge financial need — more than $24 million.

They currently have a large team on the ground to find Compassion's sponsored children and "to assess the massive amount of need," says Redmond. "We've raised quite a bit of money, so we're just looking at the best way to spend it there and what people need the most."

Redmond says Christians have been able to share their faith in the midst of tragedy. But the tragedy will grow as the rainy season hits. "The rainy season is going to exacerbate the problem. Now we're going to start looking at diseases like cholera, diseases that we don't even deal with here. Then June comes around, and that's the hurricane season. What we're really looking at is the possibility of a real 'pile-on' to the people in Haiti."

While disease is a huge issue, so is more permanent housing. Currently many Haitians are living in tents on the streets outside the rubble of the homes or in make-shift tent cities spread across Port-au-Prince and nearby communities.

Redmond says Compassion is "starting to look at infrastructure and rebuilding homes and rebuilding the churches that we work in." Of the 100 churches in the earthquake zone, about 60 were damaged, and 20 of those were completely destroyed.

Compassion is asking you to become an advocate of Haiti so the Christian community doesn't forget.


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