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Haiti observes a week of mourning marking one year after the quake

By January 13, 2011

Haiti (MNN) — This week marks the one-year point since Port-au-Prince fell into ruins. Faces are
solemn in the processions to prayer services as the survivors of Haiti's quake
mark the worst natural disaster in the nation's history.

It's a palpable sorrow. Eva DeHart with
For Haiti with Love says, "Haiti is having a week of mourning. Schools are closed…everything is
closed in mourning for those who've lost everything and for those who've lost
family."

A majority of the rubble remains on the ground. There are at least a million displaced
people, including 380,000 children, who are in the hundreds of tent-and-shack
cities that sprung up after the quake. The pace of the restoration is slow. Frustrations mingled with fear have matured into violence against the
vulnerable in some of these tent cities.

Thousands abandoned the capital and made for relatives'
homes in the north, in Cap Haitien. DeHart says this whole year has been about adjusting for the influx of
refugees. "We're feeding people. We're focusing on trying to house the people
who have come up North. We have taken in
children who were found in the streets down there, and we're providing them with
education, clothing, food and clean shelter, and surrounding them with lots
of love to help them through the trauma."

Food security remains a problem for most areas. A shortage was coupled with a dock strike,
natural disasters and bad harvests. Shipments of medical supplies and food are
entangled in red tape at the ports. 

DeHart has firsthand knowledge there. "Haitian customs held onto one of our
containers long enough that we got 43,000 pounds of rotten beans."  She says they found a way around the
obstacle and got things moving in the pipeline again. "But we started taking the food straight
into Cap Haitien. In fact, we've got
another container coming in Monday."

While their team is meeting the needs in Cap Haitien, the
lack of food in the disaster zone highlights the pace of recovery that is
frustrating to watch.  

2010 was a year of disaster, disease, and despair for
Haiti.  The motivation of the hands and
feet of Christ kept For Haiti With Love going even when they'd reached the end
of their physical strength. "Without
Jesus in their lives, without hope, they just curl up and die. They're that close to the edge, that
all they have to do is surrender hope. When that happens, they're gone."

DeHart says, "This has just been one disaster after another
to a country that was already down." Despite
the tragedies, revival broke out. Hearts turned to Christ. Believers were getting stronger in their
faith.  Unity blossomed. Keep
praying. Even as the nation mourns its loss, they look for hope.

"We can all join them in this week of
mourning and pray deeply for some right answers and some guidance for all of
us."

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