Hurricane could be a setback for Haitian schools, but WWCS will move ahead

By November 5, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — Haiti is under a hurricane warning today. Haitians are bracing themselves in the event that Tropical Storm Tomas goes wild.

A hurricane could mean a whole host of additional crises in the exhausted country which has already lost hundreds of thousands of lives–not to mention homes–as a result of the January earthquake, and hundreds more from a recent cholera outbreak.

Over the past several months, Worldwide Christian Schools has been delivering aid to many of the schools that suffered the wrath of the quake. The ministry is now preparing for the rebuilding phase for schools that have dissolved to rubble; a hurricane could make the need for reconstruction even more critical. Schools have attempted to create some sort of shelter for students with tents and tarps, but even these could be blown away as Tomas strikes.

"Many of the schools do not have facilities to meet in. They're meeting under tents and tarps and make-shift conditions," explains Steven Geurink with WWCS. "So this situation, with a lot of rain and wind coming up, is not a good situation for the schools."

Geurink says heavy storms at the very least could disrupt classes. "The students will have to go to their family and friends, and the school operations will likely cease if it gets to a hurricane status."

As far as a hurricane goes, all that can be done at this point is wait and pray.

Regardless of what may come, the work of WWCS work in Haiti is far from over. Whether Tomas strikes or not, rebuilding is still on the schedule for the ministry, which hopes to start the process by January.

"We're looking at five to seven years of involvement in Haiti rebuilding schools," notes Geurink. "There's so much opportunity for people to get involved."

Your help is needed in a multitude of arenas, but the top three include construction, employee financing and prayer. For the first need, construction, a lot of able bodies will be needed over the course of several years. WWCS is looking for "HANDS Teams" to volunteer to go to Haiti and actually help build the new schools. These will need to be at least class two structures to be able to stand up to natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes in the future. View details about volunteering with construction here.

Secondly, WWCS has hired several Haitians to help get rid of the debris from the schools that crumbled in the quake. This not only helps WWCS get closer to the building process, but it also provides desperately-needed income for struggling Haitians. You can essentially volunteer to pay the wages for one of these workers who are doing all they can to feed their families. Contact WWCS to learn more about this.

Finally, your prayers are truly coveted. Pray for the WWCS rebuilding process, and for any staff and volunteers to be bold witnesses of Christ's love as they bring hope to Haitian children. Pray for the safety of the Haitians as they prepare for a potentially lethal storm. Pray especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ, that they would cling to the Lord in the midst of turmoil and hold to His faithfulness through any storm.

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