Haiti (MNN) — Earthquakes, storms, cholera, job loss, homelessness and other turmoil have severely burdened Haiti over the last several months. But this week, there is good news headed for at least some in the beleaguered nation.
Monday marked the 24th annual "Christmas in August" fundraising event with For Haiti With Love. Despite an attendance of just over half of what it was last year, the ministry raised only $300 less than in 2010 and was able to gather 1 1/2 pallets of Christmas gifts for Haitian children in December.
The Christmas celebration that will come on Christmas Day 2011 in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, will be deeply appreciated. Conditions in the region have hardly improved since the January 2010 earthquake struck.
"There hasn't been that much done since the earthquake," confirms For Haiti's Eva DeHart. "There still are no jobs. There are a lot of mission groups that are just totally pulled out of Haiti now. And so the challenges are really growing."
With an added layer of cholera which became a severe epidemic across the nation over the last year, many kids have been forced to deal with more than any child can reasonably handle. This Christmas party gives them a brief oasis to rest and rejoice.
"To give these kids something really exciting to look forward to is important," explains DeHart. "And to be a beacon of God's love and hope in that setting is even more important."
With this year's current giving, the Christmas party should be able to include about 1,500 children, each of whom will receive a variety of gifts from soccer balls and baby dolls, to much-needed toiletries.
Because there are so many needy children in the region, For Haiti alternates the children who are able to receive gifts each year. This not only allows many more children to receive gifts, but it widens the scope of those who are able to hear the Gospel.
The more funds that are raised, the more children who can celebrate Christmas 2011. Gifts can be accepted through October, when the last shipment will go out for the December celebration. If you would like to participate in spreading the joy and hope of a Savior born to even the poorest of the poor, contact For Haiti at forhaitiwithlove.org, or head to their Facebook page.
In the meantime, pray that God would be preparing the hearts of those who will hear the true Christmas story and the Good News it produces in Haiti.