New orphanage nears completion of Phase One

By December 7, 2012

Haiti (MNN) — Do you know how to lay block for a building? If so, you could help kids who have been living in a tent for nearly 3 years.

"If you are skilled in block laying, we would love to have you come on our trips," says Howie Hooper with Orphan's Heart. The international arm of the Florida Baptist Children's Home is sending construction teams to Haiti in February and March. Their focus is finishing Phase One of a new orphanage in Bon Repos.

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, including the Bon Repos orphanage. Since then, 60 kids have been living in tent cities, where they're vulnerable to disease and the elements of the weather.

If Orphan's Heart can't gather enough workers for their February and March trips, Phase One won't be completed and orphans will be stuck without a solid roof over their heads.

"We are so longing to be finished with that first phase so that we can move those children, so they don't have to spend another rainy season in tents," says Hooper. "If you can swing a hammer, if you can push a wheelbarrow, or if you know how to lay block, we need you."

Block layers are especially needed as the children's dormitory and first stage of the rebuilding process is nearly complete. The building itself is completed; only the dorm interior and second layer of the director's house remain. This second layer will house short-term mission teams and other volunteer workers.

"That will save about 45 minutes to an hour travel each way, as we go back and forth to our mission house," Hooper explains.

Click here to sign up for one of the 7-day trips.

Phases 2 and 3 of this project include the construction of a large multipurpose building and another dormitory. Once those are done, the sky's the limit.

"We want to become a beacon in the community and would like to open a clinic," states Hooper. "After we get the construction finished, then we would start bringing in doctors and medical personnel…and focus more on the children's ministry."

Hooper says, "Our idea is not only to provide a building for the children to live in, but we will be providing training and direction in how to run an orphanage, based on the model that the Florida Baptist Children's Home uses."

Think Orphan's Heart only needs people who can go? Think again.

"Not everybody can go, but everyone can pray," says Hooper. "Continue to pray for Orphan's Heart and the ministry there in Haiti, and for the children."

Construction tools and supplies are needed, too. Click here to see how you can help by giving.

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