This past year (2010) took on a much different direction and intensity than we had could have ever expected. We heard the Lord say “return to Haiti”. Sharing International has worked in the country for decades, but in recent years has focused more on other countries in need.
On the way back from an ongoing project with radio and television in Belize, news of the devastating earthquake flashed across the world stage.
After partnering with media in Belize, Sweden and Barcelona in recent months, our task was to swing back into action on humanitarian outreaches to a suffering people that were, and continue to be, devastated by one of the worst natural disasters of the past hundred years.
The Spirit directed us to call back to service believers we had worked with on so many medical, construction and teaching teams throughout the years. These were the people who weren’t afraid to work in uncomfortable areas. Without hesitation, they were ready to pray, give and go to aid ministries that were helping to save physical and spiritual lives in the quake stricken country of Haiti.
While not the major thrust of Sharing’s mission, nevertheless offering humanitarian aid to the victims of last year’s earthquake was a call from God that could not be neglected. Ministries, churches and lay personnel responded in dramatic fashion. They sacrificed programs, time and treasure. They put themselves at risk in a land where deadly diseases, heat and danger are everyday challenges.
Randy Harvey and Dale Dailey of The Crossing Church stepped up with the newly re-formed Sharing humanitarian staff to stand behind our ministry partner in Haiti, World Harvest Mission and their New Life Children’s Home just outside Port-au-Prince.
American families, churches, firehouses and apartment complexes collected more than a ton and a half of donated goods for quake relief. Sharing workers then delivered about 875 extra large “blessing packs” stuffed full of donated sanitary items, school supplies and small toys to boys and girls in makeshift tents cities. Many of the little ones saw many of the ones they loved crushed to death when the earthquake hit.
May the Lord return 100-fold to those who gave, labored and prayed this “blessing pack” outreach through to completion!
World Harvest for Christ encouraged us to go to the remote rural areas miles outside the city. Thousands of refugees from the January 12th quake fled to tiny villages across the country, stretching and shattering an already fragile medical infrastructure. Sharing International held several clinics in stricken areas that hadn’t seen medical care in more than a year!
Words can’t describe the sights, sounds, and overwhelming need of the people. In many ways (as is so often the case) God showed up to take our best efforts and “super-sized” them by His Grace and mercy, changing us in ways that are permanent and always good. The team members (mostly from Crossing Church) comprised of doctors, nurses and laypeople, reached out and touched the wonderful Haitian people with whatever they had to offer. Many lives were saved as a result of the clinics.
Sharing and The Crossing Church also sponsored a fantastic pastor’s conference with 30 pastors from all over the area. We had the privilege of giving them all Bibles and other materials in their heart language of Creole. There was a women’s conference held at the same time for the pastor’s wives.
This rapid response Haiti team joined the countless other Sharing teams members over the past 24 years that I would be happy to serve with again anywhere, any time!
This project, along with Sharing’s broadcast ventures, has brought us to the conclusion yet again that willing laypeople united to share their God-given gifts, talents and callings can make a impact for the cause of Christ anywhere, no matter how challenging the circumstances, no matter what the cost!