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Break from ExpenseMatters – Haiti Relief Effort

By on March 8, 2010 in General with 0 Comments

Haiti relief effortDuring the week of February 20th I took a break from work.  I decided to spend almost a week helping out the earthquake ravaged country of Haiti.  It was an eye-opening experience that is sure to change my perspective in various areas of my life.  I went to Haiti as part of a partnership through my church and an existing ministry/relief organization on the ground in Haiti.

It was amazing to see the lack of infrastructure that caused a disaster to be so much worse than it had to be.  Evidence of this can be seen in a recent earthquake in Chile, where less than 1000 died, compared to the hundreds-of-thousands in Haiti.  Decades of government abuse of the country’s funds & expenses left Haiti more susceptible than most western countries.  The conditions were terrible!  Dirty, filthy and unsanitary conditions…very surprised disease hasn’t taken hold yet.  People living in tents or under tarps as far as the eye could see.

We spend most of our time outside of the city, in a local village of Despinos.  There we found ourselves rebuilding a school, helping a local medical clinic, preparing and distributing food to over 600 families and interacting with a local orphanage.  I have performed community service (not the kind where I had to wear an orange jumpsuit!) in Atlanta on several occasions.  I have to admit, on more than one occasion in Atlanta I became a little disillusioned when our teams would be helping to clean up an area only to find the local residents kicking back in their rocking chairs, sipping their lemonade, and watching us from their front porches!   However, I was pleased and impressed with the attitude and work ethic of many of the Haitians we encountered.  They could not pick up a shovel, hammer or saw fast enough to help us build their school.  They practically pushed us out of the way to help us unload food distributions from our truck.  Amazing how joy transcends our language barriers.

I have to share one unbelievable story.  We went to a local Christian orphanage where a missionary from KY has been running it for over 30 years.  There are about 60 kids in his care.  On the afternoon of the earthquake, he chastised the group for being late and told them they had better not be late to their 4:45pm class.  Well guess what, EVERY ONE of the 60+ kids were late…every single one of them.  Then at 4:53pm the earthquake hit and completely collapsing their school!  Had any of them been on time, they would have certainly been killed. Kids in the adjacent towns & villages were were injured and killed, but not a scratch to any of the kids in the Good Rest Orphanage.  Wow!

Anyway, I have tons of stories I could share but will reserve those for a later time.  I thought this post would be a nice break from the traditional expense-oriented discussions!

If any of you feel compelled to give to one of these ministries, feel free to go to one of the following sites to do so:

Hebron Church – Click on the Online Giving link on lower right-side.  In notes, make sure you put Missions – Cary Strange

Haiti Gospel Mission – Click on the Paypal Donate button.  Make sure you put “Sent by Cary Strange”

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