I have just returned from Haiti, where Samaritan’s Purse is working non-stop to help survivors of the catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake. It’s almost impossible to describe the scope of the tragedy—not just the endless devastation and the lingering stench of death, but the anguished faces of women, children, and others who are desperate for food, water, and shelter.
Our teams on the ground estimate that Samaritan’s Purse has been able to help close to 100,000 people since the quake struck.
Here are some of the ways we have responded:
SHELTER: Everywhere we went, I saw makeshift homes covered with heavy-duty blue plastic handed out by Samaritan’s Purse. Already, we’ve distributed enough plastic for about 20,000 families. In the coming days we will begin providing thousands more with transitional housing where they can live until they are able to rebuild a permanent house.
MEDICAL CARE: While I was in Haiti, Samaritan’s Purse reopened a clinic at one of the largest churches in Cite Soleil. It will be staffed by doctors who are volunteering through World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse. We are also continuing to provide doctors and support for the Baptist Haiti Mission hospital, where over 1,500 survivors have been treated; and we sent in a helicopter this week to carry medical brigades into some of the most isolated and hard-hit towns.
FOOD: We have handed out 250 tons of rice and other staples to thousands of families, focusing on the needs of mothers and other women. Our teams have also delivered food to over 40 orphanages where children had gone hungry since the earthquake.
WATER: We have set up large-scale water filtration systems at 10 locations, providing more than 20,000 people with clean drinking water. More filters have just arrived and will be installed soon.
This has been the most massive relief project in the history of Samaritan’s Purse. We have chartered eight cargo flights and two trips by an ocean-going barge that delivered over a million pounds of heavy equipment and construction supplies. We thank God for providing the resources and opening the doors for us to deliver help into the crippled country.
We praise God for what He is doing through Samaritan’s Purse to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people in Haiti. Your prayers and support are making a difference. Please continue to lift up our teams on the ground. They need God’s strength and wisdom as they help and minister to those who have lost everything. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:L1).
If you would like to know more about what Samaritan’s Purse is doing in Haiti and how you can help, go to www.samaritanspurse.org or call us at 1-800-528-1980.
President, Samaritan’s Purse