Thursday, January 14, 2010

an opportunity to help those in Haiti

The devastation in Haiti is beyond our understanding.  As I was sitting in my warm, comfortable house last night after a long night at work eating a very late dinner, my mind was turned to those in Haiti who have no shelter, no job, no food.  I wondered to myself, "What can I do from here?"

We have friends who live in Haiti.  Kristie grew up in NW Iowa.  She grew up, moved away from home and met a man from Haiti named JeanJean.  They married and have two amazing kids.  They live in JeanJean's hometown in Haiti, and they spend their days and nights providing nutrition to children at meal centers, educating women and men and improving their community.  

Their work is funded through a board that is based in NW Iowa.  On a good day, they have a tough job.  At a time like this, they have a seemingly impossible job. 

We've been receiving updates from them since the earthquake.  This is the last e-mail we received.        

Dear friends;
After a night of praying specifically how we can help, we have felt that God telling us to, "Go, and do in His name." Port-au-Prince is not too far away for us to go with our vehicles and bring supplies in or to bring survivors back here. We have Port-au-Prince contacts, both individuals and churches that can help direct us in helping with immediate needs. We also can help the families of the deceased. And soon, there will be a need to re-build. I think of the challenges that New Orleans faced. Haiti has even less resources and support from the government.

For so many, Port-au-Prince represents the golden dream. This is where they could go to school, or where they would find that elusive job that would support them. It is where they would find a good life that they couldn't find in their home towns. People save and save until they have enough money to rent a small room that they share with 3 others, as was true with the 4 local young men that perished in their collapsed building. Now, for most people, that is all gone. My prayer is that people will turn to God as their hope and provider.
I just was interrupted in typing this by our friend, Marie, who cleans the dormitory for us. She came in tears because she has to go to Port to try to find 2 sisters. She hasn't heard anything from them except that they live in an area that had massive destruction. Many people are in the same situation. These are people that we can help. Our brother just called and he will be coming back with many others. People will have to come back to their home areas because there is nothing in Port for them now.
If you would like to send money to UCI to help, you may send it to the address listed below. JeanJean and I and our whole UCI Haiti board will use it to help people in need and to honor God. Thank you, thank you for your prayers and I am not ashamed to ask for more prayers. We love you so much for your love to us and Haiti.
In Christ,who is just, and who saves!
JeanJean and Kristie, Tana and Kerri Mompremier

PO Box 51
Orange City, IA 51041
Make out the check to UCI and write "earthquake" in the memo

There are many ways to help from afar.  Here's an organization our family has given to in the past -  We trust them completely to use this money in the best possible way for the most possible benefit of the people in immediate need.  Perhaps you know of another organization or way to help the people of Haiti.  Please post that in the comments section below.  I imagine in the future there will be opportunities for crafters/sewers to send blankets/quilts, clothing and other items, but for now, it seems the most immediate need is funding for the people and organizations that are there providing assistance.       

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