I am so honored to report the following day by day events since the earthquake and how God has used G.O. Ministries to bring help to several communities in Haiti.
Tuesday, 12 Jan 2010, a 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti. G.O. Ministries happened to have a team in Santiago at the time. Here is a video clip of what it felt like: Moment of Earthquake You see people laughing because it was an unusual occurrence. As news reports came in, we began to realize how serious the situation was and began to prepare to help. God can do immeasurably more than we can imagine, and we never imagined this past week! But God is good and gave us the opportunity to aid in relief of this tragedy. Several of our staff members were featured on their local news. Michael Jeff and Wilby
Wednesday 13 Jan 2010, we began to understand the extent of the devastation. People immediately began to call and offer their help. Brook Brotzman, President of G.O. Ministries in the US, was already scheduled to travel to the DR that day. After he was on the ground in Santiago, we began to analyze how we could help. We were contacted by several short-term mission teams that were stranded in various locations in Haiti. A group from Eastview Christian Church had been in Pilatre, trying to get home to Normal, IL. Their flight, which would have placed them in Port-au-Prince at the time of the quake, had been cancelled. They were able to get a bus to the border between the Dominican and Haiti, where Tim Krauss, one of our full-time staff members in Santiago, was able to meet them. We then gave them overnight accommodations and got them on a flight Thursday morning. Another group was stranded at a orphanage in Jacmel, southwest of Port-au-Prince, but closer to the epicenter of the quake. To get to them, we found a boat from the Dominican town of Pedernales to the coastal town of Jacmel. The boat was very small but we crammed in as many supplies as would fit and sent Tim to go retreive them. Due to engine problems on the boat, the team returned across the border the next day by land. We were also taking supplies in via the border town of Jimani when possible. In total, we helped 5 different mission teams evacuate from Haiti. Here in the office, we set up ways for people to help by donating and with their prayers. Here is a video with Tim and John preparing to depart: www.vimeo.com/8754211
We obtained warehouse space in the hanger at the Santiago airport in order to store supplies. We used five five small planes to fly supplies in and out of Jacmel and Leogane daily to drop relief supplies. We continued with boat trips as well. We were able to recruit several pilots in order to keep flights going into Jacmel non-stop. You should check out the view of the airport on Google Earth. It is just a runway with a place to turn around. Landing Strip
Friday 15 Jan 2010, Romano and Wilby, G.O. partnering Haitian pastors, headed out to Port-au-Prince separately. Here is a video that Jeff made of Romano prior to his departure: http://www.vimeo.com/8754093 They left to search for family they had not been able to reach. Wilby found his family members alive but Romano learned that his brother is dead. He leaves behind 9 children. We continue to pray for the orphans created the day of the quake.
Over the weekend, the opportunities to help did not stop. Our staff in Santiago helped assist a UN peacekeeper and his team of volunteers who stayed in our dorm. They were stranded on their way to Port-au-Prince. They assisted us in setting up our relief efforts. We were able to use our warehouse and the hangar space we obtained at the Santiago airport to collect supplies.
We have some pictures of our staff buying supplies and the planes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gohelphaiti We also helped a reporter from the Wall Street Journal with lodging and helped him into Jacmel to report on the conditions there.
Monday 18 Jan 2010, we began to realize that supplies on the island of Hispaniola were running out. We now need to collect the needed supplies here in the US for transportation to Haiti via the DR. A friend, who is the director of a Haitian orphanage, asked how would she distribute the baby formula she had available? It could mean the difference between life and death. My heart breaks that anyone would find themselves in that position. We are working to get needed supplies as quickly as we can to alleviate the desperate need on the ground in Haiti.
Tuesday 19 Jan 2010, we began to organize collection of supplies. We have obtained warehouse space in Louisville at 7325 New LaGrange Road. We are contacting the churches in this area to begin collection of needed supplies. We are arranging cargo plane transport to take these items to Santiago for distribution into Haiti. It takes 100,000 lbs. to fill the plane. We are again asking God to provide in a big way through His people.
Medical supplies are an immediate and overwhelming need. There are doctors on the ground who cannot treat those sick and injured because they have no supplies. If you are able to secure a donation of medical items, especially orthopedic supplies such as casting materials, contact us right away. We would also be able to purchase these items if a large donation were made.
Your donation has made an immediate difference to the people of Haiti. Please continue to keep the people of Haiti and GO Ministries as we assist in the relief effort in your prayers. We have spent every donation as quickly as they have come in. As of yesterday, we had received over $150,000 in donations. We are spending the money as quickly as it comes in. Please consider giving again or passing this information on to other people who may be interested in what we are doing here.
Much peace and prayers to you!!!
Alan and Jackie