Haiti Quake Anniversary Report

Best Hope is Native Missionaries Preaching the Gospel

January 12, 2011

This child's parents were both killed. She was rescued by a Christian family living in Tent City - Port au Prince. (Christian Aid photo)

Haiti's best hope is for gospel-preaching indigenous missions to get the support they need, says Christian Aid Mission's Haiti Director, Rae Burnett. She directed emergency response to last year's deadly earthquake and is in regular touch with indigenous missions there which are assisted by Christian Aid.

"Millions of dollars poured in, and foreigners flooded the country. But humanitarian aid alone will never solve the problems of Haiti," says Burnett. "The destruction was massive. A million are homeless. Naturally speaking, the situation is hopeless. But the gospel of Christ brings hope.

"As Christian Aid's Director for Africa, I have seen it over and over," Burnett says. "A native takes the gospel to a previously unreached area. Villagers respond and a church is planted. Little by little, as the light of Christ permeates their lives, they change. Their spiritual life affects their physical life and conditions are transformed. Christ does it through them. It is not imposed on them from the outside. Our job is to provide financial means for local ministry workers to do the restoration and building they need to fulfill what the Lord has called them to do in their country. As our gifts enable them to bring relief to the suffering in Jesus' name, doors are opened for them to minister the gospel as well.

TENT CITY: Over one million remain homeless in tent cities and the streets, even after one year. Christian Aid wants to help more families rebuild and find hope in Christ. (Christian Aid photo)

"I knew that Haiti was settled by African slaves, but even I was shocked to see the similarities. Little has changed but the location. The culture and mentality is 100% African. Voodoo, brought from the homeland and mixed with Roman Catholicism, assures the place of darkness, fear, and hopelessness. The gospel is the only answer, and it comes most effectively by far through native missionaries."

Haiti is divided into ten "departments" like our states. Since the huge quake a year ago, Christian Aid has responded with emergency aid to repair a mission vehicle that serves as an ambulance in the West, to rebuild a church in the North, and to feed homeless victims in a tent city in Port au Prince.

"The scope of these ministries affects the entire country of Haiti," says Burnett, "but the needs are huge. Most critically needed now is medical and food aid while the people are rebuilding their homes and churches." Contributions for relief to Haitian native missionaries are being collected online or by calling Christian Aid, 800- 977-5650.

Cholera outbreaks continue due to polluted water and there is a great need for bleach, hand sanitizers, and water purification pills, says an indigenous leader in Cayes.

"Please help me help my people," he pleads. "Supplying these simple things helps keep some people alive. It opens doors for us to explain and minister the love of Jesus. I am waiting and praying for more help."

An entire family squeezes into one tent in this rescue center sponsored by a Christian ministry. (Christian Aid photo)

Most urgently needed is missionary support. Just $100 a month will help support a Christian medical worker ($1200 a year). Orphans and hungry children can be supported for $50 a month or $600 a year. "Costs of everything are much higher than they were before the quake," explains Rae.

Other urgent needs at this time are $20,000 for a four-wheel-drive vehicle, $15,000 for repair of an orphanage building, and $20,000 for a school in Port au Prince. Since the church building that was completely destroyed was on a rented lot, the ministry would like to buy land for a permanent compound. The total cost for ministry headquarters, a meeting hall, and living quarters for workers is $120,000.

Christian Aid Mission was founded in 1953 by Bob Finley. It currently assists 796 indigenous missions that deploy 80,000 native missionaries working among 3000 tribes and nations. Christian Aid is a link to indigenous missions in poor countries like Haiti, where God's people need financial help to minister life to the suffering millions of their countrymen.

You may call 1-800-977-5650 to donate by phone. Please use gift code: 120DIS.