Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 27
One of our Crisis Response assessment team members, Steve, has had the privilege of traveling with Mark, a colleague he had never met before. Mark is the head of the Crisis Response ministry. Three years ago he left a lucrative position in order to move to New Orleans, simply because he wanted to help and mobilize resources to New Orleans after Katrina. Since then he’s helped coordinate crisis response efforts from the Peru earthquaketo the Tsunami in the Far East. But now, here in Haiti, Steve has given his new friend the nickname "The Great Scrounger".
Whether it be with the Army, Navy, UN or private sources, Mark never stops networking, finding, resourcing…and all for the purpose of helping others. In the last days, he’s been able to scrounge:
Over 18 tons of food with another seven in the pipeline.Over $12,000 worth of medical supplies.Over 2000 gallons of diesel fuel for trucks, buses and cars owned by orphanages, children’s homes, churches, and communities.
What motivates Mark to scrounge? This picture of Mark with a six year old blind orphan that the team met answers that question. He has compassion!The assessment team has been working with Tom, a long-term missionary in Haiti. Tom has helped todevelop an orphanage, a homeless shelter, a church, a school, and a food and water distribution program to those living in the local dump. Until two weeks ago he had a whopping 22 Haitian children living with his family.
If you pulled into Tom’s courtyard you would be met by smiling faces everywhere; toddlers, older kids, young men and women, Tom’sfamily. The six year old blind boy couldn’t go to school and was picked on constantly. His mom was thinking about abandoning him whenTom offered to take him "home"…a little over a year ago. Then, there was the 17 year old who had always asked Tom for money near an abandoned gas station. One time Tom noted that this boy wasalways at the gas station because he lived under the overhang of a nearby abandoned building. The next time Tom saw him, the boy asked for a handout and Tom asked if, instead of money, he’d like a "home". He answered "yes" and has lived with Tom for the past six years.
There two brothers who were students at the school Tom directed and after the recent earthquake Tom hadn’t been able to locate them. He had heard that their mother had died and he assumed the boys had also. When he went into their slum, he asked about all the kids in the school as he handed out food to each family. When he asked about the brothers, someone commented that they thought they’d seen the boys "up in the hills somewhere". Immediately,Tom searched for them and he eventually found them starving, with no food or water, shoeless and shirtless, living under a tree. When they heard that their mother had died and saw their house destroyed, they ran and ran until they could run no more. For 15 days these two boys, an eight year old and a ten year old, had lived out in the open, looking for food and water.
Tom found them, fed them, nursed them and now they are the newest members of his family. Before the earthquake, Tom and his wife had 22 Haitian children, but in the wake of the destruction following the earthquake, they now have a wonderful family with 35 children. Tom and his wife are both heroes! The assessnent team hopes to find ways to partner with Tom and others who have already been working in Haiti and need some extra helping hands to come alongside of them.

1 comment:

TSN Ministries said...

Thinking and planning how we can help . . .as a school, as a ministry, as the Body of Christ, as people who care! Thansk for the updates and for the love you are showing.

Jerry and Tamara