BY: MATT BOWEN
It was January 12, 2010. The news spread like wildfire. “A 7.0 Earthquake Hits Haiti”, “Fierce Quake Devastates Haitian Capital”, “Port Au Prince rocked by 7.0 Earthquake.” Now, two years after the devastating earthquake, the country is taking steps to better themselves.
Dr. David Wells, Director of the Alliance Academy International, and Mr. Chris Nichols, Director of the Spiritual Life department, returned to Quito January 30th from an invitation to speak at a school staff retreat at the Quisqueya Christian School–located in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
“It was wonderful,” Dr. Wells said. “It was amazing to see what the school does in regards to ministry and relief efforts. The school, in and of itself, is a ministry to their community. It’s like the Alliance, but instead of just having classrooms, they use their ‘chapel’ as a kind of hospital and they try to house the people on the campus. Not only that, but some of these teachers have such incredible testimonies. It was a very encouraging experience.”
The idea originally came from the student’s parents and the Alliance community.
The people of our community, teachers, parents, and staff members, wanted to use the school as a venue for giving towards Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. The money given to the Alliance is sent to the Quisqueya Christian School, who is known for their relief efforts with their surrounding community.
Both gentlemen expressed the desolation and extreme poverty found in Haiti.
“About eighty percent of the rubble still remains from the earthquake. And, under all that rubble, still remain the bodies of people that were never rescued.” Mr. Nichols resounded that comment by saying: “the poverty was more striking than anticipated. You know, there are houses strewn all over the hillsides in Haiti. These houses are made of tent materials or other things that have been laying around. They are literally everywhere.”
“There is this fatalistic mindset that people have–as if no one could help them,” said Mr. Nichols. “They ask questions like, ‘Why are you here?’ ‘What could you do to help us?” “Not only that, but there is this trail of corruption within the government and within hearts and minds of the people.”
Businessmen and companies also see some financial future in Haiti. As more companies begin to invest into the country giving many people opportunities for work. The government is beginning to take steps towards helping their people, in contrast to letting other countries do it for them.
Mr. Nichols had the opportunity to be uplifted by an organization called “Teach Haiti”
“It was one of the most encouraging things I got to see there,” he said. “Teach Haiti battles the darkness of the mind by a Christian education, but in a much smaller building and a much more personal way.”
Dr. Wells ended on an encouraging note, “The thing I took away from this is that God calls us to be faithful, and when we are faithful to Him, He is sure to be faithful in return.”
Mr. Nichols also commented, but on a different note, “It has become clear to me that the most pressing need for the Haitians, and humanity, is the Gospel of Christ.”
These two contrasting statements reveal to us one thing about this country: that though there is excitement for Haiti’s progress and future, the real hope for Haiti begins at the foot of the cross.