Free Will Baptists donate their time and money to help continuing disaster relief efforts in Haiti.
Haiti: A Year Later
by Ken Akers
On January 12, 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 hit the country of Haiti. The epicenter just outside the nation’s capital of Port Au Prince devastated the city and surrounding countryside. An estimated 300,000 people were killed. More than 3 million people were directly affected by the quake.
Since the earthquake, Master’s Men and Free Will Baptists have continued to minister to the people of Haiti. In February 2010, Master’s Men organized a medical team to go to Haiti. While most relief efforts had been focused in the Port Au Prince area, this medical team went to the mountains. Many city residents fled the city and returned to their mountain village hometowns.
During a four-day clinic, the medical team saw over 1,000 patients, completed major surgery, and helped a lady whose back had been broken when her house collapsed on her get into the University of Miami tent hospital. Another medical mission trip was organized in August with similar results.
In May, a crew rebuilt a dormitory that had been destroyed by the quake. Twenty displaced boys had been housed in tents (and anywhere else they could find to sleep). Four Free Will Baptist Bible College students and their faculty advisor were part of this group.
A major problem in Haiti continues to be a lack of food. Master’s Men established The Greenhouse Project to help address this ongoing problem. The first greenhouse structure has been completed, and by the time this article is printed, a third planting will be started. More than 20,000 plants were distributed to locals at no charge after each of the first two plantings. The Haitians plant the seedlings and shortly thereafter enjoy the harvest of food. Plans for the construction of a second greenhouse are underway.
If the earthquake wasn’t enough, a cholera outbreak started during the rainy season of 2010. This disease is often spread through unsanitary water. Master’s Men has been active in a water filtration project to help provide clean and safe water. Several water purifiers have been purchased and plans are underway to train both Haitians and Americans in water filter building procedures. Filters will be built and placed in key areas to provide maximum effectiveness. A group from Missouri traveled to Haiti in May to assist with this project.
As Haiti slowly recovers from the natural event that devastated their country, the concern and generosity of Free Will Baptist people continue to make relief possible. And those efforts go beyond the physical needs of the Haitians to their spiritual needs. Thank you for your continuing support.
To learn more or to donate to ongoing relief and evangelistic efforts in Haiti, visit www.fwbmastersmen.org.
About the Writer: Ken Akers has been involved in missions work in Haiti since 1999. He is director of Free Will Baptist Master’s Men.