Regulars here will know the amazing providence of God in forging a partnership with an indigenous network of church plants in Haiti under the direction of Odanis Joseph, whom God placed in our church family after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Over the past two years, we have provided immediate relief to orphans, formed partnerships with domestic churches, held multiple conferences and seminars for theological education, and helped rebuild structures destroyed by the earthquake.
If 2010 was the year marked by an earthquake, 2011 was the year marked by disease, namely cholera. Many of the churches are located in the region most severely affected by cholera, and this has resulted in even more orphaned children. As of this month, the 13 churches in our network are daily caring for 1,572 orphans.
Our church stepped up after seeing the need for relief by providing a food supply and delivery system for all the children for this year (2011). As this year began coming to a close, we realized the need has surpassed our ability to supply, and furthermore, we sensed a strong urgency to provide clean, safe drinking water for these children so that illness and death would not occur due to preventable diseases.
All of 1,572 orphans are under the direction of a local church and not only provided food and family structure but also education through orphans schools in the churches. Neither the churches or the orphan schools have been funded through outside sources; however, the result has been woefully inadequate supply of resources and inability to support the teachers investing in the next generation without any compensation in return.
Recognizing these realities, we have sought to meet the three most basic needs of these orphans–food, clean water, and education–for an entire year with the help of supporting churches, families, and friends. These orphans and churches who are caring for them have no voice outside our ministry, and as a matter of stewardship, we want to make it known believing God is going to move upon the hearts of His people to generously give to these precious, needy children in Haiti.
Below is an info graphic of what Libere 2012 is all about. For the next 40 days, we are asking God to provide $65,000 to cover the basic needs of all 1,572 orphans for the next year (2012). Here’s a summary:
We have partnered with Sawyer with the goal of providing 300 of their Point One Filtration Systems for these churches and communities. For just $50, a family of ten can have a daily supply of safe drinking water, good for ten years. For $400, an entire orphan school can be suited with clean, filtered drinking water for the children and workers. Without the need of electricity or generators, these filters can be used just about anywhere, and we are excited to put them to use in these churches and orphan schools.
Would you consider supporting Libere 2012 with a donation? I have never been one to ask publicly for your support, but this is a time and a cause that is heavy on my heart. This time of year, I know many families are looking for opportunities to give rather than receive, and what better gift can you give a child than to know they will not worry about whether they will have a meal to eat or if the water they drink might lead to illness or death? More than toys or dolls or games, these children need an opportunity to live and thrive in one of the poorest, most desperate places in the world.
If you would like to know more about Libere 2012, I will be blogging throughout the 40 Day Challenge at The Haiti Collective (our website dedicated to ministry in Haiti). There you can also download images, learn about the churches, and get regular updates on how the challenge is being met by God’s people.
Church leaders, if you are interested in having your church “adopt” one of the 13 Haitian churches by donating $5,000, please let me know. This will cover the food supply and deliver, water filtration systems, and education for an entire year for one church. Already a couple of church leaders are pursuing this opportunity, and I would love to talk with others of you about it as well.
Thanks for allowing me to share this need with you. Our hope is that, as we help alleviate the immediate pressure of survival, greater development in the community and the church can occur for greater self-sufficiency and long-term health. May God own our efforts to love our Haitian brothers and sisters and care for the least of these among us!