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Joy in Hope Haiti Update

February 4th, 2010

When the ground first shook on January 12, 2010, the actual event was over in a matter of a minute.  The effects of this tragedy, however, are lingering and will continue to linger for years and decades to come. The Joy in Hope staff on the ground has been honored to serve the community in various (and unusual) capacities as first responders, but we also acknowledge that as major relief organizations/government organizations have and continue to be mobilized in Jacmel, our role will again morph.  After much discussion amongst our team, we’ve come to agree that our main role in the restoration of Jacmel will likely be in a supporting role to these larger, better-resourced, more highly-focused organizations.  Because of the long term relationships/connections we have in Jacmel, we find ourselves in a place where we’re uniquely positioned to offer logistical support such as housing, transport, supplies, connections, and access to a steady stream of available workers.

This has already come to pass in many regards with the opening of our team housing as a guest house and with our involvement in the WFP distirbution, aiding specific NGO’s and the Canadian military.  Joy in Hope is becoming increasingly known and trusted in our community.

To be a little more specific, here’s some info about what we did yesterday which I think is a good example of a typical day here:

  • Yesterday were given the opportunity to be in charge of distribution of food for ALL of Cay Jacmel and surround areas (12,500 people.) We had to make a quick choice, and because of the systems we have in place already, were able to say yes.  Nick was able to rent a Dihatsu and take 4 truckloads of food into our warehouse.  Just for the record that’s 12 TONS of food—or 30,000 meals.  Just GIVEN to us to distribute.  We had to supply the truck and manpower (which is actually a bit more complicated than it sounds) but they got it done.  And funny story—the Dihatsu we rented for $200 was pretty sketchy.  It didn’t have lights so we had to return it by 6PM.  The driver broke our gate when he hit it and the truck actually broke down and had to be push-started.
  • Yesterday we also began hosting a team of 8 doctors who are literally saving lives.   I brought a tiny, very sick baby to them yesterday… a baby I believe was on the brink of death, and they were able to help.  Nick and Mikey were able to get 8 beds brought over to Rue Petion to continue expanding the capacity of the guest house.
  • Also yesterday, Nick delivered $500 worth of phone cards to the Canadian military who have provided hundreds of soldiers who are working all day long to restore Jacmel.  They are doing largescale rubble removal with heavy machinery and small scale with teams of soldiers. (And just FYI–they paid the bill on that one, but we were able to acquire the phone cards when they were not.)
  • Yesterday we distributed donated diapers in the local refugee camp.  Not a ton of them, but given the current situation with heavy rains and mud combined with a widespread outbreak of diarrhea, I have to believe it helped at least a little.
  • Yesterday we also brought 300 meals to the hospital that our staff and children prepared.  300 patients and their caregivers were able to eat a hot meal.
  • On top of all that, we have 2 orphanages that are running well.

I am sure today will be an equally exciting and opportunity-filled day.  And it’s so awesome to be involved in something so much bigger than ourselves.  It’s amazing to see the way God has given us favor as we’ve tried to make ourselves available to serve our community.  And I do believe we can continue to serve our community in a similar fashion for weeks and months to come.  It’s a good fit for the way we’re each personally wired and a good fit for our organization too

It’s exciting to live here in this time.  We’re thankful God has chosen us.  Please pray that he would give us the strength daily to walk in it.




  1. Jim
    February 5th, 2010 at 00:59 | #1

    Hi- we are monitoring the public health situation there… Did you say it has been raining heavily where you are? Where specifically are you?
    Thanks
    Jim Wilson, MD
    Haiti Operational Biosurveillance

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