The Salvation Army has been serving the communities in and around Port Au Prince, Haiti since 1950 and as buildings crumbled to the ground and lives were lost last Tuesday, Salvation Army officers and staff were there within seconds to help people out of debris, provide them with some cool water, food and medical attention. Lines were long and often, one doctor was responsible for streets filled with injured adults and children. Water and food were handed out sparingly as so as to provide for as many people as possible until the next round of supplies arrived. And above all that, the most important thing we could do as The Salvation Army was to kneel down and pray for those injured or for those who lost loved ones or lost contact with someone; unsure of whether they were alive or perished. Officers, staff and volunteers would spend countless hours rocking children to sleep, humming sweet hymns in their ear as they tried to drown out the sound of fear and terror that was encompassing the world around them. Adults huddled in circles, hands clasped with one another worshiping together amidst the chaos and unrest; amidst the despair and dark. Orphanages that had been affected with babies resting in the back of a truck were quickly rescued by The Salvation Army and immediately, food, formula and medical attention were administered along with an incredible amount of love.
Our second round of teams have officially arrived in Port Au Prince and because of your donations, 5 day supplies of food were given out to 7000 people yesterday and 200 people received much needed medical care. It won’t end here as long as there is a need, we don’t leave. We will continue to work diligently with those who are seeking restoration of their lives, we will continue to run our schools, medical clinics and church activities.
The people of Haiti are the poorest in the western hemispehere and thus have seen heartbreak, extreme hunger, violence and disease. Majority have little to no education and on average, earn $200.00 a year. But despite their circumstances and the odds that appear against them, they are resiliant and faithful. They are expereincing heartbreak and loss right now, but through the work of The Salvation Army, they will have the opportunity to regain their strength both mentally and physically. They will have food to eat, water to drink and the understanding that so many people around the world watched as mother nature wrecked havoc on their country, but that adversity can and will make you stronger and once the dust settles and everyone is accounted for, buildings will rise again and the human spirit will stand taller than it ever has before.