LifeNets Helps in Aftermath of Haiti Earthquake

Posted November 9, 2010


In the worst natural disaster to hit the Western Hemisphere, the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010 killed about 230,000, injured 300,000 and made more than 1,000,000 homeless.

Whenever a disaster involving such losses strikes LifeNets is asked, "what are you doing to to help?" 

Our primary mission is not disaster relief. We are not equipped to do such. We have, however, helped directly in the 911, Tsunami, and Katrina where we could knew of specific victims that we could help. We direct donors to relief agencies such as Red Cross and the Salvation Army that help in that way.  LifeNets mission is to help people get back on their feet and our policy is to help directly, not through another agency. 

However, we did receive a few donations restricted for Haiti and decided to enquire if there was some way we could help. Haiti is a French-speaking area and there was no one we knew of personally who had suffered loss.  There was no one in my United Church of God. 

I turned to acquaintances in the Church of God (Seventh Day) and through my friend William Hicks, Director of Missions and the Disaster Relief Fund was able ask him what they were doing.  The Church of God (Seventh Day) had earlier helped LifeNets with a donation of more than $12,000 to rebuild in Sri Lanka after Tsunami.  See story.  He told me about a number of projects, one which was a rebuilding a school/church.  We told him that we would like to pass on our donation of $1000 for that.  He sent me an architectural drawing of the structure that they are wanting to build/rebuild. 

Bill Hicks just wrote me a progress of the work in Haiti on the school/church.

The situation in Haiti is complex to say the least. So far we (and many others) have been bogged down in the "red tape" there. Also, the competition for builders and equipment initially drove building costs up but are moderating somewhat at this juncture.  Unfortunately, we are not through the governmental and paper side of the equation as yet. I have spent long hours in consultation with leadership, construction engineers, as well as legal counsel in Haiti. I thank God for Skype and conference calls:-) I have attached a copy of the engineering basic plans and some of the legal materials that make the project a complex one. Heretofore it has been a simple matter to begin re-construction and Disaster Relief. However, in the case of Haiti we were able to help some brethren out with some basic needs supplementing the international efforts there but on the reconstruction side of the equation initial review of the land title presented obstacles on two levels.

I apologize to everyone that I am unable to complete this Haitian relief effort in a more rapid fashion but some have given up altogether. I pray that we will not run into a roadblock of such a magnitude to warrant such action. 

Thank you for your patience and I look forward to talking with you soon. I pray this status report will help you to give a status report to those within your ministry that have so graciously contributed to this effort. God bless you brother!

 In His Service,

William Hicks