Media coverage of the on-going tragedy in Haiti has drawn back the curtain on something most media outlets did not expect: the significant number of caring individuals and ministries, churches and compassionate human beings who were already in Haiti when the earthquake hit.
These hard-working people were already in country, most at their own expense. Some had been going repeatedly for years to comfort orphans, build housing, correct cleft palates, and dig for clean water. And not a single one of those interviewed was doing this deeply-needed humanitarian work in the name of atheism, agnosticism, Buddah, or Allah. Compassion, provision, and assistance came in the name of Jesus Christ.
Haiti is not the only country to which these kind-hearted, hard-working people travel. That list of countries would encompass the name of nearly every country on Earth, on all populated continents.
Samaritan’s Purse is just one of the organizations who work 24/7/365 in every part of the world to feed and clothe, provide water, shelter, medical care, emergency assistance, and emotional, physical, and spiritual comfort to anyone in need. Samaritan’s Purse staffers and volunteers provide answers and realistic, reasonable hope—as the following article in their Prayer Point publication (Jan/Feb 2010, p 9) tells.
The story is accompanied by the photo of a beautiful Liberian woman, eyes sparkling, her smile so wide her nose wrinkles. She proudly displays a school report card that is stamped, PROMOTED.
“Murphy and Hammy busily move about their small teashop in Monrovia [Liberia], preparing an interesting assortment of goods—breads, cakes, spaghetti, fried eggs, and, of course, tea and coffee.
“The two young women’s lives have changed drastically. Five years ago, they were surrounded by violence. Kidnapped as children, they were forced to carry guns and perform unspeakable acts with other child soldiers.
“Even after they escaped, Murphy and Hammy were filled with rage.
“Both women, now in their early-20s, finally enrolled in the THINK rehabilitation program at the urging of friends and family members. Samaritan’s Purse started THINK (Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness) in 2004 as a means to help troubled girls work through the trauma they suffered during Liberia’s 14-year civil war.
“Each new group of 25 girls stays at a home in Liberia’s capital city as they work with counselors who facilitate their re-entry into society. Counselors and social workers meet with each woman and her family to smooth the transition.
“The women, who stay at the home for nine months, learn skills in tailoring, food preparation, or cosmetology. During their stay, residents are introduced to the love of Christ through the compassion of staff members, daily devotions, spiritual counseling, and a Bible course.
“Before entering the program, Hammy and Murphy lived on the streets. Now, they have opened their own teashop and are using the money they earn to return to school. They currently are enrolled in 11th grade and dream of going to nursing school. With their newly acquired skills, they will be able to pursue their goals.
“‘[THINK] has changed my life,’ Hammy said. ‘My mother is so happy, because otherwise I would be on the street. I see the danger, and I don’t go there. Thanks Samaritan’s Purse for carrying me far.'”
Samaritan’s Purse is not the only organization meeting these needs, but they are an effective one. They provided
- disaster relief after the recent floods in Georgia (U.S.) and in the Phillipines;
- food and medical care for earthquake victims in rural Indonesia;
- fresh water wells in Argentina and Uganda;
- tons of food for the starving in Bolivia;
- HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention education in Ukraine and throughout Africa;
- and provided heart transplant surgery for a little girl from Mongolia.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
What about Haiti? In the first six days after Haiti was devastated by the big earthquake, Samaritan’s Purse had airlifted 17 medical personnel and tons of hospital supplies into the disaster zone, and provided thousands of families with clean water, emergency shelter, blankets, and other essentials.
In the name of Jesus Christ—because only He is the true Comforter and is the only source for reasonable hope.