February 9, 2010
Below is an email update that was sent out to those who have signed up on our website.
We apologize for the long delay in communication since our last email update letter. We have been prayerfully considering how Lemuel should respond to the devastation of the Haiti earthquake. Since you have been a part in supporting our mission in Haiti, we would like to share with you what has happened in the past weeks and what we hope for and are planning to do in the future.
Last Saturday, three of our North American volunteers arrived in Haiti. It was a long process of excitement and disappointment as different contacts kept falling through, but doors finally opened at just the right time. We met on the Plateau to talk through what the next steps would be and how Lemuel would be involved. It is important for us to assist those in need without changing the direction that Lemuel is already committed to here on the Plateau. With the resources we were generously given by Empower Ministries, and other individuals, to help those with immediate needs, our goal was to come up with a plan that will not only be effective in immediate relief but will further the overall mission of Lemuel.
After discussing our options, we agreed to send some of our team, including two of our young leaders, into Port-au-Prince to address the immediate needs within the communities we serve. To work in Haiti you have to be flexible in your plans. There are so many hoops that one must maneuver through in order to make any headway. It takes time to assess, plan and execute.
When we arrived in Port-au-Prince we were not sure exactly what we were going to be able to provide or do. We held another meeting with trusted leaders from the community to talk about the possible plans of receiving food aid from larger NGO’s and how we would distribute this help without jeopardizing the security of Lemuel. While we were discussing the “possibility” of receiving aid, World Vision called in the middle of our meeting and offered to help us with food that would feed five hundred families. This would be able to help every child in Lemuel plus many others.
World Vision personally delivered five hundred sacs of food to our location and from there we distributed the food amongst the five leaders to pass out to their communities. While World Vision was generously working with us to process this request for food, we met with other organizations in Haiti to continue getting aid to people. Samaritans Purse generously gave us tarps to use for shelter as well as food that we were able to bring up to the Plateau to help aid the Port-au-Prince refugees who are now in the homes of extended family here.
A goal we have in Lemuel in regard to our children is that “as they grow older and enter adulthood we hope to continue to be an encouragement to them as they reach back into their communities and their country.” It was encouraging to be able to help in a time of need, but what was even more beautiful to see was how God used the first generation of leaders that grew up in Lemuel to reach out to help their community in a time of crisis. With obedience to God, maturity and wisdom, Lemuel’s first generation leaders were able to distribute food to their communities and be a light in time of darkness.
While we are happy to be able to help relieve some of the urgent need, Lemuel is focused more on the long-term needs that will arise. We know that once the dust has settled the immediate investment in Haiti by the international world may not be there. That is where we feel our place will be. We will be here for the long-haul to work with people to rebuild their lives.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and support. We cannot do any of this without you.