When I look back on 2009, two highlights of my year were my trips to Haiti with One Vision International. At the start of last year, I had no idea that I would travel there once, let alone twice. Both were amazing experiences, and I fell deeply in love with a group of boys and girls living with great loss, tremendous need, and little hope.
Most of these 120+ children lost their families and their homes as a result of the three hurricanes and one tropical storm that swept across Haiti in the Fall of 2008. Now, I sit and think of them in the aftermath of another destructive act. I can't imagine how their young hearts can take such events and how their young minds can process what they are experiencing.
As I watch the news and hear reports coming in about the earthquake, my heart isn't far from these boys and girls, and I anxiously await news of their safety. This afternoon I learned that orphanage was indeed impacted by the quake, with buildings collapsing, walls falling, and structural damage in what remains standing. Thank God none of the children were killed, and very few of them were injured.
The shelter that they've called home for only the past four months is now uninhabitable. They are once again homeless. They currently huddle under a tarp in the courtyard of the orphanage, well away from any buildings that might give way.
Dr. Francisco Noel, One Vision's hands and feet in Haiti, and his wife Cecile made their way to them today after a five hour drive (it usually only takes 1.5 hours). They brought food, water, and medicine to care for the children. Dr. Noel will now begin the difficult work of locating new shelter for them. (Dr. Noel and his wife, who live in Port au Prince, lost their home to the earthquake. They are now homeless too.)
One Vision owns 40 acres for the future orphanage and is in the process of raising funds to start its construction. Now, they desperately need financial resources for more immediate needs - medicine, food, water, and supplies for these 120+ children and their caregivers.
If you can help with a financial donation, please visit One Vision's Web site (http://www.onevisionintl.org/), where you can donate on-line, or mail a donation to One Vision International, P.O. Box 20608, Knoxville, TN 37940, marked "One Vision Haiti."
Thank you so much for your generosity, and most of all, thank you for remembering this special group of children in your prayers for the days, weeks, and months to come.