Today, January 12th, marks the one year anniversary of the terrible earthquake that hit Haiti. Over 200,000 people were killed and a million are still living in tent cities (there are more living in tents now than there were 2 months after the quake).
It has also been 6 months since we were there in person, building houses for 2 families who had lost everything. It was a powerful, challenging, heart-wrenching week. To read the string of blog posts that I wrote about Haiti and our time there, click here.
So today, as I think about the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I am remembering (& praying for) the following faces:
These are the children we played with on the beach that first day – hand slap games, silly songs, etc. (Click here to read that fun story.) So full of joy & curiosity. It was an immediate lesson that language barriers didn’t matter. Children just want to be loved on.
This is Fabianca. She was one of the children from the beach. So spunky. Those earrings that she is wearing are mine. She was pointing to them, admiring them, and I bent down for her to take a look. Before I knew it she had slipped one out of my ear and was putting it in hers. So I said okay, they are hers now! I was glad to share!
This boy hung out with us all day at our first construction site. He was a perfect example of how the children just wanted to be loved and touched. He kept hugging me & talking about how we were all his friends (a word we did learn in Creole). Throughout the day he would take my concrete-covered hands and either brush or scrape them off. He even scraped some out from under my fingernails. An incredibly sweet gesture.
Below is Simone & Pastor Joseph. Simone is the lady that we built the first house for. She was going to live there with her father & brother. I can’t help but wonder how they are doing today. And Pastor Joseph is the pastor at the church in Petite Goave that we were there partnering with. He & his family are the most extraordinary people. They are a true light there in Petite Goave, Haiti. Always taking care of everyone else in the community. Many other people are always living with them. They truly embody what it means to live in community & in service to others. We felt so attached to them by the end of the week. It’s amazing how attached you can get to some people, even after a matter of only a few short days.
And this is Katianne. In our brief encounter, she’s one of the people there that had the most impact on me. Both of her legs were broken in the earthquake. We saw a picture of her in the days after, all bandaged up, laying in front of wreckage. She was one of the saddest looking girls I have ever met. We tried so hard to get her to smile. Katianne’s story really made it personal. We didn’t get a lot of personal stories from people while we were there, so hers hit me hard. Read the rest of her story & the impact she had on me here.
So on this day, I want to remember my Haitian friends and the million people who are still displaced, who have lost homes and so many loved ones. Please join in me in praying for them and for doing anything we can to continue to help.
For some quick facts on the status of Haiti now, one year later:
- A year ago an earthquake rocked Haiti, leaving more than 200,000 dead, more than 300,000 injured and more than a million left homeless and spread across the city in 1,300 tent camps.
- A year later only 5 percent of the rubble has been removed, impeding reconstruction efforts.
- There are more people living in tents today than two months after the quake.
- As many as 2,000 children orphaned by the quake have been sold as sex slaves.
- A cholera outbreak killed more than 3,600 since October and infected more than 171,000.
I pulled these from the article “Haiti: One Year Later“. I encourage you to read it and to also read these articles for more information:
Most of these photos were taken by Jason Welch. Check out his photography blog here.