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Local organizations send aid to Haiti

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By ZACK OWENSBYThe Wilson Post

Although it’s thousands of miles away, the earthquake Tuesday that shook Haiti also shook the hearts and consciences of local souls.

Even with the complete lack of infrastructure, airports only barely accessible, hospitals destroyed, roads blocked or closed, and the massive injuries and loss of life, aid workers are finding ways to navigate the chaos to get help to those affected by the tragedy.

Dr. Randy Steger, volunteer president and supporter of Healing Hands International, said he’s been on the phone with contacts in Haiti and around the world to get aid into the hardest hit regions of the country.

HHI is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) registered organization based in Nashville. Steger is a Lebanon resident.

Click Here to read about how the Heartbeat of God Ministries is to help victims of earthquake

In phase one of HHI’s assistance, Steger said they have already wired money to Haiti to purchase food, which has gone up in price 30 to 40 percent since the disaster, and sent a first response team with about 100 water filters to supply clean drinking water. “Water and food is the first priority in a disaster like this,” Steger said. “Each filter will provide enough water for about 150 adults a day. So hopefully that will provide enough clean drinking water for 15,000 people.”

The second phase involves sending medicine for the treatment of drinking contaminated water and lack of food once the infrastructure is strengthened, among other medications. Currently, hospitals can’t accept donations because of the widespread damage, Steger said.

In the third phase, once most of the other relief pulls out of Haiti, Steger hopes donations will make it possible to keep a presence in the country to help with the reconstruction process, purchasing shipments of tin, sheetrock and other building materials needed to rebuild the country and the peoples’ lives.

Brother Bob Evans of Love One Another Embassy has already established aid to Haiti through Pastor Jean Claude Sylvain, who works in Port-au-Prince distributing equipment for schools, orphanages and missionaries. The center also houses approximately 60 orphans who are supported by a local church.

But it’s not just organizations in the business of helping people that are pitching in. Students at Cumberland University are scheduling a prayer vigil Friday and collecting funds to send for relief.

If you would like to help, visit www.hhi.org to donate online through a secure PayPal account. Or you can make a check payable to Love One Another Embassy – Haiti and drop it off at any Wilson Bank and Trust location or mail to LOAE, 1960 S. E. Tater Peeler Rd., Lebanon, TN 37090.

Staff Writer Zack Owensby may be contacted at zowensby@wilsonpost.com.

The Heartbeat of God Ministries to help victims of earthquake

By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post

As the tragedy continues to unfold in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti after a 7.0 earthquake struck the region on Tuesday, one Wilson County resident is making plans to go there and help the people anyway she can.

Sister A.A.A. Stafford, an evangelist with The Heartbeat of God Ministries in Lebanon, has traveled around the world not only telling others about Jesus but also providing those who need it with food, clothing, toiletries and more.

She was planning to travel to Paraguay again this month, but that did not work out.

“It’s still January,” she said during a visit Wednesday to The Wilson Post. “I was supposed to be here for Port-au-Prince.”

Sister Stafford said Sister Martha Seay, a frequent traveling companion on mission trips, called her to tell her about the earthquake. Although numbers are continuing to change, one estimate put the death toll as high as 100,000.

Not surprisingly, Sister Stafford is already planning to leave for Port-au-Prince once officials there say it’s OK for others to enter the country. In the meantime, however, she said, “I’ll wait on the Lord, and He’ll show us what to do. I will go as soon as possible.”

Sister Stafford said she was struck by photos from the city including one of the Presidential Palace that received severe damage. A magnificent white building, the top of it was shaken violently in the earthquake, collapsing the upper portion.

“It was so pretty,” Sister Stafford said. She has been to Port-au-Prince previously and seen the building.

As she watched coverage of the ongoing humanitarian crisis on TV, she said, “The thing that bothered me was a man who lost his limbs.” The man was lying in the street and there were other men who were gathered around him who wanted to help him.

“If I was there, I could help him, too,” Sister Stafford said.

The evangelist added that she is not sure who will be able to travel with her to Haiti. She has traveled in the past with Sister Seay, Sister Cheryl Foster, secretary of The Heartbeat of God Ministries; and Sister Penny Norman of Westmoreland.

“I’m still going to go, unless the Lord puts a block to that,” she said.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

 

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