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Haiti Relief

In response to the devastation in Haiti, we’re partnering with International Crisis Aid and aHomeInHaiti.org to bring relief to the Haitian people. See the latest updates below.

Items Needed:

You are AWESOME. Due to YOUR tremendous response of donations received for Haiti Earthquake Relief, until further notice, we are no longer receiving physical donations. We are still receiving monetary donations through our iCare giving campaign, which continues to be focused on Haiti, supporting the relief efforts of International Crisis Aid and aHomeInHaiti.org. So, monetary donations may be made through our Online Giving option (select "iCare-Haiti Relief" in the "Choose Ministries" drop-down box).

Prayer is Needed:
Please continue to lift up the nation of Haiti, its people and the ministries/relief organizations providing help.

For more info or questions, you may call our office at 770.849.9400 ext. 112.

Thank you for your compassion and generosity!

Update 5/4/2010

Over the last four months since the catastrophic earthquake decimated the impoverished island nation of Haiti, many people from Victory World Church and others in our community, have generously given of their resources in an incredible way. Here is a synopsis of the things that God has accomplished thus far (as of May 12th, 2010) through this outpouring of compassion:

  • We have sent 27 people to Haiti in three different mission teams, with more on the way.
  • Provided $800K of relief for $40K investment on trip 1
    • Delivered full day’s ration to over 150,000 people
    • Delivered over 38,000 gallons of water
    • Provided wood for Canadian Navy to build 2 shelters for 96 orphans
  • Had a role in the building of 6 more shelters for 288 orphans
    • 4 shelters built by Canadians using wood we provided
    • 2 shelters built by team 3 using wood Canadian Navy provided
  • Provided mattresses and pillows for 240 beds for orphans (trip 2 and 3)
  • Provided sheets and pillowcases for 96 beds for orphans (trip 2)
  • Provided Medical Relief
    • Dr. Donavan Christie saw hundreds of patients (trip 1)
    • Progressive Medical saw hundreds of patients (trip 2)
  • Sent by 20’ container #1: Over $25K worth of clothing, food, and medical supplies. Items were distributed by team 2 to two orphanages and one displaced persons camp.
  • Sent by 40’ container #2: Over $82K worth of clothing, food, water, medical supplies, tents (420), tarps (300), generators (3), and construction tools. Items were distributed by team 3 to two displaced person camps, an orphanage, a TB hospital, Operation Hope and Grace International.
  • En route by container #3: $272K worth of goods is on its way now [1800 tents, $80K in medical supplies, 40’x60’ tent (temporary church and school for orphanage) food, and clothes]

And here’s a closer look at our work with the orphanages:

After the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Victory World Church and International Crisis Aid (ICA) first responded by providing food and water to an orphanage in Leogane, Haiti that once provided a home for up to 100 children, a school for 400 children and a church for the community, but which had collapsed in the earthquake. Thankfully, none of the children were in the buildings during the earthquake. However, since that time, they had been sleeping on the grass under thin sheets, and their food would have lasted just two more days when Victory World Church and ICA arrived.

That night ICA President Pat Bradley said, “As we walked in, we found the kids singing Bible songs. It was music to my ears! At the same time, it was the worst destruction I've ever seen. Everything is completely leveled. No one has been to help them yet. No one would have found this place. Most of the children are very young -- around three to ten years old. These are children were orphaned before the earthquake, and now, the little they did have is also gone.”

We believe God took us to Haiti to find this orphanage. Over the next few days, as the number of children quickly increased to 100, ICA was able to secure enough food, water, powdered milk and blankets from the US Marines to last several weeks at the orphanage. The Canadian Army led the debris clean-up and assisted with distributions. Today, most of the debris on the compound has been cleared. This was the first of four orphanages Victory World Church and ICA assisted.

With the assistance of the Canadian Navy, we have already completed four shelters for more than 240 children at four different orphanage compounds. The first two shelters were built at what we have come to call “Our Orphanage” -- the first compound Victory World Church and ICA discovered. As this number continues to grow, ICA is planning to rebuild the one orphanage for 100 children, school for 400 children and church in its entirety. If funding allows, the goal is to enlarge the compound to allow for more orphans to have a home.

More info about this orphanage

  • The orphanage was founded and built by a Haitian businessman who used the profits from his business and very few donations from the community to build the compound over time.
  • The orphanage sits on approximately 3 acres of level land.
  • The average age of the children at the orphanage is 10 years old.
  • There were originally 50 girls and 35 boys in January, but the number of children is growing due to the number of new orphans displaced by the January earthquake.
  • The average length of time the children have lived at the orphanage is more than 4 years.
  • ICA and the orphanage director are working with a professional construction engineer for site preparations and to design the new compound.
  • ICA plans to use concrete blocks that are made to be hurricane and earthquake resistant, providing a safer facility for the children. ICA is in conversations with businesses that specialize in this type of building materials.
  • There was a fence surrounding the compound which will need to be taken down and rebuilt.
  • ICA intends to build the orphanage using both experienced construction worker volunteer teams from the U.S. and Haitians. We believe it is important to involve the local Haitian community in this project. The Haitians will be paid labor.
  • This orphanage will provide a safe home for at least 100 children who are orphaned or whose parents are unable to meet their basic needs. It will also serve as a school for at least 400 children from the community. The orphanage has been and will continue to be a Christian orphanage where the children are brought up under Christian principles and the Word of God. ICA’s goal is to raise these children to be the next generation leaders of their nation, rather than adopting them out of the country.
  • In the future, and as funding becomes available, ICA intends to implement vocational training programs at the school, which will not only teach the older children trades they can eventually start their own business from, but that will also provide sustainability for the compound. Before the orphanage collapsed, they had a bakery which was just starting to produce some income for the operational budget. ICA plans to rebuild the bakery in time. In addition, ICA plans to obtain a Cement Block Making Machine which will allow us to make blocks for the orphanage and also sell them to the community.

Thank you!

Update 3/7/2010

Here's a brief video update about our ongoing relief efforts in Haiti:

Update 2/24/2010

Here's another update we receive last night from Missions Pastor Dennis Russell in Haiti:

Hey all,

Yesterday was the first day with the team. Spent the morning showing the team the earthquake damage with a tour of Port au Prince. During the afternoon, we visited the latest shelter project we have in partnership with ICA and the Canadian Navy. Three structures are going up (two shelters, one storage) and a wooden fence has been erected around the perimeter of the property. When completed, this will be seven structures total (4 shelters, 2 storage, and one latrine). We also worked at our first orphanage putting in mattresses and pillows and finishing with pillow cases and sheets. Looks great, I think ... but they don't all match (sorry, Pastor Colleen, there are serious shopping limitations in Haiti for those without your shopping skills

Today, I took the doctors to meet with Hospitals for Humanity in St. Mark. They hit the ground running seeing gunshot and chainsaw accident victims, etc. Carrie organized medical supplies and I took the video camera and got footage. I think Craig will be proud of me! The other part of our team is spending the day in Leogane doing recon and assessments for future teams.
Thanks for praying for the people from Haiti.

Blessings,
Dennis.

Update 2/23/2010

Our second team is on the ground in Haiti now, working diligently to get the food, clothing, and medical supplies that you graciously provided into the hands of the people who need it the most. Thank you for your generosity. As the rainy season in Haiti approaches, there is a new need that we must address – the need for tents. With most Haitians living in makeshift tent cities under tents made from bed sheets, there is no shelter for them in the massive rains that are about to come. We’ve partnered with Atlanta’s Courageous Church and their aHomeInHaiti.org campaign to become a distribution and drop off point for tents. Through their efforts, we’re able to purchase tents directly through Coleman® well below cost. So, we’re asking that you prayerfully consider making an extra donation to iCare to help purchase much needed shelter for the men, women and children of Haiti.



Update 2/18/2010

Missions Pastor Dennis Russell is now back in Haiti preparing for the arrival of our second team. We received the following update from him last night:

Hey all,
First day back and mostly got reconnected with Haitian contacts. Got enough wood, and much more, to begin another shelter project for a different orphanage. Will visit new site tomorrow. Also preparing for the team's arrival on Sunday. Still waiting to hear what humanitarian and building supplies we can expect to pick up from the marines tomorrow. At the first free moment, we will work on securing mattresses and bedding for the 96 beds of our first 2 shelters. Please pray for continued success in our endeavors.

For the people of Haiti,
Dennis

Update 2/8/2010

Yesterday (Sun, Feb. 7th) the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the relief efforts of Pat Bradley of International Crisis Aid and our very own Missions Pastor Dennis Russell in conjunction with the US Marines and the Canadian Navy. Although we’ve written about much of this heroic story here, it bears repeating – all to God’s glory! Read the article online here.

Update 2/4/2010

Here's the latest text update from Dennis:

12:30am
Today was a medium day for distribution but still a good one. We were able to get out enough food to feed 11,520 people for an entire day as well as 400 cases of water. We lost a couple of hours because of a military briefing we were invited to, but it was worth it. We were one of  3 NGO groups invited to the meeting, which included 3 four-star US generals, the US ambassador to Haiti, the head of USAID and all the top commanding officers of the US and Canadian armed forces – talk about feeling out of place! Apparently, one of the reasons we were invited was because the upper officers liked the model that we developed – by the seat of our pants I might add – so much that they have adopted it as the new standard for their future distribution operations. How cool is that?! I don’t know how many times Pat and I have looked at each other in bewilderment at the latest divine surprise.

Praying for Haiti,
Dennis

And, we just received this from Pat Bradley of International Crisis Aid who is working with Dennis Russell, our Missions Pastor, in Haiti:

Greetings to all!

I received the letter below today from the US Marines. I want to tell you that Dennis Russell has been absolutely invaluable to our work here. Without him I don't think I would have accomplished half of what we together have done. He has much wisdom and insight. In this type of operational theatre are prices less. Victory World should be extremely proud of him. I can't thank you enough for sending him and allowing him to stay an additional week. I do know the sacrifice you have made allowing this. Below is the letter:

Pat,

I would like to take a minute to thank you and Dennis for all that you have done as a part of International Crisis Aid (ICA) and Victory World Church over the past two weeks since arriving in Haiti. As we transit ted down here with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, I tried to imagine what our role would be in assisting the Haitian people and prepare my men accordingly. Shortly after our helicopter arrived, I realized that there is nothing I could have done to prepare them because the majority of the problems we faced were outside of our control. For all the power the United States Marine Corps brings to bear, we remained unable to get the supplies to the people who needed it most. The first 24 hours on the ground proved frustrating and for the first time in my 16 years, I began to question our ability to accomplish our assigned mission. That was when God answered our prayers by gracing us with you and Pastor Dennis.

Over the next 14 days, I was amazed at the integrity, dedication and tireless work ethic you, Dennis and your organization have demonstrated (interested in becoming a Marine?). Your ability to locate the people in need and get them the supplies they so desperately needed has been nothing short of remarkable. The partnership that our Marine unit had formed with ICA and Victory has become the blueprint for success in this devastated region. Our ability to bring the resources ashore and provide the necessary security, coupled with your complete devotion to an efficient, honest and timely distribution has saved thousands of lives and will positively shape and influence generations in Haiti.

The fact that you were able to do all this with only a couple of workers on the ground is nothing short of a miracle. It sets ICA apart from other NGO's and is something you should be proud of. I can't help but wonder what else you are capable of and how many lives you will save and change in the future with continued support through donations. I have become such a believer that, effective immediately, my donations will begin to ICA through our annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). I am encouraging others to do the same.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't beg ICA you and Dennis to remain in Haiti for the foreseeable future and continue to set the example for the other NGO's. As media coverage of the devastation dwindles, people must be reminded that the work down here is far from over. I will continue to pray that donations will allow you to remain here and continue your great work.

As for me, I am grateful for our time spent together and what we were able to accomplish. Please know that I will remain one of the biggest advocates of the ICA and consider your organization a true gift from God. I wish you the best and will stay forever in your debt for the magnificent example of humanity you and Dennis have shown us all.

God Bless,
Gunnery Sergeant Joshua Wruble
22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

Update 2/1/2010

We received the following text updates from Dennis over the weekend:

1/31/10
9:23pm
Had our best day of distribution but also our worst day of challenges with our vehicles. Four of the six vehicles had engine problems or flat tires. Seems like a spiritual attack to me. Nevertheless, we were able to get out enough food to feed over 30,000 people for an entire day. We are starting to get the hang of this now. Ernst and Mark arrived last night and were a great help today! The Canadian military began removing the rubble from the orphanage and construction on the shelter continues. Even for a man of faith, it is hard to believe the transformation that is happening there!
Praying for Haiti,
Dennis

1/29/10
11:38am
Thursday and Friday, the supply lines were slow but we managed the following: 1) delivered 1,892 cases of food, and 2) began construction of the shelter for the orphanage.

11:16pm
Today (Saturday), we took a day to rest and refuel with regular meals. We feel it was a good call to take this day because yesterday we were running at 50%. We feel like by morning, we’ll be back to 85%. Pastor Dennis is sending in reinforcements by sending two more men from Victory. They should be arriving tomorrow.

We did get some good news today in a text from the gunnery sergeant who has been helping us. Apparently this is unheard of but it looks like we will temporarily have access to seven 7-ton military cargo trucks to help us distribute the big mother lode we found yesterday. Apparently the higher-ups in the Marines heard about us and our story and decided to bend some rules to help us out. God’s favor continues to amaze us more and more each day. Pleas continue to pray for the people of Haiti.

Blessings,
Dennis.

Update 1/27/2010

All of the team, except for Pat Bradley of ICA & our Missions Pastor Dennis Russell, have returned safely home. Praise God!!

Here's the text from Dennis last night:

God continues to show His favor! We are down to just me and Pat now but that did not slow God down any. Today, with the help of our steadily growing Haitian team, we were able to distribute enough food to feed 1,577 people for 10 days!! For the 2nd time, we were the only relief team picking up food as it was being airlifted in at the US Marines helipad. If we had not been there, the food would still be there at the landing zone. We are excited that construction will begin on the orphanage on Thursday. Tomorrow promises to be another great day!

Blessings,
Dennis

Update 1/26/2010
The updates below are from text messages received from our team in Haiti from Sunday evening & Monday evening.

Day Six - Sunday The days just seem to get better. We are getting more fatigued by the day but it is worth it! Today, we were able to distribute enough food to feed over 1,500 people 3 meals a day for 10 days!! We also were able to get out over 4,400 gallons of water. The divine favor and divine appointments are too numerous for us to count. Other than with my family, there is absolutely no other place I would rather be. God is good. (text sent by Dennis Russell, VWC Missions Pastor)

Day Seven - Monday Another good day! We were initially disappointed when we found out that no relief was going to be airlifted today, but it turned out God had something else in mind. Not only did it provide for a needed physical break but it also allowed us time to find materials to build a shelter for the orphans. We finally found what we needed and so the Canadian Navy is going to begin construction tomorrow as we resume distribution. Dr. Christie was a mad-man today as he saw 224 patients! Better get some rest, we're in for a BIG day tomorrow! (text sent by Dennis Russell, VWC Missions Pastor)

Media Update: We also received an email from Phillip O'Conner, a reporter from the St. Louis Times who is traveling with our team recording the relief efforts. Here's the latest article he posted, regarding the Orphans in Leogane.

Update 1/23/2010
Just heard from the team in Haiti. Here's the update of their journey so far.

Day One - Tuesday Evening/Wednesday Morning
The team departed out of Miami airport and arrived in Port au Prince shortly before midnight. Most of the team were taken to a safe house for the night while 8 to 10 of the team members spent the night on the tarmac watching the supplies. While there, they were able to make good connections with the Brigadier Commander and leaders of the Joint Taskforce that is directing all incoming aid through NPOs and the US Military.

Days Two/Three - Wednesday / Thursday
The team made it out of Port au Prince to the Grace International compound in Carrefore. Once there, they found the compound in good shape, were able to treat some injuries and assessed the food/water situation on the grounds. At the moment, with two natural wells, the food and water in Carrefore are in stable condition. So, the team moved just west of Port au Prince to Leogane - an area hard hit and slow to recieve aid.

Days Four/Five - Friday / Saturday
Yesterday the team discovered an orphanage in Leogane with 85 children. Their structure was completely destroyed by the earthquake and they were without food and water. The team provided them with enough food and water for a week and are currently looking for shelter. There is a group of 40 Canadian military traveling with our group and they are ready to help assemble a shelter, but are in need of supplies. Anything from a tent structure, to tarps, wood, cots - anything to construct a temporary shelter to protect the children and get them off of the ground. 

Yesterday, the team was also able to make contact with the US Military and a local drop off area for helicopters carrying loads and loads of food and other goods. The problem that they are having is that the UN doesn't have trucks to help transport the goods or personnel to provide distribution. The team asked if they could bring a truck, would they release the goods for distribution and the answer was, "Yes!" After driving off trying to decide where they could rent a truck they drove by a huge moving-type truck on the side of the road being loaded with fallen debris. They stopped and negotiated rental of the truck - and, at this moment, the US Military is loading the truck with some of the backed up food and other goods for distribution. The team is now praying for wisdom on where to set up the distribution point to meet the greatest needs of the people while also keeping their team safe. They will continue to use the truck over the next few days to help get the backed up goods transported for distribtuion by our team and other NGOs in the area.

Points for Prayer:

  • Ask God to provide the right contact for getting shelter for the 85 orphans in Leogane.
  • Ask God to provide wisdom and direction for the food distribution as well as on-ground contacts with other NGOs who can help get the food out to the people.
  • Continue to pray for the safety and stabilization of the country and that God's peace and provision would prevail.

Update 1/20/2010
Prayers just keep getting answered...
Our preliminary team arrived safely in Haiti around 11:30 last night. They didn't get to sleep last night, so please pray for supernatural rest and energy for them. They did feel the tremor from the earthquake this morning, but they are all okay. Today will be recon and assessment in preparation for the next team going in.

We are in preparation for a Saturday or Sunday departure for a medical team.

Update 1/18/2010
We want to thank our wonderful congregation and the many friends of VWC in Atlanta and around the world for your interest in helping the people trying to survive the earthquake and its aftereffects in Haiti. Your prayers and giving are making it possible for us to respond to the situation in Haiti and help restore and rebuild this country. Below is the latest update regarding our flight(s) and teams leaving to assist:

As you know, the situation on the ground in Port au Prince is dire. Airport activity is restricted and the port is destroyed; so a continual flow of incoming aid is hindered. To make matters worse, the disorder and disorganization on the ground is negatively effecting distribution. You have seen the pictures and video in the media so you know how the situation has been deteriorating over the last few days. There have, however, been signs of improvement today (as far as distribution and security are concerned), so we are praying that the situation on the ground continues to head in the right direction.

Our top priorities for our trip are 1) physical relief and medical care to the people of Haiti, and 2) safety and security for our team. We feel pretty good about the relief and medical part, and are very close to insuring the safety and security part, which has been a portion of the delay all along. The other part of the delay has been getting clearance to land an airplane. The US Military has taken control of the airport and has highly tightened their criteria for issuing clearances to land. Our inside sources tell us that this is a temporary development that will change soon.

For four days, we have been working the phones non-stop; and every time we would get a break through, the rules would change and we would have to start over. The rules are still changing and so we are trying to adapt. It makes it very difficult to organize in such a fluid and unstable environment. But for the sake of the Haitian people, we are continuing to push on. Please continue to pray.

When we have security and clearance secured at the same time, then we will know it’s time to leave. Because we were close this weekend, we decided to put out the word and start seeing who is available so we can be ready when it is time. Yesterday, it looked like we were good for a Tuesday departure on a US Military Transport plane, but it turned out that the US government pulled the plug. We now have a 30-seat private jet ready to depart from Atlanta later this week, all depending on clearance and security. It looks like both components are moving in the right direction, we just don’t know how fast.

Here is some information regarding the mission itself: As we mentioned, we will be partnering with three organizations: Medishare of Haiti, Hospitals for Humanity of Gwinnett County, and International Crisis Aid of Missouri.

Medishare is the most respected medical relief organization in Haiti, as considered by the government of Haiti itself. Because of this, we are close to securing a 25-man UN armed security detail at the Medishare base where we most likely will set up base operations. It is a walled community just outside Port au Prince.
Hospitals for Humanity is a highly experienced organization in medical field hospital operations. They just returned from a trip to Nigeria where they treated over 10,000 patients in one week. They have a highly effective and proven medical missions model.
Crisis Aid International is a relief organization that has brought relief to the Sudan, the tsunami effected areas, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Pat Bradley, the founder, will be directing the part of our mission which will address the non-medical concerns (food, water, shelter, etc).

All organizations involved will also be assessing the situation on the ground for the purpose of developing a long term plan for helping the people of Haiti, which will provide valuable information for subsequent trips.

How many will go on the first team will depend on seat availability on the plane. Preference will be given to those in the medical profession, translators, and those with cross-cultural relief experience. Those not able to participate in this first trip can more than likely find a place on a subsequent trip that will not be so heavily focused on medical relief, and not have strict space limitations.

We will do everything within our power to give at least a 2 or 3 day notice before departure. But please know that we may find ourselves in a situation where we have a small window of opportunity or a situation where we are on standby for a few days. Some things are just out of our hands, but we believe at the right time, God will open the door for us. As of now, we are shooting for Wednesday - but it could be later.

We are committed to sending the first team as soon as security and clearance can be secured; if it takes 3 days or if it takes three weeks. We appreciate your prayers and your patience as we seek to navigate these very difficult waters.

Update 1/16/2010
We have two teams departing for Haiti within the next few days. Our first team will leave tomorrow and will begin preparations for the second team that will depart on Tuesday. Tomorrow’s prep team includes representatives from International Crisis Aid, Grace International, Medi-Share and Victory. Please keep this team in your prayers as they arrive and begin to make assessments of the situation at Grace International’s compound.

The second team, departing on Tuesday, will include a team of 50 medical professionals from Gwinnett Medical and others through Hospitals for Humanity. This flight will also include Grace International Pastors Joel & Doris Jeune as well as many of the supplies donated to our collection center. Please keep this team in your prayers, the medical team includes surgeons who will begin much needed operations as soon as they arrive at the Grace International compound.

We are proud of the partnership of all of these organizations to bring hope and healing to the precious people of Haiti.

Every dollar, every item, every prayer matters. Thank you.

Initial Report 1/13/2010

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 4:53pm, a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti. The epicenter of this major quake was just 10 miles west of Porte-au-Prince and its 2 million inhabitants and sent 33 aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 4.2 to 5.9. Over 3 million people are in need of emergency aid after this major earthquake.

Initial reports  are very sketchy out of the country due to the destruction of their infrastructure. We will be updating this page as we learn more information. Here’s what we do know at the moment:

God is still in the miracle business!!!

Our longtime missionaries, Joel & Doris Jeune, of Grace International are safe, all of their staff are safe and all of their children in their girl’s and boy’s homes are safe. Praise the Lord! They operate two ministry facilities in Haiti, their older facility operates a girl’s school, widows home and church and their newer facility houses a clinic, a hospital that’s in the process of being completed, a boy’s school and their main sanctuary. At their new facility which sits on a large plot of land, all off their buildings are intact but everything surrounding them has been highly damaged. God’s hand of protection was certainly at work. However, because of the devastation surrounding them, their land and property has become a refugee camp. It is important that we partner with Joel & Doris immediately to get help to all of those in need.