Compassion-assisted mother Loudemie Mé²¯vé ¡nd her 3-year-old son, Kenny, receive a food box. "This means a lot to me," she says. "Compassion helped me before the quake, but they don't quit."
Mounds of rubble litter the landscape in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti. The city is near the epicenter of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.
An estimated 1.3 million Haitians are homeless now, and families are crowded into tent cities.
After the earthquake, Haitians were afraid, grieving and anxious about their futures.
Now, however, Compassion children and their families are beginning to have hope. Compassion's network of dedicated staff and pastors particularly those from partner churches in the Dominican Republic are providing Compassion children and their families with access to food and water.
"The people are still deeply in need," says Pastor Paul Harrigan of Delmas Baptist Church, a Compassion partner church in Port-au-Prince.
"But for many of them, if it weren't for the food Compassion has provided, it would be hard for them to survive."
The courtyard behind Harrigan's church is now a tent city bursting with more than 300 families who lost their homes. Many have children registered in Compassion's Child Sponsorship or Child Survival Programs.
All are hungry.
Preselected based on need, these and many more families with Compassion children are coming to Compassion church partners in Haiti to receive a food kit.
Each kit contains three gallons of water, along with rice, beans, spaghetti, peanut butter and cooking oil. The kits will provide a family of five with a meal a day for two weeks.
Dominicans Band Together to Help
"When I landed in Haiti, it felt like a refugee zone," says Doug Bassett, Compassion Central America and Caribbean Area Director.
He arrived in Haiti less than 18 hours after the quake hit. "I quickly began to see the magnitude of the destruction. & It was like no other disaster I've ever seen in all my years of this kind of work."
After inching his way from the airport through the demolished city to reach the Compassion office in Port-au-Prince, Bassett and Compassion Haiti Country Director Guilbaud Saint-Cyr met to assess how to respond.
"The unique challenge we faced in this was that everyone who was helping was also a victim," Bassett says.
"They were struggling with shock and fear just like everyone else. We ordered food for 78,000 people in our child development centers on the first Sunday after the earthquake," Bassett says.
Soon, truck drivers from the Dominican Republic were delivering 1,000 kits a day to a warehouse in Port-au-Prince. At Delmas Baptist Church in Haiti, families and their children lined up to get their food kits.
Hope for a Broken World
Loudemie Mé²¯vé ³tands quietly in line to receive her food kit with Kenny, her 3-year-old. Both are registered in Compassion's Child Survival Program.
Mé²¯vé ³ays her home collapsed as she was giving Kenny a bath, but she was able to scoop him up and narrowly escape.
But through the power of Compassion's church partners and committed sponsors, there is help and hope.
Mé²¯vé §ets her kit, opens it and smiles. "This means a lot to me," she says in Creole. "Compassion helped me before the quake, but they don't quit."
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