Thursday, January 21, 2010

Religious Groups Helping in Haiti

In the Wall Street Journal online today there is a very good article by Charles Forelle, with contribution by Suzanne Sataline, concerning various religious groups filling in government gaps. It is awesome to see all these good people coming to Haiti to give all for their fellow brothers and sisters. This is the call of Christ "What you have done to the least of my brothers, you have done to me."

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti— Outside a red and gray Coleman tent, a boy sat mute in a wheelchair holding a dented metal bowl of yellow gruel. His arms were laced with pus-filled wounds, flies swarmed around his grotesquely swollen ankles, and his right foot was missing its littlest toe—but he was lucky. Not only had he escaped the school for the disabled, where many of his handicapped classmates were crushed to death, but he had found his way to what passes for an oasis in this city of death and ruin: a camp run by the Episcopal church. In a country whose government has all but stopped functioning, in a city whose crowded shanties remain largely unreached by aid cargoes, it has fallen to communities on the ground to fill the gap as best they can.

Religious missions, with their deep community connections, are proving to be particularly critical conduits of help, both spiritual and material.

Catholic Relief Services has started turning a golf course in the neighborhood of Pétionville into one of the first formal camps for the homeless.

Some Haitian government officials say between one million to three million people may have been displaced by the quake. Thousands of tons of food and medical supplies have been shipped to Haiti, but much of it remains trapped in warehouses, or diverted to the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Despite serious damage to St. François de Sales Hospital, one of the oldest Catholic hospitals in Haiti, its workers trucked in supplies from the Dominican Republic and commandeered two medical teams from Europe. The first surgery there since the quake was performed Sunday.

Read the rest of the article

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