Four years ago today the ground in and around Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, shook powerfully. Lasting approximately 30 seconds, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake would take the lives of approximately 220,000 people and change the lives of those who survived forever.
January 12, 2010 is a day that remains etched in the minds of many Haitians. It is hard to find someone who was not affected by the goudou goudou—the colloquial name for the earthquake in Haitian Creole, which refers to the sound the tremors made. As a colleague of mine in Haiti once said, “We were all victims of the earthquake.”
While this tragedy has obviously caused immense pain and suffering there are stories of fortitude, sacrifice and healing from the past four years. Although we cannot mention every one, here are three from the World Concern family that remind us that all is not lost.
Elias and Louis
Elias and Louis are a couple in their late fifties who are both retired teachers and have a large family of twelve. Following the earthquake World Concern helped them rebuild their home. “It is a gift from God,” said Elias. “After the earthquake, first God saved us, then World Concern helped us. God bless you.” Read full story here.
After seeing the devastation caused by the earthquake on television, Jonathan, then a six year old in kindergarten, wanted to help. When his mom suggested donating money, he dumped out all $6.37 from his piggy bank to contribute to the relief effort. Then he and hundreds of classmates from school went on to raise an additional $3,641. “I hope this money goes to replace stuff to make new homes,” said Jonathan. Read full story here.
Saved to serve people
Former World Concern staff member Jean Berlin narrowly escaped the earthquake as the school building he was teaching in collapsed soon after he walked outside. He is convinced that he was spared for a reason. “Jesus saved me to serve people,” he said. Read full story here.
God has showed us that he is faithful and continues to heal and transform amidst an awful and incomprehensible disaster. Today we remember and honor the lives that were lost and those who survived and continue to move forward one day at a time.
The road ahead for Haiti is long and challenges remain. However Haiti has brighter days to come and World Concern is committed to walking on this road as long as it takes. Please continue to pray for Haiti in this new year and thank you for your partnership.