Traveling in and around Port-au-Prince recently, I was struck by two contradictory impressions.
First, it appears quite a bit of rubble has been cleaned up compared to what I saw during my last trip to Haiti six months after the quake. Of course, there are still places where houses and buildings are waiting to be cleared away, but there seemed to be fewer piles of debris in the streets and fewer areas where the total destruction still lingered untouched.
But my second impression was that there is still an enormous amount of work left to do in terms of rebuilding Haiti.
Haitian family in front of their home
The tent camps have barely receded in size, meaning houses aren’t being built fast enough and people can’t find jobs that will give them the means to secure a house in the first place. The “temporary” camps have been occupied for a year and a half now, and they’re not exactly standing the test of time. The tarps and tents are tattered, leaking, and decomposing in the sun. The pathways through the camps are trenches of mud and water. It doesn’t look even remotely comfortable in there.
More has to be done, I thought. And then I remembered the familiar words of Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Despite being hampered by “red tape,” weather set-backs, and land issues, Cross Catholic is moving forward as quickly as possible to build half-a-million-dollars-worth of earthquake-resistant homes in several areas of Haiti. We’ve provided housing for homeless earthquake orphans and helped fight the recent cholera outbreak. We’re building wells to provide clean water and continuing vital shipments of water, food, and medicine to Haiti, bringing glory to our Lord in all of our outreach efforts.
We’re not giving up—we know God promised to provide for the needy and I know he is providing, through the rebuilding and recovery efforts generous Catholics have made possible. Driving through Port-au-Prince, I never lost the sense that God was there, comforting the people and meanwhile working through his Church to restore them.