From my husband, Caleb
It has been six weeks since the first earthquake and I just can’t believe that the Lord would have used us to accomplish so much. So many needs have been met and so many needs still exist everywhere we look. To date:
850 tents have been distributed
200,000 lbs. of rice have been distributed
More than 800 people have been evacuated out of Port au Prince
500 new students have been admitted to our school
From January 17th until February 28th, 200 meals have been served daily to the Pignon Hospital patients and their family members and to the staff.
386 people are now staying at our camp facilities
Through Rotary International, district 7020, more than 130 flights (cessnas, small jets) and DC-3’s have brought food and medical supplies estimated to value more than $8.2 million US dollars.
Hospitals in Cap Haitien, Saint Marc, Port au Prince, Jacmel, Cayes, Port de Paix, Pignon and Saint Raphael have received medical supplies and medicine. As I was delivering some supplies to two health care centers and hospitals in Port au Prince recently, the medical directors both just looked at me and said, “We are good for supplies now for two months with what you brought. How did you know exactly what we needed?”
The answer was obvious to me, it is the Lord! I have received so many calls from people from all over the country to say thanks for the assistance that has been provided. We are so grateful that the Lord could use us to touch so many lives. So many of you have helped us continue to make a difference. You have been determined to help us touch as many lives as possible. I can’t wait for the day when we meet our Savior! I believe in that we will hear words similar to what songwriter Ray Boltz wrote: “Thank you for giving to the Lord! I am a life that was changed.”
Many now are asking the question: “What is the next step?” So what I want to do in this update is outline specifically what needs to happen in the next 2-6 months in our community and the rest of the country to maintain effective outreaches:
1. We need to maintain the physical, financial and spiritual stability at our school campus of College de la Grace. In addition to our 950 already existing students, we have accepted over 500 refugee students. By faith we are trusting the Lord to provide: $26,000 for books, $30,000 for two sets of uniforms, $5,000 more monthly for teacher’s salaries, 500 chairs at $45 each, $9,000 for a new playground, $12,000 to complete an additional computer lab, two chaplains added to our staff to help maintain counseling and spiritual life at the school and camp.
We need to continue to provide a hot meal every day for our students. We need to find 500 sponsors for our new students. To remain financially stable (i.e. pay our staff and meet needs) we need $30/month/student.
2. We need to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the refugees at the camp. Right now we are providing each and everyone staying at the camp with three meals a day. At this point people feel O.K. There continues to be needs for medical care and our hospital in Pignon has been super in providing free initial healthcare to people injured in the earthquake. But there will be increasing health related problems as so many people are living in such close proximity. We need to quickly build a temporary shelter to house about two hundred as rainy season is approaching. We also need to build beds, a new shower/toilet facility as soon as possible. We are recruiting teams from across the U.S. to help with these needs.
We are strategizing in terms of how to help the refugees help themselves. We are looking into developing a new micro-credit program targeting the skilled workers. Currently with us there are: metal workers, carpenters, electricians, etc. We are seeking how to best help them reestablish their lives and already seeing some successes.
3. Thirdly, we need to continue to provide shelters. There are over one million people without shelters and that represents 10% of the country’s population. While tents continue to be a huge need, we must be thinking about long term solutions. Hosean has been given 20 acres of land outside of Port au Prince that we are hoping to develop into a village with 150-200 family units. We will be bringing in a team of engineers that will do the planning, drawing, and everything necessary to build up to the highest codes to ensure we are well prepared for future disasters. We will put the proper infrastructure for sewage, water drainage, sanitation, and electricity. We will be calling upon many partners to accompany us in this great endeavor.
4. We will need to develop a long term solution for orphan care. As our family is getting ready to move into our new home, we will begin the renovation of the “Layton Stamper Children’s Home.” We already have four children from the destroyed areas in our care and have found a house mother for them. We are expecting 26 more that will be arriving and that will bring us to full capacity. We are praying for one or two groups of volunteers that would be willing to take on the renovation project to remodel the building, build new bunk beds, and re-do the wiring to make it a beautiful, safe and comfortable home.
In a meeting that I attended last week, someone said, “If we do not close the gap between emergency relief and recovery/rebuilding, we will have a lasting and even greater emergency.” It is not the time for lots of meetings, it is time for action. We can transform this nation and we need to do it now. Please contact me for any questions and please continue to pray for all of us!