Volunteers still meeting human need in Haiti
    July 14 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    Human need in Haiti continues to overwhelm logistical response, but a steady stream of North Carolina Baptist teams are ministering to the sick and building shelters for internally displaced Haitians.

    Gaylon Moss, who coordinates disaster response for North Carolina Baptist Men, said that through July 3, 295 volunteers have seen 23,497 patients at various clinics and hospitals, have served more than 25,000 meals, built 229 temporary shelters and have witnessed 334 persons trusting Christ as savior.

    “We’ve been quite pleased with response from folks,” said Moss. N.C. Baptist Men plans to continue relief efforts in Haiti through August of 2011, concentrating on medical teams and construction both of temporary shelters and helping churches rebuild.

    Church reconstruction employs local Haitian labor, using materials bought with contributions to N.C. Baptist Men. Volunteers who wish can be involved with church construction.

    Moss recognizes the desolation still laying over the country as news reports detail relief efforts stymied by local politics, decimated infrastructure and conflicts over property ownership.

    The positive news coming back with North Carolina volunteers focuses on individual victories, as volunteers distribute baby clothes, nurse the sick and injured back to health or build a shelter that a joyful family moves into that had been living under a piece of tin.

    “Most volunteers come away impressed with the Haitians’ attitudes and their willingness to help in such a terrible time,” Moss said.

    Raw material for the temporary shelters is supplied by Samaritan’s Purse and consists of four poles to form a 15 by 15 foot room, a tin roof and durable tarp to wrap the poles. Inside there are two large shelves that can be used as beds or for storage.

    A recent team installed rain gutters on the shelters by which the occupants can collect clean rain water. Moss said the local mayor and church leadership pick the families that are to receive the temporary shelters. North Carolina volunteers are not put in that position.

    After six months of sending volunteers a schedule has been established for efficiency. Getting into Port au Prince is still a hassle, but Baptist Men has an onsite coordinator and housing for volunteers to make the logistics as smooth as possible. Scott and Janet Daughtry coordinate volunteer efforts onsite.

    Teams leave each week on Sunday and return the following Saturday. Cost is $1,100 per person, which covers airline ticket, accident insurance, food, housing and transportation in country.

    Volunteers must fill out an individual profile at www.ncmissions.org. Payment is made to Baptist Men which makes the travel arrangements.

    Individuals can join other teams. Moss said ideal team size to accommodate in country logistics is 6-8 each for construction and for medical volunteers. There is flexibility according to need.

    Volunteers leave either from Charlotte or Raleigh. They should check with their doctors about necessary immunizations.
    7/14/2010 4:28:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

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