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HFI Founder returns from Haiti

February 13, 2012

vJust a few days ago, I returned from a visit to Haiti, and I want to share with you some of my observations. Driving through the crowded, chaotic streets of Port au Prince, one can't help but notice that progress has been made in debris removal. Laborers with hammers and wheelbarrows in hand work their way through the piles. They are now aided in their efforts by heavy machinery, something that for the first 18 months in Haiti was all but completely absent.

Our team consisted of HFI Reservists and leaders, Kirk Dominic and Bob Love, myself, and HFI Haiti staff members, Rene and Marianne Lako. As we made our way to the countryside outside Leogane (the epicenter of the earthquake), the rural community of Sous Savanne was a welcome sight. In my heart, we were coming to "our village" ? a place for which God has birthed a passion and desire to express our love of Him through acts of compassionate service. I was greeted with shouts of "Pastor Jack, welcome!" (Pastor is a term of respect.) "How is your family? How is Madame Cherie? It is so good to see you!"

dThe warm greeting led to a walking tour of the village to view the progress that has been made. Through our various partners, homes have been built, latrines added, signs of agricultural and horticultural training and enterprise were evident, and wells ? once damaged ? are now operational. There are many signs of improvement.

However, there is so much yet to be accomplished. Many more homes need to be built, and while some in the village benefit from our community health education initiatives, much, much more needs to be done. Some of the people in Sous Savanne have expressed interest in meeting with our team on a regular basis for Bible study. We are very excited about this development, and look forward to this amazing opportunity.

As we visited with families associated with the Hope Force Child Sponsorship Program, we were encouraged to see that many have received new housing. At the same time, the very vulnerable are still in desperate need. One family ? still living in the emergency tent provided by HFI in 2010 ? just welcomed "home" newborn twins. The father of the HFI tent-home is all but absent, and the challenges are staggering. They are a high priority family for our 2012 goal to provide 15 homes for the underserved and desperate families that remain in great need.

bHope collides with incredible need that threatens its very existence. The poor cry out for help and wonder if anyone hears. The Bible speaks to this issue in the Message translation of Psalm 10: 17 & 18: "The victim's faint pulse picks up; the hearts of the hopeless pump red blood as you put your ear to their lips. Orphans get parents, the homeless get homes..." Father God stoops down to be close as He puts His ear to the lips of the hopeless. He then searches for those with an ear to hear, a heart of compassion and willingness to respond. What an honor to be His hands, heart and hope extended in Jesus' name.

Hope Force remains committed to serving the people of Haiti at God's invitation, and we invite you to come and see for yourselves. Be a part of putting your love of God into compassionate action and experience His transforming work in your life and those you serve.

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