International Ministries

Offering Hope in Haiti

April 19, 2010 Journal
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Last Thursday, we were doing consultations in Martissant, a Haiti neighborhood that we had not visited before. As we pulled in, it looked cleaner and the apartments around us were undamaged, although the road leading to the apartments showed quite a bit of destruction. 
Near the end of the day, a mother and small baby sat down in front of me. The baby looked to be about a week old but the registration card said she was 5 months old. I asked the mother how old the baby was and she said 5 months. I then asked if the baby had been born premature. She said no, she had been born at 9 months. When I asked what the birth weight was she told me 8 pounds....the same weight the baby was today...5 months later! I began asking questions about nutrition and what the child was eating, how much, and if she had recently lost weight. The mother told me, almost with embarrassment, that the child had recently lost a lot of weight. When I asked her why she said that she couldn't afford to feed her formula, that she didn't have any breast milk. She had actually only been able to feed the baby carrot juice and mashed bananas for at least the last month! More probing found that the mother was alone...no family, no friends helping her....and that she lived in a makeshift tent in one of the tent camps. When I asked her how she found money for the food she ate or for her baby, she just shrugged and dropped her head. She said, "I do what I can."

At that moment, I realized that what we are doing in these medical clinics is so much more than giving out medications and treating diseases. Here sat a young woman with a malnourished baby who had absolutely no idea how she would feed her child that day and we arrived with formula, food, clothing AND medical care. We were able to offer counseling and pray with her.   We connected her to a women and children's food and educational program through a local hospital so that she could get some help.  And we offered her hope that she was not forgotten.

Hope....what led her to us and what we shared with her. As she sat in front of me and I looked at her daughter, it was all I could do not to cry. My heart ached. All I could think of was that this is exactly why we come; this is why we sacrifice and this is why we continue to bring help. Hope. Plain and simple, but oh so powerful in the life of just this one. And the next one, and the next and the next...
  
                                      ++++ You Are There ++++

Whether you realize it or not, you have been in Haiti. Maybe you are wondering, "Really? How have I been there?"
When team members are distributing much needed clothing and food packets for families...you are there.
When Kristy is negotiating with Haitian officials so the medical teams can serve...you are there.
When team members offer words of welcome and comfort as people come to the mobile clinics...you are there.
When Kristy and others provide medical care for those who seek them out, and then offer a prayer for healing, comfort and strength...you are there.

"...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me...'just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'"

YOU ARE THERE with Kristy, offering hope in Jesus' name to those in Haiti whenever you pray for her, whenever you help make it possible for others to serve on a medical team, and when you offer financial support. Thank you for your generous gifts.

Keep reading to learn of a new and unique opportunity to support Kristy's ongoing ministry in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti.


                                            The Opportunity...

We have a new dream in International Ministries: if each of us will give just $1 a day for missions, we can fully fund incredible ministries like Kristy's around the world, guaranteeing their stability and long-term effectiveness.  That's $1 a day, $30 a month, $360 a year. This idea caught on with some of the major donors to International Ministries, who decided to offer a matching fund for a limited time. It's a very specific campaign: for individuals, for internet giving, for regular pledges. Here's how it works:

The campaign will begin tomorrow, April 19 and run through May 31, 2010.
 
1.  Pledges made on the IM web site between April 19 and May 31 by individual donors who have not previously pledged to a particular IM missionary will be matched on a 50% basis, two for one. Click this link or, if you prefer, go to http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/63

2.  Pledges can be immediately matched as follows: A qualifying pledge of $30/month for at least one year will be matched at the rate of $15/month for a total of an additional $180. A donor can pledge monthly to more than one missionary and receive the same match. Although donors will be asked to contribute monthly, they can opt to make Quarterly, Semi-annual or Annual pledges as all pledges will be honored for the match.
 
3.  The matching funds will be available on a first come, first served basis until the fund is exhausted or until May 31, 2010. The web site will daily report the amount of funds remaining.

4.  The web site will weekly report the level of sustaining support still needed for each missionary or missionary couple.

We are profoundly grateful for those of you who have supported Kristy's ministry in the past, and want to encourage others who are interested to take advantage of this unique opportunity.  For those who are able, a pledge of a specific amount, as outlined above, creates a more stable situation for all missionaries to continue serving as God has called them.  Thank you for your generous gifts. 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us (click on a name below to send an e-mail message.)

Serving as Kristy's MPT (Missionary Partnership Team)
Soozi Whitten Ford(Iowa)
Rex and Becky Cooper(Illinois)
Robert Beck, Jr.(Massachusetts)
Cyndi McNamara(Massachusetts)
Michelle Siemens (U.S. Army, currently serving in Iraq)