Haiti update

My friend Kent co-leads Haiti Partners with John Engle. His beautiful book tells the story of his life and work in Haiti. Here’s the note I just received from him:

Absolutely heartbroken. Quick personal update: John is there with his wife and two young children. He’s been able to get two quick phone calls out and they are fine. But we have many, many other Haitian friends in Port-au-Prince and other devastated areas that we have no news from.
Specifics that come to mind, though they’re still way too vague because there’s so little communication coming out of Port-au-Prince:
1. PRAYER of every kind.
2. IMMEDIATE GIVING: Mobilizing people to give now. We’ve set up an Earthquake Response Fund on our site at http://www.haitipartners.org
3. IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO, WE NEED YOU TO HELP US GET LONGTERM COMMITMENTS TO HAITI: …we need to find ways to communicate so that people give in response now–but also in the next week or so have people make decisions to become longterm givers… This will take weeks and months and years to recover from. I want us to be realistic that this has been a longterm problem that made Haiti vulnerable, and will be a longterm problem long after the story fades…
4. COMMUNICATION: …I will update as I learn more. And you all can pass it around.
These are my first thoughts–on very little sleep in the past 30 hours.
I’m eager to hear your thoughts.
So grateful for our partnership in ministry in Christ.
With tears, Kent

I’m hearing from my other friends in the Relief and Development world the same emphasis of Kent’s #4 – the need for us to see that the response must be long-term. People are repeating this theme – “rebuild it better.” When you’re desperately poor, you can’t build things well enough to withstand an earthquake. Hopefully in the rebuilding, the people of Haiti will have our help to build in ways that can better withstand future quakes. I hope you’ll join me in making a generous gift – to Haiti Partners, or to one of the other groups listed here.