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More earthquake relief supplies arrive in Haiti

May 6, 2010 No Comment

GONAIVES, HAITI — About 3,000 more Haitians who are recovering from a January 12 earthquake have clothes, shoes and sleeping mats thanks to a recent shipment from the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society (HLMS).

Rev. Revenel Benoit, president of Lutheran Church of Haiti (LCH), said a 12-metre-long container full of donated goods has arrived in Haiti. The container was sent by the HLMS, based out of St. Catharines, Ont., and was the group’s most-recent relief effort.

Benoit said the HLMS also provided funds, which allowed LCH to distribute 60 tents in the communities of La Saline, Port-au-Prince and Leogane.

“In about two weeks, the LCH will begin distributing more tents, the purchase of which is being funded by Canadian Lutheran World Relief,” said Benoit.  “We expect to provide tents to 100 families. Each of these tents can each shelter a family of up to eight.”

Almost four months after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit – killing between 250,000 and 300,000 people – relief efforts continue.

Benoit said his church, the LCH, has provided relief supplies to 31,000 people and medical care to about 7,000 people, and has transported relief supplies to Lutherans and non-Lutherans in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Cabaret, Gonaives, Poto, and Passereine.

Much of this work was subsidized by the HLMS, which has contributed more than $80,000 in relief aid to Haiti.

Benoit said LCH has also spent time ministering to the spiritual needs of Haitians – especially those who practice voodoo, a religion that mixes West African beliefs with elements of Roman Catholicism.

“This is a new opportunity for Christianity in Haiti,” said Benoit. “There is a spiritual hunger; the Haitian people are tired of voodoo.”

He said 85 per cent of congregations are evangelizing in the streets, and thousands of Haitians are turning to Christianity.

“There is a great harvest of souls as we witness the Good News to those living in the darkness of voodoo and superstition.”

Meantime, Benoit said missionaries from Ohio will also help the LCH set up a recording studio in Gonaives, a city located north of Port-au-Prince, by May 6.

The studio is expected to help LCH generate income.

“This will be a big event,” said Benoit. “Lots of pastors and church leaders will be invited, as well as government officials.”

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