Students and Alumni Help Haiti

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tyndale students and alumni continue to assist in the efforts to help the people of Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake in early January.

Students at Tyndale raised $1,400 in a special chapel offering. Donations continued to be accepted after the chapel, and in just over a week, an additional $480 was raised.

“This just shows how much God can do with people who are open to being used by Him,” said George Sweetman, dean of students at Tyndale. “People here have a real desire to minister to the people of Haiti, to show God’s love to them.”

The money raised will be split between World Vision Canada, which is operating in Haiti, and Monsoon: Global Discipleship Encounter, a ministry based in the Dominican Republic. A former student at Tyndale, Shannon Conaghan, is currently taking supplies to the Haiti – Dominican Republic border, where thousands of refugees are now gathered.

“The city of Port au Prince has been leveled completely,” she wrote. “There are no homes, no resources, no food, no systems, no money – it almost feels like there is no hope. It is going to take more than a decade to clean up and longer to rebuild. People are piling over the mountainous border into the Dominican Republic.”

Tyndale is sending money to Shannon. She is renting a truck and taking food and medicine to a border area filling up with people who are now homeless.

“I am overwhelmed to tears,” she wrote. “Apparently, God wants me doing this -- and I am pleased to be his hands and feet, mouth and shoulder, his eyes, his lips, the touch of his spirit, a reminder of his presence.”

Another Tyndale alumnus, Chris Lewis, is actively involved in Haiti assisting Emmanuel International. He had served as a coodinator with them, and was asked to go to Haiti to help in the relief efforts there.

"Over an hour from the city you begin to see cracked houses and portions of walls caved in and as you get closer you see the collapsed houses, apartments, banks and grocery stores," Chris writes in an email to Tyndale. "The smell of death fills your nostrils. The palace has completely collapsed and directly across the street from the very place where world leaders used meet in Haiti is a tent city; hundreds of people with nowhere to go and only sticks, tarps and bedsheets to make a home. It is a true disaster, and given the complex situation Haiti was already in, it's almost like nothing the world has ever seen."

Chris graduated from Tyndale in 2006 with a BA in Religious Studies (Hons).

"I'm here to coordinate the distribution of food aid on behalf of Emmanuel International," he continues. "The staff in Haiti have already set up the sites and the aid seems to be coming in, although it's slow at best. Thus far each distribution has gone well until we start to run out at which point the crowd senses that the food is running out. The most difficult part of this process is that we've turned away far more people than we've be able to offer food."

"The days are long and the situation is complicated," he says. "There are no easy answers; there is no 'clean up' that can be completed within months or even years. Continue to pray for Haiti, for Haitian churches and pray for Pastor Martinez, the Emmanuel International country director- he needs it. Haiti needs it."


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