Remember Haiti: Two years ago on Jan. 12, 2010 the earthquake that devastated Haiti and took over 200,000 lives. Here is one man's story of Hope.
Joseph Masillon took out a loan in October 2009 to pay for a roof for his house. It was to be a typical Haitian roof: a solid two feet of concrete with little rebar in it to hold it together, costing approximately $9,000.
On January 12th, 2010, an earthquake destroyed 80% of the homes in Joseph’s village of Guibert (“Gee-bear”). Joseph’s home was one of those destroyed. Joseph was inside the home at 4:53pm when the ground started to shake. As his home began to crumble on all sides of him, he was able to escape, unharmed. His brand new roof came crashing down, but no one was hurt. What a miracle! However, Joseph and his family didn’t have a place to live AND still had to pay off the loan for the roof, which was now in pieces and worth nothing to the family.
By late February, Hope for the Hungry decided it was time to move from emergency relief, where we handed out tents to those whose homes were destroyed, to begin rebuilding Guibert. Temporary shelters, such as tents, last for only a year. Permanent homes are important for everyone for both safety and security. We are currently working with the local church to assist in building homes (38 are completed now) because it gives us the opportunity to share Jesus with the home owners and teach them ways to walk with Him daily.
The Haitian church leaders determine which families qualify for a new home and Joseph was on the list! In May 2010, Joseph and his family of 12 were able to move into their brand new home!
To remind the community of the focus of our efforts, we have a dedication service for each of the home owners when the construction is complete. Each service includes a prayer of dedication, a reminder that Jesus is our true and ultimate Shelter, the installation of two scripture plaques, and the giving of keys to the home. So, now at the front door of Joseph’s brand new home is a plaque that reads, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20, NIV). Inside his home is one that reads, “They replied ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved- you and your household.” (Acts 16:31, NIV). Joseph may still be paying off his loan, but he and his family are now able to begin putting their lives back together in their new home, encouraged that Jesus, our true Shelter from the storm, is always faithful.