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World Vision president joins aid trucks in Haiti

Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., arrived in Haiti on Jan. 19 to join distributions of medical supplies to hospitals. Meanwhile, aid workers spent time in prayer and song to observe the exact moment the quake hit a week earlier. (Listen to an audio message from Rich.)

January 20, 2010



Richard Stearns visits with an injured boy while helping World Vision deliver medical items to a hospital in Port-au-Prince.
Richard Stearns visits with an injured boy while helping World Vision deliver medical items to a hospital in Port-au-Prince.
Photo ©2010 Jon Warren/World Vision

Immediately following his arrival in earthquake-devastated Port-au-Prince, Richard Stearns took the opportunity to accompany trucks bringing World Vision medical supplies to struggling city hospitals.

Among the items delivered to La Paix and L’Espoir hospitals were dressings, antibiotics, tetanus shots, and materials for the treatment of broken bones.

‘Could have been in a war zone’

Stearns said the hospitals presented a shocking sight.

“I really felt we could have been in a war zone,” he said. “There were patients in the courtyards, in the hallways, and [in] the waiting rooms. Obviously hurting people with bloody bandages and makeshift slings and casts.”

But he added that people he spoke to said that conditions were much improved from the previous week. “The dead have mostly been moved out now, and the ones remaining in the hospitals and clinics are the ones that are treatable in most cases,” he said.

Observing the moment of tragedy

At the exact moment when the deadly earthquake struck Haiti one week earlier, all relief workers ceased operations, dropped to their knees, and began to sing, pray, and give thanks to God. Stearns is shown here on the far right.
At the exact moment when the deadly earthquake struck Haiti one week earlier, all relief workers ceased operations, dropped to their knees, and began to sing, pray, and give thanks to God. Stearns is shown here on the far right.
Photo ©2010 Jon Warren/World Vision
At L’Espoir hospital, Stearns joined a human chain moving supplies from a truck to the hospital store room.

But as the clock reached the hour when the quake had struck exactly one week earlier, hospital staff and volunteers from around the world ceased work, dropped to their knees, and began to pray, sing, and give thanks for the support the hospital had received.

Stearns said it was a powerful moment.

“I was just amazed at the faith of the people who were gathered there,” he said. “In the midst of this, God could be glorified. In the midst of their pain, they sang ‘Great is thy Faithfulness’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ in French. It was a very touching moment.”

Progress made


Stearns added while more help was needed, a promising start had been made in building the capacity of hospitals and clinics to cope with the massive influx of injured patients.

“They still need more medical personnel, medications, and equipment, but they are certainly in better shape than they were a few days ago,” he said.

Meanwhile, World Vision’s response to the earthquake continues in earnest. Our immediate priority is to provide life-saving assistance to survivors, like food, clean water, temporary shelter, and medical care. World Vision has worked in Haiti for more than 30 years and had more than 800 staff members on the ground when the quake struck.


Two ways you can help


>> Please keep in prayer the children, families, and communities left devastated by this disaster in Haiti. Pray also for God's protection and guidance upon those who are responding with emergency assistance.
>> Donate now to World Vision's Haiti Earthquake Relief. Your gift will help our staff members rush emergency assistance to those in greatest need following the disaster — like food, clean water, blankets, tents, and more.

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Two ways you can help

Please keep in prayer the children, families, and communities left devastated by this disaster in Haiti. Pray also for God's protection and guidance upon those who are responding with emergency assistance.
- -
Donate now to World Vision's Haiti Earthquake Relief. Your gift will help our staff members rush emergency assistance to those in greatest need following the disaster — like food, clean water, blankets, tents, and more.

 





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