More than a week has passed since a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti, and the country continues to struggle with the fallout. The death toll has risen to over 2,100 people with countless others injured.
Over half a million people are in need of assistance, and several Christian charities are providing medical support including the Samaritan’s Purse, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and the Free Wheelchair Mission who plans to send 2,500 wheelchairs to Haiti.
Dr. David Vanderpool, the founder of the Christian nonprofit organization LiveBeyond said that he is working to get back to Haiti. LiveBeyond has opened its hospitals for the injured by helicopter as part of the disaster relief group working under the Haitian Ministry of Health. Nearly $200,000 is needed to provide medical care to support the country.
In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Vanderpool, who launched LiveBeyond in 2005 to provide disaster relief in response to Hurricane Katrina and then went to Haiti in 2010 to help relief efforts after that earthquake, said many Haitians of faith “have turned to God more now than ever.”
Vanderpool, a trauma surgeon, and his wife Laurie felt a calling to expand their organization to Haiti to provide healthcare, nutrition, and educational resources for women and children.
Since 2010, LiveBeyond has given medical care to thousands of residents in the Thomazeus area of Haiti who had no access to healthcare. The organization also serves thousands of meals daily to children and families.
“Even though I’m not currently there now, our base is operating completely normal, and our staff have reported that we are feeding more people because marketplaces and ports have been shut down in Haiti, so food is scarce,” Vanderpool said. “Typically, persecution increases faith for those who have faith.”
“Introducing people to the Christian faith is a real challenging situation because many people respond differently. But many Haitians with faith have turned to God more now than ever,” he followed.
A practical way Vanderpool said people can help Haiti is by praying for the country.
“We are asking people to pray that the peace of God will permeate Haiti, that God will allow His peace to reign in Haiti, and godly leaders will be raised up in the country,” he said. “Pray that the corruption that exists in Haiti will be eliminated and that godliness will then reign. Our hopes and dreams are to continue to expand our mission and to be able to take care of more people and that more Haitians will follow a godly path.”
Vanderpool also reinforced his commitment to Haiti and the work he feels God has called him to do in that country.
“Our message as we go out into the communities has always been to preach that God is a God of peace and justice and we hope to keep taking care of Haiti’s physical needs because we were called to go to Haiti and that calling supersedes danger.”