Christian Groups Prepare to Assist Haiti

( [email protected] ) Mar 02, 2004 11:21 AM EST

Following Sunday's eruption of violence in Haiti that killed tens and injured hundreds, the United States flew in 200 Marines to join the 200 troops already stationed in the Caribbean nation, March 1. In a similar fashion, Christian humanitarian reinforcements ushered in to help the many Christian groups who suffered in the explosive nation to guard their assigned posts.

Workers at Missionary Flights International, located at West Palm Beach, Florida, began fundraising for their mission to Haiti. With the donations the workers plan to load supplies, food and other goods on a DC-3 plane headed for Cape Haitian, the airport that was destroyed over the weekend.

"We feel we can safely go back in with supplies and food and be protected," Dick Snoof of Missionary Flights said. "We're making plans to get this down there as soon as possible."

Members of Project Medishare, located in Miami, also clamored to help the situation in Haiti.

"We're meeting and trying to put action plan in place to see what most urgent is need," Ellen Powers of Project Medishare said. "The minute we can ship things in and physically, we'll go."

Meanwhile, several of the Christian Humanitarian groups that have been forced out are planning their re-entry.

Mission Aviation Fellowship members had evacuated their full staff including pilots and administrators to safety by February 28.

Earlier, Denis Fulton, a spokesman for MAF said the pilots would remain in Haiti for as long as possible, but would evacuate “if the situation continues to worsen.”

"We don't want to leave the men in harm's way,” said Fulton.

Though the missionaries were forced out of the nation, Fulton said the crises might actually lead to opportunities for the indigenous Christian leaders.

"There are some fantastic Haitian Christian believers there," said Fulton, "and this is an opportunity for them to take another step of growth -- especially as some mission co-workers pull out."

"There's some very capable leadership within the national church," Fulton said. "Just pray that they will be able to be the witness that God will give them the opportunity to be to those around them."

Currently, the MAF’s program manager Greg Ryle and regional director Dave Fyock began planning for re-entry into the country to resume services.