OMS Outreach Jan-Apr 2013 - Page 14

Building Homes, Building Bridges By Harold Brown, Missionary and Former Homes for Haiti Coordinator, One Mission Society In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, One Mission Society started the Homes for Haiti project in August 2010. Our goal: to build solid homes to replace those destroyed in the earthquake in and around the Port-au-Prince area. OMS has had a relationship with two churches in the area for many years. So, we formed a committee from the two churches to help decide which families would receive homes after living in tents or other non-permanent structures for a year. We decided to build a permanent house for each family chosen rather than a temporary shelter as many organizations were doing. We knew this would take longer and require more resources, but we felt it would be an encouragement to the churches and a good testimony to the community. This has proven to be quite true. In January 2011, the First United Methodist Church in Waco, Texas, sent a group to Haiti to build the first home. The church provided the funds for this house. The committee chose the family of Mr. Dieuthene Clairissant, who worked as a mason, to receive this first house. On the afternoon of January 12, 2010, when the earthquake shook their area of Haiti, the Clairissants’ house collapsed, along with thousands of others. One of their sons was in another area, near Port-au-Prince, and they thought he had been killed. But, two days later, they found him alive and well. They praised the Lord that none of their family had been hurt. They lived in a small tent for a year until they received the keys to their new house. Dieuthene thanked the Lord, first of all, for the house. Then, he thanked the church and OMS. He shared how many of his neighbors had received temporary shelter that was already decaying. Some of Dieuthene’s neighbors have begun to go to church with him and 14