Posted: January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


One Year Later, Haitians’ Hope Fading

Haitian Orphans Still in Shelters

Cholera plagues Haiti a year after devastating earthquake

Haiti Earthquake One Year On: The Squalid Tent Cities Where Rape Gangs and Disease Run Rife

Headlines like those above can be read daily in newspapers, magazines, and on the net.  Looking at the overall picture and judging success or failure by how many tons of rubble has been removed or how many are still in tent cities or how much of the money pledged has actually been received can cause one to be discouraged.  But I don’t see it that way.

I think of the hundreds of lives that just Heartline has touched and is still touching.  I think of hundreds of patients that were seen and of the bodies rebuilt and of the lives saved.  I think of our field hospital and of the community of patients, medical staff, Haitians and non Haitians and families that became part of our lives.  I think of those that drew closer to God. I think of each patient as it came time to leave and how it was such a big deal filled with mixed emotions.  I think of our recent reunion and of the patients and volunteers that came and of some that very likely would have died. I think of the several dozen houses that money was raised for and built and how these families now have their own homes.  I think of those that we are sending to school and still caring for.  I think of those that were once a part of our hospital and now are working for Heartline.

I think of the several hundred short term volunteers that came in response to the cry of a nation.  I think of the generous donations that enabled us to provide quality, loving care to the patients entrusted to us. And then I think of the dozens of friends that we know here in Haiti who run missions, who have been faithfully making a difference. And I think of those that have been coming to Haiti before and since the earthquake.

Even this morning on the one year anniversary of the earthquake I gave money for two more houses to be put up and made arrangement for four more next week.  Yes, the tent cities are huge.  There is still rubble.  The government is corrupt.  The elections were a fiasco. Daily the headline blare out about the lack of progress.  But I see what has been done and is still being done by hundred of caring ministries and organizations.  They are not seeking publicity or recognition or accolades but through them and through you countless lives have been and are being touched in tangible, ongoing ways.

It’s been a year, should more have been done?  Yes!  And I could write more about that but I’m rather busy trying to be faithful with what God has entrusted to us.  I’m thinking about the patients that we re still helping, and of the families we need to get into houses, and of the children that we send to school in Cite Soleil, and of the teen mom house, which will be called Harbor House, that we are working to open, and of the maternity and sewing centers and of the hundreds being touched there.

And so when I see the rubble and read the statistics about how little has been done I think about  the people, and organizations and missions that I know and I am thankful to God for what has been and is being done to help the people of Haiti.

Father, thank you for another day to live and minister in Haiti.


  1. Kathy T says:

    Thanks for reminding us of what God has done in Haiti, through Heartline Ministries. What a privilege to know of your group and to support you.

  2. Graham says:

    It’s discouraging in a way for me, because it feels like a failure of imagination on the part of the powerful people – presidents, prime ministers, general secretaries and all those big titles. They have so many resources to command, they should be capable of making more things happen. However, it doesn’t in any way disparage the amount of work that has been done – and mostly been done by people like you and the Livesays and all the other people who pick up and pitch in. Your work is a daily reminder that problems can be solved and lives can be improved.

    • johnmchoul says:

      Graham, I’m with you on that. So much time is spent on territorial in fighting and not wanting to infringe on the rights of a government which clearly is incapable and unwilling to rise to the challenge, while people are needlessly suffering. A couple of months ago we put up a house for Rosemond and his grandmother. Both his parents were killed in the earthquake. When we were almost finished a lady who works for an NGO came by and asked what we thought we were doing and did we check with her committee and don’t we know that they were in charge of that zone.
      And so looking around the area that didn’t look much difference than when we first went there 12 months ago we essentially showed her out the partially finished doorway and told her not to come back and then of course I couldn’t shut up and started berating the job that were doing, if in fact they had started.
      She asked for the number the person in charge since she was going to report me. So I gave her the number but she has yet to call the person in charge (me) so I can talk some more.
      We were dismayed at this as she wanted us to stop and let Rosemond and his grandmother live in a tent somewhere for the next how many years until they pulled it together.
      I am encouraged by the hundreds if not thousands of small groups and people that are just doing something because it needs to be done. They’re not tooting their horns as they are simply too busy doing while other talk and squabble, and drive around in fancy vehicles with the signs of their organizations boldly displayed.
      I better stop here as I feel a raging headache forming.

  3. Stacey says:

    Thank you for all you do. I’ve been following and supporting Heartline for a year now – you inspire us to be the best we can be. How blessed you are to be in Haiti…and how blessed Haiti is to have you all….

  4. Phyllis Kedl says:

    John, Beth, and all the others who are making such a difference — we love you, and marvel at the miracles that Heartline and others have accomplished in the face of governmental (and other) mismanagement. Do NOT lose heart! We who love and support you are many, and although most of us can’t volunteer to go to Haiti, we can all contribute, to allow others to go. We have been supporters of Heartline for nigh unto twenty years, and have been enthusiastic tellers to others of what you folks have accomplished and will accomplish with the help of your contributors and sponsors. Bless you — keep up the good work, in spite of officious NGO people who want to get the credit! Best love, Phyllis and Doug Kedl

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