HAUTE LIMBE, HAITI (January 12, 2011) – Editor’s note: Janelle Peterson is a member of Faith Covenant Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is doing mission work in Haut Limbe, Haiti. Following is her update on the work there.
By Janelle Peterson
I landed on the island of Hispanola at the end of November 2009. I was just beginning to get settled in my new home of Haut Limbe when the earthquake hit.
Life since then has been a bit of a blur and it’s hard to believe how much has happened. While the earthquake did no physical damage in the area north of Haiti, the impact was felt here nonetheless. In the days following the quake, many people here went to Port au Prince to search for relatives or friends who were living there. Many brought back family members to live with them here.
In the couple of weeks following, Ebenezer Clinic provided free health care to all patients, many who had migrated up from Port au Prince. We were able to do that because of the generous support of many donors in the United States and Canada.
Dr. Manno, Ebenezer’s medical director, identified two communities in Port au Prince where we could provide assistance. Donations helped build temporary structures and provide several mobile health clinics over the winter months.
I was able to make two trips to Port au Prince and witness not only the destruction, but also the work being done there. I was happy to see the difference that small groups are making. However, it’s frustrating to see that the government is not taking a leadership role to be responsible to care for its people.
I’m learning that poverty is not just about wealth or material things. Poverty means much more here. Poverty means that you have no power: no power to make a difference, no power to hold your government accountable. That is the saddest thing to see, especially after witnessing the recent presidential elections that were covered with fraud and distrust.
Editor’s note: Haut Limbe is located roughly 20 kilometers west of Cap Haitien. Peterson is working under the support of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada (ECCC). Much of her ministry involves assisting with the Ebenezer Clinic, a partner with the ECCC. Peterson grew up attending Norquay Covenant Church in Norquay, Saskatchewan, and is a graduate of Covenant Bible College in Strathmore, Alberta. Her blog is “Peeling the Onion.”