BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham spent Friday visiting a variety of relief efforts on the first of a two-day trip to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
“This is one of the largest disaster responses in our history,” he said. “The situation in Haiti will be dreadful for a long time, and we intend to be there.”
Graham arrived in Haiti Friday morning for a first-hand look at the work done by our Samaritan’s Purse partners and met with leaders on the ground to plan for a long-term commitment. He toured sites in Leogane and Grand Goave, where Samaritan’s Purse has distributed emergency relief supplies.
He then held devotions and had dinner with SP staff at their base camp. About 20 soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, which has been providing security, were invited to activities at the base.
Graham attended a food distribution at the Cite Soleil slums in Port-au-Prince and meet with Leon Dorleans, pastor of a partner church, on Saturday.
Chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team were on the ground within 24 hours of the earthquake, providing spiritual and emotional care to victims, and also serving SP volunteers and even doctors at Haiti’s Baptist Mission Hospital.
Conditions remain grim in Haiti three weeks after the massive earthquake devastated the country. More than 700,000 people are still living on the streets with no shelter or in “tents” constructed of twigs and worn sheets. Emergency food continues to be a critical need.
Although some small markets have opened, food prices are greatly inflated. Medical facilities are reporting an increase in cases of tetanus, measles, and chicken pox, and there is a growing diarrhea problem.