UMTV: Memories of Haiti’s Quake
In 2010, one day after a church mission team arrived in Haiti to help orphans, a massive earthquake shook the country. As Kim Reimland reports, what volunteers saw as they left makes them even more committed to the country.
(Locator: Shreveport, LA)
They're back home and safe.
People hug: "So glad y'all made it back."
But for Louisiana volunteer Britney Winn, memories of Haiti are hard to forget.
Britney Winn, United Methodist Volunteer in Haiti: "Everything's just leveled. I remember seeing three huge concrete slabs just stacked on top of each other. And somebody said that used to be a three-story building."
Three members of Shreveport United Methodist Church were in Haiti to work at an orphanage when the earthquake hit on January 12th.
Britney Winn: "The house started to shake and it kind of looked like Jello."
One-hundred-forty miles from the epicenter, the orphanage had only minor damage. But getting out of Haiti would be a challenge.
Britney Winn: "We saw the tents, hundreds and thousands of people on the streets and sleeping out on the streets."
Three days after the quake, mission volunteer Nycki Sorensen and the others set out on a four-and-a-half hour drive to Port-au-Prince &ellipsis; across roads sometimes blocked by rubble and quake survivors.
Nycki Sorensen, United Methodist Volunteer in Haiti: "Every time we came to a place that we couldn't pass, people pointed with smiles to the right direction for us to get out. The heart and the kindness of the people to help us get to safety was amazing."
Sorensen's husband, Mark, works with young adults at the church. He received occasional updates via text messages and phone calls.
Mark Sorensen, Shreveport First United Methodist Church: "My nerves were completely on edge. I couldn't watch the news much."
Four days after the quake, church members celebrated the safe return of the team &ellipsis; and that no one at the orphanage was hurt.
Church service: "Those kids are all safe. So praise God for that." (Applause)
But the earthquake created thousands of new orphans.
Nycki Sorensen: "My biggest concern is food, at this point."
The people of Haiti also need medical help. And the church plans to go back in February with a team of doctors.
Britney Winn: "I don't think you could travel through Haiti without going 'We have to do something,' before the earthquake. And now afterwards, you just don't have a choice."
Nycki Sorensen: "I'm so thankful and so overjoyed to be home. And so thankful for all the prayers that got me back home. But then I think about the people who don't have a home to go back to."
Shreveport First United Methodist Church has a medical mission to Haiti planned for next month, and support of 75 children at the Big House orphanage in Haiti is ongoing.
For more information, call the church at 318- 424-7771 or visit the Web site.
Posted: January 21, 2010