Wisconsin Rapids mission team returns from Haiti - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Rapids mission team returns from Haiti

Wisconsin Rapids mission team returns from Haiti


by Elizabeth Fay

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW)--It's something most of us can only imagine but some local missionary workers saw it first-hand. The group from the Evangelical Free Church of America in Wisconsin Rapids landed in Haiti hours before the devastating quake


"We felt the floor shake beneath us, we saw rocking chairs in the living area, rocking without anybody in them,"says pastor and team member, David Kurek.

About 80 miles North of the epicenter of Haiti's earthquake, the group focused on their mission, educating pastors. One of the Haitian pastors arrived late to the conference, barely escaping the quake. "He was taking his sister to the hospital and just before they hit the hospital, the hospital collapsed. I assume everyone in there died or was injured," says Kurek.

The team recognized great need before the quake."There's garbage all over, the smell...smells like a dump, the clothes they have are the clothes on their body," explains team member, James Lee Berry. Now the need is greater than ever.

Two team members stayed in Florida, originally, to prepare Christmas bags for Haitians. After the disaster, their jobs shifted to aiding with earthquake relief."Truckloads sometimes, and tons of blankets and food and um, other medical supplies were coming in," says volunteer, Bernie Hardinger.

As their trip progressed, the group saw refugees arriving in the area, "looking for help, looking for clothes, looking for food, whatever we had," says Berry.

A team member who stayed in Florida says some organizations have trouble distributing supplies because it gets stuck at the airport. She witnessed Mission Flights International effectively sending aid. She recommends donating to their organization.

Online Reporter: Elizabeth Fay

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