By Ashley A. Jones –
In an effort to reach out and provide assistance to Haiti earthquake victims, Dr. Reginald L. Woods and staff of Life Changing Ministries in San Bernardino visited Haiti from February 17-26, 2010 to offer humanitarian aid. Other So Cal churches to join their effort by donating funds were Dr. John Woods, Jr., Pastor, Praise Christian Center of Montclair, Ca and Pastor Larry Weaver, Atherton Baptist Church in Hawthorne, Ca.
On January 12, 2010, over 2.3 million Haitians were affected by a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake resulting in the destruction of the impoverished nation. The 35-second earthquake injured thousands of individuals and contributed to a death toll surpassing 100,000.
Haiti’s estimated population is 9,035,536. Of this figure, 95% of the population is Black and the remaining 5% are White and mulatto.
Senior Pastor Dr. Woods and staff members Minister/Evangelist Juanita Jackson and Deaconess Saundra Birdsong arrived in Santiago, Dominican Republic on February 17, 2010 where they were met by their host and transported to Cap Haitian, Haiti. Cap Haitian is north of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. According to Dr. Woods, the primary purpose of the visit was to provide assistance and support to the Haitians, as well as to encourage them by letting them know more help would be on the way.
“Haiti was already in great need prior to the earthquake. The infrastructure, the government, the roads, everything about it screamed out poverty and distress. It was definitely going to take international help because they were not in a position to help themselves,” said Dr. Woods.
The group met with local Cap Haitian Pastor Ecclesias Donation of the Tabernacle of Praise, who led the group to the earthquake site and other surrounding cities within the country. The group had the opportunity to meet with the Haitians and assess their needs.
“The Haitian people were warm but some were reserved. They definitely appreciated our care and concern,” said Dr. Woods.
“The biggest thing they need is prayer. They need God’s intervention. And second of all, they need a government leadership that will be accountable. They’ve had corrupt leadership for so long. The U.S.A has given Haiti over a billion dollars of support but the nation doesn’t show it, that’s the problem. Where is all the money going? Well the money has been going to the pockets of the politicians,” said Dr. Woods.
According to Dr. Woods, the nation is greatly in need of global support. Specifically, the Haitians need monetary and technological support. “They need to develop an infrastructure that would meet modern society standards. Other nations have had powerful earthquakes but have not been as devastated because they have a better infrastructure,” said Dr. Woods.
“The greatest thing I received from the visit was the opportunity to bond my heart with the people of Haiti. Also, I’ve come back and have found myself serving as an ambassador, speaking about their needs and also having received several thousands of dollars from people to channel back to Haiti and I will be retuning personally as well as taking people that desire to go,” said Dr. Woods.
Since the visit to Haiti, Life Changing Ministries has had the opportunity to host Pastor Ecclesias Donation and other key stakeholders in Haiti including a young candidate running for 2010 presidency in Haiti. Additionally, Dr. Woods has visited multiple organizations to deliver an oral presentation of the visit and have submitted funds to Haiti on behalf of several organizations. Currently, LCM is assisting pastor Donation and his staff in building a well 15 miles from Cap Haitian to provide water and crops to 350 school children.
“In summary, I’d say that we all need to live to give. That is, live beyond ourselves. The Bible says it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I would encourage every Christian, every human being to look beyond their own needs and be concerned about the needs of others. Life is more fulfilling when we are a blessing to others and not focused solely on our own needs,” said Dr. Woods.
To learn more about joining LCM’s effort to support Haiti, please contact the church at (909) 882-2337. You may also contact the church if you would like to have more information about receiving an oral presentation of LCM’s visit to Haiti from Dr. Woods. The church’s website is located at lifecm.org.
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