Local News

Triangle women lend hands, hearts to Haiti

Posted January 15, 2012

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Fifteen women from four Triangle churches marked the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti this week by spending time with children there, as the island nation continues to recover from disaster.

The missionary group volunteered at the Hearts and Hands Children's Home in Gonaives. 

"Our primary purpose was just to go love on the children," said volunteer Lisa Jensen.

Hearts and Hands for Haiti is a Raleigh-based charity that serves children at the home. Members of the Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh sponsor children by sending them money and supplies.

With 70 children and just four adult caregivers, Jensen said, "there are limitations as to how much time and attention you can give the children."

So the trip focused on the children, showering them with attention and love as they face the ruin around them.

"You want to bring them home. You want to give them the same experience that I've given my own children," Jensen said.

Triangle church group returns from Haiti mission Triangle church group returns from Haiti mission

Seeing the conditions in Haiti first-hand made saying goodbye all the more difficult, she said. The group returned to North Carolina this weekend.

"I was disappointed in the lack of rebuilding that has taken place," said LuAnn Charlton, associate pastor at Hayes Barton United Methodist.

She had traveled to Haiti before. In fact, she was there the day the earthquake hit.

Two years later, she said, not much has changed.

"We saw tent cities where a few tents have been removed, but for the most part, they are intact," she said. "People are still living just as they were right after the earthquake."

17 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • lisa15 Jan 17, 3:32 p.m.

    Wow! Shocked at my neighbors for being critical of these women going to Haiti to spread love. The article & news piece is short out of necessity so it doesn't tell of the many supplies brought in by this group. It doesn't have time to share that this is a Raleigh BASED organization who hires HAITIANS to run the program locally, hires Haitian caregivers, teachers & other staff. No Americans are permanently in country. As for the evangelizing, we did attend services but in no way was there any unwanted solicitation of Christianity. We were invited to churches. We held a service where invitations were extended to women who are not always held in high regard in Haiti. They deserved to hear a message that they were valuable & loved. Lastly, is it so wrong to visit and connect with those we extend our assistance to? Writing a check is the only way to help? The plane between Miami and Haiti is FILLED with American teams, medical, building, etc., extending ourselves to this country in need.

  • airunc Jan 17, 10:11 a.m.

    Pointless squabbling- definitely. Perhaps some less than optimal words used in this interview, yes. -but that does not take away people volunteering to do outreach and mission to others in need. Period. Let's show at least a little compassion here.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 16, 3:56 p.m.

    This type of squabbling is pointless.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 16, 3:54 p.m.

    "what help did they do?"

    Already addressed.

    "and lots of secular organizations and Nation States do far far more than any churches and they don't insult the locals by evangelizing either."

    Oh big government of course nothing is more efficient. Governments take our money and wast it with out our permission. When we give to organizations we can give to those that spend it wisely.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 16, 3:50 p.m.

    "I notice you don't actually so it not to be true."

    Ah what?

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 16, 3:48 p.m.

    So how many teachers would these ladies airfare and accommodation costs have employed 3? 6?

    A. They are doing more than that, please read the article.

    "Hearts and Hands for Haiti is a Raleigh-based charity that serves children at the home. Members of the Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh sponsor children by sending them money and supplies."

    And yes the the author could have given more information about this but we hear what we want to.

    B. It's very important to encourage people to see first hand the needs as these people often come back to help ever so much more.

  • haggis basher Jan 16, 3:07 p.m.

    "Another really good local charity for Haiti is family health ministries. For 360 dollars a year one can support and educate a child. For some where around 1,500 a year one can provide a teacher for a classroom. It seems impossible to me to get better value for one's donations than that."

    So how many teachers would these ladies airfare and accommodation costs have employed 3? 6?

  • haggis basher Jan 16, 3:06 p.m.

    "A. That statement is simply not true and show bias. But certainly no other statements from haggis basher have been biased against Christians..."

    I notice you don't actually so it not to be true. Whilst I'm sure the kids appreciated the attention and the hugs....what else did these women do other than evangelise?

    "B. Christians seem to be about the only people interested in helping Haiti for the long run. Not to bring attention to Christians but why all the negativity every time WRAL runs a story about Christians helping others?"

    what help did they do? and lots of secular organizations and Nation States do far far more than any churches and they don't insult the locals by evangelizing either.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 16, 2:51 p.m.

    I certainly don't have a problem with saving souls when helping in the here and now. Provide help however/through what ever means one wants to but what is most important is helping those in need.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 16, 1:48 p.m.

    68_Dodge_Polara asked, "...why all the negativity every time WRAL runs a story about Christians helping others?"

    Read my post and you will know. Unless Christian leave their Bibles and preaching at home...their visit is not about "helping others". The definition of "missionary" flies in the face of altruism.

    Haiti doesn't needs help, not more religious people. It needs "Doctors Without Borders". www.doctorswithoutborders.org

More...