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Friend Ships Integrity Continues Haiti Relief Efforts Supported by SMILE Founder & TBN Co-Founder, Jan Crouch
By J.Starbuck, WDC Media News
MIAMI, FLORIDA (April 30, 2010) – Over three months have passed since a massive, 7.0-magnitude earthquake ravaged Haiti on January 12th. Last month, the Friend Ships Integrity returned to the island nation with everything from food to forklifts…as well as TBN’s hope of organizing temporary shelter for the many homeless.
Dan York, network program director for Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Smile Of A Child Ministry’s (SOAC’s) executive administrative assistant, travelled ahead of the Integrity to Haiti. York was involved with the complicated logistics of organizing this type of relief effort.
“We met with Haiti’s prime minister – Jean-Max Bellerive – to determine where to set up temporary housing for those who lost their homes in the quake,” says York. “Relief is a work in progress, and this time out we planned building efforts for the future so that this type of aid can continue indefinitely.”
Friend Ships has been partnering with TBN and SOAC since 1992. SOAC supplies food, medical care, and disaster relief to people in need everywhere. Jan Crouch, SOAC founder and TBN co-founder, has over thirty years of personal involvement with Haiti. She established the Smile of A Child Children’s Hospital in Carrefour, Haiti, and continuously provides aid to several of the island nation’s orphanages and schools. “I’m so grateful to be in a position to provide help, and will continue to do so,” says Crouch.
SOAC funded this Friend Ship mission by covering the ship’s fuel and oil costs, as well as purchasing much-needed equipment such as forklifts and trucks. In January, Friend Ships transported four medical containers to Haiti. One is now being used by Fishers of Men Ministries International, led by Dr. Jay Threadgill; two others have become Haiti’s dental / medical unit and lab at Mission of Hope, led by Brad Johnson; and the fourth one will be operated by Friend Ships for any future needs in Haiti.
“We try to work closely with other aid groups in Haiti,” says York. “Getting relief workers networking within the country, and implementing communications between organizations, is one of the biggest challenges in missions of this kind. Networking is vital; getting the word out about other groups and what they’re doing is crucial.”
York believes that a streamline communications system connecting mission groups would increase the likelihood of aid going to those truly in need. Internet is available for most people, but – says York – a centralized online system would help tremendously. HaitiOne – founded by Mission of Hope – is currently working hard to centralize communications, and is already having great success.
“It takes everybody in the whole body of Christ working together to make a difference, and people need to talk more – communication and cooperation are the key to success for everyone involved,” says York.
For the Friend Ships, visit www.friendships.org, or call 1-337-433-5022; Mission of Hope and HaitiOne, go to www.mohhaiti.org and www.haitione.org; Fishers of Men Ministries, visit www.fomhaiti.org. For information on TBN, visit www.tbn.org.
-- Smile of a Child Ministry (SOAC) and Smile of a Child Children’s TV Network (SMILE)
Smile of a Child Ministry (SOAC) was founded in 1999 by Dr. Janice W. Crouch as a vehicle for helping children around the world. SOAC’s staff are unpaid volunteers, enabling funding to go directly to those in need. Since the 1970s, Dr. Crouch has been distributing toys – donated by various partners – to children everywhere. In addition to establishing a children’s hospital in Haiti, Dr. Crouch provides aid and disaster relief to several Haitian orphanages and schools, as well as to others in need throughout the world. Dr. Crouch received her NGO designation with the United Nations in 2009, as well as her ONG (organizational non-governmental) and foundation status in Haiti. SOAC helps fund the Smile of a Child Children’s TV Network (SMILE), part of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). SMILE offers quality Christian programming that helps children develop positive social and spiritual skills. For more on SMILE, go to www.smileofachildtv.org. For SOAC, go to www.smileofachild.org.
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