EDITOR’S NOTE: To see a video about the devastation in Haiti and how you can help with relief efforts, go to
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BP)–“It’s a miracle from God,” exclaimed Joel Trimble, a Haiti for Christ missionary on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince after two truckloads of food, water, fuel and medical supplies arrived in his driveway Sunday evening, Jan. 17, thanks to the perseverance of a Mississippi Baptist pastor.
Two days earlier, Trimble had told the Fox News Channel how he, his fellow missionaries and local co-workers at two orphanages housing approximately 150 children were desperate for food, medical supplies and fuel for generators. Thankfully, the Trimbles’ home and the orphanages were not badly damaged.
Meanwhile, Southern Baptist Tim Dortch, bivocational pastor at Good Hope Baptist Church in Camden, Miss., who has been ministering to Haitians and traveling in and out of that country for the past 15 years, had been trying to come to grips with the magnitude of the disaster. After hearing news reports that the death toll from the Jan. 12 earthquake could reach hundreds of thousands of people, Dortch broke down in tears — and prayer.
“That night I prayed to God that He would show me what to do,” Dortch said. “God’s given me a heart for Haiti.”
The next morning, Dortch contacted the International Mission Board to see how he could help. An IMB media team was planning to travel to Haiti to report on the quake damage and efforts to help victims.
A few years ago, Dortch built a compound in the Dominican Republic to help start churches among Haitians and Dominicans. The compound is located about an hour from the border with Haiti.
Dortch offered to travel with the team and give them access to the compound. The pastor also assembled eight bags of medical supplies and collected donations from fellow Southern Baptists to purchase water, food and fuel once he arrived in the Dominican Republic.
That evening, he saw the Trimbles being interviewed on TV. Within the hour, he tracked down the couple through their website and contacted them when their phone line happened to be working. He told them he’d have a couple of drums of diesel fuel and supplies to them within 48 hours.
The next morning Dortch boarded a plane in Jackson, Miss., to meet the team and fly to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where many relief providers are landing because the airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed. The team rode for three hours on a bus before arriving at Dortch’s compound near the Haiti-Dominican Republic border early Sunday morning. Later that morning the team loaded two trucks with supplies they had purchased and headed across the border into Haiti.
They met the Trimbles about five hours later, giving them some of the supplies. Their son shared the supplies with co-workers in the city for help in distributing them.
One local relief worker responded with appreciation, saying, “We didn’t know what we were going to give to the people tomorrow morning.”
“This is truly a miracle of God,” Trimble said. “It has been amazing how God has brought together so many things and answered prayers, even small prayers.
“We were in desperate need for fuel. It took nine hours for some of our men to find 56 gallons.”
For Dortch, the safe trip also was an answer to prayer.
“I just did what God told me to do,” said Dortch, glad that he was able to get supplies to the Trimbles in 49 hours, just one hour longer than he had estimated.
Alan James, a writer for the International Mission Board, is on special assignment in Haiti.
Southern Baptists can contribute to “Haiti Earthquake Disaster Relief” through their local church or directly to their state convention, the North American Mission Board (www.namb.net) or the International Mission Board (www.imb.org):
— Initial funding for the relief effort will come from the International Mission Board’s disaster relief fund. Contributions can be made online, www.imb.org, or by mail, International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230.
— The North American Mission Board has set up a Haiti disaster relief fund that will direct money to state conventions and other Southern Baptists who are doing relief work in Haiti. Donations may be made online, www.NAMB.net, by phone, 1-866-407-6262, or by mail, North American Mission Board, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Make checks payable to “Haiti Disaster Relief Fund/NAMB.”
Regardless of the SBC channel, all funds received for this purpose will go to relief efforts; none will be used for administrative costs.