Church mission lends hand to HaitiPublished 1:53pm Thursday, February 4, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Charlene Pierson watches the footage of riots in the streets of Haiti and reads the headlines in the newspapers about people fighting over food and supplies, but that’s not the people she knows.
Pierson says from her experience of four short-term mission trips to Haiti through the Lifeline Christian Mission, she knows the true character of the Haitian people.
“It’s far from what you see in the news media,” she said. “They reach out to their neighbor first, before they look out for themselves. That’s just how they are. When you don’t have a lot, you tend to be a giving people, where we (Americans) need to think about it first.”
Pierson points to one moment when she was in Haiti passing out gifts to children that illustrates the true nature of the people of the ravaged country.
“One of the neatest things I’ve seen is a little boy who got a package of crackers in his gift bag,” she said. “Immediately what he does when he opens it up, is give the first one to his little sister.”
Pierson could not just sit around and watch the destruction in Haiti. So she and other members of Pleasant View Church of Christ in Cassopolis organized a fish fry fundraiser Friday to raise money for Lifeline.
The suggested donation for the event was $6.
“We just trusted the Lord to provide,” Pierson said. “Anything we raise is more than nothing. And you can feed a lot of kids with $6.”
Lifeline’s main base is in the village of Grand Goave, which is near Port-au-Prince.
At the base there are a line of benches near a wall, where children often sit during the day.
“When the earthquake hit, all the kids were (not on the benches),” Pierson said. “But if they had been there, that entire wall collapsed on those benches and they’d be dead. It was such a blessing.”
Pierson is also relieved that Danielette, a sixth grade girl she sponsors, is alive and healthy. She has sponsored Danielette for years and has even met her on her trips to Haiti. Pierson was able to buy the girl a sewing machine.
“Her father is a tailor,” Pierson said. “He will be able to teach her everything he knows. She’ll have a way of life.”
More than anything, Pierson wishes she could be in Haiti helping right now.
“I wish I could have been there and just hold a child for a mother, just give a cup of cold water,” she said. “You just cry with everybody. That’s all you can do.”