PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — When Trinity Broadcasting Network co-founder Jan Crouch first heard the heart-rending news of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that has to date taken over 150,000 lives and left multiplied millions of individuals and families hurting and homeless, her thoughts hearkened back to the day, over 25 years ago, when she first walked through Haiti’s desolate streets. Witnessing first-hand the misery and despair facing so many of the country’s people—particularly the children—changed her forever. “I had never seen such poverty in my whole life,” she recalled. “Children playing in gutters where the filthiest water I have ever seen sludged through—diseased children, crippled children, naked children, and most of all HUNGRY children.”
The unending need and anguish that assaulted her that day prompted Mrs. Crouch and her husband, TBN founder Dr. Paul Crouch, to launch Smile of a Child, an outreach that has established a hospital, orphanage, and school in Haiti, and which has taken food, clothing, medical help—and the hope of God’s love—to children and families all over the world.
And it is that same spirit of compassion that led the Crouches, immediately following news of the earthquake, to commit TBN’s broad-ranging broadcast and ministry initiative to the ongoing relief project in Haiti. That commitment began with an immediate contribution of $100,000 through Smile of a Child to Friend Ships, a compassion-focused ministry located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, that speeds emergency relief aid and medical expertise all over the world in its fleet of dedicated cargo/ministry ships.
One of those vessels, the Integrity, docked in Port-au-Prince on February 2nd, loaded with thousands of tons of emergency supplies that will be critical to the survival of the Haitian people in the days and months ahead. “For many years TBN has been an important partner in the work we have been doing all over the world,” said Sondra Tipton, who co-founded Friend Ships with her husband Don. “Immediately after the news came through of the earthquake and the desperate need of the people in Haiti, the Crouches and TBN were first in line with the resources Friend Ships needs to launch a quick response.”
Integrity’s arrival in Haiti was preceded by more than two weeks of intense activity at Port Mercy, Friend Ships’ home base in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where a small army of volunteers worked nearly non-stop to pack the vessel’s massive hull. In addition to food, water, medicine, and medical equipment, the ship was loaded with supplies like hundreds of thousands of feet of vinyl sheeting for emergency shelters, tents, sleeping bags, clothing, vehicles, fuel, and even a Bell JetRanger helicopter donated by the Crouches during Friend Ships’ response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Along with the other vehicles, that chopper will be used to shuttle medical personnel and other emergency responders to points of need.
Paul Crouch Jr., son of TBN’s founders and the network’s Chief of Staff, said that part of the assistance TBN sent came in the form of three 13,000 pound electrical generators used over the years for filming movies and other projects on location, including the popular TBN-produced films Megiddo and Omega Code. The generators, which were trucked from Los Angeles and loaded on to the Integrity, will be used in part to power eight mobile medical units set up by Friend Ships to treat the injured and sick in Haiti.
Don Tipton emphasized that in the weeks and months ahead, support from concerned individuals, families, churches, and communities will be crucial. “TBN has been by our side as we loaded the Integrity with this first shipment of emergency supplies,” he said. “But we will need continued support in order to purchase and supply our ongoing operation in Haiti with the food, water, fuel, medical supplies, and other emergency relief that will be in continual demand for the foreseeable future.”
He said that donations individuals and groups make through TBN will enable Friend Ships to load more vessels and take them to Haiti again and again with supplies as well as medical and emergency personnel. “The supplies and expertise we can provide are going to be needed more than ever in the weeks and months ahead,” he said. “This is going to be an ongoing project for a long time.”
To make a donation through TBN to Friend Ships’ Haiti relief effort, simply log on to www.tbn.org, and click on the banner that says, “Help Us Provide Relief in Haiti.”
“Every dollar, every prayer, every effort we make right now is vital, and could well mean the difference between life and death for someone waiting for help in Haiti, Jan Crouch. “We are, literally, God’s hands of hope to these people. And we want to be found faithful.”
About Trinity Broadcasting Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is the world’s largest religious network and America’s most watched and requested faith channel. Each day TBN offers 24 hours of commercial-free inspirational programming that appeals to viewers from a wide variety of denominations and backgrounds. Beginning in 1973 as a single UHF station in southern California, TBN now reaches every major continent via 70 satellites and more than 15,000 television and cable affiliates worldwide. In the United States, TBN is available to 92 percent of the total households. In addition to TBN, the network owns and operates seven networks, including the Church Channel, JCTV youth network, Enlace TBN USA Spanish language network, and Smile of a Child children’s network. For more information on TBN, visit www.tbn.org and www.tbnnetworks.com.
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