The following is an account from Evens Jean, a social worker and missionary, and Pastor Tom Pokorni of the Community Christian Church (CCC). Evens Jean recently visited his homeland Haiti to provide relief support along with colleagues Pastor Eddy Gervais of CCC, Pastor Tom Pokorni, Founder of Agape Force - Miami, and Mr. Michael Nozile, Executive Director of Gang Alternative, a ministry of CCC. Jean and Pokorni shares their journey and photos with Media Make Change in hopes of raising awareness about the devastation in Haiti. With this account, they provides us with another perspective not too much highlighted within the mainstream media; one based solely on hope, love, and inspiration.
Many thanks for your prayers during my trip to Haiti! It was a long, emotionally draining week, but now I’m safely in back Miami.
We flew into Santo Domingo last Saturday and endured a bumpy, 8-hour bus ride to Port-au-Prince. What we saw there left us drained and sobered. The pictures on TV hadn’t prepared us for the squalor and poverty we encountered.
Hundreds of thousands of families have lost everything. Block after block, buildings are flattened, like the Ministry of Transportation and Communication government building. Over a million people are now living in tents, which are often little more than sheets stretched over sticks. I shutter to think of what will happen when the rainy season begins in a few months.
During the week we saw almost no food distribution by any agencies on the ground. But we were able to give more than $9,000 in cash directly to victims of the earthquake, and distribute medical supplies. I was constantly amazed at the resiliency of the Haitian people. I don’t know how they’re able to pick up the few pieces left of their lives and continue to go on, but they are. They will.
In truth, things are so bad that if I didn’t know God I would say there is no hope for Haiti. Every government building is crumbled, and millions of people have no jobs, no hope for jobs, no visible assistance, no working government, and no food – nothing.
But I have faith in God, and it is because of this faith that makes me want to do more for Haiti. I am praying for God’s direction so that I can be as effective as possible in helping rebuild Haiti. I think that with my background in social work, education, and missions, I am uniquely qualified to help shape a new Haiti in some small way. I pray that God will open the right door(s), and covet the prayers from others around the world.
As Haiti slips out of the news headlines, I humbly ask that you keep our brothers and sisters in your thoughts and prayers. We've got a long way to go to rebuild lives and restore land, but I believe when all is said and done, the world will know a new and better Haiti.
If you would like more information about donating to Haiti, please visit www.cccmiami.org and click on the link "Donation For Haiti." Thank you very much for your assistance. May God continue to bless you and Media Make Change.
Evens Jean was born and raised in Les Cayes, Haiti, which is situated southwest of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. In 1996, at the age of thirteen, he moved to Miami with his family. After college, Jean worked as a Case Worker for two years mostly serving a large community of Haitians in Miami. He now works as a Youth Development Specialist & Life Coach for HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) of Broward County. Jean is a member of the Community Christian Church and regularly travels with the church to Haiti, where he and others provide support and relief for children and families in surrounding areas.
Evens Jean holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida State University.
If you or someone else would like to share your story, or find out more ways to get involved with relief efforts, please visit Project Haiti Speaks.