Photo supplied. Delmas, Port-au-Prince: Joseph Furbert, Pastor Joshua Samuels, and team bring hope on a backdrop of despair in the ravines.
Photo supplied. Delmas, Port-au-Prince: Joseph Furbert, Pastor Joshua Samuels, and team bring hope on a backdrop of despair in the ravines.
This week on our trip to Haiti we'll go to the "ravines", valleys in the mountains where the poorest of the poor live in the Delmas section of Port-au-Prince.

The ravines are a rather close community, where people live in very small structures, some formed from concrete blocks, others out of tin mixed with rocks, but all constructed as a place of shelter for the family.

In order for our Bermudian group to enter the ravines, they had to travel down steep pathways filled with rocks and debris from the earthquake.

Sylvan Richards of Allied World Assurance reflected: "I have visited many poor areas and ghettos in various locations in the Dominican Republic, but this was poverty on a new level."

But here, in this forgotten part of Haiti, we found the most moving stories contrasting desperation and hope.

Four years ago a group from Cornerstone visited the ravines. We met a family with a unique story - and a baby named Moses.

The five-month old boy was not born of the woman he would come to know as "mom". His real mother had abandoned him in a trash pile!

Although struggling to care for her own five children, his new mom rescued him and took him home as one of her own.

She named him "Moses", which means "to draw out." She drew him not out of water, but out of a trash pile! On our recent trip to Haiti we were thrilled to visit and see his progress in four years.

During our five-year relationship with Haiti we've built "heart" relationships with others like Moses' mom.

Sylvan shared one from the recent trip: "As I walked among the ravines, comforting and encouraging people, we encountered a young man in his twenties, sitting on a stoop outside of one of the houses.

As we approached him, he looked up at us and we discovered that he was shaking from a high fever. He told us of his severe fever and how ill he was. Because we were there to provide hope rather than medicine all we could do was hold his hands and pray with him.

As we prayed I felt the shaking in his hands diminish and within minutes the man reported in amazement how good he was feeling. Then he asked if he could walk with us!

As a means of showing his gratitude for our time and comfort, he stayed with us as our translator from English to French Creole as we visited from house to house for over an hour as we brought comfort to others in the ravines."

Viewing the magnitude of devastation, clearly there is much to be done and we find ourselves asking, "What difference can I make in a country where there is such need?"

Here's our answer. A boy and his father walked along a beach and saw thousands of starfish scattered over the shore, stranded by a fierce storm the night before.

The father explained that the starfish would soon die because they'd been out of the water for so long. The boy frantically began to throw starfish back into the water, one by one.

The man looked at his son and said: "Son, it's not going to make a difference - you can't save these starfish!"

The boy, ignoring his father, quickly bent over and threw another one in the water. He looked up at his father with sincerity and replied, "It made a difference to that one!"

We realized that, with some minor construction projects in the ravines, it's possible to impact a life, a family, a community, one at a time.

These projects would help save children from malaria and help protect their lives with a more secure dwelling, especially in the rainy season.

Prior to Cornerstone Foundation's next trip to Haiti, Lyndon Black will organize a pre-construction assessment team to assess, prepare and streamline the construction projects that our volunteers will build to help one family at a time.

Luke 12:18 states that if we are in a state of abundance we should make in impact, even if what we have seems small and insignificant, "...When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."

Determine in your heart today to be a life changer... even if it is "only" one life at a time.

We want to thank all who support Cornerstone Foundation and the Bermuda teams who realize that we cannot reach everyone, but we can make a difference in the lives of the people of Haiti... one person... one family.... one village at a time.

To learn more about Cornerstone Foundation's Operation Rescue in Haiti visit www.cfbermuda.org today.