Last year I traveled to Tanzania with Thirst Relief to document photos for their organization. It was trip that I will never forget and this past week, I had an opportunity to go on another unforgettable trip – this time to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. As we most of you all know, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010 that nearly destroyed the entire capital city of Haiti in Port-Au-Prince. Many already-established organizations around the globe stepped up to help the Haitians recover from this tragedy. Some organizations were created in response to this disaster. One of those NGO was Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago and Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. These two individuals believed that the hope of any country that has been hit with natural disaster should come from their own community and by empowering the local churches within that disaster area, you empower the local people within that community internally. My college friend, Thomas Kim was hired by them to be the executive director for this project. Since this past March, we have been trying to organize a time where we can go out there together to document photos to help convey the message to people back home in the U.S.
We were finally able to pencil out a week to make this trip possible. I also teamed with my other photographer buddy Kenny Nakai (acting as a videographer) to travel 2000 miles down to the Caribbean to meet up with Thomas who has already there for two weeks.
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to go down there at first because it had been over 8 months since the disaster. I thought to myself that there would be nothing left to document since all the debris and rubble have been surely cleaned up by now. Boy was I wrong! The country looked like it was hit by an earthquake last week! During our four days in the heart of Haiti, Thomas, Kenny Nakai and I, along with Jacque & Johny (the local pastors that acted as our guide) traveled to different parts of Port-Au-Prince and visited various ministries and local groups. While Thomas was in meetings, Kenny and I got to document the condition of Haiti. Later on this year, we plan to come out with a book and a video presentation which Churches Helping Churches will be using to help convey the message of Haiti to the people here in the U.S.
Here are some photos that I captured during my time in Haiti. For sake of download time, I have chosen to put about 20 photos here on my blog. To view my entire 80+ images, please visit my facebook gallery. I have mentioned this before, but going on trips like this benefits in both ways. I am thankful that I can give my time and services to better help this country. But more than that, I return a better person learning so much more from their Haitians about various life lessons. I’m so thankful that I got to go on this trip and I hope you can experience what I saw through these photos.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions after viewing these images. May you continue to pray for Haiti and the people there. Thank you.
Bondye Beni Ayiti means God bless Haiti in Creole, their official language. If you are interested in finding out more about Churches Helping Churches, please visit their website at: http://www.churcheshelpingchurches.org. You can also follow them on twitter @churcheshelping.
I also like to take this time to thank the following sponsors that have stepped up to help support this project: Asuka books, Photographer’s Edit and Pixel2Canvas. An impact of a project is always greater when others partner up for things like this.