Local mission hurries to rebuild Haiti

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "We're really looking at that property," says Michelle Browder.

Her office is full of memories from her trip to Haiti.  And while most of them are good, others aren't.

"You could still smell the stench from bodies," she says.

Browder and members of the Montgomery Rescue Mission knew the trip would be emotionally and physically hard.

But they went with a purpose.

"We found some property," says Browder.

The mission sponsors an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince.  It was completely destroyed in the earthquake.

All the children survived, but conditions are rough.

"They're just staying in a house right now, well outside of a house.  They're sleeping on the ground."

Tents are the only thing keeping the kids out of the elements.

"When the rains come, that's where the danger is going to come because you know, they can be washed away," says Browder.

It's one reason she and her team are anxious to get back.

But even the pilots who got them in say flying into Haiti is dangerous.

"You got airplanes all over the place and you're in the path of other airplanes," says pilot Ron Mays.

But it's a risk they're willing to take again to keep the smiles on kids' faces.

"For the most part, they're happy, they're playing ball in the streets--playing basketball and soccer.  So they're resilient," adds Browder.

She says while the kids seem joyful, there's still counseling available for them.

The new orphanage will offer schooling and worship opportunities as well.

Browder says they're planning another trip in March to deliver building materials.

Members hope to open the new orphanage in June.

So far they've raised $15,000 dollars, but need $200,000 to pay for the building.

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