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10 Years after the Earthquake: Comfort in Tragedy, Hope in Despair

Photo: “Listening to Radio 4VEH was such a comfort and an encouragement”. A woman recovering from spinal injuries after the earthquake listens to 4VEH on a solar radio delivered by 4VEH staff, along with food, to a local makeshift hospital.

January 12, 2010, remains painfully etched in Haiti’s collective memory as the day when everything changed.

At 4:53 p.m., the ground shook violently. Within seconds, homes and schools were flattened; the National Palace crumbled. The death toll was heavy, the number of casualties more than the weak health system could cope with. Hundreds of thousands sought refuge in temporary tent-cities, staying for many months. It remains one of the world’s deadliest natural disasters.

Though the devastation was concentrated around the capital city, nearly every Haitian lost someone on that day. In the days, weeks and months after that terrible day, donors helped 4VEH stay on the air, giving generously to buy fuel for generators so that we could speak words of hope, help and healing to a traumatized and grieving nation.

Many other radio stations were damaged in the quake, unable to broadcast. Radio 4VEH facilities, located away from the epicenter, were not affected.

With our far-reaching AM station, reaching further than any other radio station in Haiti, 4VEH connected people across the country and in Haitian communities around the world with news and messages like this one, from two brothers:

“We’re in Port-au-Prince … to our parents or anyone listening to Radio 4VEH in St Louis … we want to say we’re alive!”

Presenters shared practical help, and shared God’s message of hope, standing on His eternal truths, clinging to Him as our comforter, praising Him in all circumstances, praying for each other in Jesus’ name. With help from global media ministry partner TWR, we offered programs aired within the most affected areas providing trauma and grief counseling.

Praise rising from the rubble

4VEH also shared a different story, on the air to Haitians and through friends and supporters, to a watching world … a story not reported in international news headlines, a story of praise rising up out of the rubble. A story of the faithful in Haiti boldly proclaiming Jesus as Lord. A story of many Haitians turning toward the Savior, our only hope.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Cor 1: 3-4 (NIV)

[Previously published in 4VEH’s 65th Anniversary publication, Deep and Wide]

January 12, 2020 – please pray for: 

  • special programs on 4VEH with testimonies from survivors and those who lost loved ones. Pray these programs will minister to others who are watching and listening.
  • educational programs on 4VEH, with teaching and discussion on why the earthquake of January 12, 2010 was so devastating in Haiti, current and future risks and what needs to change for the future.
  • healing of physical and emotional wounds that linger 10 years on
  • the Lord’s help in Haiti’s current political and economic challenges