Published January 28, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BP) — “It’s a miracle from God,” exclaimed Joel Trimble, a Haiti for Christ missionary on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince after two truckloads of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies arrived in his driveway Sunday evening, Jan. 17, thanks to the perseverance of a Mississippi Baptist pastor.
Two days earlier, Trimble had told the Fox News Channel how he, his fellow missionaries, and local co-workers at two orphanages housing approximately 150 children were desperate for food, medical supplies, and fuel for generators. Thankfully, the Trimbles’ home and the orphanages were not badly damaged.
Meanwhile, Southern Baptist Tim Dortch, bivocational pastor at Good Hope Baptist Church in Camden, Miss., who has been ministering to Haitians and traveling in and out of that country for the past 15 years, had been trying to come to grips with the magnitude of the disaster. After hearing news reports that the death toll from the Jan. 12 earthquake could reach hundreds of thousands of people, Dortch broke down in tears – and prayer.
“That night I prayed to God that He would show me what to do,” Dortch said. “God’s given me a heart for Haiti.”
The next morning, Dortch contacted the International Mission Board to see how he could help. An IMB media team was planning to travel to Haiti to report on the quake damage and relief efforts.
A few years ago, Dortch built a compound in the Dominican Republic to help start churches among Haitians and Dominicans. The compound is located about an hour from the border with Haiti.
Dortch offered to travel with the team and give them access to the compound. The pastor also assembled eight bags of medical supplies and collected donations from fellow Southern Baptists to purchase water, food, and fuel once he arrived in the Dominican Republic.
That evening, he saw the Trimbles being interviewed on TV. Within the hour, he tracked down the couple through their website and contacted them when their phone line happened to be working. He told them he’d have diesel fuel and supplies to them within 48 hours.
The next morning Dortch boarded a plane in Jackson, Miss., to meet the team and fly to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where many relief providers are landing because the airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed. The team rode for three hours on a bus before arriving at Dortch’s compound early Sunday morning. Later that morning the team loaded two trucks with supplies they had purchased and headed across the border into Haiti.They met the Trimbles about five hours later.
“We were in desperate need for fuel,” said Trimble. “It took nine hours for some of our men to find 56 gallons.”
For Dortch, the safe trip also was an answer to prayer.
“I just did what God told me to do,” said Dortch, glad that he was able to get supplies to the Trimbles in 49 hours, just one hour longer than he had estimated.
Alan James is a writer for the International Mission Board.
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