Reinbeck United Methodist Church, the Union Congregational Church of Christ, and New Life Assembly of God have joined forces to buy and build a house in the village of Hope in Haiti. Pastor Terry Plocher of the Reinbeck UMC says, "Interest and enthusiasm has been running very high for this project. I have had more people asking about this than any other mission project we have done. It has really captured the imagination of our community."
The homes that resemble 15' diameter grain bins, are being constructed by Global Compassion, a corporation founded by two Northwest Iowa farmers. The goal is to build 50 units to make up the "Village of Hope" near the southern coast of Haiti, giving at least 500 individuals a place to live. The state of Iowa as well as various farm organizations are also partnering to help. These include the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Cargill-Iowa Region and Monsanto.
Ken DeYoung, a farmer from Laurens in Northwest Iowa, has helped change the lives for the people affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. DeYoung along with two other men in Iowa, formed the corporation and have partnered with Sukup Mfg. out of Sheffield, Iowa, who manufactures modified grain bins that serve as the homes. So far, 23 have been constructed and 4 more completed by April 21, with another shipment of 13 expected to ship May 1. The homes have a double roof system to both reflect heat and catch fresh rain water for domestic use. The units cost $5,700 and are shipped unassembled. They are put together with hand tools by a team of four people in about eight hours. This is all volunteer labor by individuals who donate their time and resources to help.
DeYoung initially got involved because he owned an airplane and volunteered to help fly medicine, doctors and supplies in and out of Haiti when the earthquake hit. After 3 weeks at the end of his service, he was given the chance to see Haiti. He was moved to get more involved after seeing the current living conditions of the people, particularly the orphans.
Pastor Rob Saak of New Life says, "I had the opportunity to visit Haiti four months ago. I can tell you that the devastation is far reaching. I toured several tent cities & the idea of coming together as a community to help provide a home for even just one of these families is humbling."
For more information go to www.Globalcompassionnet.org or contact any of the three church offices.