Devastation in Haiti hits close to home for local non-profit

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Haiti is bracing for more trouble as a tropical depression is expected to hit the Caribbean island nation Monday evening.

This comes just days after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of Haiti, leaving more than 1,400 people dead.

The devastation is hitting close to home in KELOLAND.

Mission-Haiti is a Sioux Falls-based non-profit that works with the people of southern Haiti.

The main arm of the organization’s ministry is education, but they work in other areas, too.

Haiti holds a special place in Isaac Jorgensen’s heart.

Not only has the Mission-Haiti development director gone on mission trips there, but he and his wife Chelsea even called it home for about three years.

“We just felt that’s where the lord was calling us to live,” Mission-Haiti development director Isaac Jorgensen said.

He found out about the earthquake over the weekend.

“Since then it’s just been trying to get updates and hear about people that we know and care about and what kind of devastation it caused in our area,” Jorgensen said.

Leanne Vis is also part of the Mission-Haiti family.

She’s traveled there four times.

She calls the current situation “very heartbreaking.”

“When you are in Haiti and you’re walking alongside the Haitians, their love for Jesus and their enthusiasm is something you cannot look past, so when they are continually working to better themselves and make a better place for themselves there it’s so hard to see these things happen to them and watch them have to take a step backwards in order to start trying rebuilding in a country where they have little to begin with,” Leanne Vis with Mission-Haiti said.

The nation has suffered other deadly natural disasters in recent years, including a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010.

“We take steps forward each day with helping and walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Haiti and then something like this out of your control will force you to take steps back and that’s frustrating and sad for people that are so passionate and work so hard to try to get themselves out of this situation that Haiti’s been in for so many years,” Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen’s wife and several others from the region are in Haiti now, and they’re all safe.

He’s asking for prayers for the people of Haiti.

You can also donate to earthquake relief by going to Mission-Haiti’s website.

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