Tuesday, January 11, 2011

HAITI: A Report From Sweet Sleep’s President and Founder, Jen Gash

On January 12, 2010, an earthquake forever changed Haiti and the lives of those who call it home. It also changed the work that Sweet Sleep does there.

Sweet Sleep’s work in Haiti began simply yet in response to an emergency. In 2008, Haiti suffered from one hurricane after another. As a result of hurricanes and driving rains, a mountain on the coastal town of Jacmel essentially slide into the earth below---burying an orphanage that sat in its shadow. The call for help went out. Sweet Sleep responded by giving beds to a dozen little ones that Christmas.

Scarcely more than a year later, the unimaginable happened. The lives of, and ministry to, the people of Haiti changed forever. Immediately, Sweet Sleep mobilized itself and---with the help of friends and partners like you---our swift emergency response provided 5,400 pounds of food; 2,111 Bibles; 5,574 articles of children’s clothing and shoes; over 7,400 medical items; 12,236 baby wipes, 16,268 diapers and 6,034 bedding units.

Today marks the first of many hard anniversaries yet to come. It also marks a milestone where we can look back and see the impact Sweet Sleep is making in the lives of the country’s youngest survivor’s.

Sweet Sleep has been diligently working to show God’s concern for the orphaned children in Haiti. Dozens of people joined Sweet Sleep’s teams last year. Countless numbers of you have prayed for Haiti. Through our monthly prayer updates and in churches across the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia children and youth have been led through our “Build-a-Bed” and “INSOMNIA” events, which we’ve customized for Haiti.

In post-quake Haiti, Haitians struggle to find jobs in order to provide for their families. Sweet Sleep has two Haitian staff and employs a handful of other Haitians who manufacture our beds. Empowering people in the communities where we work is one of our core values. In Haiti, it’s not just a value; it’s a necessity.

Within the first two months of the earthquake, Sweet Sleep provided 6,034 beds. As children have resettled into newly rebuilt orphanages, Sweet Sleep has provided an additional 1,585 beds, bringing the total number of beds we’ve provided to orphans since the earthquake to 7,619.

We welcome you to join us as we continue providing beds to the thousands of orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti. Our work will be marked by many milestones yet to come. Be a part of it. Join us on a trip to share love, hope and comfort to Haiti’s orphans. For trip dates, click here. To provide comfort, health and love by giving an orphan a place to sleep, click here.

Thank you for your continued support of our work in Haiti. Together, we're rebuilding children's lives in Haiti.


Jen Gash
President and Founder

P.S. As we remember Haiti today, I invite you to join me in a time of prayer this afternoon. Our friends and partners at the Christian Alliance for Orphans have put together a one-hour virtual prayer gathering beginning at 3 pm CST (4 pm EST). Anyone can attend – so tell your friends. We hope you’ll join us from the comfort of your own chair as we help guide you through different areas of prayer for Haiti. Registration is required, and you can do so here. You’ll be given a simple user code to sign into the online prayer time where you’ll find resources for this time of prayer which we’ve prepared. If you're not around a computer or phone, please be sure to take a moment to lift up our friends in Haiti in prayer today.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Haiti: A Time of Prayer

Next Wednesday marks the 1-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake.

Whether or not you are a person of prayer, so many times it is our human nature to reach out to God in our desperate times. For many in Haiti, THIS is still their desperate time. They've been reaching out to God for months and need you to intercede on their behalf.

Below is an opportunity for you to take part in a "virtual" prayer gathering next Wednesday afternoon. You don't have to go anywhere or do anything, besides "click" and then be still.

Last February, in response to the quake, The Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) organized the Haiti Orphan Relief Team (HORT). As a member of HORT, I traveled to Haiti to assess the needs of the orphaned children and implement a long-term plan to meet their needs. Several of those advocates, including myself, will be leading you through this time of prayer.

I hope you can join us. Read on for a word from CAFO President, Jedd Medefind and then follow the link to register (registering will enable you to have the web address to go to for the event).

Virtual Prayer Gathering
Written By: Jedd Medefind, President of The Christian Alliance for Orphans

January 12th will mark one year since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Those few moments and their aftermath took hundreds of thousands of lives, left many more homeless, and affected countless children in profound and permanent ways, including leaving many as orphans. The eye of the media has largely moved on to other stories, but the need in Haiti remains as pressing as ever.

Of course, there are as many unique callings and places to serve as there are Christians in the world. We certainly should not feel guilty that we can’t all focus on Haiti. But still, if we felt ache and anguish in the days following the earthquake, we would do well not to quickly forget. To do so merely mirrors the world’s sad and harmful pattern: to feel deeply yet act little and persevere even less.

The true disciple of Christ consistently matches compassionate emotion with both loving action and loving perseverance, just as the Good Samaritan both cared for the wounded traveler and also promised to return later to cover his future medical bills. Even if our primary calling is to Russia or Cambodia or foster youth in the U.S., we can remain faithful in prayer to Haiti.

I’m tremendously thankful that Scott Vair and the others at World Orphans felt a desire to gather Christians virtually on the earthquakes’ anniversary to pray for Haiti. We invite you to join with us and others members of the Christian Alliance for Orphans community on January 12th, 2011 at 4:00pm EST for one hour via “webinar.” Led by a number of orphan advocates, we will be praying together for the country of Haiti, for stability and integrity in its government, for ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts, for the Haitian church, and for the children of Haiti we all care about so much.

Registration is required, and you can do so today here.

Thanks, friends. If you have questions or problems, call our Sweet Sleep office at 615-730-7671 and we'll help you.