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Rock Solid Assembly's dollars feed Haitian children

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

(Photo contributed) Dan Krause, pastor at Rock Solid Assembly, in Le Mars, visited an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in October. Krause traveled with representatives from Convoy of Hope, a children's feeding program, to see how dollars donated by Rock Solid Assembly, following the 2010 earthquake, were used.
Le Mars Pastor Dan Krause witnessed the devastating effect the 2010 earthquake had in Haiti first-hand during a recent visit.

In October, Krause, pastor of Rock Solid Assembly church, traveled to Port-au-Prince with representatives from Convoy of Hope, which offers children's feeding initiatives worldwide.

Following the 2010 earthquake, Rock Solid Assembly and other Assembly of God churches, donated dollars to relief efforts in Haiti.

Pastor Dan Krause, of Rock Solid Assembly church, in Le Mars, said this orphanage was the worst one he visited during a recent trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Most of the lessons given to these children were done orally, Krause said.
Krause was one of 12 pastors from Assembly of God churches in Iowa invited by Convoy of Hope to visit the country to see how those dollars were spent.

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization headquartered in Springfield, Mo., which feeds 156,000 children in Haiti and other countries each day.

"That might be their only meal of the day," Krause said.

Ten to 12 children might sleep in this room at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, according to Pastor Dan Krause, of Rock Solid Assembly church, in Le Mars. Krause visited several orphanages during a recent visit to the country still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
Dollars like those donated by Rock Solid Assembly were used by Convoy of Hope to provide the feeding initiatives such as nutritious meals for Haitian children.

Krause visited several orphanages and schools in Port-au-Prince during his trip last month.

"The kids loved being picked up and played with," he said.

One of the orphanages he visited housed 48 children, but had only nine beds, he said.

"The rest of the kids sleep on cement floors," Krause explained.

He said most of the schools he visited were open, tin buildings with a roof and a back wall with white rock floors because after the earthquake the Haitians no longer trust concrete.

"The kids were just as happy as those at Clark School (in Le Mars)," Krause said.

Along with visiting orphanages and schools, he toured a Convoy of Hope warehouse where boxes of food were stored, Krause said.

During his time in Port-au-Prince, he also saw the devastating effects of the earthquake, nearly three years later.

"Hundreds of people live in tent cities," Krause said. "Little rebuilding has been done."

Haiti has no National Guard or Army to help with disasters like the earthquake, he said.

"There's still piles of rubble everywhere," Krause said. "They still find people, their bones."

Some buildings are partially destroyed, others are totally destroyed and some remain untouched, he said.

Krause said one of the leaders of Convoy of Hope told him that poverty exists everywhere, but Haitian people live in extreme poverty.

"Haiti is the poorest country in the western Hemisphere," Krause said.

Many died in the 2010 earthquake and were buried in mass graves like one he saw where 200,000 to 300,000 people were laid to rest, marked by broken wooden crosses.

Despite the poverty surrounding them, the Haitian people are "happy and friendly," Krause said.

"They care about their appearance," he added. "They are very neat and as clean as possible."

In addition to donating dollars to Convoy of Hope after the 2010 earthquake, Rock Solid Assembly also partnered with the organization this past weekend.

The Rock Solid Assembly congregation was challenged Sunday to give to the "One Day to Feed the World" campaign, Krause said.

He asked people to determine what they made in one day, and then make that amount their offering, Krause said.

"Convoy of Hope can take our $1 and turn it into $7 worth of food," he said. "It really helps."

Since returning from Haiti, Krause said he wants to do more personally, and as a pastor, to raise awareness about those in need.

"It's not about us," he said. "It's about others."

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