A missionary from Savannah is finding overwhelming community support for storm-stricken Haiti. John Stone with Living Hope Haiti Christian Mission has been living and working among the Haitian people for five years.
Stone has seen firsthand how the Haitians have suffered through Hurricane Jeanne. The storm triggered massive flooding and mudslides. More than 1,500 are dead. Many more are still missing.
"They're just walking in the muck and the sewage," explained Stone. "There are animals laying around and conditions are just getting worse." John Stone has made it his lifework to help the people of Haiti.
Seven years ago, he made his first trip there. Five years ago, he moved there full-time to help them with their food and medical needs and show them the love of God.
"These are people that God loves as much as you and I and just to see them suffering so... a lot of them are my friends," he said. "Some of them are dead or missing, but the ones who are alive, I want to be able to help."
A routine visit to the United States this week has turned into a mission for supplies and donations. The people of the Coastal Empire and Low Country did not disappoint him. Since WTOC first aired Stone's story on Monday, September 27th, donations have been pouring in. Stone has collected food, medicine, medical supplies, clothing, hygiene supplies, baby food and diapers and monetary donations.
"It's just overwhelming," he told WTOC. "I haven't been able to answer all the calls and offers, but we're setting up a network to be able to continue to collect supplies. I wish every person in the area could witness the generosity and the love and care people have shown."
Some of the greatest needs are for medical supplies and medication. "When I get there, we'll basically be dealing with an epidemic and old wounds that are infected. It's just getting worse and worse. These people are suffering so bad."
Stone plans to convert a missionary bus into a mobile clinic to reach people in remote areas. They also need 30-gallon plastic storage containers with lids to store supplies and money to pay for expensive shipping costs.
For a complete list of what the ministry needs, visit their website at www.livinghopehaiti.com
If you would like to help, you can drop off donations at: A Storage Place at 111 Tibet Avenue in Savannah. Stone will be there to accept them Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
For more information on other ways you can help, call John Stone at (912) 663-2297 or Gail at (912) 412-2922.