Local Haitian remembers 2010 earthquake

By Gregory Woods

NORTH CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- Four years ago, Jean Rebecca was on his way to the gym when he received a phone call from his wife he says he will never forget.

"She called me and said, 'Have you been watching the news? An earthquake hit Haiti,'" he said. "I immediately called my mother and was surprised she answered and amazed that after everything that had transpired, she was able to keep strong faith that she would be okay."

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti killing more than 200,000 people and leaving more than one million people homeless. Many countries sent aid to help the nation in its time of need.{}

Rebecca is the founder of Stand for Haiti and has played an instrumental role in helping people in the town he grew up in.

He said every time he goes back home, he sees himself in the eyes of the people he helps.

"I grew up eating paper, sand, anything I could find, and watching my mother cry because she couldn't provide for her child," said Rebecca. "I see myself in Haiti every time I go back having gone through those experiences."

Angela Henderson is one of many at North Palm Community Church who goes back to Haiti with Rebecca to provide medical attention, food and clothing. She has experienced the poverty Rebecca grew up in first hand.

"I started sewing up holes in the outhouse so we could have some privacy," she said. "All the children started watching and they began to point at the holes in their clothes. I sat there one afternoon just stitching holes in the children's clothes. It was great to be blessing to the kids."

Although recovery has been slow, Rebecca hasn't given up faith that one day, Haiti will get better.

"I've had so many of those that I have traveled with to Haiti leave in tears because of what they experience. It serves as a witness to the chaos that still is going on after the fact, but, yet, hope is still great," he said.

Rebecca is leading a group back to Haiti this summer and hopes to sponsor 20 kids to be able to attend grade school.{}

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