Missionary William Hatcher says he's more committed than ever to helping the people of Haiti. He had to leave the island nation shortly after an earthquake hit there. But he's still looking for ways to help.
Hatcher talked extensively about that experience, a month after returning home.
In addition to destroying buildings and shelter, the earthquake knocked out communication that most of us are accustomed to, such as cell phones. Calling home right away wasn't an option.
"The first thing we saw was the Coast Guard plane. It told us America is awake. We were doing what we could to respond. That plane told a big story," said Hatcher.
From this point, it took Hatcher two days to make it back to Meridian. As he flew back on board one of those Coast Guard planes, Hatcher knew his work wasn't done.
"This just points up the need," he said. "It made it more urgent."
Hatcher was in Haiti to teach the people there how to improve their living conditions, such as irrigation, providing clean water and building stronger structures. Those needs are just greater now.
Hatcher had taken books, titled "Where There Are No Doctors: A Village Healthcare Handbook", to distribute to the people there. He says it highlighted the urgency for people to be able to be able to take care of themselves.
"I was brought up not to like poverty and not liking to carry water," said Hatcher. "And I think everyone deserves not to carry water."
So this is how Hatcher deals with the terrible tragedy he witnessed. He jokes and says his wife has grounded him. But he says there is plenty of work to be done in the States.
Hatcher is still in communication with people on the ground in Haiti and plans to help coordinate relief efforts from here at home.
Helping the people of Haiti through the American Red Cross is easily done. You may text the Haiti to 90999. It will automatically add $10.00 to your cell phone bill.