When the cold weather hits in January, many Americans dream of a tropical getaway and Caribbean breezes. For most, the island of Haiti is not among desired destinations. For Operation Go Quickly, January in Haiti is the perfect place to be.
Dr. Fred Sorrells along with U.S. national amputee soccer team members Craig Till and Robert Ferguson and media producer Randy Schoening are apart of a 12-day tour to the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Not for a vacation, but to lend a hand in spreading hope and faith in the midst of desperation.
Major disaster came to Haiti in the form of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January of 2010. Eight years later, Operation Go Quickly is present to mourn the hundreds of thousands killed, but also to celebrate life for those who survived. Many of those who suffered the lost of a limb in the earthquake are now members of the Haitian amputee soccer team. On the eighth anniversary of the earthquake, a special match involving members of the national team along with hopefuls for the 2018 World cup squad took place in Les Cayes.
As hundreds watched and cheered, these athletes left their challenges on the sidelines to show that all things are possible for those who believe. The Haitians were joined on the field by Wounded Warrior Robert Ferguson from Houston.
Most of the uniforms and equipment used by the Haitian players have been donated by generous Americans, in addition to supplies for youth soccer programs.
Operation Go Quickly have been able to experience new adventures with some of the Haitian amputee players, including drinking fresh coconut juice fresh off the tree, a swim in the Atlantic Ocean and a visit to midfielder Davidson’s home.
To see these athletes with a smile on their face and joy in their heart can transform the toughest of situations.
Ferguson and Till, making their first trip to Haiti, stated their lives will never be the same, and both will return with a renewed passion to build the U.S. amputee program into the world’s best.
Dr. Fred Sorrells has been able to make contact with several prominent business owners in Haitian, who are interested in supporting amputee soccer. Operation Go Quickly is already supplying clean drinking water to the incarcerated in Haiti, and following a meeting with representatives of Health through Walls, there may be opportunity for further outreach into jails and prisons. Houston area pastor Jerry Vineyard along with wife Joley will visit Haiti in an attempt to design and build an art training institute for the disabled.
The tour will continue through January 20, with trips to Port-au-Prince, Port-de-Paix and Cap Haitien planned. There is still much to do for the thousands of amputees in Haitian and throughout the world. As amputee athletes in Haiti, the U.S. and around the globe prepare for the 2018 World Cup in Mexico, Operation Go Quickly will continue to fulfill the calling to encourage the disabled and provide hope to the hurting.
For more information on Operation Go Quickly, or donate to present and future outreaches, contact us at goquickly.org.