Haiti missionary to speak at Branchville church

Published 10:59 am Saturday, April 10, 2010

FRANKLIN—A 35-year Haiti resident with ties to a local church will share her experiences from the country’s Jan. 12 earthquake that left nearly 223,000 dead and 1.3 million homeless.

Missionary Yvonne Trimble — whose U.S. connection is Rock Church in Franklin — will speak about the earthquake and her predictions for the Haiti’s future during the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, April 11, at Crossroads Community Church in Branchville.

“Prior to the earthquake, Haiti was one of the poorest countries in the world,” Trimble said during a telephone interview. “There was 75 percent unemployment, 85 percent illiteracy, and the life expectancy is less than 50.”

She believes the $2 billion pledged to rebuild Haiti could be a new start for the country.

“It’s not about rebuilding the community,” she said. “It’s really about ‘building’ it for the first time.”

Trimble and her husband, Joel, who started Haiti for Christ Ministries in 1975, live about six miles from the earthquake’s epicenter.

“My husband and 28-year-old son were sitting in an upstairs room of our three-story mountain house,” she said. “We heard it coming. It sounded like a train coming down the mountain. You could hear the house shake from the bottom to the top. It waved like a leaf in the wind.”

“The floor was buckling and I heard the sound of breaking glass,” Yvonne Trimble continued. “The driveway was jumping up and down, and the car was bouncing up and down.”

When the shaking ceased 55 seconds later, the Trimbles had little damage, yet a lot of work ahead of them.

Joel Trimble is in Port-Au-Prince daily, ministering to those living in tent cities.

“He prays for them. He brings them comfort,” Yvonne Trimble said. “Grief counseling is huge. Just to listen to their stories.”

The Trimbles since 1989 have been involved with Rock Church.

“We missionaries have to have a physical address in the United States to receive donations,” Yvonne Trimble said. “We have a post office box in Franklin. Rock Church gathers our mail and makes bank deposits once a month.”

In exchange, she writes a monthly prayer letter to church members.