ACU alum brings desperately needed communication link to Haiti

Posted February 11, 2010

As people across the nation and the world respond to the crisis in Haiti, supplies and volunteers are pouring into the earthquake-torn island nation. But there is a great demand that cannot be addressed through donations – the need for translators and truck drivers. Abilene Christian University alumnus T.J. McCloud is flying to Haiti to provide the link between earthquake victims and relief workers. He's ready to help on both fronts.

"They need someone who can speak Spanish and basic Kreyol," says McCloud, who will also be wearing a second hat. "Our people are worn out, making daily 14-hour drives back and forth from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince. A few other volunteers and I will be helping to cover some of their delivery routes. We want to relieve some of the pressure on them."

McCloud is working with Manna Global Ministries, which has been rushing supplies across the border between Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and Port-au-Prince in Haiti.  Communication is proving to be difficult - at times impossible - since many of the aid workers speak only English, and most of the quake victims speak Kreyol. McCloud believes his skills as a driver and translator will serve his team especially well as they navigate the tricky border crossing process.

"This is an opportunity for me to use my experience with these people and this culture," says McCloud. "I've lived and served here, so I can negotiate the difficulties of helping these people when they need it most. I'm not a doctor, but this is something I can do."

For more information and updates about his work in Haiti, visit T.J. McCloud's blog, or follow @tjmccloud on Twitter.