While the suffering in Haiti continues, world attention has turned to new crises.
After his fourth trip to Port-au-Prince in the six months since the earthquake struck the orphanage supported by his church, Pastor Randy Landis was approached by a member of the congregation at Lifechurch in Allentown, Pa.
"I had one of our members just recently after one of our Sunday morning services say, 'How come we're not sending people down to clean up tar balls in Louisiana?'
"I tried to answer as politely as I could: BP caused the spill, and BP is going to clean it up. If we had the assets, we'd be part of that.
The Rescue Children Orphanage has reached out to its neighbors. These children in a tent city in the Santo 25 neighborhood of northeast Port-au-Prince received staple food and fresh fruit shared by the volunteers, staff and children from the orphanage, in nearby Santo 19.
"But in Haiti, there's a moral responsibility we have to the people in the Santo 19 district of Port-au-Prince. We live there. Our children are there. There is a responsibility placed upon us: to assist, to rebuild, to continue to inspire hope for a better Haiti. We're going to remain fully engaged."
Six months after the 7.0-magnitude quake severely damaged the church-supported Rescue Children Orphanage in Port-au-Prince, volunteers say the 11 children who live there are doing well. After a stay at a much larger orphanage, the children again have their own home, a comfortable, newly outfitted orphanage a few blocks from their old one. They are in private schools again. They've been to the beach and to worship services. Despite the scares of occasional tremors, they're starting to trust that the walls won't fall in.
"It took a little time to get the children adjusted into our new home, comfortable with sleeping inside under a roof again, and being reminded of our family rules," said volunteer Julie Berger. "The children were really excited to see school start and get back to a normal, daily routine. Now our days are full with learning new things at school, doing everyday chores, playing all types of sports and games, reaching out to the community, reading and growing up fast!"
The 11 children at Rescue Children Orphanage, with one of the "house mommies," Regine.
Outside the orphanage walls, the orphanage staff and volunteers have been reaching out to the neighborhood: putting up tents, delivering food to other orphanages, opening Lifeclinic, a medical oasis that has delivered two dozen babies and treated nearly a thousand patients. People line up at 7 a.m. in the stifling heat to be treated for scabies, asthma, scurvy. Many have amputations needing follow-up treatment. Most of the patients are women and children, and the church hopes to build a playground.
The Rescue Children orphans have joined in "to help the poor people," handing out family food packs, gathering mangos to give to other children. The orphanage has hired many of their neighbors to work as bricklayers, electricians, translators. More than 50 volunteers from the church have made the journey to Port-au-Prince.
"This group has the faith, guts and commitment to work toward providing a sustainable model of care to Santo 19," said a volunteer at the orphanage, Dr. Paul Berger, a urologist and emergency medicine practitioner in Allentown.
But this small faith-based group is seeing fewer Americans helping.
"This last flight down, on a commercial Boeing 757," Landis said, "I would say that only a handful of people were relief workers, medical professionals. Ninety-five percent of that plane were Haitian Americans going to visit family.
"One of the discouraging things has been, since the earthquake, no longer being in the news. Even when I return, there is no longer this, 'How is your trip? What took place?' It's almost as though people have moved on to the next crisis.
"You have a country, a capital that's been basically destroyed, 200,000 people lost their lives in seven seconds, and it affected millions of people. You have tens of thousands of people still living in tents. Tents as far as your eye could see. Even the best tents are not made to stand up to these conditions 24-7; the winds destroy them. They're brutally hot inside. People need houses. The reconstruction efforts are going extremely slowly."
Landis is a quiet, diplomatic leader of the Pennsylvania campus of the evangelical Lifechurch. But you can hear the dismay in his voice.
"Where are the bulldozers? Where are the cranes? Where are the backhoes?"
Mackson, one of the children at Rescue Children Orphanage, celebrates after helping to build hundreds of tents for neighbors in Port-au-Prince.
The volunteers stumbled on a nearby orphanage where nuns were taking care of special-needs children. But they had barely any money or food, apparently cut off from any of their original support in the U.S.
Lifechurch's group arranged with the larger Love A Child orphanage to have food delivered, and a group of five special-needs educators accompanied a volunteer down to train the nuns to take care of the children. "You walk through the neighborhoods and behind these walls are orphanages with practically no support from someone back in the States," Landis said.
Even help sent to Haiti can take a long time to reach Haitians -- unless one uses the old system of bribery.
"One of the things that is frustrating," Landis said, "is the backlog of containers at the port. It can take up to six weeks to retrieve a container, easily. We've been told you can get it a little bit quicker if you do it the Haitian way. And that means paying someone to get it out for you. It's extremely sad. You're hopeful, but unless there's a change in the leadership, the government will repeat a lot of the mistakes they have made for generations." (In an op-ed piece published today in The New York Times, former president Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive of Haiti say that only 10 percent of the international commitments to Haiti have been paid.)
The girls in their Easter dresses in the garden at Rescue Children Orphanage. In front, left to right, are July (pronounced Julie) and Widlyne. In the rear, Marie-Victoire and Mafouna.
How to volunteer
Lifeclinic is seeking help from physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, occupational therapists, optometrists and dentists to go to Haiti. Send an e-mail to Judith Walker.
To volunteer at the Rescue Children Orphanage, send an e-mail.
How to donate
Lifechurch/Lifeclinic and Rescue Children Orphanage are separate nonprofit organizations.
Give to Rescue Children Orphanage through its blog. RCO is supported by Lifechurch, Hope Point Community Church, Rice Bowls, and many individuals. The mailing address for RCO is P.O. Box 1984, Allentown, PA 18105.
Lifechurch is at 1401 East Cedar St., Allentown, PA 18109.
Small stones outside the new Rescue Children Orphanage describe what the children are thankful for: house, food, friends, Haiti, prayer, health, RCO, family, Jesus, toys. Volunteer Mariana Melo of Hope Point Community Church in Spartanburg, S.C., led a devotional with the children on being thankful, and wrote what they named.
Previous msnbc.com coverage of the Haitian orphanage
Send story ideas and comments to investigative reporter Bill Dedman