Local volunteer prepares to go to Haiti

By Jessica Bowman – email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A man who's helped rebuild 400 homes and coordinate 15,000 volunteers rebuilding Hancock County says it's time to take his talents to Haiti.

Jordan Sikkema served as the Volunteer Construction Coordinator for Lagniappe Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis after Katrina. Now he's packing up to go give that same kind of help to earthquake victims in Haiti.

This time next week Jordan Sikkema will be in Haiti with an assessment team ministering to earthquake survivors.

Jordan Sikkema said, "I feel like us from the coast that have been through Katrina have a lot to offer, did a lot of things right, did a lot of things wrong and hopefully will be able to advise on this."

Sikkema is one of four people from the Presbyterian Churches of America, who will travel together to Haiti. One is a Haitian born minister who travels between his homeland and the U.S. Another serves the Haitian community in Miami.

Jordan Sikkema said, "We are going with people that are from the area. That's who we want to take the lead knows the area that has a pulse on what's truly needed and help from indigenous pastors and indigenous relief workers just people to help themselves and serve them. So they can help their own county."

Sikkema says he hopes the trip will help him determine exactly what the Haitians need, so when his team returns, they will be able to mobilize volunteers or supplies that will do the most good.

"If I'm able, I'm very excited to fill that role," Jordan Sikkema said. "It's hard to get excited or want to go somewhere that had such a disaster, but if your able to and have that chance, it is hard to pass up."

The team will spend a week in Haiti, but will not find out exactly where they are going until they arrive.

Sikkema says more South Mississippians than he realized may be headed to Haiti to help.

When he went to get a typhoid vaccine for the trip, he found out only one place in South Mississippi offers the shot.

When he arrived there, they told him they had just given the last of the medication.

Sikkema traveled to Hattiesburg to receive the vaccination.

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