Published: Dec 24, 2012 5:18 PM EST
Updated: Dec 24, 2012 7:41 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Almost three years since the Haiti earthquake, thousands are still suffering. One Cape Coral church is determined to help the victims through their recovery.          

It started a program that's caught on nationwide and received the attention of a member of the former Bush administration.

After the devastating earthquake, a pastor from Haiti came to Cape Coral. He became connected with members of Grace Baptist Church, and from that, sprung a passion for transforming the lives of those in need.

It seems the road to recovery for Haiti is a long one indeed.

After an earthquake, in January 2010, many children are still suffering from cholera because the water is dirty. But a small filtration system means the difference between life and death, and Grace Baptist Senior Pastor Tom Ascol says about 100 of them are now cleaning water for families in Haiti.

"For just about $50.00 you can set up a filtration system, and it will take care of hundreds of thousands of gallons a day," Ascol said.

These filtration systems, and a broader outreach mission, are made possible through The Haiti Collective, started in 2010 by a pastor from Haiti, and another pastor at Grace Baptist Church, Tim Brister. He's out of town, so WINK-TV spoke with him over Skype.

"We formed The Haiti Collective which is another way for other churches to come on board with us, as well as our community, to be informed about how they can help us serve the churches, and serve the orphans in Haiti, which has now grown to 13 churches and 1,600 orphans," said Brister.

The Haiti Collective has caught the eye of some top officials. A team is returning to Haiti in a few weeks. Joining them is the chief of surgery from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Claude Allen, former deputy secretary for health and human services. 

"We're thrilled to have these quality of men come down and help us," said Brister.

Cape Coral couple Brett and Becky Miller have visited Haiti before, and are returning with the group to lend a helping hand. "Average people can make a big impact. You don't have to be a pastor or physician. Anybody can give their time, efforts, things like that and make a huge impact," said Becky Miller.

For more information, and to make donations, visit Grace Baptist Church, 

  • 1300 Ceitus Terrace
  • Cape Coral, FL 33991
  • Phone: 239-772-1400

Or check out:

Twitter: @haiticollective