It has been just over a week since the earthquake in Port-au-Prince that has impacted more than 3 million people. Another serious quake yesterday added more damage and lives taken.
Most of us are getting updates via our regular news sources. It is the unique connections we have with Haiti, however, which keep us searching for the right moves forward as the FMC in Canada. At Asbury FMC in Perth, ON, a member of the church was a personal friend of Yvonne Martin, the Ontario nurse who died in Haiti; the Perth church sent that brief connection report along with their offering of more than $3,000 for Haiti relief, from this past Sunday. We know that there are many other such stories and donations on their way.
I am continually monitoring news from our US FM leadership, and in dialogue with them as they make plans leading into the future. At the present moment, an exploratory team led by Dr Delia Neusch-Olver (Latin America Area Director) is on the ground in Haiti, meeting with national leaders seeking to discern together an action plan for re-development. This is a significant moment in Haiti’s struggling history – there is a great opportunity to build a new country, almost. FM leaders want to be listening to God and the wisdom of the people of God.
Bishop Keith Elford will be joining a team going to Haiti in two weeks to specifically engage with FM church leaders regarding the renewal of Christian community in the aftermath of so much death and destruction. The 3 US FM personnel who were buried during the quake have not been recovered and memorial services have been conducted in their respective communities.
Some Canadian FMs are asking about participating in re-build teams. That’s a good intention! We feel, however, that we need to hold on a bit longer before we start to talk about possibilities. A coordinated effort is always a good idea in times like these – we don’t want to be reinventing the wheel, duplicating efforts, or stepping on each other’s toes! As possible responses emerge we will continue to keep you informed.
WHERE TO GIVE
Short-term emergency relief – needs right now! Our partner World Relief Canada is releasing funds to their people on the ground in Haiti, on our behalf. World Relief is qualified to receive CIDA matching grants, doubling the value of your dollars donated.
Medium to long-term rebuilding – needs in the weeks & months to come! The Bishop’s Famine and Relief Fund is our Free Methodist Church in Canada vehicle for Haiti rebuilding. Donations to FMCiC are not matched by the Canadian government. Keep up to date with info on our national website. Online donations are also possible via the website.
International Child Care Ministries – if you are a sponsor of a child in Haiti, you may want to direct your donations in this area. Paula Moriarity, our ICCM Canada Director is passing on as much information as is available.