Remembering Haiti

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Things of Faith
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Photo by Andrew HamiltonAs I was sitting this week considering what I should write about, my thoughts kept going to my friends in Haiti. This week was the second anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Port au Prince. Three years ago Laura and I were asked to travel to Haiti to teach at the Theological Training Seminar for the church leaders of this small and budding group of church plants. We spent the week in Port au Prince teaching about “transformational leadership”, but more importantly we began building friendships as we were introduced to brothers and sisters who share a deep love for Jesus and their neighbors.

It was only a little over three months later that we would receive the news of the earthquake. I remember our heartfelt concern for the people of Port au Prince and especially for our brothers and sisters there. We spent many weeks in prayer as we waited anxiously for news. The reports that came back were filled with the horror of a new reality for the people on that side of the already impoverished island. Six months ago I returned to Haiti with a small delegation from the Church of the Brethren. The trip was one of contrasts, which I described in a blog entry back in July. Port au Prince was a different city from the one I remembered. Before, in the in the midst of so much human struggle there was a vibrancy of life and joy. During my most recent visit, the level of human struggle for life seemed to be multiplied radically. And yet in the midst of horrible living conditions (caused by the earthquake and the failure of the many nations who promised to respond and yet failed to do so), the people are showing a resiliency and determination to overcome. What was most heartening in this trip was reconnecting with friends (brothers and sisters) I had met a year before. Even as disaster response efforts continue, the Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren of Haiti) has grown and continues to grow as these simple sisters and brothers are reaching out and engaging their surrounding community with the good news of Jesus in both word and deed. Even as I sit here (as it snows outside here in Northeast Ohio) writing this entry, my thoughts and prayers are for my brothers and sisters who live a bit south of me and who continue to minister in real ways to people still suffering the effects of that devastating earthquake. The following link will take you to a reflection from the perspective of Brethren Disaster Ministries, Associate Executive Director Roy Winter:

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