Tuesday, Jan 12 is one of those days I will not forget. I won’t forget what I was doing, where I was or what the earth felt and looked like. I won’t forget the next hours, trying to locate friends, receiving and making calls to partners in ministry. I won’t forget the hours following as the stark reality of the situation began to unfold. I, like many of you, have been glued to the television, reading every Dominican paper I can get my hands on, gleaning as much information as I can from friends, pastors and fellow missionaries. I share, along with many of you, a pain deep in my soul and compassion for the people of Haiti. I have experienced those same feeling of helplessness and a desire to “do something”. Here are a few of my insights and what I know: (I hope this makes sense…my thoughts are still a little jumbled and is on overload right now!)

  • Being on the ground floor isn’t always the right floor. The outpouring of people wanting to come and help is incredible and we are forever grateful. This, however, is a time of extreme chaos and devastation. This is a time for professionals to be on the ground. Quite honestly, it is not safe for outsiders and we would have no way of supporting ourselves on the ground. Where would we get food and water? Where would we sleep? etc. When the television cameras leave and the news of Haiti fades, we are still looking at years of rebuilding. We need to take time to pray and seek the Lord on if our physical presence is the right action in the future.
  • We need to trust in those God has gifted and called during this time. Personally, I have been in constant contact with many who are on the ground or have years of connection to ministries in Haiti. My pastor and friend, Gumercindo and I have been coordinating with other ministries and organizations. Our partners in ministry, Pastor Preminus and Eliseo, from Barahona and the Bateys (in the area closest to Haiti) have visited Haiti and are accessing the needs. We are collecting donations through our local churches and these items will be housed in Barahona and brought over little by little to remain “under the radar” of looters. There are children wandering the streets without parents and we are praying for wisdom in how to best respond. Also, Covenant World Relief is working in coordination with World Relief International and Medical Teams International and I am trusting in their assessment and we will keep people informed as to our collective involvement. Please pray for wisdom in how to best minister in this difficult situation.
  • Pray for the distribution of funds and supplies. Many in whom I have spoken have said much of the aid is going to the richer areas and those is desperate need are not receiving the aid. Pray for justice. Please pray for safety of those distributing the supplies, as people are desperate and are breaking into distribution centers.
  • Pray for our Covenanters on the ground. I have been in contact with Janelle Peterson who is working with Dr. Manno in Limbe. They are evaluating the best way to help the people of Port au Prince.
  • Remember “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”. I am confident that God is working overtime to make something good of this horrific event. One way I see this is through the beginnings of uniting our two countries that share the island of Hispañola. There has been hundreds of years of hatred, racism and fighting between the DR and Haiti. For the first time, our countries are working together and the compassion that Dominicans are showing Haitians now is amazing.
  • Remember that God has placed each of us in a community that needs to know the love of Christ. Each day, we need to ask who God has placed in our path that needs to feel and experience God’s love, and in whom we are called to minister.
  • There are ways to give. Countless organizations are receiving donations. I am working closely with two in which I have total confidence. Donations can be given through Covenant World Relief (http://www.covchurch.org/cwr). Also Manos de Gracia, (Hands of Grace) http://www.hgworldwide.com, is collecting donations as well. Through donations to Manos de Gracia, our local churches will be purchasing food, water, medical supplies, gas, hygiene articles, etc. We will be housing the supplies in Barahona, as stated above, and will be sending the supplies over with our Haitian pastors.

Thank you for your past, present and future prayers and support to me personally, the ministry in which I have been called and for the dear people of Haiti. It is wonderful to be a part of the family of God. I have received many emails and my parents have also told me of the countless people that have called their home. Words cannot express how much that means to me.

I will continue to keep you informed as I know anything new. If you have any questions, please email me and please continue to pray for wisdom, safety, that God will be glorified in all that we say and do and that more will come to know Christ because of the Jesus they see in each of us.

Advertisements