Help for Haiti

This week we’ve all been grieving.  News of the earthquake in Haiti sent aftershocks here.  Not physical aftershocks, but emotional ones.  Granada has sent a number of ministy teams to Haiti in the past year.  I personally visited Haiti twice in 2009.  (Check out blog entries from earlier this year:  https://dwcarson.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/haiti-taking-a-look/.)  Haiti is a country that seems to have missed a century of development.  Many Haitians live along the fringe of existence unable to eek out a decent living and seemingly without hope for the future.  Few children receive a decent education, and many people battle to have ample food for each day.  This makes this tragic earthquake all the more grieving to us all.  Yesterday I heard many people ask, What is our church doing?  What can I do now to help out? And, why did this happen to people who were already so beaten down by life?  I’ll try and answer each of these questions and will also keep you informed as the work unfolds.  First, here is some background.  Granada established a partnering relationship with GCA (Great Commission Alliance–a mission agency of a sister PCA church in S. Florida) for ministry in Haiti in 2009.  The work involved support, light construction and spiritual leadership among a number of churches and orphanages in and around Les Cayes (Haiti’s fourth largest city, located on the southern coast about 100 miles from Port-au-Prince).  This area of the country experienced light to moderate damage from Tuesday’s earthquake. But, these relationships provide a means of providing the most direct support and help. How can we help?

View of Port-au-Prince

What Granada is Doing and How You can Get Involved Now

1.  First, pray. The first days are the search and rescue days of the operation.  People trapped in buildings are still being freed.  Also, medical teams from the U.S. and many other nations are arriving to assist in treating the injured.  Pray for these teams who are working around the clock to save lives.  Also, during these first days assessment teams are measuring the damage and working to set response priorities.  Two pastors from our presbytery are already there on the ground helping in the work.  Another will soon be arriving.  Transportation and communication continue to be the most significant challenges to bringing help.  Let’s unite to pray for the people of Haiti and for the rescue efforts. One of our members, Sandra Medor, has family in Port-au-Prince.  Please pray for them, and others we know who live there.

2.  Give.  While many people have indicated a willingness to go to help, this is just not possible right now.  Lack of food and shelter makes accommodating visitors more difficult than ever. There will be a time for this as the response develops in the days and weeks ahead.  Right now, our best response is to give financially. Funds can be given through our church for this effort.  These resources will be directed to the people we know best and can help most.  We want to see how family members of our church members can be helped (as some of our members have family in Port-au-Prince). We also want to see how we can work through GCA to help sister churches and their members.  You may direct gifts to the church.  Please make out checks to Granada and mark them:  Granada Haiti Earthquake Relief.

3.  Help fill containers with food.  Granada will be helping to fill two containers (20 cubit yards each) for transit to Haiti.  Space has already been secured on ships for these containers.  We’d like to gather food staples–dried beans and rice first.  Our plan is to have someone from Granada on site when these containers arrive so that food can be distributed where it is needed most.  The parlor at Granada will be a collection point for these items.

4.  Going to Help.  If you would be interested in joining a team to assist in Haiti, please contact our Serve the World Team leader: David McCloud. (davemccloud@bellsouth.net)  He will be able to provide you with information about how you can get involved here and also join a team to Haiti.

What are we to think about this?

When natural disasters strike, religious people are tempted to draw straight and direct lines of responsibility.  (You may have heard comments about the voodoo practice of the Haitian people as an explanation for the events of this week.)  Of course, we are searching for answers and want to be able assess blame.  We do this because we believe God has reasons for allowing disasters to happen.  We think we understand his reasons, but scripture warns us against thinking that we can know the mind of God.  The Bible tells us that life is not fair but God always is.  It tells us that God’s ways are beyond us and that we see through a glass dimly.  Our vision is hazy and our understanding falls short. We struggle when we don’t have answers because we know life is not meaningless, but we also do not know the meaning of it all either.   Instead of blaming or speaking for God, we are commanded to respond in love and compassion to those who are hurting.  We are commanded to trust ways we do not understand and outcomes we can’t see or fathom.  What we do have to rely on, and where God speaks most clearly to us is in the sending of Jesus. In sending Jesus, God shows us that he knows our pain and that he loves us and has sent someone to bind up our wounds.  Even more we see Jesus taking our wounds upon himself.  God doesn’t stand at a distance, but he hurts with us.  In the end he becomes the victim showing us just how great his love is for us.  Christians who understand the gospel know that none of us get what we deserve. God gives us favor we don’t earn and a place with him we cannot achieve.  It is this gospel that causes us to love others, and to see ourselves in those most hurting and broken.  We love because he first loved us.

33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen
.  Romans 11

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by william on January 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Luke 13 needs to be referenced in order to diffuse “they deserved it” heresy.

    Signed,

    Chief of sinners

    Reply

  2. Posted by Trent Langhorne on January 15, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Worth,
    Thanks for your words about this tragedy. I appreciate it as I am so sad for the Haitians.
    I don’t know if you remember that I lived in Haiti one summer (Port-au-Prince) with a medical missionary and his family when I was in college. I have always loved Haiti and Haitians that I meet here in Miami. Thankfully a young couple, friends of Anne’s, who stayed with us over the holidays on their way to teach in Port-au-Prince are okay. Will join GPC in supporting the existing organization there.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Sandy on January 19, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Resting in Romans 11.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: