Two weeks ago I was in Haiti meeting with leaders of the Haitian Baptist Convention (Convention Baptiste d’Haiti or CBH) who brought me and those accompanying me to see the earthquake damage from Port-au-Prince to Grand Goâve. Even with extensive media coverage, it is difficult to comprehend the extent of the earthquake’s devastation without being there. While many people are still numbed by the shock of the quake, I was deeply moved by the resolve of our Haitian brothers and sisters. CBH pastors, church members and leaders repeatedly expressed their trust in God, affirming “....we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea... (Psalm 46:2) As we worshipped with some 300 Haitian Baptists on that first night, a group of eight young adults sang, “I have many reasons to give glory to God!”
To date, American Baptists have given over $1.9 million for Haiti Relief through the One Great Hour of Sharing. Contributions to OGHS are continuing to arrive, and direct relief efforts are also being made by Regions, local churches and individuals. International Ministries and our Haitian partners are continuing the “Relief” phase begun immediately following the quake. In addition we have now entered phases of “Recovery” and “Rebuilding.”
Thank you again for all the actions that you are taking for Haiti on local, regional, national and international levels! Missionary Ketly Pierre says the two words that might best describe the Haitian people are “survivor” and “spiritual.” I am very impressed with the committed faith, the thoughtful planning and the practical, capacity building work of our Haitian partners. They are working diligently with wisdom and accountability. Please continue to hold them in your thoughts and prayers.