Week of Compassion continues to respond to the horrific devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti. I’ve had the privilege of watching so many of you from all over the country (and a couple from outside the U.S.) come together and respond to the great need caused by the earthquake in Haiti. Thank you, thank you, thank you—so much. Here is the latest report detailing our ecumenical response to the crisis:
- Church World Service (CWS) is currently planning a two-pronged response. The first includes a bilateral response with two of our partner organizations on the ground in Haiti. Second, CWS will be coordinating a response with Christian Aid as part of the response of Action By Churches Together (ACT) International. Currently, a team of communicators, including the CC(DOC)’s Don Tatlock, Church World Service liaison for Central America and the Caribbean, is on its way to assess the situation, supply Week of Compassion and other partners with information, and help develop the most appropriate response.
- Our historic partner from the Dominican Republic, Servicios Sociales de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID), will be transporting material supplies such as tarps, as well as CWS blankets, hygiene kits, and baby supply kits. This delivery will empty the shelves of the CWS warehouse. Congregations and individuals are highly encouraged to help out by putting together kits to replenish the supply. It’s easy, quickly done, and can be a great project for church groups of just about any age. Instructions and a list of contents are available at this site. This is an urgent need.
- Lutheran World Relief, which currently chairs the ACT Forum in Haiti, is coordinating the overall ACT response, and is working with Norwegian Church Aid, which is currently assessing the situation on the ground, to provide water sanitation and water delivery in Haiti.
By giving to Week of Compassion, you have already become part of this response. Your willingness to step up and provide much needed resources to the people of Haiti is inspiring, and I’m incredibly heartened by your generosity.
Some other things to note:
- This Sunday would be a great opportunity for your churches to take up a special offering for the Week of Compassion response to Haiti. If you choose to do so, please make sure that church members make their checks out to the local church indicating that it is for Week of Compassion. This will allow your church to combine all of the gifts and send one check to Week of Compassion, expediting the delivery of these gifts to our partners on the ground.
- Gifts can always be donated online at our website.
- We’ve received word that the delegation from the Christian Church in Tennessee that was visiting Haiti is safe. There is very little communication from them otherwise, though we have heard that their guesthouse was destroyed by the earthquake. Please pray for their safety and well-being. The delegation from the Great River Region is also fine; they are currently in the Dominican Republic. Global Mission Intern Erin McKinney, who works with our partner Caminante in the DR, is with the group and is also safe.
- The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has more than 40 Haitian Churches in the United States and Canada. As is the case for many people living in Diaspora, news like this from home can be devastating and can affect close family members. Please keep our churches and all Haitian Americans in your prayers. We have been in touch with our Haitian churches and their pastors already today.
There are still many unknowns—in terms of the safety of many of those affected, in terms of the response, and the long-range affect this will have in Haiti. The United States government will be taking a key role in the recovery, with corporations such as UPS and FedEx chipping in aid delivery services. There is much to do among these unknowns. Thank you for courageously responding. Thank you for compassionately responding. We will keep you updated as more information emerges. We’re grateful, as always, to be able to partner with all of you in this important ministry.