“We will work with each other, we will work side by side”

“I’m praying for you.”

I must admit that far too often when I say those words to people experiencing pain, loss, grief, despair, they sound trite. Even though I mean it. Even though I’m actually praying for the person and the situation, I don’t know how to say those words without sounding rote and insincere. Even though I mean it.

And but so anyway (with apologies to Fred Clark), today is the two-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has a long history of good work in Haiti, work that continues today. By most accounts, there is a ton of work still to do there. I’m proud to be affiliated with a denomination that is still there, working side by side with the Haitian people. I’m proud to be affiliated with a denomination doing its best to live in the way of Jesus: loving God by loving neighbors.

This video seems like a good way to remember victims, honor all the people still rebuilding, and inspire support:

 

That title comes from “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love”, which was my favorite Sunday School song growing up. It remains a favorite today because it so succinctly names the purpose of my faith.

Even though it may sound trite… Haiti, I’m still praying for you.

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A little something to help Haiti

On Wednesday this week, 30 dedicated youth and adults from our church traveled to Aurora to work at Feed My Starving Children.

FMSC is a Christian non-profit dedicated to providing food for, well, children starving all over the globe. They currently send food to over 70 countries. All the meals they send are hand packed by volunteers. That’s what we did on Wednesday.

Working with groups from two other churches we packed 14,688 meals in less than two hours. That’s enough to feed 40 children for a year.

Let me say that again: working for a short time we fed 40 children for a year!

Praise God! I’m proud of all who helped make this happen!

But it gets better. Did you notice when we were there? Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of the horrific earthquake in Haiti. FMSC sends a lot of food to Haiti. We had the honor of completing and praying for a shipment that was scheduled to leave for Haiti today.

One of FMSC’s directors shared a few Haiti-related stories before we started packing meals: FMSC planned and budgeted to send 25 million meals to Haiti in 2010. As a result of the earthquake the need was much greater than that. Enabled by some generous donations, they sent 50 million meals there last year!

Then the director told us a disappointing, though not really surprising, story. She said that a year ago, right after the earthquake, their phone rang off the hook and their parking lot was full of media members doing stories on their organization and the work they are doing in Haiti. But this week, on the one-year anniversary, FMSC couldn’t get a single media member to cover their anniversary event. An event that even included the presence of some of their Haitian partners!

You and I can do better than that. 300,000 people were killed, 300,000 more were injured and a million people were left homeless. Add to those statistics this story about Haiti’s quarter million child slaves, and we have in Haiti a country in dire need.

So let’s remember the people of Haiti. Continue to read about the situation there. Keep the country and the rebuilding effort in your prayers. And, if you are able, consider giving a gift. You can still do so through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). As always with them, 100% of your gift goes to relief and development. Donate directly here.