PHCC received the following update on Haiti from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries:
The international Church of the Nazarene has offered overwhelming support for their brothers and sisters in Haiti who are leading the earthquake relief efforts. Partnerships in prayer and in material and monetary donations are an awesome testimony to the hope and love of the Body of Christ amidst difficult circumstances. Among the immediate responders were the Nazarene churches and communities on the Caribbean Region.
Within days of the January 12 earthquake, neighboring churches in the Dominican Republic (DR) banded together to find a way to respond with love and comfort for their brothers and sisters across the border. They spent a couple of weeks collecting supplies (food water, care kits, and more) and then arrived with a bus and two trucks filled with those gathered from local church communities throughout the DR. The 15 Nazarene Child Development Centers in the Dominican Republic sent gifts bags that included a snack and a pair of sandals for over 700 children – one pair for every child sponsored through Nazarene Compassionate Ministry’s Child Sponsorship program in the DR. Haitians and Dominicans worked side by side to unload these trucks into storage: neighbor helping neighbor.
Lucien Jean Baptiste, district superintendent of the Central District (72 churches) located in Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, and surrounding areas, welcomed the team. His churches were those most severely affected by the quake. Jean Baptiste also serves as the president of the National Board of the Church of the Nazarene in Haiti. He shared these words with the Nazarene churches in the Dominican Republic: “We have been suddenly and severely shocked by the earthquake, but we are not without hope … We know that we are not alone as Nazarenes because of your visit and your generosity.”
Jean Baptiste facilitated a gathering of blessing before the Dominican Republic team left on the return trip, praying peace and safety for the group as they traveled back home. Prayers spoken in three languages rose to the Lord above as the multi-lingual, multicultural gathering worshiped together hand-in-hand. One participant said, “I have not cried much, but this – the active demonstration of the church being the church – filled me with tears.”
Nazarene churches in the neighboring island of Cuba also rose to the challenge of helping their Haitian brothers and sisters. In their recent district assembly, several Nazarenes across the district sent one week’s wages as a sacrificial compassionate offering for Haiti. That day, $1,835 was raised in support.
The stories of support continue. Nazarenes in Suriname collected and sent $800 to help in the Haiti relief efforts. Even the children at a Nazarene school in Belize felt called to offer what help they could. Together they raised $100 to comfort their hurting neighbors.
Such is a small glimpse of the overwhelmingly generous global church response. The church in Haiti continues to need the prayers and support of the church. May Nazarenes continue to follow the Lord’s greatest commandments to love our neighbor even from thousands of miles away.
Persons and churches wishing to make a donation for Haiti Earthquake Relief online can do so through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries at ncm.org. Checks can be marked “Haiti Earthquake Relief ACM1204” and mailed to Global Treasury Services, PO Box 843116 Kansas City, MO 64184. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3.