Throughout my travels
as I have been attending conferences and visiting ministries, I
have invited folks to send me short write-ups on their ministries and,
with the understanding that, as I was able, I would post them on this
blog. My hope in doing this is by no means to
touch upon all ministries with a Presbyterian connection, but only to
gives glimpses of the breadth and depth in which we engage in ministry
around the world.
At this very moment I am sitting in the Louisville Airport after a meeting of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and General Assembly Mission Council. There was quite a bit that went on during these meetings, but one of the most important was getting an update from the Haiti Disaster Response Team and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
WE HAVE NOW RAISED $4,000,000 for short AND long term recovery.
Previously I had asked Randy Ackley to submit a few paragraphs for me to post to address some of the questions about PDA's disaster recovery strategies. But before you read his submission, please join be to say on behalf of the denomination, thank you Randy, other staff and Haiti Missin Co-Workers who have been working diligently to provide a helpful presence in Haiti!
Also, if you know of anyone Fluent in French or Creole, PDA is looking for trauma counselors.
Here is what Randy has offered up to us . . .
Let me begin by saying, “Thank you.” Your prayers and generosity are making a difference. One month after the earthquake, churches and individuals have given approximately $3.8 million to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) for the relief and recovery work in Haiti. Within twenty-four hours of the event, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance sent $100,000 from One Great Hour of Sharing funds for immediate rescue and recovery needs. This was followed in a few days by the additional $109,000 received online as a result of the quick and generous response of Presbyterians. We have also approved a $200,000 grant to Hôspital Sainte Croix (Holy Cross Hospital) and an affiliated nursing school in Léogâne, Haiti. Over 35,000 hygiene and baby kits have been distributed with the first kits arriving in Port au Prince the day following the disaster. Just today we have transferred $52 thousand in emergency funding to our local partner, MPP in Haiti. Altogether, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has committed more than half a million dollars to immediate relief and recovery efforts in Haiti.
These donations have helped us, along with our ecumenical partners, to establish 15 food and water distribution stations, distribute thousands of tents or shelters, and provide other needed services and supplies. In addition to providing immediate relief, we will continue to assess long-range recovery needs and develop a comprehensive plan to help the Haitian people as they strive to rebuild their lives over the next several years.
PDA staff member, Carlos Cardenas, recently returned from assisting with an initial assessment of recovery needs with our ecumenical partners. Immediate next steps will include getting critical crops in the ground and community based psycho-social care. Our international and ecumenical partners are looking to PDA’s experience and expertise to bring leadership to this area. Lionel Derenoncourt of the Presbyterian Hunger Program also visited Haiti recently to assess the earthquake’s effects on our ongoing agricultural partnerships in Haiti.
A coordinated response team from World Mission, Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has been established to identify the needs of our Haitian partners and connect our church, including congregations and networks of support in addressing the long term recovery work to be done. A recent webinar, “Listen Up – Haiti!” was led by staff from these various ministry areas and welcomed 300 participants from across the denomination. Webinars are being hosted by the Mission Crossroads project of World Mission.
We are inspired and moved by so many generous acts and efforts from Presbyterians across the church… from school children raising awareness and funds, to high school students taking the lead in compiling hygiene and baby kits. From benefit concerts to a Valentine’s Day love offering for Haiti. In the face of such a devastating disaster Presbyterians are bringing hope out of chaos. We are grateful for the many ways that individuals and congregations continue to stand in the “GAP” in Christ’s name as they GIVE, ACT, and PRAY. We thank you for your compassion and faithfulness.