On Tuesday of this week, Haiti received the brunt of Hurricane Matthew's force in the region. Still rebuilding from the devastating earthquake of 2010, Haiti remains ill-equipped to handle natural disasters. Houses were flooded, bridges collapsed, and communities lost power and communication lines. Haiti is beginning the slow but familiar work of rebuilding.
A week before the storm, Rev. Jeff Baker, Director of Mission, Service, and Justice and Rev. Lucas Endicott, Mission Strategist in the same office, were in Haiti to meet with the Bishop and Conference officials to plan opportunities for continued partnership. The Missouri Annual Conference has been involved in rebuilding efforts in Haiti since 2010 and this work will continue as we work to build sustainable infrastructures and lasting relationships.
In response to this recent natural disaster Missouri Methodists will be engaged in three ways:
First, due to generous giving through Haiti Water Plus, $15,000 worth of water filters will be distributed in Haiti to help alleviate water-borne diseases. In an effort to get these filters in use as soon as possible, we will use Haitian distribution channels through the Methodist Church of Haiti.
Second, relief efforts will be coordinated through the Methodist Guest House in Port Au Prince. Groups wishing to help on the ground should begin prayerful discernment including selecting dates and identifying team members. Partners in Haiti will continue to identify needs related to healthcare, construction, and water. Once teams from local churches are formed, they will be matched with projects on the ground. Churches interested in this work may contact Lucas Endicott, Mission Strategist at firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 441-1770.
Third, the Missouri Annual Conference is in dialogue with the Methodist Guest House on ways we can help support their administrative needs including the development of a web presence. This is one way among many that we can support international mission work from our home state. Our Haitian sisters and brothers are again taking the lead on this project.
These efforts will aid in emergency relief but our commitment to Haiti remains. If you or a member of your community would like more information on how to work together in Haiti please contact Lucas Endicott at email@example.com. Check for updates on Haiti Water Plus and donate to the needs emerging in Haiti.