Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Prayer for Haiti on one-year anniversary of 2010 earthquake.

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and volunteers are calling for prayers for Haiti as Brethren help rebuild there. Today, Jan. 12, is the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that struck Haiti’s capital city Port-au-Prince, killing hundreds of thousands of people and making millions homeless.

"As we approach the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti let us all pause for prayer. Thousands of Haitians still live in tarp shelters, hungry and exposed to the weather," began the message from Brethren Disaster Ministries executive director Roy Winter, his staff, and volunteers.

"Pray for new Haitian leadership that will guide the country out of poverty. Pray for physical and spiritual fortitude for our Brethren sisters and brothers in Haiti. Pray for those who have been permanently disabled by their injuries. Pray for the children who have been left orphaned. Remember those who are toiling endlessly to rebuild homes and communities, to restore livelihoods, and to rekindle hope.

"The Brethren response to the earthquake has many facets from agriculture to home construction, from distribution of food to water filters, from health care to trauma recovery. Pray that our efforts nurture solidarity and support a sustainable recovery for those whom we serve. Let this whole day be one of prayer and remembrance."

In related news, an additional grant of $150,000 has been given from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) for relief work in Haiti. The grant provides Brethren Disaster Ministries with ongoing support for its longterm recovery effort following the earthquake. The grant will support construction of a multi-use structure to be a guesthouse for workcamp groups and for Haitians coming to Port-au-Prince for meetings or training; homes for earthquake survivors; water and sanitation projects; new agriculture projects that help communities be increasingly self-sufficient; and a new micro-loan program in Port-au-Prince, to be made available to Church of the Brethren members from the devastated Delma 3 congregation. Previous EDF grants for earthquake relief in Haiti total $550,000.

For more about the church's disaster work in Haiti, go to

Today IMA World Health held a Day of Prayer to mark the anniversary of the earthquake. Three of the organization’s staff who work out of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., were trapped in the rubble in Port-au-Prince and rescued some days after the disaster. A prayer service was held at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster, Md. IMA president Rick Santos presented the current situation in Haiti, and pastors led a time of prayer to ask for hope, comfort, and provision for the Haitian people. Participating ministers included Glenn McCrickard of Westminster Church of the Brethren.

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