The UMCOR Hotline
In Today's Hotline: Haiti Recovery Edition
Next week marks the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12, 2010, and caused massive destruction and casualties. Over the course of the first year of relief and recovery, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has worked with partners in Haiti and the US in an effort not only to respond to immediate needs but to rebuild a stronger Haiti.
United Methodists and others of goodwill have shown “extravagant generosity,” in support of UMCOR’s efforts to bring recovery and hope to the Caribbean nation, said the Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey, UMCOR head. Harvey praised the churches for having raised “more than $43 million for Haiti in a time of giving fatigue. You have provided health kits, volunteers, and many other signs of confidence and support.”
This special edition of the UMCOR Hotline is devoted to this first year of partnership for Haiti. As the second year of recovery gets under way, your continued support remains critical. Every dollar you give goes directly to help the people of Haiti build a better, stronger future.
HAITI: Chronology of Recovery
HAITI: Laying a Foundation
HAITI: A Purposeful Calling
HAITI: Church Resources Available
HAITI: Haiti Digest
CHRONOLOGY OF RECOVERY
When the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck at 4:53 p.m., then UMCOR head, the Rev. Sam Dixon, was already in the country designing, with Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti (EMH, the Methodist Church of Haiti) and other partners, a plan to improve health ministries in the country.
Dixon was accompanied by the head of Global Ministries' mission volunteers, the Rev. Clinton Rabb, and UMCOR consultant the Rev. James L. Gulley. Rubble from the Montana Hotel trapped the three, along with colleagues from IMA World Health. Dixon and Rabb later succumbed to their injuries.
The work Dixon and Rabb began in Haiti has continued, as UMCOR presses forward a five-year plan to respond to earthquake survivors in the context of long-term development. UMCOR’s priorities are focused on the areas of health, shelter, water and sanitation, education, and livelihoods.
Read Haiti: Progressing with Hope, a timeline of UMCOR’s relief and recovery activities in Haiti since the earthquake.
LAYING A FOUNDATION
Over the course of the first year of UMCOR’s relief and recovery work in Haiti, the organization has been “laying a foundation,” says International Disaster Response executive Melissa Crutchfield. “We now know what works and what doesn’t, and we can move forward.”
Although UMCOR has more than 70 years experience responding to emergency situations, Haiti has presented a set of unique challenges, which has meant that the first year has been one of “institutional learning,” Crutchfield says.
Read The Recovery Tightrope in Haiti to learn more about the unique challenges of responding to this emergency.
A PURPOSEFUL CALLING
UMCOR consultant the Rev. James L. Gulley is a survivor of the January 2010 earthquake. After a brief return to the United States, Gulley went back to Haiti and today is heading up a pilot agricultural project with EMH. The project is expected to assist a total of 1,600 vulnerable farm families.
Asked why he returned to Haiti after so traumatic an experience, Gulley said he felt compelled to offer “compassionate companionship” to his Haitian colleagues, with whom he had built personal and professional relationships.
In addition, he said, he had long prepared to become “an agricultural missionary—one who participates in a holistic ministry, caring for body, mind, and spirit, as Jesus did—out of purposeful calling. I was engaged in Haiti in that mission. How could an earthquake change that calling? It absolutely could not.”
Read the full text of Compassionate Companionship: An interview with Rev. James L. Gulley.
CHURCH RESOURCES AVAILABLE
UMCOR has prepared a set of resources to help you and your congregation mark the first anniversary of relief and recovery work in Haiti. Download a church bulletin insert , a poster, a worship slide.
The timeline mentioned above also provides a useful chronology of relief and recovery efforts, background information your congregation may find helpful for orienting future actions in support of the people of Haiti.
Haiti Digest is a monthly recap of recovery efforts by UMCOR and UMCOR partners in Haiti and the United States. The digest includes news briefs and a summary of recent grants and projects.
Click here to read the December 2010 edition. Subscribe to the Digest or look for it each month at www.umcor.org.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR’s ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the “Give Now” links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors. And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
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