A NATION IN CRISIS

You would have to be living in a cave not to be aware of the devastating earthquake this week in Haiti.  So far the death toll is over 100,000 and it will likely rise much higher.  The widespread carnage of the 7.0 earthquake is compounded by the fact that many of the buildings and homes are very poorly constructed in the first place.

The history of Haiti is a complicated and sad story.  The island of Hispaniola is shared with the Dominican Republic.  Haiti is the French side, the DR is the Spanish side.  The indigenous population was almost completely wiped out by European diseases centuries ago.  The island was entirely repopulated with African slaves.  On the Western side, France created a major sugar, rum, coffee and cotton center.  By the end of the 18th century, France had enslaved more than 500,000 Africans to work in their territory.   After a successful slave rebellion early in the 19th century, the former slaves defeated the French.  Most whites were killed or expelled from the country.  Ultimately France recognized Haitian independence in exchange for 150 million francs in 1825.

The heavy deforestation of Haiti for the coffee and sugar plantations exposed the country to immense erosion turning much of this formerly fertile country into a wasteland.  The damage can be clearly seen by aerial photographs.  The boundary between Haiti and the Dominican Republic used to be called the green line as the deforestation literally followed the border.  Today it is only a little less evident.

The Haitian religion of Voodoo has not served them well either as many believe life is simply predestined by the Voodoo spirits called lwa.  Early Catholicism tried to discourage the practice of Voodoo but today the two religions are often practiced together.  Recently Evangelical Christianity has made great inroads in Haiti.  15% of Haitians are now evangelical Christians.  7 of the 11 radio stations are owned by Christian organizations.  1,000’s of missionaries are in Haiti already, although sadly many will have died in this earthquake. 

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As the world reacts Christian organizations will be amongst the first to be on the ground in response.  Church of the Rock will be partnering with some of these groups.  I will post back shortly as to who we will be working with and how you can get involved.  In the meantime let us pray for this nation in crisis.

UPDATE:

Church of the Rock will be working with Franklin Graham’s organization Samaritan’s Purse.  They have already sent a team with 4,800 blankets, 160 rolls of plastic, 2,200 solar-powered flashlights, two community water filters capable of filtering 40,000 litres of drinking water per day, 1,152 jerry cans, and 1,440 hygiene kits.  A team of 60 volunteers have been mobilized to help distribute the materials.  A second team will land in Haiti on Thursday. It will include six doctors from a medical ministry in Ecuador, who served with Samaritan’s Purse following a deadly earthquake in Peru in 2007.  Other relief will be sent as funds are available.  The government of Canada has said they will match every dollar donated.  (They have not confirmed what organizations qualify but at the moment it looks like SP will)  If anyone wants to donate they can do it to Samaritan’s Purse directly http://www.samaritanspurse.ca/ or through Church of the Rock http://www.churchoftherock.ca/.  Just hit the Donate Online link.  Monies donated in Missions General box will go to Haiti relief until the end of the month.

Here is the information on how to volunteer.

Current Work Opportunities

To effectively respond when a disaster occurs, we need immediate communication with potential volunteers. We maintain a list of people throughout Canada who are interested in responding to natural disasters both internationally and within North America.

Samaritan’s Purse relies on volunteers to carry out relief operations, and we provide the equipment, materials and leadership needed to respond.

Our disaster Relief Teams bring tangible help in a time of great need. We seek committed volunteers who have and heart to serve, and understand the mission of Samaritan’s Purse to go and help people in Christ’s Name.

Join our Contact List

To effectively respond when a disaster occurs, we need immediate communication with potential volunteers. We maintain a list of people throughout Canada who are interested in responding to natural disasters both internationally and within North America.

If you would like to be added to our contact list, send the following information to info@samaritan.ca:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

If you are part of our contact list, you will be informed whenever Samaritan’s Purse has a relief opportunity and is in need of volunteers. You are under no obligation to sign up for a team.

How to Volunteer

To join a Relief Team, you must complete and submit the Application Forms below. You are welcome to do this in advance, should you want to join a team when a disaster occurs. **If you are interested in signing up as a church or group, please contact Samaritan’s Purse directly for further information.

Application Forms

Contact & Submission Info

Samaritan’s Purse – Canada
ATTN: Relief Teams

20 Hopewell Way NE
Calgary, AB T3J 5H2

Phone: 1.800.663.6500
Fax: (403) 250.6567
Email:
info@samaritan.ca

Please take the time to review our privacy policy.

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