01-13: LCMS World Relief and Human Care responds in Haiti with emergency funds after devastating earthquake
As news of what is being called the largest earthquake to hit Haiti in more than 200 years reached LCMS World Relief and Human Care (LCMS WR-HC) on Tuesday, the Synod’s mercy arm began preparing to reach out in the Caribbean nation with much needed assistance and working in cooperation with Lutheran partners.
Only hours after getting reports of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, the Synod’s mercy arm announced it was making available funds to meet initial emergency needs. “The unfolding drama in Haiti calls for unlimited mercy on the part of the people of the LCMS. The needs are urgent and overwhelming right now,” said Glenn F. Merritt, LCMS WR-HC director of Disaster Response. “I appeal to God’s people to respond as generously as possible during this most difficult time.”
Early reports indicate extensive property damage and terrible suffering among people trapped in collapsed buildings in an impoverished country already challenged by longtime political strife and poverty. Haiti is widely known as the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
News of the devastation triggered numerous calls and e-mails to LCMS Life and Health Ministries Director Maggie Karner who, even before the earthquake, was preparing to send the first LCMS WR-HC Mercy Medical Team (MMT) to Haiti next month. Ironically, on Monday Karner sent a massive MMT recruitment appeal to LCMS pastors and congregations asking for physicians, pharmacists, and other medical professionals to volunteer for the team that is scheduled to serve in Haiti March 11-21.
“Our preliminary legwork for the first MMT team to Haiti in March will serve us well as we prepare to respond,” Karner said Tuesday night. “Perhaps now, because of this tragedy, people will see the desperate need in Haiti and prayerfully consider how they can use their gifts and talents.” (To learn more about the MMT trip to Haiti, contact LCMS WR-HC’s Jacob Fiene at 800-248-1930, ext. 1278, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
LCMS WR-HC is working cooperatively with LCMS World Mission, Haitian missionaries, and partner churches to provide relief in a timely fashion. Funds are urgently needed to help Haitians who have lost loved ones and homes.
To share Christ’s mercy with suffering Haitians, you can visit the LCMS website: http://www.lcms.org