On Saturday, August 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Haiti, killing 2,200 individuals and destroying much of the nation’s southern peninsula, including 50,000 homes. It is the latest in a succession of calamities in Haiti, including the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Deeply touched by this situation, the Ontario Conference administration recently met with pastors serving our Haitian brethren. First, they expressed their solidarity with all Ontario members of Haitian descent. Then, they asked how these members are coping, particularly those with injured or dislocated relatives. Finally, they asked the pastors how the conference may assist while respecting Canada Revenue Agency regulations.
During the meeting, administration and pastors discussed short-term, medium- and long-term support, given that the road to any reasonable recovery looks long. They also considered possible partners in the process. To start, the administration is exploring the following:
- Engaging in dialogue with any prosthetic manufacturers that would be willing to donate to assist the many who have lost limbs during the recent earthquake.
- Soliciting seeds for the long-term contribution to feeding the hungry. If any member is employed by Canadian Tire or any seeds supplier, we would appreciate hearing from them.
Moreover, those faithful members of our Haitian congregations whose telephone numbers are made available to our membership records will be contacted by telephone as of Monday to be encouraged and prayed with by our support staff from the office. It is a difficult time for them, and those whose families have not been directly affected invariably know someone whose family has been.
Any other creative and workable suggestions from our members are welcome. Kindly send them to Theodore Sargeant, firstname.lastname@example.org, director, Community Services/Compassion Ministries, or his secretary, Lisa Mercer, email@example.com.
Special thanks to Pastors Dorzilme, Fritz Francois, Josue Manigat and Jim Nziwa for their dedicated leadership during these difficult times.
Pastor Mansfield Edwards, Ontario Conference president