Churches Helping Churches

     A 70 year old woman was pulled from the debris of a collapsed building in Haiti on Sunday after lying there for five days! They located her partially by using a sophisticated electronic device that is able to detect heartbeats. Once they knew the area where she was buried, they pinpointed her location because rescuers could hear her singing under the concrete. Can you believe that? She was singing a Christian hymn!
     There are some rare happy stories in this unbelievable tragedy, but for the most part, the story of Haiti is currently disastrous. I want to thank all of you from The Bridge for your generosity in helping us to help them. Our plan is to work with local Bible-teaching churches in Haiti to provide help for those in their neighborhoods, as well as to rebuild and be the beacons they need to be in the rebuilding process that will take years. But once all of the world’s attention has subsided and the humanitarian shipments have diminished, it will be the local churches that will make the real difference. We want to help position these centers of hope for both immediate relief and long-term spiritual and societal impact.
     A number of Christian organizations are currently working through local churches, including Compassion International and Brighthope, but none are working directly to help the churches themselves. James McDonald, senior pastor at Harvest and a new friend of mine, along with Mark Driscoll of Seattle, traveled to Haiti this week to investigate the state of local churches and their position to help the neighborhoods where they are located. They are putting together a consortium of local churches here in the states to work directly with Hatian churches for more than immediate humanitarian aid, but the kind of help that can change the course of Haiti’s future. For more information on this group, check out their website here. One of the benefits of our getting on board with this group is that we open the door to work directly with people with whom we can build long-term relationships and for some of us to actually travel to Haiti and help them rebuild. Gifts that you give to the Haiti project through our online giving will be given as a special church project through Churches Helping Churches, and opening the door for us build an ongoing relationship with a church in Haiti. You can make a special gift for that project here.
     It seems to me that as a church, we have no choice. We are not only followers of Jesus, we are His Body, his hands and feet. We are called to be Jesus to those who are in desperate need, and to reach out with help first to our brothers and sisters so that they, in turn, can meet the needs of those around them.
     Let’s continue to pray for those in Haiti!

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