Skip to comments.ELCA Members in Haiti Reported Safe Following Earthquake
Posted on 01/13/2010 5:19:57 PM PST by lightman
ELCA Members in Haiti Reported Safe Following Earthquake
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) engaged in volunteer work and immersion experiences in Haiti are reported safe following a Jan. 12 earthquake that struck the southern part of the Caribbean nation.
The Rev. Douglas A. Hill, Abiding Hope Lutheran Church, Littleton, Colo., and a group of 11 seminary students are in Jacmel, which is located about 40 miles from the earthquake epicenter. The group is safe and has shelter, food and water, but direct communication with the group is not possible at this time, according to the Rev. Chad D. Johnson, Abiding Hope.
Abiding Hope provides immersion experiences in Haiti for intern and seminary students attending seminaries of the ELCA. The experience includes visits to the homes of Haitians and various ministry organizations. After the trip students return to Abiding Hope for three days of reflection and writing.
Abiding Hope organizes about 8 trips to Haiti a year, Johnson said. The church founded the Haitian Timoun Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is "to create a future of hope, sustainability and dignity for the children of Haiti by identifying visionary Haitian-led organizations in the areas of education, poverty eradication and leadership development."
Twelve members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Minn., in Pignon, Haiti, are safe, reported the Rev. Stephen A. Wold, Trinity. The group is on a medical mission assignment and conducting other volunteer work through Hosean International Ministries, a not-for-profit organization designed to serve the needs of the Pignon community. It employs about 150 international staff to help operate its school, children's home, retreat center and electrical cooperative.
Fourteen adult and youth members of Christ Lutheran Church, Dryville, Pa., engaged in volunteer work in Haiti are also safe. The group is working in Haiti as part of The Lazarus Project, designed to respond to the needs of the poor in Haiti.
"I do not have the words to express the great pain and sadness I feel for the people of Haiti," said the Rev. Edward R. Benoway, bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, Tampa, Fla. He said many congregations of the synod share a special relationship with the people of Haiti through fundraising and mission trips. The synod's global mission team works with people in Haiti to build churches, schools and relationships.
"At this time, there are various groups from our synod and from around the ELCA serving in Haiti," said Benoway.
The Rev. Joseph Livenson Lauvanus of Eglise Lutherienne d'Haiti (Lutheran Churches of Haiti) was in the United States when the earthquake occurred.
Lauvanus has not been able to contact anyone in Haiti, said Mary Delasin, co-chair of the synod's ELCA World Hunger program and advocacy coordinator in Haiti. She told the ELCA News Service that the synod has had a close working relationship with Eglise Lutherienne d'Haiti for several years.
Delasin said the epicenter of the quake was located in Carrefour, the location of the first Lutheran congregation established in Haiti. Many of Eglise Lutherienne d'Haiti's congregations were within the area affected by the earthquake, she said.
- - - Information about the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod is at http://www.fbsynod.com and Abiding Hope Lutheran Church at http://www.abidinghopelutheran.org on the Internet.
For information contact: John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.elca.org/news
I’m sure their friends and family are glad to get the news. I was looking at a site that CNN has up where people can post photos of loved ones who they haven’t been able to contact. There are quite a few Americans in the 80 pages of photos. Many were there on mission trips, or doing humanitarian work. Here’s a link...it reminded me of 9/11 and how people would post photos in NY of missing loved ones, asking for information as to their whereabouts.
Prayers for those who survived and those still missing, their families as well. What a tragedy this is.