The recent earthquake in Haiti left a deep and wide wound to the life of Haitian people. As the aftermath meets hurricane season, the need increases immensely. And all this has happened on the top of the political turmoil after the assassination of the former president about a month ago.
There are some mission leaders in our Bi-District and in the Virginia Annual Conference, who have kept great connection to the Methodist leaders in Haiti. Throughout this blessed connection, there are a few ways we can provide support for God’s beloved people in Haiti, in response to the recent challenges.
Medical Supply Drive One way we can immediately participate in this missional support is by sending supplies to Haiti. There is a shipment that leaves for Haiti in September, and the most urgent needs are being collected–medical supplies. Below are the items in need.
- Bandaging materials (unopened)
- Moist towelettes
- Antiseptic swabs
- Water purification tablets
- Nutritious power bars
- Unexpired meds (to within 6 months) to treat diarrhea/abdominal pain
- Pain relievers (non-opioids), such as Aspirin, Tylenol and Ibuprofen
- Nutrition supplements (i.e. multi-vitamins)
Grace UMC in Manassas (located at 9750 Wellington Rd., Manassas, VA 20110) is designated to be the collection point. If you are in Fairfax County (or anywhere nearer than Manassas), you may bring in the supplies to Wesley UMC in Vienna (located at 711 Spring St., SE, Vienna, VA 22180). Please drop off your donation item(s) by September 10, 2021. Please note that all items must be sealed tightly in cardboard boxes and clearly labeled with magic marker directly on the box (no stick-on labels):
Rony Seraphim (509/4876-2257)
David Draeger (phone: USA number 812/890-6145; Haitian number 509/3638-9991)
Eglise Methodiste d’HaitiFor any questions about the Medical Supply Drive, contact Chris and Bill Lowe at Grace (Haitianatheart@yahoo.com) or Kyungsuk Cho at Wesley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Monetary Donations David Draeger, a mission liaison in Haiti, pointed out, at this time, visiting Haiti or sending actual items may not be the best way to assist, unless requested otherwise, due to the difficulty for transportation, as well as the raised concerns about safety. That said, monetary donations can be a great help. And there are two ways.
- UMCOR International Disaster Relief Fund (#982450)
- Relief Fund for the Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti (EMH) Recovery Team via VAUMC
As you may recognize, UMCOR is already in Haiti, responding to the situation as the first responders. Donations to the UMCOR will support the project. Also, EMH recently formed a Recovery Committee to organize essential efforts in the community. One of the most urgent needs includes food and medical kits, as well as water buckets and filters that will provide water to drink and wash hands. Donations to EMH will be collected in the Conference account and then transferred to EMH. As the wiring process is somehow complex and fee-engaging, this way we can safely send the funds with minimal fees involved.
When you assist financially, please consider supporting UMCOR and EMH separately from each other–making it 50-50 between the two if possible. Their uses are different, and both are essential and urgent.
Prayer Vigil And of course, prayer is the best support we can offer. Virginia Annual Conference conducted a Prayer Vigil on August 26. You can find specific areas to pray for in the worship video. Please continue to remember in your prayer all the families that are impacted, leaders and workers that are working hard, and the peace upon the hearts of all Haitian siblings, that God may be found at every corner of the situation.
Please be advised that The Serving Office of the Annual Conference also has well summarized these efforts on their website. You may want to find some more details there. The EMH leadership is giving us an update pretty periodically. As the circumstances change or needs are updated, we will keep you posted. Thank you very much for your prayers and support of all kinds. So grateful for you and our blessed connection.
Thanks to Rev. Kyungsuk Cho, Pastor Wesley United Methodist Church for contributing this article.