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Methodist Church response to the earthquake in Haiti

NEWS RELEASE

Appeal launched to help thousands struck by devastating Haiti earthquake

  • Church donates £20,000 to aid victims of killer quake feared to have left thousands dead


The Methodist Church in Britain has launched an emergency appeal and granted £20,000 in immediate aid to Haiti after a catastrophic earthquake rocked the Caribbean nation yesterday.

Reports revealed that the 7.0-magnitude quake, the worst to hit the country in two centuries, tore down the HQ of the UN Mission, the presidential palace and thousands of homes in the space of a minute at 16.53 Haitian time and 21.53 GMT.  Survivors used the micro-blogging site Twitter to report on the unfolding tragedy.

Revd Marcus Torchon, a Haitian Methodist minister serving in the Liverpool District on an exchange programme, said: “I am still waiting for news from family members who are missing. I managed to speak to my nephew after the quake happened, but since that phone call there were more than 10 after-shocks. Now the line is dead because the major phone networks are down.

“It is really destabilising emotionally. Practically, I would like to be of service to them. I feel that at some point I may have to go there when the airport is open. At the end of the day, we have nothing but our faith in God.”

Revd Tom Quenet, Partnership Coordinator for the Americas and Caribbean, established contact with the President of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas at 3am GMT today. Tom said: “Following the damage caused by four successive hurricanes that hit the island in 2008, I fear that the people of Haiti will wake up to scenes of devastation, fear and loss of life.”

Haiti’s Methodist church is the largest membership district of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean & the Americas with 12,000 members.

Tom Osbeck from aviation ministry Air Calvary said: “The buildings, homes, businesses and hospitals of Port-au-Prince are flattened. We stand outside and weep as we hear thousands of crying people. Thousands have died – many, many around our house.”

David Carwell of Mission Aviation Fellowship said: “All kinds of things in our house shook and slid and came tumbling to the floor. There have been many aftershocks and tremors. They seem to be weakening, but I doubt if it’s over yet.”

The Methodist Church in Britain is appealing to people to make their response through the World Mission Fund while international relief agencies and governments work to bring relief to Haitians.

Donations can be made through the Just Giving webpage on the Methodist Church website here or by sending a cheque payable to the World Mission Fund and posting it to Dave Bennett, Fundraising Coordinator, at Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Postal donations should be labelled ‘Haiti Appeal’.

A prayer is available on the Methodist Church website: www.methodist.org.uk/haiti

Meditate on Psalm 104.

Prayer:

Powerful God who causes the power of the universe to create and destroy.
We thank you for lives spared
and miracles that have taken place in the devastated country of Haiti.
Give us grace to live with the mystery of your power
that at times like this leaves us confused, broken and shaken.
We pray for the people of Haiti
and ask that you will comfort the grieving and the injured.
We are humbled by their confidence in you in times of trouble.
May the embrace of compassion and humanity be a shelter and refuge.
May your word feed and nourish as the world brings relief and rebuilding.
We pray for the Rev Gesner Paul and the people of the Methodist Church in Haiti.
We ask that you will strengthen them
as they work to bring relief and comfort to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
This day and every day,
give us the will to listen to your voice and work together to heal broken lives,
build destroyed homes and establish justice for all your people. Amen.

Tony is a Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45am and 9.20am). Tony is married with two children.

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