By Kim Plummer Krull
Generous donors to LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC) have provided more than $5.6 million for help in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. That aid was distributed primarily through grants to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH), an LCMS partner church, and also to the Lutheran Church of Haiti (LCH). Funding has focused on collaborative projects in seven broad ministry areas.
Without additional donor support, only projects associated with the long-term medical strategy and seminary training projects in Haiti are budgeted to continue beyond the current fiscal year.
The following is based on a report by the Rev. Glenn F. Merritt, director of LCMS Disaster Response, which provides an overview of the major projects:
- An emergency food, water, clothing and medical supplies project helped send more than 80 trailer-sized shipping containers of emergency supplies to Haiti in collaboration with Orphan Grain Train.
- A debris cleanup project facilitated debris removal after the massive destruction in Haiti. More than 3,000 sites have been cleared, and some 330 temporary houses have been provided through grants that paid for shipping and equipment costs.
- An orphanage support project helped care for more than 100 children at five Haitian orphanages, and included the installation of clean-water systems and sanitary latrines. Additional support was provided by the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.
- A clean-water wells and sanitary-latrine project works through local Lutheran schools to provide for disease-prevention education, clean drinking water and sanitary latrines. The project is under way in five of the 62 Haitian Lutheran schools and will end at the current sites without new funding. Additional support was provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
- Building Homes and Hope in Haiti, a WR-HC project in partnership with the ELCH, has built Lutheran villages in Jacmel, Beaudouin and Leogane. The villages include 67 homes and two six-unit apartment buildings with a total capacity for some 300 people. Each village is connected to an ELCH congregation, including two new churches.
- A long-term medical strategy includes four medical clinics and one dental clinic located throughout Haiti in partnership with the ELCH and LCH. Haitian medical personnel run the clinics with support from Mercy Medical Teams (MMT) of volunteers from the United States coordinated by LCMS Health Ministries. Additional WR-HC funds helped send four emergency MMTs to serve after the Haiti quake and one specialized team to combat the cholera epidemic. Four additional MMTs, funded by team members, also served at emergency clinics. WR-HC funds purchased medicines and supplies to combat the cholera epidemic.
- A seminary training project includes more than 80 students who are preparing for professional church work in classes taught throughout Haiti by ELCH pastors and visiting professors from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. The new ELCH seminary headquarters under construction in the Lutheran village in Leogane is intended to consolidate and strengthen the country’s theological education.
Posted Nov. 23, 2011