Rebuilding of the first Haitian Church of the Nazarene is complete!

Haiti Update

Caribbean Region

April 26, 2010

Dear Nazarenes:
I recently returned to Haiti and want to update the church on the challenges we face and the progress being made. I held three assemblies while I was there, all of which were well attended. The people are deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and generosity from Nazarenes around the world and are filled with a hope and confidence that only the Lord can give. I will go back to Haiti the weekend of 4  July 2010 for a day of planning with our district superintendents and to participate in our seminary commencement and an ordination rally.

The latest reports from the field indicate the following:

  • At least 109 Nazarenes were killed in the earthquake, with hundreds physically injured.
  • More than 60 Nazarene churches were severely damaged or destroyed.
  • Seventy Nazarene church schools were badly damaged.
  • More than 1,500 Nazarene homes were destroyed.
  • Churches outside Port-au-Prince are reporting that thousands of evacuees have shown up in their communities, adding stress to already underserved areas.

  • Restoration of the Petit Goave church building was completed on 9 April 2010, using Alabaster money for materials and a Work & Witness (W&W) team from Findlay, Ohio, USA. This is the first church to be completely rebuilt after being destroyed by the 12 January 2010 earthquake.


  • Petit Goave Church of the Nazarene

    Duarte   Duarte
    Before   After

  • Our superintendents in Haiti have set the following priorities for rebuilding: churches (symbolizing hope and stability for the country), schools (representing preparation for the future), and housing (meeting current needs) for our pastors and people. Some of our superintendents and pastors had their homes destroyed and are living in very difficult circumstances.

  •  
  • Four Work & Witness teams have worked in Haiti since the earthquake. In addition to the Petit Goave church being completely rebuilt, two churches have been repaired. Beneficial improvements and repairs have been made on the Nazarene seminary campus. Photos, reports, and other information about these accomplishments can be found at: http://www.nazareneshelphaiti.com/events/.


  • Currently we have 46 additional churches to repair and 18 to completely rebuild. The L’Acul de Leogane church building will be finished next week by the Smith Center, Kansas, USA, W&W team.


  • The Church of the Nazarene has Work & Witness teams coming each week. Churches being completely rebuilt and/or repaired by means of Alabaster offerings and the sacrificial giving of W&W teams will make a tremendous difference in Haiti. So far a total of 37 teams have been scheduled to help.


  • Evidence of the devastation remains overwhelming, and the labor of cleaning up the rubble of buildings is tedious. Workers are doing what they can, but it is a painstakingly-slow process when using hand tools. The Church of the Nazarene in Haiti is actually moving relatively quickly in their efforts to rebuild.


  • In terms of development projects, Haitian leaders have named education, agriculture, and health as top priorities.


  • While food supplies are still a problem, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) Haiti is continuing to distribute food to families with the greatest needs. This week alone they are working to distribute 40,000 pounds of rice and other food donations as well as purchasing food in the country so churches can give it to people in their communities. For more on the rice distribution, click on this link: http://www.ncnnews.com/nphweb/html/ncn/article.jsp?id=10009143.


  • In the next few weeks NCM expects to receive and distribute 250,000 pounds of food, 50,000 pounds of water, and more than 14,000 Crisis Care Kits. Additionally, NCM Haiti has begun creating church garden projects that will provide food in communities for years to come.


  • The Church of the Nazarene is in the process of distributing hundreds of tents and more than 1,000 tarps for people without homes.


  • There are 30 Children’s Safe Place camps that are underway or beginning in the next two weeks to specifically help a total of 3000 children as they work through their grief.


  • In order to increase our capacity to help, the Church of the Nazarene is hiring national staff to do the expanding work of NCM Haiti under the leadership of Pastor Walliere Pierre. They are contributing by coordinating the post-traumatic counseling and Children’s Safe Place ministries and by working with local churches to create community gardens, etc. This is important for the long-term health of the church in Haiti.


  • Local people told me that there are still bodies in the rubble of some collapsed buildings. The Haitian government does not have manpower for the necessary search and recovery operations. NCM Haiti is training pastors and lay leaders in grief and trauma counseling on four districts in order to help people who are dealing with the aftereffects of the quake.


  • I am grateful for the regional team members as they serve sacrificially in this hour of need. They are doing their best to direct and lead the efforts of the church. The task is great, and our resources are limited. Our local leaders and missionaries face the huge challenge of meeting many demands all at once. Even organizations who work with catastrophic situations on a regular basis are being severely stretched.

    While there are many competing, short-term demands, let's continue to be patient in working with our missionaries and volunteers. Keep scheduling Work & Witness trips. Continue to give generously (go to: http://www.ncm.org/haitiearthquake). Pray without ceasing as we support those on the field who are providing leadership for the efforts of the Church of the Nazarene. They need our prayers for safety, strength, and endurance.

    In and for Him,
    J. K. Warrick
    General Superintendent
    bgs@nazarene.org