Global Ministries: The United Methodist ChurchClick to skip to content.

 About Us  Our Work  Get Connected  How to Give  Resources  Mission News
Facebook Twitter YouTube print. email.

Haitian Methodist Leader Assesses Earthquake Damage
The bell tower of the Methodist Church in Port-au-Prince may be the only damage sustained during the January 13, 2010, earthquake.
The Methodist Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, may have sustained only minor damage.
Image by: Methodist Church of Haiti
This building, destroyed in the January 12, 2010, earthquake looks like it might slide into the street where survivors walk by.
Many Methodist Church-related buildings, like the rest of the area, were totally destroyed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Image by: Methodist Church of Haiti
Source: Planning and Research

New York, NY, Jan. 19, 2010--"Almost every Haitian family has lost a relative, or friend, or close one," the president of the Methodist Church in Haiti reports in an open letter of appreciation to those assisting his country in the wake of the January 12 earthquake.

The Rev. Gesner Paul wrote that people of all walks of life lost their lives across the country of 9 million people--professionals and the destitute alike. Estimates of the number of dead vary significantly, ranging from 50,000 to 100,000. "A lot of people have lost their lives," Paul said.

"Up to now, the main activity in Port-au-Prince," he said, "is the rescuing of people still under debris. Cleaning of streets has started, as well as the disposal of the dead across the city. A few supermarkets have timidly opened their doors. We do not know when life will return to normal."

The relatively small Methodist Church in Haiti is a district of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) and follows the British Methodist organizational plan. It is organized into seven circuits consisting of 30 to 40 congregations each. Most of these churches are served by lay preachers. There are some 100 Methodist schools with a total enrollment of more than 20,000.

"We thank God that all of our Haitian ministers are in good condition with their immediate family members," President Paul said. "Broadly speaking, the manses where they live have resisted well."

Many church buildings, as well as public structures, did not fair as well. The Haitian Methodist leader wrote:

In Port-au-Prince, several government buildings are destroyed, such as the National Palace, the Justice Palace, Ministries' Palace, Tax Office building, etc... Many church buildings are partially or totally destroyed, such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Holy Trinity Cathedral (Anglican Church), and Saint Martin Methodist Church and School.

The Methodist Church in Port-au-Prince may have received only minor damage, as what we can see with our bare eyes is that the bell tower has suffered the most apparent damage. We will need expert advice though, before concluding that this is the case indeed.

Nouveau Colléage Bird has been severely hit. The entire primary section and half of the secondary section buildings are totally destroyed, while the rest is badly shaken. When activities resume, a qualified civil engineer will have to come and advise us as to the way forward. So, we do not know when schools will be able to open.

In Petit-Goave, the Methodist Church is still standing but has recorded a severe shock as several cracks have occurred in the walls. The Methodist Clinic, Siloe, has been destroyed, as well as the book store.

Speaking for the Methodists of Haiti, President Paul concluded, "We thank you for standing near us at this time of severe difficulty and continue to count on your support, by any means, as we try to recover from this very traumatic disaster."

UMCOR is mobilizing its resources and in cooperation with it's partners is preparing to be on the ground to deliver direct relief to earthquake survivors in Haiti by early next week. Gifts to support UMCOR's Haiti Relief efforts can be made to Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325. Checks can be made to UMCOR with "Advance #418325 - Haiti Emergency" in the memo line. Checks can be put in the church's offering plate or mailed to: UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087.

One hundred percent of gifts made to this Advance project will go to help the people of Haiti.

Click Here: UMCOR's Response to Haiti

See Also...
Topic: Christian love Emergencies GBGM news UMCOR United Methodist Church Methodism
Geographic Region: Haiti
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Haiti   

Date posted: Jan 19, 2010