So here I am in San Diego – connecting with friends here before Marko, Ed Noble and I leave to head to Miami, to meet with the other team members. If you haven't yet – head to www.facebook.com/churchtochurch
to meet them. I'm excited to spend some time with them both in Miami and Haiti.
ALSO – thanks for the tweets, DMs, Facebook messages and emails. I so appreciate them. Keep'em coming. It makes a huge difference to know that people at home do really care about what's going on in this story.
On the way here – as I wrote previously, I was remembering my trip to Fiji in 2004. I was lucky enough to be invited with a small team to visit a group of political prisoners, for want of a better description. They were elite soldiers that had been forced under threat of death and harm to their families to participate in the coup of 2000, under George Speight. They had been in prison since then, awaiting trial.
That's a long time to be in a dark, Victorian prison block in Suva. But one of the prisoners said to me, while reflecting on encountering hope in the darkest of moments in life – "I may be in prison, but the prison is not in me.".
When I read stories coming out of Haiti – there's something of a similar refrain.
Despite the devastation, for many the quake has brought a new sense of hopefulness and opportunity. An corrupt government that faced little prospect of reform was effectively destroyed.
But that hopefulness comes despite the ongoing suffering. Loss of income, loss of economy in an already economically-devastated area BUT there is opportunity for real people to connect with real people and for communities in NZ to work alongside communities in Haiti to rebuild.
They don't have to be churches, by the way. It could be a community of Twitterers, a group of radio show listeners.. whatever. I've been partnered with one particular church leader there – to learn his story in particular and to understand the needs from his perspective.
Meanwhile – read this from Marko's blog (www.whyismarko.com
) regarding why the church is actually one of the most invaluable groups for people/NGOs and other organizations to invest in… I think he sums it up really well.
"adventures in missions (AIM) has created the isaiah 58 project (a.k.a. “church to church”), which partners churches in a one-on-one relationship with a haitian church. this strategy grew out of discussions and observations on our february trip, where it became clear to us that the haitian church is about the only existing indigenous infrastructure left in haiti at this time. and, with an amazing revival taking place in haiti, this is a wonderful time for the haitian church to provide leadership, community development, restoration, and various forms of assistance. but they could use help, of course. the church to church program provides a supportive, reciprocal relationship between churches and church leaders.
but i need to ask my wonderful blog community to give. i don’t do this very often. but this is a winner; and i want you to be a part of it with me.
we’re trying to raise $35,000 in the next couple weeks. every penny of that will go to haiti (not to central office administrative costs, or anything like that). the funds will primarily be used to pay the salaries of a few proven haitian church leaders who will be coming on staff with AIM to run the haitian side of the church to church program. they will provide the administration, accountability, communication and insight/oversight needed for a program like this. and, really, it’s pretty amazing to think that $35,000 could provide 3 decent salaries for 1 – 3 years! "
So there it is.. funding leadership and engaging with specific communities. Two specific opportunities and ways to be involved.
Please comment, write, make contact somehow if you have questions, thoughts, concerns, hopes.. dreams.
I'd love to see a group of NZers of all types, faiths, connections work together to do something meaningful and long-term in Haiti.
Posted via email from Tash McGill
Tash- Praying for you guys and the resources needed. Hope the trip is safe and opens more eyes to the continual need. Glad to know that you are going.