submitted by Anita Unrath, Florida-Bahamas Synod Haiti Task Force
Thanks to the generosity of congregations and individuals in the F/B Synod, two important projects are happening for the Lutheran Church in Haiti (ELH): a new church roof and a cistern to have clean drinking water.
In Oct 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated southwestern Haiti, and New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Les Cayes lost its roof. The congregation has had difficulty worshiping since due to the rain or hot sun. The Haiti Task Force recently approved sending the funds for a new tin roof that will withstand hurricanes.
Pr Livenson, President of the ELH, wrote, ”Thank you very much for your great effort to finally put up a roof on the church in Les Cayes. No words for this great effort. But only God knows the intensity of this act of kindness and wisdom from all of you. Peace, love and many blessings to you all!”
A study in Haiti found that 70% of Haitians “do not have direct access to potable water.” Water of any kind is often a far distance from home and requires that family members spend many hours each week traveling to water sources and lugging home containers of water for essential family use.
The Servant Ministry Committee of St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, in partnership with the F/B Synod Haiti Task Force, provided the funds to construct a rainwater cistern on the property of the ELH congregation in Savanne Zombie, Haiti. This cistern will hold rainwater from the church’s tin roof for use by the congregation and community of 4,000 people. Construction is underway so that the cistern can be completed before the rainy season. In 2016, SAKLC provided funds to complete a cistern on the property of the ELH congregation in Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti.
According to Pr Roger Arnholt of SAKLC, “Water is a powerful symbol – of our new life in Christ through Baptism. The water from these two cisterns is a symbol of our shared humanity with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ. And, beyond symbol, the water from these cisterns is the gift of life, the gift of time, the gift of opportunity. It is God’s work – through our hands.”
Pr Livenson, members of the Lutheran churches in Guyana and Suriname, and the President of the seminary in Jamaica are coming to the Caribbean Consultation 3 and Synod Assembly. Come meet them at the Global Mission workshops and Connection Café during breaks.