Celebrate Life! Starting the day with a sunrise memorial with the Protestant Federation of Haiti. Photo: Melissa Crutchfield/UMCOR
The following is a statement issued by Melissa Crutchfield, Assistant General Secretary, International Disaster Response, UMCOR, to the Protestant Federation of Haiti in Port au Prince.
January 12, 2011
On behalf of the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, I would like to thank you for the privilege of being here with you today.
Over the past 12 months, we have shared an incredible journey with the Haitian people, a journey which began with the great loss and tragedy caused by the earthquake one year ago today. We have cried with you, mourned with you, prayed with you, celebrated miracles with you. We have been humbled by your strength, your courage, your resilience. We have learned from you what it means to be patient, hard-working, dedicated and devoted to the ministry of renewal in Christ’s name. We have walked with you through the treacherous and ever-challenging recovery. We have worked side-by-side with you in what have been the first steps towards rebuilding this beautiful country, the first steps along what we know will be a long road. A road which will present us with fresh challenges; a road which will not be easy; a road whose end we may not yet see from where we stand today. Yet with our support of each other and with our faith in Him, we are given the strength to continue the journey.
Although our work together over the past months has redefined and strengthened our partnerships in Haiti in many ways, the commitment of UMCOR, GBGM and the United Methodist Church to the people of Haiti began long ago. For decades, we have worked with our brothers and sisters in the Église Méthodiste d’Haiti and the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas, as well as other partners in faith, and those who share the humanitarian spirit, to support, strengthen and improve the lives of all Haitians.
The people of the United Methodist Church and beyond have continued to affirm this long-standing commitment and partnership with their extravagant generosity, so that we may have the resources to remain engaged in the recovery, rehabilitation and sustainable development of Haiti for years to come. We pledge to work with you to strengthen the livelihoods, shelters, education and health of the Haitian people; we commit ourselves to stand beside you as we navigate the holistic recovery of body, mind and spirit, so that all Haitians may not just survive, but thrive.
Today I am honored to have the opportunity to stand with you to remember those we have lost, celebrate those who remain, applaud our progress, and renew our commitment to walking hand-in-hand with you on the long road ahead. And with Christ’s help, all things are possible, so that renewal of Haiti and all Haitians will not be a dream, but a reality.