Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Upon this rock

A child passing by the Methodist Church of Haiti guest house in Port-au-Prince embodies hope for the future, as the devastated nation continues to rebuild following last year’s earthquake. Credit: J. Rollins

“Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18

This is my first trip to Haiti, and I admit that I was not fully prepared. The photos that I have seen since the earthquake of January 2010 cannot fully capture the complete devastation I now see on this island. On the trip from the airport, I saw miles and miles of rubble, tent cities, and tarps held up by sticks to create makeshift stores. And in the midst of all this, I also saw the faces of smiling, resilient Haitians—their spirit of hope shining through and proving that life is about more than the places where we dwell and work.

I am here for at the invitation of the Methodist Church of Haiti (Eglise Metodiste d’Haiti, EMH) for three days of planning long-term projects that will help the Haitian people rebuild their lives. There is an excitement among those of us gathered as we prayerfully await the start of this series of meetings. It is clear to all present that all is not lost. Hope, faith, and love have persevered. Thanks to the generosity of donations, volunteers, and dedicated EMH and UMCOR staff, progress has been made. The church stands ready to continue this progress at increasing rates.

Tomorrow, on the way to our first meeting in Moulin Sur Mer, I will have the opportunity to visit two projects sponsored by UMCOR, at Camp Corail and La Trembelay. I aim to post blogs, photos, and videos each day so that you may experience this journey with me, sharing in the work that has taken place and celebrating the work that will begin soon.

Upon this rock we will continue to work in solidarity with the people of Haiti to accompany them as they rebuild.

James Rollins, Director of Marketing and Communications, UMCOR

September 5, 2011


  1. James,

    My prayers to you and the entire team gathered in the beautiful country of Haiti. I recently returned from a mission trip through UMVIM and we worked on the construction site at the Methodist School in Puit-Blains, visited Grace Children's Hospital, worshiped in a Methodist Church in Thor, and held a prayer vigil at the former Hotel Montana. No matter how many photographs you see or stories you hear, there are no words to describe your experience in Haiti. I cannot wait to return someday!

    Nicole @ 27 & Counting

  2. Thank you for creating this blog. I look forward to reading your impressions of Haiti and the huge challenges it faces. I am part of an UMVIM mission team from Arlington, Virginia that will travel to Mellier in two weeks to work on rebuilding the school and church there. Haiti is always in our prayers and, increasingly, our actions.