Earthquake strikes Haiti

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been struck with a devastating earthquake this evening. According to initial reports, the 7+ magnitude quake and aftershocks have toppled buildings including hospitals and hotels through out the country's capital region.

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Haiti: following developments

This post continues our coverage of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. See our previous coverage here which includes information on twitter feeds and Episcopal Church connections as well as other information.

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email reports from Haiti contacts

We have received several emails and social media posts about information provided sources on the ground in Haiti. See our complete Haiti earthquake coverage here.
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Haiti: News from other churches,
and ours

The Episcopal Church has a dedicated page on the church's response, including how to help. Episcopal Relief and Development has bulletin inserts (half page, full page). And Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has made a video statement.

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Embark on a 21-day financial fast - and then GIVE!

When a tragedy such as the Haiti earthquake occurs, the outpouring of support for this already poor nation is nice to see. As we approach the season of Lent, it can be an extremely spiritually rewarding practice to give some time to reflect upon the way that many people in the United States and elsewhere consume more than we need. On NPR online, Michelle Singletary proposes a 21 day financial fast in order to purify our consumerist mentality. Pairing this practice with the practice of radical giving to the victims of the Haiti earthquake would be good news indeed.

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ABC's statement on Haiti

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams offers a message of support to the people of Haiti, and encourages people to give generously for aid work:

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MLK, Jr. on interconnectedness

As we pray and work to help the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti many of us are also planning to remember and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many communities will embark on days of service and many people will attend events to remember and honor Dr. King, but also to be inspired to live and work in ways consistent with his call to action. Over at "Textweek.com" there are many resources for MLK, Jr. day.

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A portal for Haiti earthquake response

The Episcopal Church has launched a web-page that brings together the church's response to the earthquake in Haiti in one location. It is episcopalchurch.org/haiti.php.

There is a radio button for giving to Episcopal Relief and Development and a Twitter feed of the latest developments. You can also follow a blog with the latest news of what is going on in Haiti, the status of particular individuals and ministries within Haiti, and resources about how people can help.

Where is God in the earthquake?

Updated. Fr. Frank Logue, Vicar of King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia, shares this video reflection in response to the question "Where is God in the earthquake?" Also, here are some prayers, a hymn and a litany for Haiti.

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Haiti and the wedding at Cana

Since our thoughts in Haiti run more to people than to infrastructure, it's probably too early to say what's among the rubble and ruin of Port-au-Prince and what's left standing. (Though the lists of buildings gone does take your breath away.) Still, here's a photo turned up during web searching.

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A bishop-elect thanks a passing mentor

Where, and how, is character formed? Some of what makes The Rev. Scott Benhase (bishop-elect in the Diocese of Georgia) tick was formed in a mission experience to Guatemala in 1977 sponsored by The Rev. Fred Lamar, a chaplain in the '70s at DePauw University who sponsored and nurtured a few thousands students on such trips over a generation.

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8 year old: help me help Haiti

Episcopal Life Online features Ismail Taylor-Kamara who wants to help Haitian children following the earthquake and the response of his priest and the Presiding Bishop:

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Beauty in the midst of suffering

According to Deacon Ormonde Plater only the Baptism of Christ mural remains at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

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Facts about the quake and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti

Updated below with report from Episcopal Life Online.

Via email from The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
[Inserted material added by the Episcopal Café.]

The Episcopal Church: Facts about the Diocese of Haiti and the aftermath of the earthquake

The world continues to watch after a devastating 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of Haiti, with the death toll mounting each day. The Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief & Development responded immediately. The following fact sheet will assist in your continued reporting of the Haiti earthquake.

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Work of Haitian Episcopalians recognized in Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has extensive coverage of the Episcopal Church in Haiti and the role it is playing under conditions that are beyond real comprehension:

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Haiti relief efforts continue

Despite great challenges, relief efforts continue in Haiti, and the need for help of all kinds continues:

Relief Efforts Continue in Haiti After Earthquake
From Episcopal Relief and Development

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Haiti update

Ten days after the earthquake that struck Haiti, here is a roundup of news from Haiti or about the response.

Here is a Wall Street Journal video describing both life amid the ruins and the response of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.

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Outpouring of support for Haiti continues

In the days since the Haitian earthquake, the Daily Scan, which the Cafe´ receives courtesy of Neva Rae Fox, the Episcopal Church's program officer for public affairs, has been full of stories of the ways in which Episcopal Relief & Development, dioceses, congregations and individuals have been reaching out to the people of Haiti, where the death toll has now reached 111,000.

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Bishop Duracin writes from Haiti

UPDATE: We now have access to a heartbreaking video clip showing the rubble of Eglise Sainte Trinite cathedral in Port-au-Prince, along with further reportage from ENS.

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Haiti: new letter from Pere Keser Ajax

A new letter is available from Pere Kesner Ajax, Coordinator of the Partnership Program and Director of the Bishop Tharp Institute in Les Cayes:

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Haiti must own Haiti's future

The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop of the Convocation of Churches in Europe, reflects about the future of Haiti. Quoting a letter from Bishop Duracin of Haiti "Nous sommes aux abois, mais fermes dans la foi." (Être aux abois means literally to be run down like the fox in a foxhunt, mais fermes dans la foi means but firm in the faith). Whalon writes:

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"Don't forget, it's our country.
It's not yours"

Ray Saurez, PBS NewsHour reporter and Episcopalian, was in Cange yesterday and filed this report on its Episcopal hospital [transcript]:

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Haiti update: 2 weeks later

From the Episcopal Church Haiti Response page:

Over two weeks since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, the scope of the death and destruction is staggering. The most recent estimates indicate that roughly 200,000 deaths and 194,000 injuries have occurred. At least one million people have been left homeless and in need of temporary shelter.

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Paving stones on the road to hell

So how can it be that ten white American evangelical church people can think that they can fly into Haiti and attempt to take thirty-three children out of that country with nothing more than a note from a pastor?

This incident calls up terrible echoes sad history of Western missions when it was thought that taking children out of their native cultures and eradicating all memory of their homes was equated with proclaiming the Gospel.

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Trucks for Haiti

The Diocese of Virginia has been asked by Episcopal Relief and Development to supply ten small pickup trucks to aid in the distribution of relief supplies. The Diocese did a similar thing after Hurricane Katrina. Katie Mears, co-coordinator of Haiti disaster relief for ERD, contacted the Diocese of Virginia to ask for a repeat performance of that truck campaign, this time for Haiti.

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G7 cancels Haiti's debt

A welcome announcement: the so-called G7 (the meeting of financial ministers from France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan, U.S., and the UK) has announced that it will call off all of Haiti's bilateral debts to those countries.

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"Requiem for St. Jacques le Juste."

By the Rev. Lauren Stanley, Missionary to Haiti, in her blog, "Go Into The World"

On Wednesday, I said a Requiem Mass for 14 of my parishioners at St. Jacques le Juste in Petion Ville, Haiti, who died in the earthquake on 12 January. I still don’t know who they are; I know only that 14 people, with whom I celebrated the Eucharist and life every week, are gone. I have been living with this painful unknowing for more than a week now, ever since I learned of their deaths. I have been living with the grief of not knowing the fate of more than 125 other friends.

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Presiding Bishop visits Haiti

Episcopal News Service reports on the Presiding Bishop's pastoral visit to Haiti:

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Food for the soul

On Friday in the Bel Air section of Port au Prince, an area of town that was poor before the earthquake, the Ste. Trinite´ Music School held a concert for the people. The Ste. Trinite Music School complex is destroyed, many of the instruments are gone, much of the music is missing. But that didn’t stop the music from being played. ~Lauren Stanley:

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Health crisis in Haiti enters a deadly new phase

The Haitian government raised the number estimated to have died in the earthquake to 230,000. That does not include the number dying in a deadly new phase: diarrhea, infections and malnutrition.

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Lenten resources on Haiti

LeaderResources has published a resource for Lent on Haiti entitled Searching for God in the Rubble of Haiti. The program explores where God is in this devastating tragedy:

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Presiding Bishop describes trip to Haiti

After making a pastoral visit to the Episcopal Bishop of Haiti, the Presiding Bishop, offers reflections on her visit and Episcopal Life offers new multimedia resources on the devastation in Haiti.

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Scam alert

The Rev. Lauren Stanley warns us of a scam artist using the name of Haitian Bishop Duracin to steal money from well-meaning donors.

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ALERT: Haiti fraud emails

The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs has issued this warning about fraudulent emails asking for donations to Haiti:

Subject: Fraudulent emails circulating concerning Haiti relief

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PB: "Haiti has already experienced Good Friday"

Bishop Duracin and I talked about foregoing Lent this year, for Haiti has already experienced Good Friday. Their task is to practice resurrection, find hope, and dream together of a restored world. That is our own task as well. The nations of the world, under Haiti's direction, can help to rebuild a stronger and freer nation, where all people have hope of a more abundant life. - The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.

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Virtual "re-visitation" of Sainte Trinite

Through the wonders of digital photography and the web, visitors may "revisit" images from Sainte Trinite, the Cathedral in Port au Prince, Haiti before the devastating earthquake that struck last month. Dr. Donivan Bessinger of Greenville, SC has posted these images, collected after many years of spending time in Haiti. Thank you Dr. Bessinger for sharing them!

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Haiti: lest we forget

Lest we forget and allow Haiti to become just a blip on the news cycle: from blogger Grandmère Mimi at Wounded Bird, an article at NOLA.com, on Louisiana doctors sharing their knowledge gained from Katrina:

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A Haiti roundup

Some recent stories on the recovery phase of Haitian earthquake that caught our attention:

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Haiti relief efforts struggling to overcome obstacles

The situation in Haiti continues to be dire. While aid is streaming toward the impoverished nation, the necessary infrastructure to distribute the material goods is lacking. Haitians living abroad, particularly those in the U.S., often called members of the Haitian diaspora are trying to coordinate a work-around as quickly as possible.

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A way to help Haitians help Haiti

Episcopal missionary to Haiti, Lauren Stanley, passed on another great way to help Haitians help Haiti. Read on, and if you are able, please help:

HELPING HAITIANS HELP HAITI:
WHAT YOU CAN DO

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Bishop Jean Zache Duracin reflects on Haiti

The bishop of Haiti, Jean Zache Duracin, reflects on challenges which face his earthquake-ravaged nation, and where he finds God as he works to help rebuild his country.

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Bp of Haiti's Easter Message

On this the Thursday of Easter Week, we commend to you the Easter Message of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, Jean Zaché Duracin:


'The Lord is with all Haitians,' Bishop Duracin says in Easter message

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Social fault lines

When disaster strikes, it usually highlights the faults lines of poverty and class that already existed in a society. We saw this at work in New Orleans after Katrina, but never has this been more apparent than in Haiti.

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First Lady visits Episcopal High School in Haiti

Michelle Obama accompanied by Jill Biden, the First Lady and the wife of the Vice President, made an unexpected visit to Haiti today. As part of their tour of the country that was devastated by an earthquake in January the two women came to one of the schools run by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.

ENS has the following:

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Updated Story: Photos of Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden in Haiti

As an update to our posted story yesterday, Haiti missionary Lauren Stanley has posted photos of the visit by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden to the Haiti Episcopal School, College St. Pierre:

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Diocese of Haiti to release recovery plan "very soon"

During a meeting with Episcopal Church Center staff in New York this week, the Rev. Kesner Ajax, Diocese of Haiti partnership coordinator reported on the progress of the recovery efforts in Haiti. Specifically he reported on where things were for the Episcopal Church and where they were expected to be going:

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Rising from the rubble: Haiti's art treasures

Some good news of restoration of the murals from the rubble of the earth quake that leveled the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. From the NY Times:

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Haiti: school gives more than an education

Many stories of suffering and hope come out of Haiti. Appointed missionary Lauren Stanley reports on these stories at her blog Go Into the World. Several this week tell about how getting schools up and running helps children to heal from the shock of the earthquake, injuries and death all around them. Also an update on Episcopal Relief and Development activities for long term re-development.

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Resurrection for Haiti cathedral's murals?


Haiti cathedral's murals could be resurrected, experts say
Trinity Sunday celebration will mark diocese's second collection toward rebuilding
From Episcopal Life Online

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Haiti missionary's service to diocese ends as recovery transitions

In a move justified as matching personnel to the current stage of recovery, "the Rev. Lauren Stanley, the Episcopal Church-appointed missionary who has been Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin's liaison in the United States, is no longer to be involved in those efforts."

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Episcopalians in Haiti working for transformation

Over the weekend, Shenandoah Valley-based newsleader.com threw the spotlight on several ways in which the Episcopal Church is functioning in Haiti, with an emphasis on what might be considered a few of the positives.

Take some time to click through these stories.

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Haitian social fabric fraying

Tyler Cowen does a roundup of bad news you may have missed coming out of Haiti:

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Disheartening paragraphs

The Montreal Gazette on progress in Haiti:

The larger international organizations are used to the criticism that they aren't doing enough, fast enough. But Oxfam, like others, says it's difficult to move forward until the government puts people in charge of the reconstruction plan drawn up at a donor's conference in New York in March.

More:

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IMF cancels Haiti's debts; offers loan

The International Monetary Fund has canceled Haiti's $268 million debts and offers a $60 million loan to the earthquake-devastated nation:

IMF cancels Haiti's $268m debts and agrees $60m loan

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Churches around the Communion mark first anniversary of Haiti quake

The Episcopal Church isn't alone in responding to the plight of Episcopalians in Haiti. Other provinces of the Anglican Communion are making commitments to increase their support of the Haitian people, and are holding special events to mark the first anniversary of the devastating quake.

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Rebuilding Haiti: exercise accountability, infrastructure

Cindy Corell reports from a conference titled "Haiti - Rise up and walk" that any future success in that republic will demand new kinds of thinking. Why, Corell asks, do rebuilding efforts never seem to gain ground, and what can be done?

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Please pray for Haiti

The situation in Haiti is getting (as hard as it is to imagine) even more dire. The cholera epidemic is spreading, violence is spiraling and the fear of unrestrained mob violence is growing.

From ENS:

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Haiti, almost a year after

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and the location of the largest Episcopal diocese was devastated by an earthquake on Jan 12, 2010. For the past year resources and mission workers have been involved in helping the people who live there recover their lives.

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PB pledges continued help for Haiti

Haiti Earthquake 1 year later: The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, pledges continued support and care for those affected by the Haitian Earthquake one year ago:

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Alabama Episcopal Church continues to serve in Haiti

Haiti Earthquake 1 year later: On the 1 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the work of rebuilding continues. The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama sent six medical mission teams to Haiti during 2010 along with relief funds and supplies. The effort is part of Alabama's five year relationship with the Diocese of Haiti:

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Bishops reflect on Haiti - One year later

Bishops of The Episcopal Church offer pastoral letters this week as Haiti marks one year since the devastating earthquake there:

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Haiti: Is recovery possible?

Haiti Earthquake 1 year later: This article in the AnglicanJournal.com points out the continuing struggles for recovery, and the vast challenges ahead as the nation of Haiti works to rebuild and care for its people.

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2 Episcopal churches offer 1/2 million matching gift for Haiti

Two Episcopal churches offer one half million dollar matching gift for Haiti:

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Mural restoration

NBC's Today show reported on the restoration work that has begun at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port au Prince, Haiti. The murals depicting Haitians in traditional Biblical scenes were created in the 1940's and are being restored with help from the Smithsonian Institution.

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Vundia appointed to coordinate programs in Haiti

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti has announced the appointment of Sikhumbuzo Vundla as the Chief of Operations. This is a new position for the diocese, created to help manage the many programs and activities developed in response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

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Red Thread Promise

PBS Religion and Ethics tells the story of two congregations of New Orleans and Haiti connected by disaster:

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Haiti: 2 years later

Two years after the earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince and other parts of Haiti- many still live in tents - awaiting promised aid. The Episcopal Church, through the Episcopal Church Foundation is trying to rebuild the Cathedral as a center for renewal of life. Episcopal Relief and Development is supporting people to rebuild their lives.

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Boosting nursing in Haiti

The Wall Street Journal's Melanie Grayce West writes a story on Carol Roye and her colleagues' efforts to train and accredit nurses in Haiti, leading to better care and greater respect. An excerpt:

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Four Year Anniversary in Haiti Prompts Memories, Questions

Sunday, January 12, 2014 marks the fourth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti.  In Haiti, the anniversary was marked by an understated ceremony in Léogâne-- the epicenter of the 2010 quake--drawing together religious and governmental leaders for a ceremony of remembrance.  

More than 200,000 people died in the earthquake four years ago, most of Port au Prince was destroyed, and international leaders pledged $14 billion over ten years to rebuild--though that money has been slow to appear.

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