Methodists report continuing commitment to Haiti relief

By agency reporter
2 Feb 2010

Appeals for Haiti launched by the Methodist Church and the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) have raised more than £270,000. They are channelling funds through Action by Churches Together International on the spot.

Donations to both MRDF and to the Church’s World Mission Fund are supporting the emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation work being carried out by the Methodist Church in Haiti. As well as funding food, blankets, tents and latrines, donations to MRDF have helped to provide a water purification system in the Belair neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. This is providing 10,000 homeless Haitians with crystal clear drinking water – the first clean water they have had since the earthquake struck.

In his sermon on Sunday 31 January 2010, the Rev George Mulrain, President of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, said: “Our contribution to Haiti does not wait until a disaster strikes. It is ongoing. Various agencies and organisations are contributing to relief in Haiti, which is commendable. But soon the dust will settle and the media folk will turn to another “breaking news story” as the saga of Haiti recedes into the background. Not so with us as Methodists. We are there to stay, because, our motive is not to make the news headlines. The love of Christ constrains us and we stay.”

Simeon Mitchell, MRDF’s Fundraising, Marketing and Campaigning Director, commented: “Methodists have once again responded with speed and generosity, and we are deeply grateful for this support. In view of the widespread devastation and chaos, every donation is significant. These gifts are enabling us to alleviate some of the suffering in the short term, and empower people to begin rebuilding their lives.”

As of yesterday morning (1 February), donations to the World Mission Fund had reached £161,000 with the Methodist Church in Ireland contributing more than £25,000 to that total. Donations to MRDF stood at £117,000.

The Rev Tom Quenet, Methodist Partnership Coordinator for the Americas and the Caribbean, is planning to visit Haiti later this month. “The figures that the Methodist Church in Haiti has sent us represent a massive loss of the church’s infrastructure to serve the men, women and children of Haiti,” he said.

“The destruction of schools mean that the effects of the earthquake will be felt by many generations into the future; the loss of clinics means that lives will be shortened for lack of health care; the destruction of child care facilities will mean that children and young people will become vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The overwhelmingly generous response of the Methodist people means that not only are people receiving water, food and shelter in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, but also the Haitian church will be best ready to respond in alleviating the long term consequences.”

People can donate via the Methodist Church by visiting www.justgiving.com/Methodist-Church-Haiti-Appeal, or sending a cheque payable to the World Mission Fund to Dave Bennett, Fundraising Coordinator, at Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Postal donations should be labelled ‘Haiti Appeal’. For further information visit www.methodist.org.uk or contact Revd Tom Quenet on 020 7467 5160.

To donate via MRDF, visit www.mrdf.org.uk or call 020 7224 4814 to give by debit or credit card, or send a cheque made payable 'MRDF (Haiti emergency)' and to MRDF, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR.

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