The Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Ms Mardi Tindal, will travel to Haiti on Tuesday 6 April 2010, leading a five-person delegation on a pastoral visit to support the work of Christians and others there.
“After horrific death it can take a very long time before we can really hear Jesus’ words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled”- but it takes less time when we accompany one another,” commented Tindal.
She explained that the United Church’s partners in Haiti are engaged in relief and reconstruction despite the trauma of losing family members, homes, and offices.
“They have asked us to accompany them - pastorally and personally - and so, like good neighbours in time of crisis, we are going to be with them,” she added.
The United Church’s partners in Haiti are the Methodist Church of Haiti and the Karl Lévêque Cultural Institute (ICKL). It also works through the ACT Alliance, a newly-launched global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance, and advocacy.
According to the United Nations, more than 222,517 people were killed and 300,000 injured in the Haiti earthquake. More than one million people are living in makeshift settlements. The situation is staggering, devastating, and unprecedented, say aid workers.
Since the devastating earthquake on 12 January 2010, United Church of Canada members have contributed over C$2.7 million for relief and restoration efforts.
Ms Tindal wrote in an Easter message to United Church congregations that she was honoured to represent them in this pastoral visit.
She added: “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve our church in this way. When I return I look forward to sharing what the people I meet in Haiti say about how we can be with them through this most difficult time. And I will bring them assurance of our continued commitment to stand with them as they rebuild their lives.”