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Haiti Update 2: Columbia Union President Calls for Members to Pray, Give
By Taashi Rowe
Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference, today called for all churches unionwide to dedicate a week of prayer—starting this Sabbath, January 16—for the earthquake-shattered nation of Haiti.
“This [sort of devastation] is unprecedented in the Western Hemisphere, and it is of biblical significance,” Weigley said. “Without question this is a sign of Christ’s soon return. The most important thing we can all do right now is to pull together and pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and for all the people of that devastated country.”
He is also appealing to members to be liberal in giving money to ADRA International (adra.org), which is already working with ADRA Haiti to funnel immediate aid into the island-nation.
Staff members at the union’s headquarters in Columbia, Md., also gathered in the union’s Grace Chapel to sing and pray for those suffering now. One-by-one staff members lifted their voices in prayer and pled for God’s comfort, relief, and grace on that shattered country.
Goldie Louis, a union staffer, shared that her husband’s mother and uncles may have been impacted. “It’s been really stressful and hard not knowing—wanting desperately to help in some way,” she said. “We are waiting and hoping that someone who knows our loved ones will respond to our emails and calls.”
Rubén Ramos, assistant to the president for Multilingual Ministries, said, “It really breaks my heart to hear this news about Haiti.” He continued, “However, this is a great opportunity for us to show Christian attitudes, not only through prayer but also through giving abundantly to our institutions. The second coming of Christ is close, and I hope this reminds us to remain faithful to our church’s mission.”
Others affected in the Columbia Union include members of Potomac Conference’s Manassas (Va.) church. Charles and Gigi Le-Morzellec, who founded the Eden Garden Orphanage, are in the country now and report that even though the staff and children are safe, their director—who resides in Port-au-Prince—remains missing. They are joining in the relief efforts and are asking for donations through their website edengardenorphanage.info.
There are 330,000 Seventh-day Adventists and 1,000 churches in Haiti, according to Larry Evans, undersecretary for the worldwide Adventist Church. Evans continues to receive reports of the destruction of two of the country’s largest Adventist churches. Concerns remain over the status of children attending the school attached to one of those churches. One union worker was killed when a wall fell on him. Many have taken to sleeping on the lawns of the Haitian Adventist University and hospitals in Port-au-Prince.
To donate to ADRA’s Haiti Earthquake Response Fund, call (800) 424-ADRA (2372), or visit adra.org and click on the “Haiti Earthquake Response Fund” link.
For more updates about Haiti, visit columbiaunion.org.