Christ United Presbyterian Church
In Haiti, right now, while many are tirelessly feeding and caring for desperate refugees, others are planting orchards, building water purification systems and planning faithfully for a good and fruitful future. In the Artibonite region of Haiti, a rural area north of Port Au Prince, local pastors and mission workers are working round the clock on short-term crisis relief, but they are also praying and acting in hope and faith for health and wholeness for the next generations.
This Super Bowl Sunday - Feb. 7 - Christ United Presbyterian Church will hold a Chili for Haiti fund-raiser 11 a.m.1 p.m. Eat in or pick up a bucket of chili and some corn bread to enjoy while you watch the game. We will have displays and updated information about the tragedy in Haiti and ways that together we can answer God's call to put our faith into action.
This is close to home for me. One of the people on the ground in the area is my friend Tom Braak who runs a ministry organization coincidentally called Faith in Action International. Founded in 1997 by Tom Braak, FIAI is a Christian, grass-roots organization whose goal is to tangibly express God's love to people living in impoverished communities. Tom's passion has long been about changing lives through sustainable effective farming in poor areas. He started working with local people to create urban community gardens, first in the US and then in Haiti. Tom and his family live and work full time in Verrettes, his wife's home community, with their baby son and adopted daughter.
This week, in the midst of feeding and sheltering hundreds and delivering tarps and medical supplies, FIAI also started hiring people to graft avocados in their tree nursery and to help with critically needed soil conservation efforts. The new hybrid trees will extend the harvest season by 3 months, bringing much needed income to support farmers. An extensive food for work program will help those who are able to work, play an active productive role in rebuilding their community.
The Artibonite region ministry teams are seeing the hope that God provides in the midst of the crisis by looking ahead to model communities which will entice people to leave the overcrowded city and re-populate the countryside. Dependable utilities, better schools and jobs outside Port Au Prince are key to Haiti's fruitful future. A long term action plan is being developed with the active assistance of local leaders.
As Christians, we are called to stand in the G.A.P - to Give, Act and Pray. You can help by enjoying some great chili (Minnesota Mild, Chili with a Kick, White Chili, Garden Potato and more!) and corn bread from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. this Sunday Feb 7. Suggested price is $5 per bowl with a $30 cap for families. Additional donations will be gratefully accepted to support trusted and targeted efforts in Haiti.
Proceeds from this fund-raiser will go to Faith in Action International and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance(PDA) which has a solid track record of caring for those in need, regardless of religion, race, creed, or nationality of the recipients. PDA's coordinated response includes (but is not limited to) the areas of relief, education, psychosocial support, water and sanitation and disaster preparedness. Additional donations may be sent to Christ United Presbyterian Church at 400 W. Lyon Marshall MN. Please note they are for Haiti. Questions call 530-3671. Hope to see you Sunday!