Open letter and video from General Superintendent J. K. Warrick on Haiti
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Caribbean Region
Dear Nazarenes:

I want to bring you up-to-date on the latest information available to us regarding the crisis situation in Haiti. This is a first-person account of some of the things I experienced as I arrived in Haiti on the afternoon of 12 January 2010 for district assemblies.

The United States Geological Survey reported that the magnitude 7.0 quake-the most powerful to hit Haiti in a century-struck shortly before 5 p.m. Eastern Time and was centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince. It could be strongly felt in eastern Cuba more than 200 miles away, witnesses said.

The earth became like an angry ocean.

Status Report

Here is what we know as of Friday 15 January 2010:

  • The dire situation in Haiti continues with extreme shortages of food, water, shelter, fuel, and medical care. Roughly one third of the population of 9 million has been affected, and at least 50,000 are estimated to have lost their lives.
  • What we take for granted in terms of infrastructure in developed countries (electricity, water, sewers, and roads) simply doesn't exist in Haiti. This lack of basic needs is adding to the difficulties of providing assistance to people.
  • It is not easy to land planes at the Port-au-Prince International Airport due to congestion. This situation needs to improve quickly so that helpers and larger quantities of supplies can be brought in to meet the overwhelming demands of the dear people of Haiti.
  • Haitian Nazarenes are working to distribute food, water, tents, and blankets and to provide medical attention. Simultaneously, our international church continues working around the clock to join the efforts of others in meeting the needs.

It is worth noting that the value of World Evangelism Fund dollars and the faithful giving you have provided to this country can be found in the 500+ churches and nearly 116,000 Nazarenes who are serving the dislocated people of Haiti on behalf of the Church of the Nazarene.

The Immediate Needs

The best thing to do is pray:

  • For all Haitians but especially for our people who need food, water, patience, comfort, and strength. There is no place for people to stay. They sleep on the ground in the open air, sometimes using cardboard boxes to lie on, if they can find them.
  • For initial responders-search and rescue personnel; medical teams who are setting up clinics on our seminary campus near Petionville; firemen, police, and others who are going into Haiti to stabilize the country.

Cash donations are needed in order to provide emergency supplies and assistance:


The Long Road Ahead

In the next few months our seminary and other locations will become staging grounds for scores of Work & Witness teams to build churches and homes and to repair the Nazarene Seminary in Haiti. More information will be available at www.nazarene.org and through your church as details are worked out and logistics are put in place.

In Closing


Here are some words from John Smee, regional director for the Caribbean:

"Sixty years ago the Church of the Nazarene began in Haiti with two members. Now 116,000 Haitian Nazarenes, living in the poorest nation of the Western Hemisphere are facing death and destruction, and yet they remain strong and resilient, true to their faith. They are depending on Nazarenes around the world to pray and give as they seek to rebuild their lives, their towns, and their country. God bless you for your prayers and the support Haitians are already receiving."

There is simply no adequate answer to the question "why?"  We must leave that for some future time. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12). So let us focus on this question: "How can I help?"  As we respond to this question our great Nazarene family around the world will make a difference for the future of the Haitian Nazarenes and the Haitian people. This will please the heart of our Lord!

Thank you for your faithful response.


J. K. Warrick
Chair, Board of General Superintendents
Church of the Nazarene

bgs@nazarene.org

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