FOR MANY OF US...

For many of us Haiti is defined by the horrific January 12, 2010 earthquake – almost exactly 8 years ago today - and the massive relief efforts on the country’s behalf ever since. However, for the next four weeks we want to provide a more intimate introduction to the country and the people of Haiti while also digging in to an opportunity that we have as a church to join our partners from Back2Back Ministries in making a powerful proclamation to our friends in Haiti.

You see, Haiti doesn’t need – in fact, doesn’t want – our relief efforts, as kindhearted and well-intentioned as they are.  What Haitians want – in fact, what they need – is people who believe in them enough to give them the tools necessary for development. And, to stick around long enough to build the bonds of trust to see that development through.  

We’re going to be a part of the long-term solution for the people of Haiti. Blue Ash Community Church, is going to put a stake in the ground that says, “We see you. We hear you. We want to join with you in your long-term development and the development of your country.”

For many of us Haiti is defined by the horrific January 12, 2010 earthquake – almost exactly 8 years ago today - and the massive relief efforts on the country’s behalf ever since. However, for the next four weeks we want to provide a more intimate introduction to the country and the people of Haiti while also digging in to an opportunity that we have as a church to join our partners from Back2Back Ministries in making a powerful proclamation to our friends in Haiti.

You see, Haiti doesn’t need – in fact, doesn’t want – our relief efforts, as kindhearted and well-intentioned as they are.  What Haitians want – in fact, what they need – is people who believe in them enough to give them the tools necessary for development. And, to stick around long enough to build the bonds of trust to see that development through.  

We’re going to be a part of the long-term solution for the people of Haiti. Blue Ash Community Church, is going to put a stake in the ground that says, “We see you. We hear you. We want to join with you in your long-term development and the development of your country.”

Since the earthquake in 2010, Haiti has been flooded with relief – things meant to help our people recover and get back on our feet.  However, that relief just keeps coming eight years later and its actually done the opposite. Its crippled business owners who used to sell the things that people are now exchanging for free. That’s what’s happening along this road.  

Most of the people here are bartering donated goods as a way to provide for their families. For example, instead of making shirts from cotton grown on the island, hiring workers, and setting up a shop they are trading donated shirts from the U.S. and other countries for the things they need to provide for their families. No jobs, no businesses, no cotton suppliers with a business of their own.  Relief, not development. What was meant to help has, in the long run, actually hurt.

So, what is it that can make a difference in this? People. Relationships. Not just money or things.  The people of Haiti need people they can trust and who believe in us. This is where real development happens.  People who can share wisdom, and skills, and training, and in the hard times that will stick with us. People who are in it for the long haul.

Unfortunately, most of the people who come to help only see what’s “out there.” Physical poverty, the results of the earthquake. What they don’t see is a people who need to know that they have what it takes to make a difference in their own country. What they don’t see is a people asking, “Will anyone really believe in us?” Haiti needs people who believe in her.

There is this false idea that, maybe, Haiti can’t ever recover and stand on her own.  That belief drives well-meaning people to offer relief instead of working toward development. We’re committed to making sure those people, those relationships, that development is available.

There is a very real sadness and trauma brought on by the devastation and loss of life, the palpable anger over the continued lack of development and opportunity, and the desperate sliver of hope that, just perhaps, there is a better day on the horizon for Haiti and her people. USAID estimates that over 3 million people were directly affected by the quake. The immediate relief afterward was desperately needed and the absolute right response to the unimaginable tragedy.  But, in the 8 years since, the pivot to a strategy of development has yet to take hold.  Relief is still in the mind of most of the governments, churches, and NGO’s who continue their work here.

The good news is that this is beginning to change and forward thinking organizations, like our partners at Back2Back, are making a commitment to partner with communities, with children’s homes who’ve taken in those left orphaned by the earthquake, and other organizations committed to development through training, education, and job creation. They can’t do it without us but they also can’t do it without a strategy built on development.

After 6 years of work in Haiti, building partnerships, listening closely to Haitian nationals, and surveying what long-term strategy makes the most sense, Back2Back Ministries has put a stake in the ground. just like they have in Mexico, Nigeria, and India, they’ve declared they will be a part of bringing long-term development to Haiti. we at Blue Ash Community Church are putting a stake in the ground with them.

As part of a larger plan in the building site in Haiti, Blue Ash Community Church has committed to invest $25,000 to fully fund two new staff roles, a social worker and psychologist. 

All funds will directly support this mission of emotional health of the people Back2Back serve. the time is right. the place is right. and the partner is right. together, we can do this.

We hope you prayerfully consider making a contribution in support of this project. donations can be  made at www.blueashcc.com/haiti or by mailing a check with Dangerous Invitation in the memo line to Blue Ash Community Church at 10272 Alliance Rd Blue Ash, OH 45242.

 Together, we can do this. Let’s put a stake in the ground in Haiti.

We hope you will prayerfully consider making a contribution in support of this project.  Donations can be made via this link (Select the "Haiti - Dangerous Invitation" from the drop down menu) or by mailing a check with Dangerous Invitation in the memo line to Blue Ash Community Church at 10272 Alliance Rd Blue Ash, OH 45242.

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