|People Gathered for Lutheran Village Dedication|
Yesterday, Sunday, 15 January 2012, the Lutheran Village in Jacmel, Haiti, was dedicated. The Lutheran Village was conceived by Rev. Glenn Merritt, working with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH), after the devastating earthquake in Haiti on 12 January 2010. The Lutheran Village consists of cinder-block homes constructed around a Lutheran congregation. Hundreds of people attended the dedication on Sunday, including the mayor of Jacmel and two senators.
|Rev. Marky Kessa, President of the ELCH, awards home to applicant|
Senator Joseph Lambert was a government dignitary who attended the dedication of the Lutheran Village. Senator Lambert, himself, was personally trapped under concrete rubble after the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Thirty-nine others were trapped with him, only four, including him, survived. He recounted that when the earthquake struck, he was rendered unconscious almost immediately. Around 11 PM, some six hours after the earthquake, he awoke and thought that life was very short. The sounds of people crying for help brought him to consciousness. He heard people crying, “Senator, please help me, pull the board out that went through my stomach”; “Senator, help me, pull the concrete off my legs.” The Senator said he would spare those gathered from the other horrible sounds he heard as people died. His arm was broken behind his back and concrete pressed on his skull. He said with his good arm he reached back and grabbed hold of a board. Around 2 AM, he heard the voice of his younger brother calling his name. The rescuers pulled the Senator out of the rubble by the “board” he clung to. Once out of the rubble, the Senator saw what he thought was a board was in fact a crucifix. He said that he gives thanks to Jesus every day for delivering him from the earthquake. He thanked the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for its work to help the people of Haiti. He also thanked Glenn Merritt in particular for traveling to Haiti more than 20 times to make the dream of a Lutheran Village a reality.
|A Home in the Lutheran Village|
A distinguishing feature of the homes in the Lutheran Village from the homes constructed by some of the other relief agencies is the cinder block construction. The mayor of Jacmel contrasted the sheet rock and cardboard homes constructed nearby to the “real homes” constructed from concrete in the Lutheran Village. The quality of the homes in the Lutheran Village were greatly appreciated by Haitian government officials.
|A Lutheran Congregation forms the heart of the Lutheran Village|
|Sanctuary of the Lutheran Congregation|
The people who received homes at the dedication service were very grateful to receive a home.
|People from the ELCH|
After the dedication service, people rode home on the back of trucks.
|A Common Mode of Transportation in Haiti|
Below are pictured Dignitaries from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH), The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Haitian Government.
|Dignitaries at the Dedication|
It was truly a blessing to see the completion of the Lutheran Village.
Today, 15 January 2012, we worshiped at a local Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH) congregation in Jacmel near the airport.
People singing at worship. The worship at the Lutheran Congregation followed a liturgical outline: Invocation, confession / absolution, Old Testament, Epistle, Gospel readings, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Holy Communion, and Benediction. The music ranged from hymns to Haitian songs.
Drs. Collver and Just assisted in the distribution of Holy Communion. The elders admitted who could or could not attend Holy Communion– this is the way the ELCH practices close(d) communion. About 350 people attended the service and 200 communioned.
After the service we went to the dedication of the Lutheran Village.
— Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations, posted in Jacmel, Haiti.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
|Haitian and LCMS Delegates at Seminary Delegation|
In Leogane, Haiti, the Concordia Theological Seminary of Haiti was dedicated on Saturday, 14 January 2012. Present were leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH), a partner of the LCMS, and delegates from The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Pictured (left to right): President Marky Kessa, Pastor Marckenson, Pastor Isaac Jacquet, Pastor Eliona Bernard, Dr. Collver, Darrel Howanitz, Rev. Glenn Merritt, Carlos Hernandez, Pastor Daniel Paul, Dr. Edward Grimenstein, Pastor Thomas Bernard, Pastor Walter Ries, Jr., Pastor Ted Krey, Rev. Dr. Willy Gaspar, Dr. Author Just.
|Rev. Glenn Merritt, Dr. Author Just, Dr. Albert Collver, Rev. Dr. Willy Gaspar|
Rev. Glenn Merritt, Director of LCMS Disaster Response, represents the Office of International Mission and worked diligently on the Lutheran Villages in Haiti as well as the development of the seminary building. Dr. Arthur Just, Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, traveled to Haiti along with Dr. Timothy Quill after the earthquake to help revise the Haitian seminary ;curriculum. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations, represented the President’s Office at the dedication. Rev. Dr. Willy Gaspar, served as project manager for the work done in Haiti.
The Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince Haiti. The Presidential Palace does not look much different than it did two years ago.
Tent city in front of the Presidential Palace.
People along the street.
— Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations, Posted from Port-au-Prince 14 January 2012
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison introduces Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, who joined the LCMS in January 2012 as the Chief Mission Officer. Learn more in a Reporter article here.