In Jacmel, Haiti, President Robert Bugbee of the Lutheran Church Canada (LCC) and President Marky Kessa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH) stand in front of a medical clinic donated to the ELCH by LCMS World Relief and Human Care after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and severely damaged Jacmel and also Leogane.

Two years after the earthquake, this historic street in Jacmel is still badly damaged. This was a section of town with some of the oldest buildings dating to the time of the French occupation in the late 18th century.

A United Nations tent city still remains in Jacmel. Two years ago when I visited the tent city in Jacmel, Canada United Nations forces provided security for the earthquake survivors. In a blogpost, I wrote:
“The children being children made toys from discarded bicycle tire rims and a stick. A few other children made kites from scraps of plastic wrap or bags and a few sticks. The kite string was dental foss. In the midst of the disaster, the children can still play.”
Today, the children still play and there has been improvement to the city of Jacmel… Not to mention the completion of two Lutheran Villages.

Pastor Willy Gaspar and Ulna, the manager of the medical clinic in Jacmel, look over a list of needed medications.

Dr. Collver stands with Sydney Kessa in front of the Lutheran Guest House in Jacmel. A couple of short term teams from the LCMS stayed in the guest house this past month as they volunteered in Haiti.

Driving back from Jacmel to Port-au-Prince, a several hour drive through the mountains, we saw evidence of the challenges which beset Haiti. The problems and challenges of Haiti were only exacerbated by the earthquake. Nearly every SUV type vehicle was branded with the logo of one of the ten thousand non-governmental organizations (NGO) that operate in Haiti. Yet unbridled charity from the United States and other countries will not solve these problems.

On the way back to the hotel in Port-au-Prince, we drove past the collapsed presidential palace so that President Bugbee could see it. Our Haitian driver mentioned that every American wants to see the collapsed palace. I asked him, “Do you think it will be repaired?” He responded, “They will try to do something. This is our 9/11.”

President Bugbee reflecting on the trip remarked, “When we think of the sorrow and other human tragedies brought on by the earthquake here, I can’t help but think of that mighty refrain from Psalm 46, ‘The Lord of hosts is with us.’ In the middle of all their sorrow, our friends n Haiti are finding that He is with them in a big way in the faithful preaching of the Gospel. I can only hope that the Missouri Synod and the LCC can be the Lord’s instruments to deepen these wonderful people in their commitment to Christ, His Word, and our Lutheran Confession.”
Kyrie Eleison.
— Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations
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