Message from Felix Ortiz Concerning Haiti

Message from Felix Ortiz Concerning Haiti

Isaiah 40:31 “Los que esperan en Dios tendran nuevas fuerzas, levantaran alas como las aguilas…….”

As we see and hear about the quake yesterday afternoon that affected Haiti, our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Haiti.  We lift up prayers for our two denominations’ partners in Haiti, the National Spiritual Council of Churches of Haiti (CONASPEH), and House of Hope, and with Patrick and Kimberly Bentrott, Global Ministries missionaries to Haiti, and their son Solomon.

The latest news is that the Bentrotts are fine.  Also all the members of the People to People delegation led by Rev. Glen Stewart, the Regional Minister of Tennessee, are safe. 

The Haitian people have suffered a great deal during their history.  They have experienced colonial powers, slavery, isolation, occupation, racism, dictatorships, coups d’état, hurricanes – and now this earthquake.

But also, the Haitians are people of faith, courage and resistance.  For that reason the words of Isaiah are pertinent now.  Through the devastation, they will maintain their courage and sense of community, with the confidence that God is with them.

This is the time to affirm what critical presence means.  God always makes him/herself present in the midst of the marginalized, oppressed and suffering.   There are six-thousand congregations related to CONASPEH that are already there present within their communities.  And the House of Hope is present, serving the “rest avek” (domestic worker) children.

We celebrate the efforts from the international community to support Haiti in this moment. However, when Haiti is no longer in the news, and all the cameras are off, our partners in Haiti are still going to be there.

This is the time to reaffirm the partnership that our two denominations have had with CONASPEH for the last twenty years. They have been our companion on our journey.  This is the time to support their efforts to be present with their communities, following the example of God.

Félix Ortiz-Cotto