There was some good reporting about the heroic ministry of the Episcopal bishop of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake on Friday. The Wall Street Journal talked about the “island of organization” in the midst of chaos that he had managed to create.
Kendall Harmon points to this video from the WSJ this afternoon:
The Episcopal Cafe has this letter from the bishop calling for help to be delivered through Episcopal Relief and Development:
I am writing to you from the tent city we have set up behind the rubble of College Ste. Pierre, our marvelous senior secondary school that is no more. As you know, we have gathered approximately 3,000 people here alone. Across the land, the Diocese of Haiti has set up at least 21 refugee camps, caring for more than 23,000 people.
In this letter, I wish to make clear to the Diocese of Haiti, to Episcopal Relief and Development and to all of our partners that Episcopal Relief and Development is the official agency of the Diocese of Haiti and that we are partners working hand-in-hand in Haiti’s relief and recovery efforts.
I also am announcing in this letter that I am appointing The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley, Appointed Missionary of The Episcopal Church, to work directly with ERD on my behalf. I am asking all partners in The Episcopal Church to communicate directly with Rev. Stanley, so as to keep communications with the Diocese of Haiti open. Rev. Stanley is to communicate and work with ERD on my behalf.
In addition, I am asking that all of our partners in the Presbyterian Church USA work directly with ERD, with Rev. Stanley as the central communications person. PCUSA has worked with us for many years, and we are deeply grateful for their compassion and their commitment to the people of Haiti.
We in the Diocese of Haiti have a vision and a plan for this relief and recovery effort. We know the situation on the ground, we are directing emergency relief to those who need it most, and we already are making plans and moving forward to help our people. Since the earthquake struck, we have been and will continue to work closely with your two representatives here, Ms. Katie Mears and Ms. Kirsten Muth. I have complete confidence in you and your agency.
Finally, I wish to make it plain: I know that many of our partners wish to come to Haiti right now to help. Please tell them that unless they are certified professionals in relief and recovery, they must wait. We will need them in the months and years to come, but at this point, it is too dangerous and too much of a burden for our people to have mission teams here.
Please tell our partners, the people of The Episcopal Church, the people of the United States and indeed the people of the world that we in Haiti are immensely grateful for their prayers, their support and their generosity. This is a desperate time in Haiti; we have lost so much. But we still have the most important asset, the people of God, and we are working continuously to take care of them.
He writes to us all in the midst of what is being described as unimaginable loss.
A group of us have been scrounging about to find pictures of the now destroyed murals at Holy Trinity that told the story of the Bible with a wonderful, local Haitian flavor. You can see some of what has been found here. The New York Times has an article about what the loss of this sort of cultural heritage means to the Haitian people.
There’s this too about the ruins of the Episcopal Cathedral:
I’m haunted by Bishop Duracin’s words in the written column that accompanied this video: “We have only enough for perhaps another day or two.” That was 3 days ago.