3/20/10

HAITI - PERSPECTIVE FROM CRWRC WORKERS


















The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, known to denomination insiders as the "CRWRC," has had a presence in Haiti for many years. Here is a link to a recent update from some of those in the field today.

Struggling to Return to Ordinary Life in Luitor, Haiti
CRWRC Newsroom | March 18, 2010

Prior to the January 12 earthquake, Luitor, Haiti was a peaceful and productive village--although poor. The villagers farmed sugar cane, corn, beans, potatoes, plantain and peanuts. Some were fisherman and tradesman; some families owned chickens and goats. Children attended public or private schools nearby. Life in Luitor was enjoyable and few children left to seek their fortunes in the big city.

All of that changed on January 12.
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The Emmaus Road Story

In the winter of 1997, we began as a small team of about 10 people, committed to gathering and growing a church that would connect with others like ourselves; people interested in connecting with God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but disconnected from the activity of many mainstream congregations. With the financial support of a larger church organization, our pastor was able to work full time with the team in planning, leadership development, and meeting people in the community.

Our first meetings were open discussion forums. We talked about prayer, scripture, spiritual discipline and the issues with which we all struggle. As friends talked to friends, the first group expanded and we multiplied into two.

Inspired by the journey process as a metaphor for spiritual growth, we searched for a name which would reflect that idea. In the resurrection narrative of Luke 24, we found our name "on the road to Emmaus."

After our first worship event on Good Friday of 1997, both groups began to gather together for worship once a month. In various coffee shops and rental spaces, we gradually increased our worship times to twice a month, and in September of 1998 we decided to gather every Sunday. Since the beginning, numerical growth has been gradual but steady, most often through the personal contact of friends talking to friends.

Today, several small groups continue to meet for open discussions on prayer, scripture, and the process of encountering God in daily life; we all gather for worship each week.