I don’t know how you respond to complex humanitarian crises like the recent devastation in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew, but my initial response is often frustration. After I pray for those affected what else can I do? Where are the trusted sources for making a donation? I experienced a bit of relief this week as I was reminded that our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church has a relief and development department called Covenant World Relief (CWR). CWR has done extensive research into relief and development agencies to establish relationships with trusted organizations that are already established in countries worldwide. So, as soon as the situation in Haiti became apparent last week, CWR through our established relationship with World Relief International in Haiti began directing resources to those in the greatest need. Clean water, food and medical supplies were the top priority immediately but CWR will be involved for the long haul as thousands of people rebuild their lives.
So, you may ask, What does this have to do with us at Metro? Good question. A few years ago, Metro made a decision to make significant annual donations to CWR so that our help could be immediately effective in disaster situations. The donations made to CWR by Metro come from the tithes and offerings of all of us who financially support Metro Community Church. So we have positioned ourselves to bring real-time relief to those who have suffered the most. It is working! Our contributions don’t just pay the rent at Grieco Elementary School, they bring pure water to the thirsty, food to a starving baby and medical care to the wounded. Later on they will replace roofs that were blown off of houses and re-supply a school that lost all its books and supplies. We are bringing transformation and I am less frustrated.