Last year, the impoverished nation of Haiti was torn apart by a devastating earthquake, which left millions homeless and thousands dead. Buildings crumbled underneath the momentous jolt, which caused lengthy delays in running water and access to something close to normalcy.
Dramatic rescue operations from television footage of crews pulling people from pile of rubble gave faint hope to minor miracles. But they also showed a darkside in the aftermath of the natural disaster as bodies were allegedly dumped unceremoniously into unfathomable graves.
Donations poured in to assist the people of Haiti. Much is still needed. The African American Baptist Mission Collaboration (AABMC) recognizes this and has decided to come up with a large monetary donation to help out.
The AABMC presented Habitat for Humanity International with a second grant of $500,000 in December to support the homebuilding ministry’s recovery program in Haiti. The donation follows a previous gift given to the organization in June, bringing the AABMC’s total contribution to Habitat to $1 million. The pledge was made and completed in one year.
Immediately following the earthquake in Haiti last year, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, National Baptist Convention, USA, National Baptist Convention of America, National Missionary Baptist Convention of America and the Progressive National Baptist Convention formed the collaboration to leverage the impact their members could have in the region.
The collaboration granted Habitat $500,000 in June 2010, making it the largest faith-based donation Habitat had received for Haiti relief. The NAACP branches and units contributed $50,000 to the second AABMC $500,000 grant.
“Our commitment to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti continues with this contribution,” said Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley, coordinator with AABMC and executive secretary-treasurer, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission. “The African-American Baptist Collaboration is determined to raise our target of $50 Million over a five year period to help rebuild the lives of those hit by the devastating earthquake.
“We are just getting started in earnest with our assistance, and this partnership with Habitat for Humanity is one part of a variety of investments our network is making in support to churches, clinics, schools, and families.”
“With the generosity and commitment of our supporters, Habitat for Humanity is able to help Haitians affected by the earthquake with pathways to housing,” said Mark Andrews, vice president, Habitat for Humanity International. “We are truly grateful to the African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration and its fellowship of churches for this additional gift.”
The initial funding supported the construction of transitional shelters to help meet basic needs of more than 1,600 Haitians in Cabaret.
“The current gift will be used in Leogane to fund more than 80 housing solutions, which includes materials, construction, site preparation, water, sanitation, training, community engagement and access to basic infrastructure such as roads, schools and churches,” said Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA.
“This collaboration of AABMC is an important initiative that our convention and membership are proud to be associated with,” said Dr. Stephen John Thurston, president of the National Baptist Convention of America. “As Christians we are committed to helping our fellow man. This contribution goes a long way in helping those affected by the earthquake a year ago.”
AABMC continues to raise funds to assist with other earthquake relief related problems. “We are tentatively scheduling a Summit on Advocacy for Haiti to convene in Miami,” said. Dr. Caroll A. Baltimore, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. “AABMC will band with other denominations and organizations to develop a coherent and concise advocacy strategy to advance in the United States and with the international community.”
The African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration’s pledge is not just a financial one; the group is hands on with the Haiti relief ministry. “Last year in June and October, pastoral visitation teams made short-term mission assignments to Haiti,” said Dr. C.C. Robertson, president of the National Missionary Convention of America. “Eight persons were on each team and they visited Port-au-Prince, Cabaret and Leogane.”
About African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration
The African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration represents more than 10 million Christians in the United States, most of whom are of African-American heritage.