Covenant Churches Responding to Haiti Crisis

NEW BRIGHTON, MN (January 15, 2010) – Members of Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, Minnesota, mobilized Wednesday night to help pack 18,000 meals on behalf of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), an organization with which they have worked for several years, says Pastor Mark Pattie.

“Over the past several years, various groups and individuals from our church have made close to 600,000 meals and counting, in addition to giving financial support,” Pattie says. In addition, high school students from around the country also packed a total of roughly 600,000 meals in partnership with FMSC during the last two Covenant CHIC events.

The organization called Salem Pastor Kay Sorvik on Thursday to say they were looking for extra help in these days following the earthquake in Haiti, Pattie says.

“Although FMSC has sent meals to some 50 countries where severe famine is present, they have provided more to Haiti than any other nation,” Pattie says. The organization has strong relationships with groups in Haiti, who will bring the food to the nation as soon as transportation is possible.

“In response to the immediate and long-term need there, they want to run their operation at full bore,” Pattie says. Because every meal is prepared by volunteers, that means trying to fill every spot in each work crew throughout each day. It turned out that yesterday they had a group of 60 volunteers cancel at the last minute and called to see if we might be able to get some people together.”

Pattie adds, “Our Leadership Team had a scheduled meeting last night, so we met briefly to address those issues that couldn’t wait and then we headed over to FMSC to pack meals.” Other members of the church also joined the team (accompanying photo) because the leadership had sent electronic notices upon receiving the request from FMSC.

Other Covenant churches already have begun raising funds and holding special services for Haiti:
•    In less than 24 hours, more than 150 people already have accessed the website to download bulletin inserts describing how Covenanters can help – the information also highlights the work of Covenant World Relief.
•    The Evangelical Covenant Church in Lafayette in West Lafayette, Indiana, held a special prayer service. The church supports the village of Lamare, which received little damage from the earthquake.
•    The Evangelical Covenant Church of Wausa, Nebraska, will take offerings for Covenant World Relief over the next three weeks, and the church will match every donated dollar “with absolutely no cap,” says Pastor Matt Norlen.

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