"I think at times like this our reaction as Christians must always be one of passionate engagement. As John Donne said 'No one is an island entire of itself. Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in humanity'. For the lives that are left, we need a response that asks not to understand but to do all we can to change the situation in whatever ways that are open to us. Why not give to Christian Aid today and make a difference? Please support the appeal by visiting this site.I have also received some more news about my friend, the Revd Canon Ogé Beauvoir, the Dean of the seminary in Port-au-Prince, and a former colleague in the Canadian Church. Canon Beauvoir and his wife Serette are safe and providing leadership in a camp set up by the Episcopal diocese for about 3,000 homeless, where they themselves have taken refuge. The Anglican Sisters of St Margaret are also in the camp assisting the people.
Canon Beauvoir described grim conditions. "It is hard to get food and medicine because everything is closed," he said. At this point, they have water, but the camp only has access to one water tank, and the water is running lower. There is a single truck that takes the injured to the hospital and the dead to be buried. The hospital has been turning back some of the injured. They can't take that many".
At the time of the earthquake Canon Beauvoir and his wife were in their home. "I thought the house was going to crash," he said, but they managed to escape without injury. "For the first time I was certain I faced death. I was certain we were going to die."
Among the major installations of the Episcopal Church that have been destroyed are the seminary, the convent, the university, the cathedral and the vocational training school. More than 100 of the diocese’s churches have been damaged or destroyed.
Here is another prayer for Haiti, this one written by the Venerable Dr Fritz Bazin, a Haitian-born priest, now serving as Archdeacon for Immigration and Social Concerns for the Episcopal Diocese of South East Florida:
Almighty Father, God of mercies and giver of comfort, deal graciously, we pray, with the people of Haiti in the midst of the great suffering caused by the catastrophic earthquake. May they cast all their care on you and know the consolation of your love.
Give us the courage, zeal, wisdom and patience to assist them, not only in these first days and weeks of urgent need, but as they continue to need the care and partnership of all their sisters and brothers around the world in the long and difficult work of healing and rebuilding.
Grant eternal life to those who have died, healing to the injured and strength to all the survivors, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen