About a week ago, my home church — Second Baptist Church in Liberty Missouri — began what I hope will be a rich and enduring friendship with the First Haitian Baptist Church of Kansas City. Through this new relationship, our church is already learning new ways we can respond to the Haitian earthquake.
Last Saturday, some members of Second Baptist met with about 15 members of the Haitian church, some of whom had lost family members in the quake. The Haitian group noted that 70% of Haiti’s national economy is fueled by money from outside the country. A good portion of that support comes from friends and relatives living in the U.S. or other countries. After this disaster, that money from family and friends would be more important than ever.
The Haitian church operates a food pantry every Saturday morning at their building. Since rice and beans are mainstays of the Haitian diet, one way our church could help would be to collect rice and beans for the food pantry. Less money spent on food would mean more money to send back to relatives coping with the disaster in Haiti.
“It was their idea and we thought it was a good one,” says Mike Lassiter, Second’s Associate Pastor.
Second Baptist announced the initiative on Sunday, hoping to take 500 bags of beans and rice to the Haitian Baptist food pantry by this Saturday. As of today, about 2500 lbs. of rice and beans have been collected.
Just as important are the relationships the two groups are forming. Members from the two groups will meet again next Sunday afternoon. After attending the Haitian Baptist worship service, they’ll share a lunch of – you guessed it – beans and rice.