COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Nearly two dozen members from the local clergy gathered to pray for Haiti at the Food For The Poor headquarters, 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, Fla., Thursday evening. The prayer service began with singing of the U.S.National Anthem by local gospel group Supremacy, and was followed by the playing of Haiti’s National Anthem by trumpeter Jonathan Laurince.
“I love Haiti so much and every time we come here, and when I see others who are not Haitian wanting to help Haiti, it ignites a fire in my belly to do more,”Sandy Pierre of Supremacysaid.
“We are not in the country of Haiti, but we are using our talents to help the people of Haiti from here,” trumpeter Jonathan Laurince said.
The local religious leaders were greeted with expressions of gratitude from Food For The PoorExecutive VicePresident Ed Raine. He spoke about theunrest that erupted into violent protests on Feb. 7, and resulted in people not being able to get food, water or medicine.
“It’s most important that you, our guests, understand what we do in Haiti and how we operate,”Raine said. “We are there to provide relief during a time of crisis and to help with rehabilitation that will result in social transformation. This is not a casual thing for us, this means someone’s life. We are committed for the long term, but we need your prayers and we need your help.”
In response to the humanitarian crisis, Food For The Poor shipped 181,000 MannaPack rice meals packaged on Feb. 14 by volunteers in Parkland. The mobile packing event was hosted by Food For The Poor’s longtime partner Feed My Starving Children to honor the shooting victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Fifteen tractor-trailer loads of rice are due to arrive in Port-au-Prince and 12 additional containers filled with more food, medicine and medical supplies are also on the way.
Pastor Daryl Brown of Parkridge Church, in Pompano Beach, spoke also about the power of commitment before he led a passionate community prayer for Haiti.
“We pray that you help us to remember the tragedies that Haiti has experienced in the past, the earthquakes, the hurricanes and the political unrest… Father, we ask that you hear our prayers for the land of Haiti... please help us all to do what we can to help, and Father in the name of Jesus, we thank you for empowering us to be a part of the solution,” prayed Pastor Brown.
There were many touchingmoments during Thursday’s prayers service that includedascriptural reading of Psalm 46, which speaks about the comfort of God’s refuge.
Many in attendance were moved to tears when soprano singer Rose Nadine Michel sang “You Will Never Walk Alone” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Born in Port-au-Prince, she immigrated to the United States to further her musical studies and graduated from Judson University in Elgin, Ill. Michel said she also washonored to sing at the prayer service for her homeland.
“Anything that has to do with Haiti I am there, because I believe that prayer is powerful and my singing is my way of praying with the community,” Michel said.
Food For The Poor began its work in Haiti in 1986, helping hundreds of thousands of people during its 33 years of service, and Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma also shared his feelings that garnered a standing ovationfrom the guests.
“Some people may have forgotten Haiti, but not God,” Aloma said. “He has given the people there the strength and endurance that’s very hard to understand. This is why I love Haiti and carry Haiti in my heart.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned or abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.