More than 100 church-based relief and development organizations worldwide have formally united under an umbrella group.
ACT Alliance, one of the world’s largest humanitarian bodies, was formally launched Wednesday with the main celebration in Geneva. The new body is a merger of the disaster relief network ACT International and its sister organization ACT Development.
Both ACT International, established in 1995, and ACT Development, formed in 2007, were created through the leadership of the World Council of Churches. The two bodies coordinate the work of agencies related to member churches of the WCC and the Lutheran World Federation in the areas of humanitarian emergencies and poverty reduction, respectively. more >>
While Congress is ahead of the public on overhauling the health care system, the public is ahead of lawmakers on immigration reform, said a megachurch pastor Tuesday.
“One of the things that I perceived when I was both at the capital yesterday and in the White House is this (immigration reform) seems to be an issue that the public is out ahead of politicians on,” said the Rev. Rich Nathan, pastor of the 10,000-member Vineyard Church in Columbus, Ohio.
Vineyard Church has a diverse body of congregants who collectively represent 75 nations. more >>
For thousands of Haitian children, the new norm of life is being played out in crowded tent cities or even worse – the streets – with no focused activity and no hope of schools opening any time soon. Even as the beleaguered government of a devastated nation scrambles to make the April 1 goal of reopening schools – the second such goal since the earthquake on Jan. 12 – it’s becoming all too clear that making this goal, according to a New York Times article on March 6, is becoming “increasingly remote.”
Of course, these children need to get back into the classroom so they can learn the necessary skills needed to become productive citizens in their country, but it isn’t only their education that needs to be addressed. Safety is also a major concern as these children living in tent cities are vulnerable to all sorts of crime. In addition, with the rainy season which lasts from March until May and the subsequent hurricane season which runs its course from June to November, the children could be exposed to all sorts of virulent weather.
It’s clear that Haiti will need foreign assistance for some time as the reopening of public schools is just one of many issues the nation’s government is trying to address. However, even as the work to rebuild Haiti has barely begun, interest is waning. The outpouring of support was tremendous at the beginning, but like so many disasters in the past, interest drops off dramatically when the long and tedious process of rebuilding begins. more >>
After six weeks of being detained in a Haitian jail, Charisa Coulter finally arrived home in Idaho Saturday night.
Dozens, including her father, Mel, and some of the volunteers who had been jailed with her, sang "Amazing Grace" as they welcomed her at the Boise, Idaho, Airport.
Coulter, 24, was the ninth of 10 Christians to return home after Haitian judge Bernard Saint-Vil ruled that there was no evidence to support charges of kidnapping and criminal association against her. more >>
A seminary student in Haiti faithfully holds Bible studies on the rubble of his home.
Despite the grim surroundings, Uriel Blanchet says, "I would not want to be anywhere else."
Blanchet is a second-year student at STEP, the evangelical theological seminary in Port-au-Prince. His house was completely destroyed in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 230,000 people in January and left more than a million homeless. more >>
The ninth of ten American volunteers who were jailed in Haiti on child abduction charges was freed and landed in Miami Monday night.
Charisa Coulter, 24, was released by Haitian judge Bernard Saint-Vil who ruled that there was no evidence to support charges of kidnapping and criminal association against her.
Now only Laura Silsby, the leader of the American Christian team, remains in the Port-au-Prince jail. The other eight American volunteers were released Feb. 17. more >>