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The week in quotes – Jan. 23-29

January 29, 2010

Here are a selection of voices and reflections from MCC's Haiti earthquake response:

“In my memory of the actual earthquake, the sound that accompanies those of buildings crashing and neighbors screaming is Ben crying and yelling over and over again, "God, have mercy on this country, have mercy on this country!" Tuesday night, it felt like there was no mercy. But in the days that followed, we have heard unending stories that can only be described as miracles. –MCC worker Alexis Erkert Depp, of Waxhaw, N.C., Jan. 23, from “On site: Questions and miracles.”
“Everyone wants their house checked out. Everyone is scared of entering them, even if they are still in good shape. They want the assurance of someone they think knows something about it, and advice on what to do to repair them. It’s good to work together in a team, so that with all the uncertainty and probability involved with earthquake damage prediction, we don't feel alone in making a decision which could well mean life or death for someone.” –Johann Zimmermann, a structural engineer from Harrisonburg, Va., who is volunteering in Haiti with MCC, Jan. 24, from “On site: Which buildings are safe?
“This could be the difference between life and death, particularly for young children who are relying on clean water supplies,” says Ron Flaming, MCC’s international programs director, of MCC-purchased water filters that arrived in Haiti Jan. 23, from an interview with Lancaster, Pa., television station WGAL. Read more about MCC’s Haiti earthquake response.
“I’ve seen firsthand how prayers and financial support make a difference in the lives of people. … It’s just shown me how every little bit helps. And in the midst of what’s going on in Haiti, I think we need to remember this.” –Canadian Olympic speed skater Cindy Klassen, who visited MCC programs in Africa in 2006, in a Jan. 25 podcast urging listeners to remember the people of Haiti.
“Hope for a better future in Haiti rests on a combination of local initiative and foreign aid. The specific kind of help that Mennonite Central Committee provides makes it an ideal channel for our contributions to ease Haitians’ suffering.
“MCC’s ministries are church-connected, people-centered and long-term. MCC does not throw money at a problem for a few months. Its response in Haiti grows from a commitment of many years, beginning in 1958. MCC works closely with local churches. Its efforts depend on experienced workers who build relationships and learn locally appropriate ways to improve people’s lives.” –Paul Schrag, from online copy of the Feb. 1, 2010, edition of Mennonite Weekly Review.
Additional reflections:
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010: “Things are bad and there's need everywhere you look – but people are still able to be kind, to kick around a soccer ball, to start to clean up the mess. It's been encouraging for us to come here and see how much actually is being done, how people are caring for each other, and how people are starting to cope with what happened. -MCC worker Sharon Thompsonowak, who with her husband Bryan, has shifted from reforestation and environmental work in Desarmes to being part of the disaster response effort in Port-au-Prince, from a blog entry on Jan. 20, two days after arriving in Port-au-Prince. The Thompsonowaks are from Philadelphia, Pa.