Two Unification Church Members Mourned in Haiti
The Haitian earthquake claimed the lives of two Unification Church members, Familyfed.org has learned through an email from Rev. Theodule Paul, the national leader of the Unification Church in Haiti. Ms. Mildred Bain, 26, and Ms. Opha Constant, 36, lost their lives when their house collapsed during the quake on Jan. 12, according to Reverend Paul. In addition, several members lost parents or relatives during the massive quake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.
This is a photo of Unification Church Headquarters
in Haiti after the earthquake.
Approximately 10 members continue to camp on the lawn of the collapsed church center and are praying every day for tents and supplies to arrive. Unification Church headquarters in New York has wired money to a bank in Port au Prince, and Reverend Paul hopes to confirm receipt of the desperately needed funds on Saturday, he tells Familfed.org by telephone. Every day 40 or more members come to the church seeking a distribution of food and water, both of which are available in local stores but at prices three times higher than usual.
Reverend Paul reports, “Dear All, we thank you very much for your hard work to support us in Haiti in this tragic situation.” The members rise at 5:00 a.m. every day to clean up their camp and to assist other refugees nearby. Reverend Paul expresses gratitude in the midst of misery. “Fortunately, even in this tragedy we feel so blessed that all the Unification Family want to help us, pray with us, and have us in they mind. We thank you all for all your concerns about us. We need you at this moment. We need your prayers, and we need your help,” he writes, adding, “Your help is not only for the members of Unification Church but also for many people around the Unification Church. Your help is for the 4,000 Ambassadors for Peace we have in Haiti, who are in this moment calling us and asking for help.” The Ambassadors’ situation, he writes, is tragically worse than that of the Unification Church community.
In his email he explains, “Nothing has changed for us up until now. We are 10 people living in the church yard and five camps of refugees in our neighborhood.” He purchased a bag of rice three days ago and the church shares this bag with others in several surrounding refugee camps. “Fortunately we have public water at the church that we treat with Clorox in order to drink,” he noted. “We have nothing, absolutely nothing like medical supplies.” The church members get about one pound of cooked rice per person each day.
No aid is has been made available to the Unificationists through the Red Cross or any other humanitarian organization.
members at Sunday service in Port au Prince.
Some of the supplies are being distributed by local authorities to their political supporters alone. “ Political leaders are trying give [materials] to their partisans and the majority [gets] nothing,” he reports. Many despair that the Haitian government cannot provide aid.
The members held their first Sunday worship service since the quake on the lawn on Jan 24. “We all think now is the time where we must approach God and True Parents, We all think that now is the time to witness the Glory of God and True Parents. I think next Sunday [Jan. 31] many members and people in the refugee camp will join us,” Reverend Paul writes.
Contributed by Douglas Burton