January 12, 2010…at 4:53pm…a 7.0 earthquake shook Haiti to it’s core. Other cities have endured similar earthquakes, but over 300k lost their lives in Port Au Prince. What followed was nothing short of extraordinary. The international community came together to support Haiti in their hour of need. Food, tents, clothing and medical supplies were rushed to Port Au Prince to help provide basic humanitarian relief.
Mark Driscoll, from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and James McDonald, from Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows were talking on the phone about Haiti. There were organizations sending doctors and medicine, there were organizations sending food and water, and there were organizations helping the orphans and children…but then they had a thought: Who is helping the Church? Who is helping the pastors provide for their congregations? When disaster strikes, people often look to the Church for help…so Mark and James decided to create an organization specifically tailored to helping the local church help the people in their communities.
I’ve had the privilege of partnering with Churches Helping Churches on two previous occasions. You can see my photos taken two months after the earthquake at this blog post. I was thankful to be invited to return for the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake along with fellow photographer Kenny Kim, and videographers: Chris and Oliver
January 12, 2011…one year later…Churches Helping Churches worked with local church leaders to organize one of the largest gatherings since the earthquake. They received approval to host their 1 year memorial rally in a six street intersection in front of The Palace. It was tough to estimate how many people attended, but the NPR estimates over 100k were in attendance. The famous Haitian gospel group Alabanza performed in their home country after being away for six years.
***See more than 60+ photos on my facebook page – Feel free to leave some comments on the blog or in facebook!***
The service started at 6am – The large tower located across the street from the Palace in Port Au Prince
Pastor Ernst waving the banner high
The collapsed Palace in the background
Two Haitian pastors that help Churches Helping Churches – Johny and Jacque. I love these two guys
Over 3000 local Haitian churches helped to bring this service together…congregations were bused in to join in the celebration.
One of the singers from the Haitian band Alabanza
The massive crowd-
Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA
James McDonald from Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, IL
This boy lives in a tent city. He sings at his local church, and he is extremely gifted. The crowd was going wild when he was singing. I have a feeling he will be performing a lot more in the near future.
It was an amazing time of worship. It was a special time for the people of Haiti. Thank you to Churches Helping Churches for having me along, and I am thankful to see what God is going in the Haitian Church and within the hearts of the Haitian people.