GS Letter to Chile and Haiti

Dear Friends,

Following the disaster in Haiti on 12 January 2010, major earthquakes in Chile and near Japan have again underlined the vulnerability and fragility of human life on this dynamic creation that is Earth. Once again, people are grieving for loved ones they have lost in a sudden and overwhelming disaster. And once again, a major international humanitarian response must be mobilized to care for the injured and to rebuild communities. Churches and church-related organizations – especially through the ACT Alliance – are playing their part in this response, as well as in pastoral care for the individuals and communities whose lives have been torn apart by these seismic shifts.

In the face of such calamities as those that have befallen Haiti and now Chile, the churches are called to active expression of their communion in Christ, to be the Body of Christ – sharing in the pain of any of its members, and to be the ‘church for others’. We are called to diaconal action for the care and support of those affected, to counseling and providing comfort to those whose sense of security has been so brutally shattered, to witnessing for justice and advocating for accountability on the part of governments and authorities for their actions or inaction, and to compassion and prayerful accompaniment of broken people, communities and nations.

I urge all LWF member churches to join in praying for, supporting and accompanying the people of Chile, as they have done and must continue to do for the people of Haiti. I suggest that LWF member churches express their accompaniment in pastoral letters to their sister Lutheran churches and ecumenical partners in Chile, as well as in contributions, if possible, to the humanitarian response coordinated through the ACT Alliance.

I pray that all Christians will hear in these disasters the call to unity and compassion, bearing the light of Christ into the darkness of collapsed buildings and destroyed lives and, in the secure and certain knowledge of God’s abiding and boundless love, rebuilding shattered hope.

Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko, General Secretary  | 3.3.2010

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Grafické spracovanie:Ladislav Menyhart