Monday, January 18, 2010

United Methodists Respond to Eathquake in Haiti

Thousands turned out to pack meals to be sent to Haiti. The video from the local news tells the story very well. It was an amazing thing to take part in and to watch.

Our table turned out to be a family affair for a while. Joanne's cousin Charlene Gallaher, Charlene's daughter Mary Beth Love, Mary Beth's daughter Emily, Joanne and I worked loading bags.

The process went something like this. First, you load the bags with rice, flavoring, soy, and a nutrient tablet. You would hold the bag under a funnel and then add the ingredients. When you filled the bag it was placed in a plastic box to be carried to the scales.

Next the bags are picked up and carried to a table where they are weighed and if necessary the weight is adjusted. Then each bag is heat sealed. The bags are then packed in boxes, the boxes are sealed, and they are then loaded into trucks ready to ship.

It was a wondrous thing to watch as so many came together to help those whose need is so great. I saw a little girl who was two years old standing on a chair at one table helping to load bags. I wouldn't even want to guess how old the oldest person there was, but it was well past 80 years old. Our teenagers and college students were out in force. Let's just say is every age group was well represented.

This may be the only time you'll see Joanne and me in hair nets at the same time. The laugh was that I needed one on my face more than I needed it on my head.

Larry Davies, the District Superintendent of the Lynchburg District of the United Methodist Church, was rejoicing over the day's success. The original challenge or goal was 100,000 meals to be packaged. What we finished with was 210,000 meals prepared, boxed, and loaded. The goal was exceeded, the vision expanded. We finally had to stop because we had used up all the rice that was in the warehouse. 

It was an incredible thing to see. People have a desire to help. They have seen the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, empathized with the pain and suffering. God gives the vision and the people respond with their heads, hearts, and hands.  

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