Make it long-term giving

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					2     Canadian Mennonite January 25, 2010



                                          Editorial                                            for girls in Afghanistan as an alternative


    Make it long-term giving                                                                   to North America’s military efforts to stop
                                                                                               the Taliban, that I was tempted to think
                                                                                               our own Mennonite relief efforts there
                                                                                               were insufficient and ineffective.
                                          Dick Benner                                            That was until I remembered the
                                      Editor/Publisher
                                                                                               conversation over lunch with Allen

    N       othing quite focuses our collective more sustained effort of relief.
            attention like an earthquake that
                                                                                               Sauder, director of the bi-national MEDA
                                                     Denominations, sometimes more wor- (Mennonite Economic Development
    obliterates one of the most impoverished ried over institutional turf in their relief      Associates) operations and the enthusi-
    countries in the western hemisphere.          work than in meeting human need on           asm he showed for the micro-financing
       It is now four days after a vicious act of the ground, forgot their differences and     they are doing primarily with their
    nature levelled much of the small island      worked side by side among church relief Women for Women and Through the
    of Haiti in about 35 seconds, causing mil- agencies and with Red Cross and other           Garden Gate programs in Afghanistan.
    lions in damage, killing hundreds                     non-governmental agencies to find Small loans of $150 (a lot of money in
    of thousands and leaving over                         bodies, bring emergency medical      that culture!) are made to women to cap-
    1 million without shelter. With                       supplies and personnel, water and italize their jewelry-making, embroidery
    national, international and local                     food to Haiti.                       and chicken-raising enterprises—an ef-
    media telling the gruesome story                         Praise God for this unanimous     fort made possible by donations by North
    non-stop, it seems as if nothing else                 show of unity when dramatic need Americans and that keeps on giving.
    was important but the giving to,                      stares us in the face!               When paid back, the women are encour-
    praying for and going, in some cases, to         But what about a sustained relief effort? aged to make loans to other women.
    offer some relief to these tortured people. As John Longhurst counsels us (page 22):         Mennonites don’t need to be smug or
       While overwhelmed with this outpour- “Long after the media is gone, the needs           self-righteous about all of this. But we
    ing of compassion for desperate persons       in Haiti will remain; relief groups will     do need to rally around and support our
    suffering unspeakable pain and grief, I was need your donations in summer, and fall,       agencies’ relief efforts because they have
    struck, a
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: What about a sustained relief effort? As John Longhurst counsels us (page 22): "Long after the media is gone, the needs in Haiti will remain; relief groups will need your donations in summer, and fall, and even longer. And not just for Haiti, but also for the dozens of other disasters around the world that have received little, or no, media attention."In talking with a local newspaper reporter, Rick Cober Bauman, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee, Ontario, made the point that "MCC has worked in Haiti on reforestation and food security issues since the 1950s. Workers with (MCC) helped farmers produce local crops and sell the produce to Haitians to reduce the reliance on food imports."Just before the earthquake shook Haiti, I was finishing up the book Three Cups ofTea-\he riveting story of Greg Mortenson, who grew up in Tanzania the son of Minnesota-based Lutheran missionary parents. I was so impressed with this unusual person building 133 schools for girls in Afghanistan as an alternative to North Americas military efforts to stop the Taliban, that I was tempted to think our own Mennonite relief efforts there were insufficient and ineffective.
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