Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Benefit Event for Haitian Students Held One Year After Tragic Earthquake

The Andrews University Community & International Development Program in collaboration with the Haitian Adventist Graduate Student Association, School of Architecture and Parlé Club is making a difference in Haiti this semester. On Jan 12, the public and campus community took part in “We Remember Haiti,” a benefit event to raise awareness and funds for a scholarship program at Haitian Adventist University. The live program took place at the Howard Performing Arts Center on the campus of Andrews University and was recorded and rebroadcast on The Hope Channel on Feb. 5 and 6.

The January 12 event marked the one-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake that took the lives of an estimated 250,000–300,000 people and left millions homeless.
 
Jean Josue Pierre, president of Haitian Adventist University, attended the benefit at the Howard Performing Arts Center. Pierre was in Haiti with his wife when the earthquake struck in 2010. He remembers being in the car and it starting to shake. He witnessed a nearby building fall to the ground and credits God for keeping him safe. However, the campus of Haitian Adventist University was badly damaged.

During the program, Ron Whitehead, assistant to the president for spiritual life, presented to Pierre a check for $650. The monies were raised by a variety of Andrews students, staff, faculty and community members specifically to benefit student scholarships at Haitian Adventist University. It’s part of a larger effort from other Adventist universities and institutions to raise $100,000 for Haitian Adventist University scholarships.

A very touched Pierre said, “I'd like to say thanks, not only for what they've already done but also for what they are about to do. We need prayer. We need your moral support. But we also need what you can donate because your donations will make a difference in the life of our nation. Support Adventist Christian education in Haiti for our youth. We have to prepare them, not only for this society, but also for eternity.”

“The program itself was the culmination of God’s working through many people in the Andrews community,” says Tyler Cantrell, coordinator of the event, “and to see the 180–200 people in the audience on a weekday in the middle of a blizzard was testimony to the power of love and compassion for Haiti. God opened doors that I didn’t even know needed to be opened.”

Cantrell says the generosity of donors as well as the programming of The Hope Channel, Maranatha and Live Ministries was “just so God-filled and Spirit-led. There cannot be words enough to express how thankful I am to all of them.”

The program also featured several musical performances including the Deliverance Mass Choir, and a documentary film highlighting Adventist organizations, relief efforts and the needs that still exist.
 
The event was just one effort Andrews is making towards its $100,000 goal to provide scholarships for Haitian students. Donations can be given at the Andrews website. (Type www.andrews.edu and click on “Give to Andrews” at the bottom of the page).

For more information, contact the Andrews University International Development Program at idp@andrews.edu.

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