[This is an email sent to Azusa Pacific students this morning from Matt Browning, associate vice president for internationalization]
I want to share with you APU’s initial plans to respond to the disaster in Haiti. I know many of you are concerned and are asking about how to help. I am thrilled that your heart for God’s world is stirred.
We want be as strategic as possible with how we might offer financial help immediately to the people of Haiti. While there are many reputable organizations we could give money to, I feel compelled to help a specific organization we have a relationship with and trust. I believe that this helps us be the best stewards we can be, while allowing us to empower people who already know how to help in the ways they think are best.
We plan to work with the Christian University of North Haiti. I have been to the university, Dr. Wallace has consulted for the school, APU uses the campus as a site for Haitian graduate students to take APU courses, an APU faculty member is related to the president, and our Focus International mission teams have served there for the last few years. While they are located in Limbe, in Northern Haiti, and not necessarily close to Port Au Prince, they have many faculty, staff, and students that are from the immediate and surrounding areas most affected. They have not heard from some of the people related to the university.
We are planning to receive money from anyone that wants to give during chapel tomorrow and next Wednesday. There will be people ready to collect money at the end of both chapels. I want you to know we have a three-layered process to be responsible and accountable with this money. Each bucket of money will always have at least two people with it, it will be counted with three staff present in the room, the money will be recorded, and the money will be re-checked as it is deposited at the APU Cashier’s Office. We will also inform the community of how much is raised and when it will be sent to the school in Haiti. We will work with the Haiti Hope Fund to get your money to Haiti as soon as possible.
Please, please, please only give money if you are able to. I absolutely will not beg you to give or put out the “just give up a cup of coffee a day” line. Many in our community are financially challenged right now, and I understand that. There is no pressure or guilt here at all, just a planned-out way for you to help if you want to.
Lastly, some of you may be wondering if we should “Go Away” and actually go to Haiti right now to help. I have been to Port Au Prince several times and my heart is broken for what I am seeing in neighborhoods I have hung out in. My heart says “go help,” but my brain says that this is not the time. There are professionals and governments that need to be there now. If, in a few months or beyond, it makes sense for some from our community to go, we will make those arrangements and ask for your help.
I know you are already praying for the people of Haiti. I am thankful for your prayers and thankful that we have a God that desperately loves the people of Haiti.
Matt Browning, associate vice president for internationalization