Mark Hanlon of Compassion International writes about his experience related to the place of local churches in relief work. Contrary to the belief of some that relief and development groups “couldn’t rely on churches to do the work they needed to do in the third world. They claimed that the needed expertise and skill sets simply weren’t there,” Hanlon writes,
In my three decades of experience in developing nations with Compassion International, I have witnessed the opposite. In the midst of chaos and fear, it is local churches — rooted in the neighborhoods and anchored on the side streets — that are actually some of the most efficient, most compassionate delivery systems available.
He goes on to relate some of the details about Compassion’s work in Haiti following the earthquake last year.
The faithful, hard-working, often unheralded heroes of the Haiti crisis are the ones who were there before the 7.1 earthquake and who will be there for generations after.
They are the local Christian churches — the most efficient, most compassionate delivery systems you may never have heard of.
For more on the response of development and aid groups to the Haiti disaster, see “One Year Report On Transparency of Relief Groups Responding to 2010 Haiti Earthquake” from the Disaster Accountability Project.