The Rev. Michael J. Christensen, National Director of The Shalom Initiative at Drew University Theological School and a member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, shares his impressions of Haiti and the Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI) in his blog.
Christiansen visited Mizak – a cluster of villages about three hours from Port-au-Prince, where there's no electricity and little food – March 5-11 in order to arrange for relief and development resources, help organize Shalom Zone training, and to assess the possibility of sending shalom interns there this summer.
HAPI, a three-year-old non-profit organization, focuses on honoring local artists and artisans and empowering women in order to work for peace and to build community from the inside out. HAPI, recognized as a "Shalom Zone" with the Communities of Shalom of Drew University the day of the Haiti earthquake, January 12, 2010, took up the challenge of creating a new shalom zone in their rural community of Mizak in the aftermath of the Haitian Earthquake.
"The Shalom Zone will serve as a demonstration area for what can happen in Mizak when people work together for peace, harmony, health, healing and wholeness in the name of God's Shalom," writes Christensen.
You may support Communities of Shalom through The Advance – an accountable, designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures that 100 percent of each gift reaches its intended mission or ministry – by designating your donation to Advance # 742566. Visit http://www.communitiesofshalom.org/ for complete details.