i have to be fair… and say that the cartoon below represents only a part of mars hill’s intentions in haiti, they are taking aid and supplies… and i’m not wanting to judge. i do however think there is a discussion to be had. do people who are suffering really need more cameras pointed at them? is this a part of the mars hill plan that should be left out?
check the story out for yourselves here.

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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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55 Responses to 841

  1. The Millers says:

    Eww… That’s all I can say right now.

  2. The Millers says:

    Maybe “eww” is unfair. I’m still trying to figure our why I thinks it sounds icky.

  3. jonbirch says:

    yes. i know what you mean, the millers. that was my reaction too.

  4. I’m a bit mixed in my reaction. “Eww” but I’m sure it was just part one of the Mars Hill plan.

  5. I have retweeted pictures of what’s happening in Haiti. On some level people need to see it so they can react and help Haiti be what Haiti wants to be, and not what America wants Haiti to be (I am an American). That being said, I get the “ewww” reaction.

  6. becky says:

    A few random reflections…

    1) The relief agencies who already have a presence in Haiti are sending back video/audio.

    2) The major news networks have already sent down news crews – yes their coverage has been biased (e.g., focusing their lens on the hotels filled with foreigners).

    3) Mark Driscoll’s Acts29 Church Plants are focused on making disciples using a colonialized form of ministry that is at odds with the Catholicism as practiced by the vast majority of Haitians.

    4) There’s limited landing space at the airports – if Driscoll is able to use his connections and land his plane, then he is depriving another plane from landing who is carrying items that they folks need desperately. (The same can be said of the Scientologists who are sending planes filled with their supplies and volunteer ministers.

    5) One of the first things in any relief effort is to ask people what they need NOT what I want to give. What they will need is for Mark to use his church planting network to solicit volunteer medical personnel, construction workers and those who can come and offer long-term help in helping the country heal. As we learned during 9/11 in NYC, everyone wanted to give the firefighters teddy bears and cookies but no one wanted to hold the hand of the firefighter who was dying of cancer eight years later from crap he inhaled while working at the site.

  7. youthworkerpete says:

    My issue is more with the recorded sermon! I often listen to Dricoll’s podcasts, and I am very suprised by his vice-like grip on the pulpit! Surely it’s an opportunity for another to use their preaching gifts?

    As for the cameras – let’s not forget a HUGE area is afffected. I could quite imagine there are very large areas that have not seen any western help, film crew or otherwise, at all yet.

    And we can’t forget that, when those pastors go back home, spekaing about it will not porduce the same response as seeing a film. If it makes people dig deeper, is it an issue?

  8. Eli says:

    My brother’s been down there since before the quake, and he is still there, documenting and helping. The infrastructure is shredded. I *think* I get the eww, but not completely. The major media outlets have left and the story is slipping from the public eye. One city can still not communicate with the next. I’m not a Driscoll fan, but I see nothing wrong with turning cameras on and letting them film the tragedy, assuming it’s for the purpose of telling stories and calling for aid in places that have been disconnected.

  9. kat says:

    I have mixed feelings on this. Yes, it’s great to get aid down there – but from what we’re hearing, there is not nearly enough clean water/food/shelter for the people that are there NOW. Why go and become another body to suck up resources? (I feel the same about all the polititians that are there now too)

  10. nojremmil says:

    For me the problem isn’t with the camera’s being taken or being on. It is the focus on the fact that they have put an emphasis on the fact that are taking “a small filmmaking crew and a Pulitzer Prize finalist photographer who has covered events in Kosovo, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Rwanda while working for Time magazine, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe who volunteered to go with us.”

    If the goal is aid, than just announce that part of it and say that you will be documenting what you see so that people can be aware of what is happening. The choice of “filmmaking crew” has greatly different connotations than “we’ll have some cameras along to document the situation.” Citing all the qualification sof your photographer is far worse. This comes off as bragging about your connections and puts the focus on you instead of the need at hand.

    In regards to youthworkerpete’s concern about Mark’s “vice-like grip on the pulpit” because he’s using video…my greater concern is about why these pastors feel like they are the best ones to be used on the ground in Haiti. I find it very hard to believe that there aren’t people with far more experience in this kind of aid work who are just as capable of telling the story to their constituency that are a part of their congregations. This smacks more of hogging the spotlight than a video sermon.

  11. Fly says:

    It’s always great to take shots at those trying to help. I hope you’re proud of your work.

  12. Forrest says:

    Not knowing the Mars Hill (apparently church/religious) organization being spoken of, plugged mars hill into Google – “Results 1 – 10 of about 7,140,000 for mars hill. (0.24 seconds)”
    That didn’t clarify the focus any.
    Okay, let’s try mars hill church – “Results 1 – 10 of about 686,000 for mars hill church. (0.22 seconds)”

  13. jonbirch says:

    fly… i um’d and ah’d for 24 hours before posting this cartoon. and ‘no’, i’m not especially proud of my work. i do what i do and i hope it’s of use.

  14. Forrest says:


    U.S. group sends solar-powered Bibles to Haiti
    Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:14pm EST

    MIAMI (Reuters) – As international aid agencies rush food, water and medicine to Haiti’s earthquake victims, a U.S. faith-based group is sending Bibles to Haitians in their hour of need.

    Not any Bible. These are solar-powered audible Bibles that can broadcast the holy scriptures in Haitian Creole to 300 people at a time.

  15. Dave says:

    I stopped watching the “Planet Earth” series on television when it showed a polar bear unable to find food. “This one will probably die of starvation,” the announcer intoned.

    So I wonder what the Mars Hill film crew will do as they travel the countryside, filming the injured who can’t reach medical help, or the orphaned children in the streets, or the 1.5 million people left homeless.

    “This one will probably die of starvation…”

  16. jonbirch says:

    dave, i think that is the nub of my concern, although i do have other concerns too, some of which becky pointed out @ no. 6.

  17. Forrest says:

    re 6.5, but Becky, if I hold his hand while he’s dying an uncomfortable death, then that means possibly facing possibility of my own death square on: can’t be having that, might have to coldly evaluate and assess my own life, might find something in there will make me feel less than flip and chipper.

  18. Forrest says:

    and I need to be pumped and primed to be able to give my full appreciation to what’s on the telly for prime time

  19. CFHusband says:

    I’d suggest we hold judgment until we can see the end result.

  20. admin says:

    Not a huge Driscoll fan but this seems pretty harsh. That film crew can help focus thousand of people from Mars Hill and Acts 29 to give generously and go and serve. Maybe he is doing it for attention…but it’s pretty bold to state that’s the reason.

  21. Forrest says:


    Brace yourself for a new level of horror in Haiti: Vulnerable children and teens sold into slavery and the sex trade, or simply shot in the streets for no reason.

    You can take it from an expert on these miseries. Nicolette Gramms, who worked with an human rights agency, the International Justice Mission that specialized in rescuing the victims, writes for The Atlantic that “natural disasters unfailingly bring us new business.” She says:

    In today’s world, the twin causes of human slavery — poverty and vulnerability — increase exponentially after natural disasters… Even without the pandemonium unleashed by a 7.0 earthquake, an estimated quarter-million Haitian children are trafficked (into slave labor or the sex trade) within the country each year.

    Now, Rev. Mark Driscoll, the pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church who is known nationwide for his blunt talking sermons and in-your-face evangelism, has seen the sex trade revving up amid the rubble.

    Driscoll and James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago raced down to Haiti to assess the damages to the church infra-structure and launch a drive to rebuild places of worship, churcheshelpingchurches.org.

    Faith groups offer the fundamental social network for education, welfare and health in a nation with virtually no government — and that was true before the quake. .

  22. Rebecca says:

    I am usually one of the silent, I check in on asbojesus most days but have never commented before but felt compelled to now.

    Firstly, Fly, I understand why perhaps you felt this was a cheap shot, but I think to pull someone up on the intentions of there actions – if done the right way – is a good thing. It can be done in love, and I dont think Jon’s intention is to bring down Mark Driscoll. Just to ask him, why are you doing this? In Matt 6 we see Jesus tell us to go into our private room to pray, for what is done in secret will be rewarded. I’m not saying that noone should bring back footage, as that in itself calls for more aid, but why do people feel the need to film themselves doing good works? And why do you presume because Jon published this blog that he is doing nothing to help? He might just not be telling everyone about it.

    I do think, like others have said, that pictures of this tradegy compell others to help, but the problem is that soon people will get sick of seeing. Aid will continue to poor in as long as the sympathy lasts but the infrastructure which has been destroyed will take many years to rebuild. My father works for a NGO aid agency and is in Haiti right now, and I have nothing but respect for those that are willing to go. But I have a great deal of admiration for those who will stay, or for those who will wait and go when everyone else seems to have forgotten.

  23. Fly says:

    Couple comments/questions and I appreciate Jon’s reply:

    -You probably don’t have the proximity to Driscoll to ask him this stuff yourself, I’m guessing.
    -Asking why is a fine thing, but even though you have a qualifier before the cartoon, the cartoon itself characterizes the situation in a way that may not be true.
    -What you end up with, could people who either have no opinion of this guy or people who hate him, to have one more reason to get self-righteous and indignant about this.
    -We don’t even know what their whole plan is, who knows, maybe they are using this to raise funds to send to Haiti (which I think they are). And so that meant that within their sphere of influence them showing people the need in a personal way persuades more people to be involved.

    I’m just saying without the proximity to ask personally (especially when it’s not an obvious sin issue) it’s crazy to call a dude out when he’s obviously trying to help.

    Thanks and I hope you can hear my tone, it’s frustrating to read this stuff, but I see your points. By the way, I want to make this super clear, I live in the midwest and have no ties to Mars Hill or Driscoll.

  24. youthworkerpete says:

    I don’t want to be confrontational, but I wonder, Jon (and all the other nay-sayers!), what have you done to aid the relief effort?

    I personally have done little more than prayed and donated a (relatively) small amount of money. But then I’m not criticising someone elses approach!

    I think sometimes cynicism is challenging, sometimes it’s funny, but sometimes it’s simply negative and even destructive – maybe this is one of those times?

  25. jonbirch says:

    thanks rebecca @ 22.

    thank you fly for your response. i do understand your frustration. i think the question in the cartoon is a valid one and recognise that i may get a bit of stick for it. but that’s okay and that’s why i appreciate your second comment. i don’t censor comments because the views of others interest me and i often learn from those with very different views to myself. if taking cameras into haiti is a good thing for the reasons mark driscoll says then i feel that is a very sad indictment of his church and perhaps the wider church that they need to be spoon fed images to encourage them to give generously. i love the story of the widows mite… she gives everything and says nothing.
    there’s much more i could say, in fact i just deleted a whole paragraph, but i don’t want to inflame the situation.
    my hope is, that as md and his pals are going anyway, they will do good and useful work there and money and support will come as a result. it just raises heaps of questions for me about the way these big super churches often operate.

  26. jonbirch says:

    hmmm youthworkerpete… i’m not prepared to disclose what i’ve done. but you raise in the form of a question what feels very much like an assumption.
    again, i’ve edited myself and dumped a paragraph… and i’ve just done it again too. hmmm… i’m clearly in no mood to defend myself. the situation in haiti is too big for it to seem even remotely appropriate for me to do so.

  27. jonbirch says:

    i re-read my last sentence… it sounds pompous… i hope what i meant to say comes across.
    the enormously emotive events in haiti should not stop questions being asked… of our governments, our churches, our leaders.
    terrible tragedies and injustices are going on in many other parts of the globe too and questions about our behaviour and response and the behaviour and responses of those who represent us need to go on being asked.

  28. becky says:

    17. Good point. Yes, I’m a bit harsh but when I hear that Doctors Without Borders planes cannot land due to lack of space and even the medical ships are having problems getting through, seems to me that those coming from TBN Ministries and Mars Hill Church, etc. might want to hold off on coming down until ALL the planes and ships caring vital life saving equipment and items like fresh water can enter the country. This is a very long-term effort and help will be needed for years. So, there’s plenty of time to get out there and do good.

    The only ministries I feel should be banned totally are those like the Church of Scientology (John Travolta arranged for a flight and others are en route) and others with a known history of using disasters as an opportunity to win converts and provide minimal, if any, services.

    The 9/11 tragedy was a much smaller scale but the site became an unholy mess at times because people kept trying to do “their ministry” instead of asking what was truly needed. For example, the largely Catholic firefighters and police officers working the site got pretty PO’d at some of the evangelism efforts going on but they appreciated the low key hot meals provided by the Salvation Army and other religious groups that fed them without trying to save their soul.

  29. Jessica Denise says:

    At first I thought it was weird, but I’m glad he took cameras. Not all of us can go, but we need to see it. Our hearts need to be stirred for those whose bodies and hearts were broken on account of this tragedy.

  30. soniamain says:

    I’m glad you raised this Jon, i think it is important that we question things like this. Without a question what has happened is a tragedy and we need to respond, but we also need to be wise in how we respond and sometimes ask if what we are doing is helping others or is it about making us feel good?. A friend of mine worked for an NGO organisation during the tsunami, she arrived 2 days after it happened. Her comment was that often the well meaning groups (often churches) who sent people over to help in the first few weeks often caused more aggro, more confusion than help. I work for a charity here. I am very aware that often we are quick to presume that we know best without finding out first what is really needed. As for the filming for me it feels very sad that people have shown the pain and tragedy again and again to be encouraged to “pay up”. I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel to have people filming me as I am deeply suffering and in pain.

  31. soniamain says:

    sorry should have said that people have to be shown the pain and tragedy again to be encouraged to ‘pay up”

  32. Forrest says:

    Soniamain, with “I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel to have people filming me as I am deeply suffering and in pain.” I’d probably wind up in jail for attacking the b***ard.
    And have zero remorse or regret.
    My feelings would to be to quote that Ranger character from Babylon 5 “I’m not repressed any more”

  33. themethatisme says:

    For once I may express some anger in a similar vein Forrest. It is utterly insufficient to look at this thing in terms of response. I disgree that it is OK to show people the pain and tradgedy in order to get them to pay up. The things is people do have a pang of guilt, open the wallet walk away with a faint sense of superiority and having done their bit and then forget, until the next time. The natural disaster is truly beyond our control and will alwasy need some kind of response but what is not beyond our control is the politic and finance of democracies which have ensured that this country has remained and will remain in crushing poverty after the relief programme has come and gone. The natural tradgedy here is nothing compared to the tradgedy of opression of one nation by another. If these peoeple care so much why wern’t they there anyway? Why aren’t they in Washington lobbying the government to wipe Haiti’s debt?

    ..and I don’t often disagree with Becky either, but I don’t see how John Travolta taking a planeful of goodies out there is any different. I have no truck with Scientology but the mans got his own plane…why should he not offer to help? do you think Mars Hill the epitome of altruism?

    Cameras are ultimately about vanity and the promotion of self interest. This is not about caring its about showing off. There might be a little biblical point about that somewhere, but I’m too annoyed to look.

  34. berciXcore says:

    i’ve got a feeling that this is the prelude to establishing the mars hill port-au-prince campus.
    i really would love to know if they are rebuilding those churches keeping their established traditions, or the replant them as campuses and/or affiliates of their own. replacing their tradition with their own. :/

  35. berciXcore says:

    note that haiti is predominantly roman catholic.
    they don’t need conversion. they need compassion.

  36. Andy says:

    telling people about a tragedy- good thing. reminding them about it- good thing. getting help to people suffering- good thing. using pictures/images to help spread news/get people to help give more generously- sadly needed, so a good thing. telling us the credentials of the film crew- unnecessary, but there we go.

    All of this is in the context of sorting out a fundraising evening tonight…we were hoping to speak to someone who’s out in Haiti, but we’re having an audio report with some images instead…are we wrong to do that? Part of me thinks that fundraising events and using video etc are good, but really we shouldn’t need them…we should be giving, and committing to long term giving…
    But, we do what we can/ are prepared to do…for some people its putting £5 in a tin, for others its singing at a gig, for others its making a film and showing it to people, for others its drawing a cartoon that makes us think about the issue…

    the tin shouldn’t need to be shaken, the song sung, the video made or the cartoon drawn, but we live in the world we live in.

    I guess i’m hoping that through these things we can try to remake the world…or if you’re inclined to that kind of language, ‘redeem’ it…

  37. jonbirch says:

    andy… i, for one, like that language. redemption… it’s what everything cries out for.

  38. Thom Bullock says:

    Driscoll jumped on an opportunity to take a free seat on a plane loaded with medical supplies that was already headed to Haiti. He didn’t stop anyone landing, he didn’t get in the way of anything. The plane was loaded and ready to go, and he happened to have a connection, and thought he could do some good, so he took it.

    Feel free to weigh in on whether you think filming things helps or not, but don’t imply Dris stopped real aid getting in – he was just a passenger on a plane with medical supplies.

  39. robyn says:

    read his tweets.
    he pretty much “watched” things and bought ice cream. watched a girl purchased, watched a boy shot, etc.

    i had a hard time with hearing how he “watched” things. like on tv. or something. like it was separate from him.

    he tweeted about watching a girl be purchased by an aid worker. how did he not throw himself into her rescue. how did he watch that? how can he live with himself to this day? her life is destroyed. what just happened to her is akin to murder. her life will not be a living hell.

    we don’t need to be watching. we need to be doing what is best, and careful to discern

    i imagine he wanted his congregation to hear directly from him how horrible it is there. maybe we all need to sit back and think about if we need impassioned pleas from our individual pastors, or if maybe we can hear the impassioned plea of our fellow human beings ourselves. maybe we don’t need so many (2-day-trips) voyeurs, photogs, videogs…maybe we can see without so much telling us to see. maybe we can see and hear with our humanity.

    keeping in mind the marc d trip was based on the challenge for any good bible-believing christian to make a case for the early church filling the plate of anyone but the church themselves. and that’s who they went there to minister to, the church. in their “churches helping churches” t-shirts.

    i wonder if they checked id’s.

    i resent judgement, but you asked. and yes, this was a bit hard to take. be urking me for days. there’s not much food. there’s very little water. there’s very little shelter. what in them thought they should take up those beds, food, water, airplane seats, etc.

    we have to be able to look at others and see others, and stop with all the “me.”

  40. Andrew says:

    Obviously someone is interpreting all of Driscoll’s and MH’s actions through a particular lense. We have no access to their intentions so don’t be so quick to pass judgment on that. The West NEEDS film crews to stay connected to these events. It also seems completely appropriate to use tenure, reputation, influence to reach an audience. For most people-church included-patterns set by leaders are followed. This is being responsible with your accomplishments and is biblical ‘Follow me as I follow Christ.’ Also, funny that Paul would take up an offering to the Jerusalem church during famine in Judea. How exclusive, eh? They are focusing and being more effective. Granted, if I saw someone sold into slavery I would put my tweeting device away and impart some justice. Still, we don’t have the entire picture though, only snippets.

  41. Forrest says:

    Question just popped in – what kind of retaliation would Driscoll have faced if he did butt in and try to stop the purchase of the girl, would we have a dead Driscoll?

    It ain’t just Western Democracies that have helped Haiti get in the shape Haiti is in, Haiti is just as responsible for Haiti’s problems, maybe even more so.


    “Haiti tops world corruption table
    Haiti has been ranked as the most corrupt country in the World by Transparency International (TI), followed by Burma and Iraq.

    The Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog said that for the first time, Haiti topped the table.

    A mostly mountainous country with a tropical climate, Haiti’s location, history and culture once made it a potential tourist hot spot.
    However, instability and violence, especially since the 1980s, have all but destroyed this prospect. ”


    “In Haiti, corruption is an endemic factor that is widespread throughout all levels of government and society. This reality has prompted the journalist Nancy Roc to analyse the phenomenon of corruption, showing how this practice affects Haitian society as a whole and causes complete lethargy in the application of the rule of law.

    The author reviews the major corruption scandals that have shocked the country in recent years, revealing the lack of willingness shown by the Haitian political and economic elites to eradicate this scourge. The impunity of those involved in corruption, added to the lack of transparency, is a disincentive to foreign investors and a significant obstacle to the development of the Haitian people.”

  42. Forrest says:


    [quote]Haiti rappers craft new ‘Palace’ from ration boxes
    By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writer Jonathan M. Katz, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jan 23, 2:10 am ET

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haiti’s National Palace lies in ruins, so the boys of Delmas 40 refugee camp built a cardboard substitute.

    The roughly 12-foot-wide (3.7-meter-wide) house of military ration boxes tops a ridge above a sprawling tent city near a base for the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne division. The boxes are unfolded and held up by wooden poles and coat hangers. A mini Haitian flag flies in front and a painted sign proclaims it the “palais national.”

    The musicians are working on a song about the quake that destroyed all their homes called “Bible Story,” but that isn’t finished. For now they freestyle a verse in English and Creole: “We need the food. We need to eat. We are heroes. We are heroes.” They laugh and sway, beatboxing. [/quote]

  43. Nick says:

    If you actually what to see why they went and what they came back with, here’s a start:

    The rest is at churcheshelpingchurches.com.

  44. kls says:

    dude, i’m in Haiti right now. i’m on a disaster relief crew. many many christian folks here, haven’t met the Mars Hill people.

    they all come here to WORK. i am at the Community Hospital, nobody really cares about press. saving lives. trying to, at least.

    yes, some bring cameras. you need to raise awareness and money. we ATM have 2 journalists (1 tv, 1 press) on our crew of 13 people. they’re sometimes a nuisence, but mostly very helpful to document and to help us raise funds.

    we did see the opposite tho- people dressing up as doctors and posing for the cameras. only one crew did it. 95% is working day and night, 24 or even 48 hour shifts…

    well, that about Haiti. please pray for us all here, we need it.

  45. Forrest says:

    kls, Hey there, thanks for the first-person input :) Always worth having.

    You have the prayer, done deal!

    Looked at your blog, uh, whatever the language is, it’s not one I’ve learned ;) Will say it looks like it is probably from Eastern Europe.

    Picture of the little guy on the cot with apparently his arm in a sling and blue teddy bear in his lap – he looks so sad and bewildered. Which are likely quite common feelings there.

  46. subo says:

    the shocking thing about this situation is it’s man made, similar earthquakes, in similarly populated cities don’t have the death toll and misery of being trapped for days under concrete – because of proper building regs and infrastructure’s

    where I feel the church could take a re-think, is in looking at why John Calvin got involved in sewage design, clearly he felt God was interested in constructing good places for people to live

    here’s to capturing God’s compassionate vision for life on earth, as well as the cultural mandate – to go into the world and engage with it

    and I’d like to thank all those, of any faith or none, who’ve put their own lives at risk to get into Haiti and share in the suffering of the good people of Haiti

  47. youthworkerpete says:

    ok, I’m struggling with what appears to be hypocracy on some aspects of this thread.

    If Driscoll were to write satirical cartoons, would he be looking at this blog and having a picture of 20 people on their computers typing criticism, with big mugs of coffee by their side in full constructed houses?

    I am, of course, a fan of ASBo and love the good banter we have hear, but I can’t believe someone who is out to do good has become a target of such a judgemental attitude – how many of these cartoons argue AGAINST this kind of arrogance within the church?

    We are 12 days after the catastophe and the only mention of the crisis is in this post.

    I am no particular lover of Driscoll. More a Rob Bell man myself. But to take time away from his family? His undoubtedly busy job?

    I wonder how many people here, in a culture where guns are on the streets, would stand in the middle of human traffiking. I’m sure some would – but I wouldn’t be willing to judge someone for not wanting to take the risk.

  48. jonbirch says:

    kls. thank you for taking time to write. all the best in your good work. will be thinking and praying for you.

  49. timbeck05 says:

    i don’t think rebuilding churches is the main priority now. clean water is.

    if you watch the whole presentation – you don’t really see Driscoll do anything. that was problematic to me.

    also – if you watched Driscoll’s video – you’ll see a scene where a young boy has just been murdered in the street. Driscoll and his crew aim the camera right at the dead body, blood all around. and then proceed to talk about how nobody is helping clear the body. yet, Driscoll doesn’t do anything either. He just stands there and watches.

    that was disturbing.

  50. Sammie says:

    The point of this entire trip was to stir up a spirit of giving for those that watch the video.

    @timbeck – the boy was dead, not much you can do, unfortunately…the images, although gruesome, help to connect those in Seattle and other prosperous parts of the US to a tragedy that they may often feel very removed from.

    @berci – if you watch the video, Mark and James talk to all sorts of Christians from Catholic to Baptist and whatnot and never once do they mention about trying to “convert” them to any sort of tradition. If you know anything about Pastor Mark and Mars Hill, you know that Mars Hill believes certain things about how to run a church, but will never fight or condemn a church that practices the “open handed issues” (ex: infant baptisms) differently.

    You can find the “next steps” for the organization here: http://churcheshelpingchurches.com/index.php/blog/

    This includes everything from pastors to construction to adoption. Pastor Mark and Pastor James were on a flight with surgeons, thousands of pounds of medical supplies and fresh water, just so you all know. Also, the organization has raised more than $1 million for churches.

    Personally, I am quite glad that Churches Helping Churches was formed so that I might feel like the tragedy in Haiti is more real than it seemed to me before I saw the video and talked with my pastors about the tragedy. It made me see how much I take for granted and truly thank God for all the blessings he bestows on me day in and day out.

  51. berciXcore says:

    @Sammie: that’s good to know. i’ve run across articles written by oriental, orthodox, catholic, or whatnot people on “western”, mainly protestant missions not merely bringing essential help, but opportunists “abducting the flock”. that makes me a bit more aware on such issues.

  52. soniamain says:

    Jon I am really pleased you raised this issue. Maybe the group went out with all good intentions and did do some good. But the news today of the group of christians who have been arrested for taking 33 children out of the country because they believed they were orphans confirmed the importance for me of us having a questioning and discerning voice. In the case of the people just arrested they clearly thought they were doing good, but who are they to suggest that these children could not be looked after by extended family?, why is wisdom not being shown when it is known that there has already been a problem with child trafficking in Haiti. This story made me weep of how foolish we can sometimes be as a Christians, thinking we are doing good when we are being so damaging. I suspect I will be unpopular saying these things!

  53. jonbirch says:

    thank you sonia. i (unsurprisingly) totally agree.

    i’m still very unsure about mars hill taking cameras into haiti and walking around.

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