Church loses pastor, church leaders, but not hope

By January 22, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — Only 100 members out of the 2,000-member Shiloh Baptist Church congregation have been accounted for since the earthquake in Haiti last week. Many in the congregation have yet to be found; others are known to be dead.

The pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Bienne Lamerique, and three other church leaders were among those killed.

The church building is still standing but has undergone a great deal of structural trauma. Support beams have been damaged, and the inside of the church has been obviously disturbed.

The building was under construction at the time the quake hit, so thankfully the members were not inside. The congregation had been meeting in an open-air auditorium nearby, and several were at that location when the quake hit. Church member Pierre Anderson says some were injured, but no one was killed. Anderson's own sisters were, however, killed during the quake–loss that represents what many of the other remaining members are going through.

Despite the huge amount of devastation and loss, the church has not lost hope. The congregation continues to meet, now daily underneath a blue tarp tied to the damaged church building. Anderson says the church has provided the encouragement he needs to get by. Although Anderson admits that Shiloh Baptist Church is a bit uncertain of the direction God will take them with future leadership, they appear confident in His ability to provide and sustain.

"The same God that allowed this to happen can rebuild it," said one church member.

The church in Haiti has already been key to encouraging the suffering and entrusting the situation to the Lord. International Mission Board missionary Mark Rutledge, who is currently in Haiti as a translator for the media, says he is confident that a revival may well arise from the chaos.

Pray that God would use this catastrophe to build His church in Haiti. Pray that the remaining few of the Shiloh Baptist Church would continue to be a bright light for Christ in Port-au-Prince. Pray that many would come to the Lord as a result of the faithfulness of His people.

If you would like to help God's people in Haiti by giving to the International Mission Board, click here.

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