Five churches from Reinbeck joined hands and hearts this week worshiping together at the Union United Church of Christ. First Presbyterian, New Life, Saint Gabriels Catholic, the United Methodist and Union UCC not only worshiped together, but also celebrated surpassing the original goal of purchasing 1 Sukup Safe T Home to be sent to Haiti. Before the morning offering and the fund raising lunch they had collected $9,900: enough for 1 3/4 homes.
Rev. Terry Plocher introduced the morning's speaker, Ken DeYoung saying, "One farmer from Northwest Iowa who had been shuttling doctors and earthquake victims on his private plane was called by God to open his heart in a special way. Leave it to a farmer from northwest Iowa to come up with a simple solution to a help with this tragedy by putting a door on a grain bin and turning it into a house."
DeYoung, the founder of Global Compassion Network spoke to the crowd of over 250 telling them of the origins and mission of Global Compassion. The January 2010 earthquake left over 1/2 million people homeless in the world's poorest nation. Building first, an orphanage which now houses 40 little Haitian girls, they have now completed 36 Safe T Homes in the Village of Hope, near LasCayes, Haiti.
The churches collected offerings, sold T-shirts, and even won the $50 first place prize for organizations in the 4th of July Parade. This last week three of the pastors challenged their churches to raise $500 each in order to see them sleep in the "Haiti Hilton," the model Safe T Home that has been on display in the memorial building parking lot. All three pastors and in come cases their families enjoyed the unusual accommodations.
With only a portion of Sunday's offerings and the pork burger lunch included, over $12,000 has been raised. Final totals from contributions are still being calculated. With the generous gift of a community member rounding up the funds raised by the churches, 3 Safe-T Homes will be sent to Haiti.
Many people and businesses have helped with this project, including Truncks Grocery, PCI, Lincoln Savings Bank, Warren Schildroth, Pioneer Seed, Fogt Farms, Cliff Moye, Nancy Heronimus and the Grundy County Pork Producers.
Contributions are still being received by any of the churches or at several merchants who have miniature Safe T Homes near their cash registers. Representatives from the churches will be making a trip to Haiti in January to assemble Safe T Homes.