Haiti Focus Week at Holden Village
On January 12, 2010, a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, leaving nearly 300,000 dead, over one million people displaced, and devastating what little infrastructure Haiti had. The year of 2010 continued to be unmerciful to the people of Haiti with a Cholera epidemic, Hurricane Tomas, a governmental election, and a lack of follow-through on promised rebuilding funds from foreign entities.
Rev. Renee Splichal Larson, her husband Ben and his cousin Jonathan were in Haiti on January 12 when the earth moved. The building in which they were staying collapsed on all three of them. Jonathan and Renee lived; Ben died. Remembering the life of her husband and being a victim of the earthquake herself, Renee feels deeply called to continue advocacy and conversation with and for the Haitian people.
In response, Holden Village will focus on Haiti June 18-25, 2011. This will be a time for listening and sharing, remembering and learning, empowering and rebuilding for the future of Haiti one and a half years after the earthquake. Teaching faculty from Haiti, the U.S., and from around the world will explore various topics related to Haiti, including: the history of Haiti, Haitian culture (art, dance, and religion), international development, Global Mission and Accompaniment, Theology of the Cross and suffering, creative writing, multi-sensory storytelling, Bible study inspired by the lyrics of Ben Splichal Larson, and global music.
The Haiti Focus Week will also include collaborative and creative visioning for the future, with conversations and prayers for empowerment for the people of Haiti in their process of rebuilding as well as a deepened awareness for the people of the United States, in order that we might better accompany one another on the journey.
In this blog, we invite you to enter into this week in learning, collaborating, and visioning. Our teaching staff and participants will be authoring posts, playing music, and posting videos throughout the week. So, even if you are not with us in body, please join us on the web.
Through this blog, we hope that we can expand the reach of this Haiti Focus Week both during the time at Holden Village, and offer a place for continued collaboration and visioning together.
Teaching Staff/Authors will include:
- Walnes Cangas – Haitian art, dance and song
- Wanda Deifelt – professor at Luther College
- Corrine Denis – creative writing
- Renee Dietrich – journalist, writer, photographer
- Louis, Mytch, Stephan, Karl, Scott & Soraya Dorvillier – Haitian culture
- Pat Hanson – Co-Chair Haiti Programs, ELCA Global Missions
- April Ulring Larson & Judd Larson – Bible study
- Joseph Livenson Lauvanus – President Eglise Lutherienne d’Haiti
- Rafael Malpica Padilla – Exec Director, ELCA Global Mission
- Elizabeth McHan – ELCA missionary
- Phil Moeller – World Bank Representative
- Bill Nathan – Director of St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, Haiti
- Tom Witt & Mary Preus – Village Musicians
- Jonathan Larson – musician, photographer