Interview with Walliere Pierre

Interview with Walliere Pierre

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Walliere Pierre is a former pastor and district superintendent, and has taught at the Nazarene seminary in Haiti, Séminaire Théologique Nazaréen d'Haiti for 20 years. Currently, he is Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) coordinator for Haiti. Pierre lives in Port-au-Prince. He and his wife, Elda, have six children.

The Church of the Nazarene in Haiti has 11 districts and well over 100,000 members. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Nazarene presence in Haiti.

Pierre shared with Holiness Today about the current situation in his country and what he sees on the horizon.

HT: Where do we go from here?
WP: The first step was about immediate relief. Counseling, food distribution, tents, blankets, crisis care kits.

The second step, a few weeks after the quake, was assistance for reconstruction. We continue to give food, counseling, and a safe place for kids. But now we're talking to people, asking if they understand what happened, giving them a chance to talk and to stand up.

For example, we had more than 500 people staying at the seminary campus. We talk to people and help them find their own solutions. About 40 percent said they wanted to go back to the province. A small group said they wanted tents in order to go back to their destroyed homes.

Plans are being made for self-reliance and micro-finance programs. In anticipation of the spring rainy season, I am mobilizing the churches for an agricultural project - a seed program and large garden. There are also plans to create new communities. We have children who have lost parents and are living on the streets, so helping these children is another goal.

HT: How were you and your family personally affected by this disaster?
WP: Eighty percent of housing in Haiti is not safe to inhabit. Our home was also damaged, the walls crashed. We have been staying on the seminary yard. People we loved have died. It's hard on my children, my wife.

When the quake hit, I was driving my car. I remember feeling the car lurch and start to spin and I thought it had been hit. Then I saw everything falling. I had a very bad feeling.

HT: How do you feel about the response of the Church of the Nazarene regarding Haiti?
The Church of the Nazarene around the world is really a missional church. Nazarenes know how to respond. I'm proud to be a part of this family because I can see the manifest love for people during a disaster. I am thankful to Nazarenes around the world for what they did, and are doing, to support the Church of the Nazarene in Haiti.

March/April 2010