Reported by Delia Nüesch-Olver on behalf of Team A
Friday, Jan 22, 2010

We flew to the Dominican Republic yesterday where we were met by Kendra and Sammy Luna, members of the Davison MI Free Methodist Church. We traveled together for some 3 ½ hours towards the border where we had a short night sleep.

Today we drove into Haiti. Once we saw the conditions of a road never intended for relief traffic, it was not difficult to understand why the delivery of aid has been slow. We were part of a three-vehicle convoy but it was bumper-to-bumper traffic all way to Port-au-Prince.

The destruction in Port-au-Prince is unbelievable, and I am told we have not yet seen the worst, which is downtown. Our first stop was the Friends of Haiti Organization (FOHO) building. There are no words to express the shock of seeing that building destroyed by the earthquake. It is beyond comprehension that anyone inside did survive, and it is clear nothing could have been done to rescue the four (three missionaries and the caretaker) people who lost their lives in the collapse.

We met with General Superintendent Clovis and some of his leaders and brought greetings and love from Free Methodists and fellow believers around the world. After we prayed together we sat down to discuss a strategy for relief and reconstruction, which we will start implementing tomorrow.

We will:

  • Decide on a staging place for arrival of aid.
  • First rebuild the schools so the children – including those sponsored through ICCM – can continue their education and their lives can begin to normalize.
  • Rebuild pastor’s houses so they can minister to others

The first medical team arrives Sunday. An ICCM (International Child Care Ministries) team arrives Wednesday. The first construction team arrives the following week.

The Dominican Republic General Conference sent a team with food and water to the Haitian people – which is being distributed even as I write these words. For many reasons, this is very meaningful and beautiful to see, in spite of the tragedy.

Today I met several heroes. We had the opportunity to personally thank Gaity, Mollard and others who risked their lives on the day of the earthquake to save Katie Zook and Jack Munos on our FM team. We cannot believe they got them out. They join us in mourning the loss of our Free Methodist missionaries, , and . filmed comments from Haitian people as they mourned the loss of our friends in the .

People we met seemed to have moved out of their initial shock and into the reality of what this will mean for Haiti long term.

Thank you for your giving last Sunday. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to personally deliver significant amounts of money to the people of Haiti. The road ahead will be long and difficult, but together we will be able to accomplish what none of us could do alone. Please make sure that if your church desires to sends a team to help with the reconstruction that you work through the FMWM VISA Office, so our choices honors the priority list of our Haitian leadership.