Director and Director of Advancement , Jr. joined a team of well drillers and Free Methodist missionary in a relief and response mission to Haiti last week.  Here is Linda’s preliminary report:

1.  I am cautiously optimistic that very few of our children have died.  School directors hesitate to give reports yet because of the vast scattering of people to refugee camps and to live with relatives in the countryside.  So far we have learned of only four deaths among our sponsored children.  Of course, four is heartbreaking, but is fewer than I had feared.

2.  We have a few school buildings that are total losses–just piles of rubble.  Several others will need some fairly major repairs.  A few just need debris to be cleared away and a few surface cracks patched.  However, with the frequent aftershocks, nobody is interested in “having a roof over their heads,” so we’ll have to see how this develops over time.

3.  The Haitian ICCM staff met together for most of a day.  It was their first time to be together, their first time to hear the harrowing accounts of each others’ January 12 events and the next 18 days.  All have lost housing.  All are sleeping outside.  Most have relatives who are injured.  Some have relatives who have died.  But we sang, and prayed, and cried, and ate, and laughed, and began to think about where to go from here.  “We are alive,” they said, “and so we have something important to accomplish for God and for the children.”  The team is more dedicated than ever to the task of serving Jesus and his children through ICCM.  We are providing immediate relief for our 20 employees and their families (a tent, a water filter kit, a solar oven, a locker at the ICCM office, 5 ICCM tee-shirts, some rice and beans and a small amount of cash).  Our Haitian ICCM staff is spending this week surveying the 53 Haitian ICCM school directors to guide relief efforts for sponsored children and school employees.

4.  All schools in Haiti are suspended until March 12 because of the state of emergency and the loss of the Ministry of Education.  This means that even in other parts of the country, school is not in session.  Still, where possible, our schools are still serving lunches for children.

5.  ICCM has a shipping container with 270,000 meals and 12 solar cookers arriving in Haiti any day now.  The first $25,000 of ICCM Special Projects funds have been hand-carried into Haiti and are being used according to approved plans.

6.  I will return Feb. 27 for a week.  We have a massive task ahead and I want to walk with our Haitian partners into a promising future on behalf of Haiti’s children.  I thank God for the privilege of sharing in this ministry with our Haitian brothers and sisters.

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