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Archive for March, 2010

Sponsors Connect in Haiti

  -March 16th, 2010 @ 8:57 am

Drs. Don & Mary Jo Calebaugh relate this touching story from

A couple of years ago, I wanted to buy a motorcycle. My wife said I could if we sponsored a couple of kids through . This was a no brainer for me: for $42 a month for both kids, I could go riding.

Our next task was to go to the ICCM web site and pick our kids. After viewing lots of available kids, I said we should pick two children from Haiti since it was closest to the USA and we might someday get there. My wife looked at me doubtfully.

Shortly after the Haiti earthquake, my wife and I (both physicians) were urgently asked to join a 9-person Haiti Medical Disaster Relief Mission trip to a small hospital in Dessalines, Haiti that is sponsored by the Free Methodist Church. The medical members of the team came from all over the USA and we all were humbled by the support help of our respective hospitals. We were able to procure thousands of dollars of medicines, supplies, and surgical stuff, plus two new oxygen generators to be taken with us to Haiti. The airlines waived the weight and baggage limits, and the 9 of us arrived with 44 suitcases packed with medical supplies for the hospital.

The work there was hard and difficult but fulfilling. At lunch on day, I was sitting next to some Haitian visitors from a rural area. When they mentioned where they were from, it sounded familiar and indeed, it was the area where our sponsored kids lived. We had taken our documents and photos from ICCM and when we showed these pictures, they not only knew our kids, but would bring them to us the next day.

They arrived the next day on a “tap-tap” (a pick-up truck with seats) along with their school master. We all had a great lunch together. We learned about the local environment, living conditions of the family and the children’s schooling. We gave our kids some Yankee ball caps and Payday candy bars and had some pictures taken.

We know for a fact that International Child Care Ministries is real, it works, and the funds go right to the kids and school programs as advertised. With so much money going into Haiti and not knowing where it winds up, when asked how people can help Haiti, I tell them to contact ICCM and support a couple of kids. The money goes to support the kids, their families and their Christian education.

When my wife and I left for Haiti, our local newspaper interviewed us as to what impact we expected to have on this medical relief trip. We knew the situation was immense, but we reflected that we needed to give our help, face to face, one patient at a time. So it is when sponsoring a child: one-on-one, one child at a time.

Our love and support to the Haitian people,

Don and Mary Jo Calebaugh, MDs
Binghamton, New York

Haiti – Review of Activity from Rick Ireland

  -March 16th, 2010 @ 8:42 am
  • We arranged for a distribution out of the that impacted 700 families and an distribution out of the Delmas 53 church that impacted an additional 700 families. Both of these were arranged by Jean Marc Zamor who is leading the Haitian relief effort under the direction of a steering committee appointed by the Haitian Board of Superintendents.
  • We distributed food and other supplies to 3,054 church members, employees, FOHO employees and other mission staff.
  • Money has been given to the West and South District superintendents to meet food, water and medical needs of the churches in the impact area. We have specifically asked the superintendents and pastors to see that both churched and un-churched people benefit.
  • We have run three vaccination campaigns in three different locations, vaccinating 646 people against the diseases that will soon begin to rear their heads. The vaccine came from the government, the labor from church volunteers.
  • We held a free medical clinic in , staffed by Free Methodist Haitian doctors and nurses (a first), that treated more than 200 people. Additional clinics are planned. The supplies came from other aid groups, the labor from church volunteers.
  • We gathered and trained children’s workers from churches in the West and South Districts, and set up safe play areas where children can step out of misery and have fun. We have discovered that even before the formal effort, many churches were already impacting their community with children’s programming. Through both donated money and items acquired from other aid groups, we are working to actively enhance this effort which has an impact vastly greater than the local churches themselves.
  • We arranged for a team of engineers to begin the process of evaluating church properties, schools and pastors’ homes. Additional teams are being planned.
  • With the help of Linda Adams and of International Child Care Ministries, 230,000 meals will be distributed to the impact area. We are specifically targeting the churches in communities that have had little or no access to aid. Sadly, there are too many of those.
  • We have scheduled training (by Asbury Seminary staff) for pastors and church leaders designed to help them with the trauma of recent events so they can help the people they serve. This training will happen at the end of March.
  • We have had a leadership summit with key Haitian and U.S. leaders to both review the relief effort and to look toward the future of the U.S./Haitian Church relationship.
  • We have begun funding grants to assist pastors to demolish homes and build temporary shelters (something more than a tent) until more permanent housing solutions can happen. Pastors who have land are already offering space to their landless colleagues to get them out of sub-standard tent communities. We are also exploring the possibility of establishing temporary communities to get people out of unsafe camps.
  • We are now able to wire money into the Mission bank account and write checks on it. A team is currently here in rebuilding the financial system from 1/1/2010 so we will have accurate and up-to-date financial reporting.
  • Teams have reroofed the church at , done repair work at church and repaired the church at . They are currently working on both the church and school at Greffin.

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Haiti Relief Funds – Update 12 March 2010

  -March 12th, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

As of March 5, a total of $1,307,639 has been given through the Bishops Famine and Relief Fund, Help Heal, Operation Hope and for Haiti relief, recovery and development needs.

Venezuela has joined the list of countries sending in offerings to help .

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Katie Zook and Kelly Perkins Reunite

  -March 11th, 2010 @ 11:06 am

Zook was in on a two-year mission with the Free Methodist Church where she was staying in the four story Friends of building that collapsed during the 12 Feb earthquake that devastated . was also in Haiti drilling on a short term mission when the earthquake struck. He and others helped pull Katie from the rubble.

KTBV, Idaho News Channel 7 tells the story of ’s rescue.

International Child Care Ministries Update

  -March 9th, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

Director Linda Adams frames challenges for children in post-quake . ICCM sponsors over 8,900 children and operates 53 schools in . Relief is the immediate need. Rebuilding is the longer-term challenge. Thanks for your prayers and support both now and in the hopeful days ahead.

For more information about International Child Care Ministries or to sponsor a child please visit ChildCareMinistries.org

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Clear Blue Water Project Drill Rig Has Arrived!!

  -March 8th, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

GOOD NEWS!!
The has arrived in .

Many helped make this happen but especially Healing Hands International.

Now we need money to go directly to drilling expenses (fuel, casing, bits, pumps, etc.) so that we can get as many wells as possible providing this spring when the need is greatest. We are actively working on getting a shipping container of pumps directly from the manufacturer in India purchased and shipped to Haiti. These pumps are the critical piece for the ongoing delivery of . We can get a limited supply of pumps in Haiti for about $1,000 each but if we buy in quantity directly from the manufacturer we hope to get the price significantly reduced.

Your gifts and prayers, and your willingness to contact others with this urgent and immediate need is vital. Clear Blue is a very lean operation, all . The gifts going directly to the needs, Please help us keep a steady stream of money going so there is no delay in the life-giving resource.

Give Now

More information on the Clear Blue please visit their website at www.clearblueproject.com.

International Child Care Ministries Update

  -March 8th, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

(ICCM) Director Linda Adams has just returned from her second post-earthquake trip to . She learned that children whose sponsor numbers begin with a 6 or 7 (schools away from ) have been attending school since February 1. School directors report many “refugees” from are attending their schools for now. Only the earthquake zone is still waiting for schools to open on April 5.

Progress:

  • Hundreds of water filters have been assembled and put in use; 1,000 more are being sent this week.
  • A shipping container with 270,000 fortified rice meals has arrived; distribution will begin this week.
  • ICCM staff and teachers are receiving emergency aid.
  • Kids clubs are providing activities, exercise and nutrition for children in many school yards.
  • A team of three structural engineers has assessed the damaged buildings and is making recommendations.
  • American/Haitian work teams have repaired three churches/schools, with more underway each week.
  • Haitian workers are demolishing structures that need to be torn down.
  • Hundreds of tents are being sent.
  • Some soccer balls, volley balls and jump ropes have been given out.
  • School directors have received January and February support and gifts from ICCM along with sponsors’ letters to children.

Note to sponsors of Haitian children: Only Haitian children with sponsor numbers beginning with “HA5…” are among children living within the quake-affected area. If we learn that a sponsored child has perished or was seriously injured in the earthquake, we will contact their sponsor directly. Please continue to support your sponsored child unless you hear directly from us.

Update from Bishop David Roller

  -March 8th, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

from Bishop David Rollers blog

Yvonne and I spent last week in . Three nights we spent in tents in the rain worrying about the 1.5 million homeless, and for 3 days we were at a hotel with Haitian church leaders.

Relief and recovery is hard word and tears people apart. Partly because everyone is fatigued to the bone, one of the tasks is to keep the team together. Because the task is so huge hard decisions have to be made and no one can make everyone happy.

We’re working under Haitian superintendents team. Their decisions set our priorities. I think they’re doing an exceptional job.

We were able to spent a few moments alone at the graveside of Erlin, Jeanne, Merle & Gene. The bodies of the latter three were recovered by the military, positive identification was made through dental records and they were laid to rest on church property.

We now have a preliminary count of Free Methodists who died, in the western district, of about 100. Probably fewer died in the southern district, but still no count from them.

Haiti – Update from Dr. Delia Nuesch-Olver

  -March 5th, 2010 @ 8:16 am

Days after the January 12 earthquake devastated , I met with the Haitian superintendents to determine the priorities for Free Methodist response. A steering committee of six Haitian pastors and one North American missionary was empowered to manage the response according to these priorities.

Of course, the Haitian leaders understood that by identifying these priorities there were other important things they would have to trust God to accomplish through other means. They have demonstrated great maturity by maintaining focus on the priorities despite the criticism of well-meaning people who think they should try to do everything.

Partnerships are being developed with other agencies so that Free Methodist relief funds are being leveraged to go farther. Resources are being used to help people help themselves and help others. With the relief funds you have generously contributed:

  • Thousands have been vaccinated against typhoid and tetanus.
  • Thousand of food kits have been distributed.
  • Children’s clubs been started to assist with trauma counseling.
  • Structural inspections have been conducted on schools, churches and homes.
  • Haitian people have been hired to demolish damaged buildings.
  • Grants have been made available for pastors and teachers to build temporary homes before the rainy season.
  • Medical relief for victims of the earthquake has been provided at .

All of these things have been delivered at a grass roots level – along with pastoral care. People have experienced healing and spiritual encouragement even though they are psychologically battered by the memories of the terror. Please continue to pray for the many people living in primitive conditions – including Free Methodist pastors and other leaders who are working tirelessly to minister to others.

Haiti Relief Funds – Update 3/5/2010

  -March 5th, 2010 @ 8:15 am

As of February 26, 2010, a total of $1,221,863 has been given through the Bishops Famine and Relief Fund, Help Heal, Operation Hope and for relief, recovery and development needs.