Days after the January 12 earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, 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 Dessalines Hospital.
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.