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Haiti Relief Funds Update – 19 Feb 2010

  -February 19th, 2010 @ 10:59 am

As of Feb. 12, a total of $840,613 has been given through the Bishops Famine and Relief Fund, Help Haiti Heal, Operation Hope and International Child Care Ministries for Haiti relief, recovery and development needs.

Give Now

The Peru FMC has joined the list of countries responding to the need in Haiti.

expressing gratitude for the generosity of God’s people.

Update from Dr. Art Brown

  -February 8th, 2010 @ 8:17 am

We arrived in Port-au-Prince around two p.m. Thursday after the 8½ hour drive from Santo Domingo. We visited the FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) building ruins and prayed near the “cave of life” site in which the Lord protected and until they could be rescued. We prayed with thanksgiving for their rescue and in grief for the families of Jeanne, Merle, Gene and Erlin. Next we visited the family next door whose home was destroyed by the FOHO collapse and from which two bodies are also yet to be retrieved. We shared our sorrow for them and prayed together.

On Friday we traveled through Port-au-Prince and were amazed at how commerce has returned to the streets. These are a very resilient people. As we drove to the city center, we grieved anew. The main government buildings are in shambles. The historic palace has collapsed; the judicial building is rubble.

We had two important meetings. One was with the Haiti superintendent’s team, missionary Rick Ireland and Haitian Zamor. We confirmed the major outline of our response efforts and a structure for making decisions going forward under their leadership. The Spirit of God provided a wonderful atmosphere as we grieved, expressed mutual support and prayed together. Each of the bishops – Bishop Cecilio (Dominican Republic), Bishop Roller (U.S.) and Bishop Elford (Canada) – expressed sorrow for the tragedy, solidarity with the Haitian people and a commitment to stand with them as we go forward.

Next we met with the western district pastors – their churches took the brunt of the devastation. We wept, prayed and shared together. Bishop Roller and Jean Marc explained to them the response plan, and we dialogued together. Each of them has lost their home. Most are living under temporary tarps where they can find a place. When I asked one pastor where he was living, he said in a neighbor’s yard. “Do you have a tent?” I asked. “No,” he responded, “just a cover.”

We visited the yard where between 12 and 15 families from our Delmas 53 church live in tents. It is a block from their destroyed church and a half block from a school where three of their member’s bodies are still under the rubble. The ladies’ church choir was practicing in one corner; tents covered nearly every square foot; school benches were along the wall; and dinner was being cooked. An amazing sense of calm and peace prevailed in spite of the very difficult circumstances. The church was living together and sharing both their need and their resources.

Lord, help us know how to be extravagantly generous as we stand with our church in Haiti!

Haiti Relief Team Update

  -February 2nd, 2010 @ 9:41 am

Pray for team members currently ministering in Haiti:

Praise God for this report from :

FM pastors are distributing food and water to their members. Jean Marc Zamor and Rick Ireland are encouraging the pastors to share a portion of that aid with non-FM neighbors.

Update Team A – 24 Jan 2010

  -January 23rd, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

Haiti Update
Reported from Port-au-Prince by Delia Nüesch-Olver on behalf of the second response team.
Saturday, January 23, 2010

“Will we ever get over this trauma?” Gaity said. “I had an appointment with Pastor Jeanne but she was praying; so I went downstairs to wait for her to finish. Then the earthquake happened.”

“It was terrible, terrible; and now it is terribly sad, terribly sad. But this I know: God is in charge.” – Robenson Herman, Pastor ’ translator at the Bible Institute.

While Ken LaBelle and checked buildings for structural safety, , and I visited schools and met and prayed with pastors and Free Methodist brothers and sisters. Some of those we prayed with are among the thousands and thousands living in “tents” made of sheets draped from poles.

There are deep cracks on the roads and hillsides that have slid into roads, making driving a nightmare. It takes hours and hours to get anywhere.

We have been in buildings where the destruction took our breath away, such as L’Eglise and . We saw mile after mile of collapsed buildings; some looking like powder. And that was on the main roads. When we went into the communities we realized that many people – many of our people – are living in the midst of total destruction.

At the Fontamara FMC people told us what happened: a crowd was waiting for prayer meeting to start when the earthquake happened. Four died. The local pastor reports that many children have died in that neighborhood of Port-au-Prince – some of whom are “our” sponsored children through International Child Care Ministries. If schools had been in session, many more would have died. I walked into the site of a FM school and saw the blackboard: “January 12, 2010. Homework for tomorrow.” That school is no more.

Food and water are huge issues. We prayed for many people; we sang together and brought them words of encouragement. As we left, they often said: “But we still need food and water.” Heart wrenching.

We had the joy of finding some people whose friends in the States had asked us to check whether they had survived.

This is a dangerous place. Even if there are no more aftershocks there is still much physical danger. Precarious buildings that are still standing might not survive a thunderstorm. If the building is on a hillside, a mudslide will take other buildings with them.

Dr. Dale Woods and I did a training video for all VISA teams so they know what to expect if God calls them to come here. We strongly recommend that all FM VISA teams watch this video and discuss it with their spiritual leaders before coming to Haiti.

We understand a FM medical team arrived at the (3 hours north of Port-au-Prince) today at 4 PM, but cell phone towers were knocked out, making communication a huge problem for everyone in Port-au-Prince throughout the day.

As we look to the future, there is a great need of small teams of structural engineers to determine the safety of all buildings – churches, schools and pastors’ homes. Many of our pastors are homeless, living in the streets with their families. Their homes need to be assessed for safety so they can be free to minister to others.

We saw people walking – just walking – with a completely vacant look in their eyes.

With the blessings of Bishop Roller and we have asked Jean Marc to become Field Coordinator for FMWM response. He is a Haitian leader, qualified for this role. He will be assisted by as his administrator. is assembling his team for this role.

Please continue to pray for us. Dr. Woods and I are both preaching tomorrow (Sunday) in different churches.

The Free Methodist Church in Haiti

  • 73 full churches
  • 28 church plants
  • More than 8,900 children sponsored through International Child Care Ministries
  • 117 primary schools / 22,122 students
  • 20 secondary schools / 2,859 students