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Haiti Update 20 April 2010

  -April 19th, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

From Dr. Delia Nüesch-Olver

The Church has responded in incredible ways to the crisis of the January 12 earthquake in . From the beginning, God has clearly been at work confirming an action plan that not only provided immediate relief, but is producing long-range impact through rebuilding projects and healthy long-term sustainability.

Two key leadership gatherings in Haiti:

Bishop Roller visited Haiti immediately after the earthquake. A few days later, was on site. The unanimous decision was to submit to the leadership of the Haitian superintendents with the following results:

  • They formed a Response Steering Committee: six Haitian superintendents and as administrator.
  • They determined three priorities for relief and reconstruction – which they have maintained in spite of criticism and pressure to broaden their response:
    1. Rebuild schools so that the children – including those sponsored through ICCM – can continue their education, and their lives can begin to normalize.
    2. Rebuild pastor’s houses that were destroyed by the earthquake so they can minister to others.
    3. Rebuild damaged church buildings.

A month after the earthquake Bishop Roller, Dr. Delia Nüesch-Olver, and , Director of , returned to Haiti for a consultation with Haitian leadership that had been planned before the earthquake.

We observed the following results:

  • Free Methodist leadership in Haiti has worked with wisdom to help FMWM avoid an approach that creates unhealthy dependency. Rather than only reacting to immediate relief needs, the leadership is working towards implementing long-term sustainable systems that truly set up the people to continue caring for themselves.
  • The level of spiritual maturity and leadership among the Haitian Superintendents was impressive.
  • The way the Response Steering Committee is using the relief money is an example of stewardship and of excellent principles of missions for the 21st century.
  • There is an encouraging partnership with other mission organizations and aid agencies leveraging Free Methodist resources to go farther and accomplish more.
    It is clear to see that forty years of missionary work are bearing fruit.

In the first video immediately after the earthquake, Bishop Roller asked the worldwide church for money and simultaneously made a commitment to walk long term alongside the Haitian Church to help rebuild Haiti. This commitment implies more than just relief, which only lasts short term. Our commitment seeks even farther-reaching results as we continue working on the long-term plan fleshed out by our Haitian leaders: better schools, better homes, better church buildings. This plan that we are privileged to support will empower the Haitian people to rebuild Haiti and walk more boldly into the future God has for them as a people.

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 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 Team Update

  -February 2nd, 2010 @ 9:41 am

Pray for team members currently ministering in :

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.

Progress Report From the Field

  -January 29th, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

, Area Director of Latin America, and , Director of Mobilization, report what is happening to the Haitian Church just 10 days after being devastated by the earthquake.  Check out what they are doing to help and find out the ways you can help your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Download this Video (right click and choose save as)

Port-au-Prince Report #4

  -January 26th, 2010 @ 8:11 am

Report #4
Reported from Port-au-Prince, , by Delia Nüesch-Olver on behalf of the second response team
Monday, January 25, 2010

Starting at 6 a.m. today, we divided into two teams. did many inspections of church buildings, schools and pastors’ homes, checking for structural soundness. It was his sad job to tell Superintendent Clovis and Zamor their homes are structurally unsafe and have to be torn down immediately to avoid further loss. When Pastor Clovis was informed he simply said: “God knows. God cares. God will provide.” – and continued ministering to other people.

Ken LaBelle has been coaching Pastor George, a Haitian leader, how to do building inspections. My favorite moment of the day was when Ken turned to Pastor George and said: “You do the next inspection.” From then on, Pastor George, a civil engineer, did them with the backing of Ken. He can now continue until more engineers come.

Many people were prayed for after we listened to their stories. Some children are starting to smile.

As we leave Haiti tomorrow, the International Child Care office is almost ready to be used, generators are re-set and working, and tools have been recovered from the FOHO (Friends Of Haiti Organization) building ready to be used by work teams. We also worked on preparing for the Fourth Response Team, arriving from Spring Arbor next Monday.

We are very impressed with the caliber of , the new Field Coordinator for FMWM Haiti response. Under his leadership, pastors have formed teams to locate church members in the refugee camps and are delivering water and food to many with the resources you send through us.

Give
Give online at:
     www.helphaitiheal.org
or send checks to:
     Bishops Famine and Relief Fund
      Church of North America
     PO Box 535002
     Indianapolis IN 46253-5002

Go
Complete a response/registration form for volunteer service in Haiti.

Pray
Participate in the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Haiti, January 27, 2010.

Update Team A – 24 Jan 2010

  -January 23rd, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

Update
Reported from 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 and checked buildings for structural safety, , and I visited schools and met and prayed with pastors and 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 . 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

Free Methodist World Missions Hotline

  -January 19th, 2010 @ 10:45 am

Update

A major earthquake struck the nation of Haiti on Tues., Jan. 12. The 7.0 quake centered on the area where 19 full FM churches and 12 church plants are located.

At the time, 17 North American FM missionaries were ministering in Port-au-Prince. Three of these individuals remain unaccounted for and are now presumed to have perished in the building that collapsed on them. conducted a memorial service at the building site on Sat., Jan. 16, for Rev. , and Gene Dufour.

Two other missionaries, and , were med-evac’ed to a Florida hospital where they are recovering. (Personal visits are discouraged so they will be able to have sufficient rest to heal as quickly as possible.)

Cards may be sent to:
     North Broward Medical Center
     201 E Sample Road
     Deerfield Beach, FL 33064

All other FM missionaries are safe and have been evacuated with the exception of one VISA Affiliate couple, Steve and .

Ongoing reports continue to be gathered from Haitian pastors regarding the welfare of FM members and sponsored ICCM children.

Response Team: A FM response team, led by Area Director for Latin American Ministries , will arrive in Haiti this week. They will strategize with the Haitian church for future volunteer deployment and will assess standing buildings for structural safety. Pray for God’s wisdom to surround them.

Day of Prayer and Fasting: The Church has declared Wed., Jan. 27, as a Worldwide Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Haitian Church.

Forum: To share your prayers or words of encouragement for the Haitian church, or to share reflections, go to the forum board at: www.HelpHaitiHeal.org.

Donations: Thank you for your generosity to your Haitian brothers and sisters. Two avenues to donate – Missions Connect and PayPal – are available at: http://www.fmwm.org/give/help_haiti_heal.php.

Volunteers: If you are interested in volunteering on a future response team to Haiti, please e-mail , VISA Team Coordinator, at ConnieK@fmcna.org.

Prayer Requests: All the people impacted by the earthquake need food, water, medical care and shelter. Pray for recovery efforts and peace on the streets. Pray for God’s peace to reign in the midst of this desperate situation. Pray the many Haitian refugees who are leaving the Port-au-Prince area will receive the assistance they so desperately need.