Teams: Keith Snyder of the Edgewood FMC, Rochester, NY, and 15 others will celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Haiti this year. This team will construct a new school in Jessome, Nov. 20 to 28. Edgewood FMC has been involved in all phases of the project, from preliminary-site planning to the school design and now the construction of the building.
Rick Ireland Reflects – Sat., Nov. 13
The cholera problem was identified as a major problem in the area around our hospital in Dessalines on a Friday and by Sunday we had mobilized a team of Haitian doctors, nurses, and community workers to go into the impacted area. The medical people helped the overworked staff at the hospital and the community workers went into the impacted area and passed out the 50,000 fliers with information on how to protect yourself from cholera and what to do if it strikes. The report I got back from Dr. Jerry Rusher, an American doctor, was that the Haitian team made a big difference. We didn’t stop the epidemic but we did do what we could do.
“So what do you do when faced with an impossible task? The Haitian church is planning a country wide education campaign. There are things one can do to prevent cholera and other things to do if it strikes that will increase your chance of survival. In the weeks ahead the churches will be very busy trying to help their communities. That’s what they can do. The church here long ago learned that you have to trust God for what is beyond you.
You might be wondering what you can do. First, please keep Haiti lifted up in prayer. It faces significant challenges as it rebuilds from an earthquake, a cholera epidemic, and a hurricane. If you want to do something a bit more hands-on, you might consider a donation toward clean water. For $50 you can buy a water filter that can help several families have safe water to drink. Just send your donation to Free Methodist World Missions, PO Box 535002, Indianapolis, IN 46253-5002 and mark your check, ‘Help Haiti Heal water filters.’ Another excellent way to help would be a donation to Clear Blue Global Water Project . This organization is actively drilling wells in many parts of the world, including Haiti. You can also donate to them by sending your check to Free Methodist World Mission and marking it ‘Global Water Project.’ The fact that you can’t do everything should not stop you from doing something.”
Wednesday started like any ordinary day here. Little did I know how drastically things were soon to change. Crowds of people descended on the hospital carrying their family members who were terribly sick with severe diarrhea and vomiting. Some were in shock and unresponsive. Many had already died in the area where this epidemic started. Soon IV’s were going everywhere, all beds were filled, and we were running out of floor space. The people were terrified because this disease struck so quickly and severely … The last three days has been a nightmare with everyone being exhausted. Care for the other patients without cholera has been limited and we sent many home because the nursing staff was unable to keep up with the demands. So far only one cholera patient that made it to us alive has died, but many were very close.
Three Brazilian leaders traveled to Haiti Mon., March 1, taking donations and tents. Venezuela also joined the countries sending an offering for the relief and recovery efforts.
Your funds at work:
- Emergency funds are being used to purchase rice and oil to supplement distributions of free items acquired from various aid organizations.
- A large number of doses to immunize for tetanus and typhoid have been acquired.
- Resources are being used to relocate pastors and others who are living in refugee camps where people are surrounded by filth and the potential for disease is great. Three areas have been identified to set up secure camps with adequate sanitation.
- Through the work of the Dominican Church, 80 shelterboxes will be received soon. These tents are larger and sturdier than many of the tents pastors currently have.
- Plans are underway for demolition of FM churches and schools that cannot be repaired. These buildings pose a major safety threat if not demolished as soon as possible.
- Grants are being made available to demolish and/or build temporary homes before the hurricane season.
Continue to pray for the Leadership Consultation taking place through Thurs., March 4 to strategize, pray and chart a course for the maturing Haitian Church.
Pray for these individuals currently ministering in Haiti:
- Missionaries Rick Ireland and FOHO members Larry and Alice Judy
- Medical/maintenance personnel, including Dan and DeeAnn Snyder, Cedric Johnson, Jerry Rusher, Greg Ingle, Garrett Stanley, Randy and Jane Wynn, and Jim Rowan, based out of Dessalines Hospital
- Vahan Sipantizi, with a team of 6, and Arron Swenson, digging wells
- Team of 18 led by Ron Hansen (Arlington FMC, WA) in Port-au-Prince
- Team of three engineers to provide structural assessments
- VISA Voyagers Russ and Sherrie Cole (Quincy, WA)
- VISA Affiliate Steve Hersey (Wilmore FMC, KY)
Praise God Jack Munos arrived safely at his brother’s home in Texas where he will be staying for the remainder of his recovery.
Pray for individuals currently ministering in Haiti:
- Missionary Rick Ireland
- Medical personnel, including Drs. Dan Snyder, Joel Miller, Tim Dew and Jerry Rusher, based out of Dessalines Hospital
- Vahan Sipantizi, digging wells
- Team of six led by Jim Rowan (Texas) at Dessalines Hospital serving in maintenance/repair and medical
- Team of six led by Rick Stetner (Quincy FMC, WA) in Port-au-Prince, construction
- Team of four led by Eric Messer (CrossRoads FMC, Ottawa Lake, MI) providing an eye clinic for those who lost their glasses in the earthquake
Leaving this week:
- Team of 18 led by Ron Hansen (Arlington FMC, WA) leave Wed., Feb.17, for Port-au-Prince (one doctor will be based at Dessalines)
- Team of three engineers leave Thurs., Feb 18, to provide structural assessments
I want to share about a 15 year-old orphan boy who had been wandering the streets of Port-au-Prince when the earthquake occurred. His name is Mackendy. He was living off money made by wiping the windows of people stopping at stoplights and slept in the streets. He was thrown to the ground by the quake and fractured his left shoulder. He had no treatment until arriving here two days ago and was in quite a bit of pain. He will be staying with our chaplain, Hyrounce, until next week with his arm in a sling until an orthopedist arrives. The chaplain smiles as he tells how disorderly Mackendy is. He is used to being on his own and doesn’t do anything he is told. Pray that the love he receives while here will touch his heart and we will know what to do after he gets his shoulder fixed.
Many of the people injured in the quake are recovering, and we are not seeing so many now who have not had treatment. We are being kept busy with the usual medical problems of the Dessalines area, only with more of them than usual because of many quake refugees moving here. There has been a fair amount of quite sick people with typhoid fever and malaria and the usual frequent motorcycle accidents.
One of the really hard things to deal with is the increase in begging we are seeing. Many are having trouble finding food especially refugees. I hope some of the Port-au-Prince aid makes its way up here. I am using money I brought with me mainly for medical needs in the hospital and its hard to turn away the many asking for money for food. Generally it’s been the policy here to not give food to people begging on the streets or you will be inundated.
I have some really good news to share. Since I have been here I hadn’t had time to thoroughly evaluate Claire Marthe the witch doctor’s daughter who we treated for cancer last year. That is until today. She is feeling quite well and has gained 30 pounds. The tumor she had secretes human chorionic gonadotropins, which is what is present in the urine with a pregnancy test. So you know the tumor is gone when the pregnancy test becomes negative. We did a pregnancy test today and I began praising God when it came back negative. I reminded her of the time over a year ago when she came forward for the pastor to anoint her with oil and pray for her healing. She is being a real missionary in her community. Last Sunday she brought 4 or 5 children with her to church.
God has been good to us on this trip. Devotions with the chaplain have been especially good. I think our team felt like they got as much out of this trip as they gave to others. I think many of us were learning lessons of depending on God as we were stretched.
Katie Zook was able to be moved to a Seattle area hospital on Friday, February 5, where she will continue her recovery.
Pray for individuals currently ministering in Haiti:
- Drs. Dan Snyder, Joel Miller and Tim Drew have joined the medical team led by Dr. Jerry Rusher, based out of Dessalines Hospital.
- Continuing to minister are: missionary Rick Ireland; a team from Spring Arbor FMC (Spring Arbor MI) through Feb. 12; a medical team from Yakima, WA, through Feb. 14; and well-drillers Vahan Sipantizi, Curt King and Kevin Kate.
Pray for team members currently ministering in Haiti:
- Tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 3, Canadian Bishop Keith Elford, Dominican Republic Bishop Cecilio Osoria, U.S. Bishop David Roller, Dr. Art Brown and Grant Sigsworth (Canada) will meet with leaders in Haiti to coordinate leadership and relief between the four countries.
- Rick Ireland, newly-approved missionary, is serving with Haitian pastor Jean Marc Zamor as the on-ground coordinator in Haiti. Larry and Alice Judy, Russ Cole and Jim Donnelson are providing support services. Sherry Cole will join the group next week.
- A team of 14 from the Spring Arbor FMC (Spring Arbor MI) is working on construction of a road and retaining wall at the FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) site.
- A medical team, led by Dr. Jerry Rusher, is based out of Dessalines Hospital. A second medical team from Yakima, WA, will leave for Haiti on Thurs., Feb. 4, to work at Terra Blanche with Pastor Dellamy. A third team of medical personnel is making plans to minister in Haiti over the course of the next month.
- Vahan Sipantzi, Curt King and Kevin Kate are drilling wells.
Praise God for this report from Dr. Delia Nuesch-Olver:
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.
A consultant team of professionals will be going into Port-au-Prince on Wed., Jan. 27. Departure dates from Haiti will vary depending on their tasks. Team members include Rev. Rick Ireland, newly-appointed missionary to Haiti; Dr. Linda Adams and Dr. John Hay, Jr. of International Child Care Ministries; Vahan Sipantzi, retired Army Special Forces; and Curt King and Kevin Kate who will be drilling wells under the auspices of the U.S. military.
Additional information about VISA teams including how you can participate can be found at http://go.fmwm.org/go/haiti/haiti.php