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Haiti Update 20 April 2010

  -April 19th, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

From Dr. Delia Nüesch-Olver

The Free Methodist 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.

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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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.

International Child Care Ministries in Haiti

  -February 16th, 2010 @ 8:50 am

A Free Methodist earthquake response team, including ICCM Director Linda Adams and Director of Advancement John Hay, , were in Jan. 25 to Feb. 1. They delivered supplies, including Sawyer water filters, for earthquake victims. They met with Haitian ICCM staff and assessed damage to ICCM schools and other facilities so plans and priorities for repair and rebuilding can be made. Accounting for 1,687 ICCM-sponsored children in the area is a high priority for the Haitian ICCM team. As hundreds of thousands of people are scattered in refugee camps and across the Haitian countryside and beyond, this is tedious task.

Please pray for Haitian ICCM Field Coordinator and all who are both bearing the trauma of the earthquake and its aftermath, as well as the responsibility to find children and prepare for schools to reopen on March 12.

Tents, Thanks & Possibilities

  -February 2nd, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

Last week, Director wrote a reflection about the need for tents. A number of people responded and tents have been delivered and more are on the way. Thanks! Tents provide essential temporary housing for Haitians in the quake-damaged areas of the country. In addition to tents, more Sawyer water filters ($50 per) and food is needed. Free Methodist well-drillers and are drilling for water in the refugee camps right now. One church in England has already committed to partner with a Haitian FM church to help rebuild a quake-damaged ICCM school. ICCM is responding to priority relief, recovery and rebuilding needs through our Special Projects Fund. and Ministries is inviting folks to consider going to to serve in partnership with Haitian church recovery plans. If you’re considering this, please complete a response/registration form for volunteer service in Haiti.

We encourage you to view frequent updates about Free Methodist responses and mobilization for recovery at www.helphaitiheal.org and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/intlchildcare.

ICCM Report from Post-Quake Haiti

  -February 2nd, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

Director and Director of Advancement , joined a team of well drillers and Free Methodist missionary in a relief and response mission to last week.  Here is Linda’s preliminary report:

1.  I am cautiously optimistic that very few of our children have died.  School directors hesitate to give reports yet because of the vast scattering of people to refugee camps and to live with relatives in the countryside.  So far we have learned of only four deaths among our sponsored children.  Of course, four is heartbreaking, but is fewer than I had feared.

2.  We have a few school buildings that are total losses–just piles of rubble.  Several others will need some fairly major repairs.  A few just need debris to be cleared away and a few surface cracks patched.  However, with the frequent aftershocks, nobody is interested in “having a roof over their heads,” so we’ll have to see how this develops over time.

3.  The Haitian ICCM staff met together for most of a day.  It was their first time to be together, their first time to hear the harrowing accounts of each others’ January 12 events and the next 18 days.  All have lost housing.  All are sleeping outside.  Most have relatives who are injured.  Some have relatives who have died.  But we sang, and prayed, and cried, and ate, and laughed, and began to think about where to go from here.  “We are alive,” they said, “and so we have something important to accomplish for God and for the children.”  The team is more dedicated than ever to the task of serving Jesus and his children through ICCM.  We are providing immediate relief for our 20 employees and their families (a tent, a water filter kit, a solar oven, a locker at the ICCM office, 5 ICCM tee-shirts, some rice and beans and a small amount of cash).  Our Haitian ICCM staff is spending this week surveying the 53 Haitian ICCM school directors to guide relief efforts for sponsored children and school employees.

4.  All schools in Haiti are suspended until March 12 because of the state of emergency and the loss of the Ministry of Education.  This means that even in other parts of the country, school is not in session.  Still, where possible, our schools are still serving lunches for children.

5.  ICCM has a shipping container with 270,000 meals and 12 solar cookers arriving in Haiti any day now.  The first $25,000 of ICCM Special Projects funds have been hand-carried into Haiti and are being used according to approved plans.

6.  I will return Feb. 27 for a week.  We have a massive task ahead and I want to walk with our Haitian partners into a promising future on behalf of Haiti’s children.  I thank God for the privilege of sharing in this ministry with our Haitian brothers and sisters.

Original Post

Photo Journey

  -January 29th, 2010 @ 8:07 am

Director and Director of Advancement . are in surveying the damage and making plans to rebuild. Below are some of the pictures of what they saw.

VISA Teams Update

  -January 26th, 2010 @ 8:20 am

A medical team left Sat., Jan. 23, for . They have based their ministry out of . , former missionary to Haiti, is coordinating this effort.

A consultant team of professionals will be going into on Wed., Jan. 27. Departure dates from Haiti will vary depending on their tasks. Team members include , newly-appointed missionary to Haiti; and , of ; , retired Army Special Forces; and and who will be drilling wells under the auspices of the U.S. military.

Spring Arbor FMC, MI, is sending a team of 13 to assist with the relief efforts in Haiti, Jan. 31 to Feb. 14. Team leaders are and .

Additional information about teams including how you can participate can be found at http://go.fmwm.org/go/haiti/haiti.php