We continue to be in prayer for our Haitian brothers and sisters in crisis. Here are some recent developments:
► Jack Munos and Katie Zook were airlifted from Guantanamo Bay last night because their conditions were deemed more serious than originally thought. They arrived in Miami early this morning. Pacific Northwest Superintendent Matt Whitehead is at the hospital and reports both are doing well. They are in ICU but alert. Both have been suffered quite a bit of trauma but “we can be encouraged that God is answering prayer.” Katie’s family is now at the hospital and has been a great encouragement to her. I was able to speak to Jack for a few moments by phone and encourage him with, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Jack asks us to not give up hope on Jeanne even though he recognizes her rescue would require a miracle.
► The Free Methodist World Missions team, together with the Board of Bishops, are working to produce a short video for use in FM churches on Sunday. Please reserve a couple of minutes in your services to project this video. I (Bishop Roller) will be the face of the video but will be representing the broad spectrum of Free Methodists with ministry in Haiti. Remember that International Child Care Ministries, Clear Blue Global Water Project, FOHO (work teams), Eden Reforestation and other FM-related ministries will be involved in our response. Please alert ministries to connect with us before developing independent plans.
► We are working to put together an exploratory team to travel to Haiti and connect with the Haitian church leaders. We will rely heavily on the wisdom of the Haitian church to create a response strategy and action plan. We also are working to make connections with other denominations and NGOs to participate in a coordinated response. We anticipate this exploratory team will provide a fuller assessment of the needs, as well as the best way for North-American teams to respond over the next months.
The next weeks and months will be filled with uncertainty and grief. At the same time, we know God will redeem and heal. He will make sense out what appears random and cruel. There will be opportunities for Haiti to be rebuilt as a new Haiti. Soon, unprecedented opportunities will open up in Haiti for the church to participate in building safer and better housing, more reliable infrastructure and a more just society. The Haitian FMC, which has always been intrinsically wholistic, will need our partnership. Get ready.
► Online: http://www.fmwm.org/give/help_haiti_heal.php
► Check: Help Haiti Heal, PO Box 535002, Indianapolis, IN 46253-5002
► the safe rescue of Jeanne, Merle, Gene and our many Haitian friends who are unaccounted for.
► physical healing for Jack Munos and Katie Zook.
► safe evacuation of the VISA volunteers and mission families who need to leave.
► emotional healing for the missionary team and for the Haitians as they face this overwhelming trauma.
► the exploratory team to arrive safely. Pray they will have wisdom and discernment as they assist the Haitian church to create a response strategy and action plan.
► the Port-au-Prince pastors as they attempt to comfort and lead their people (19 full FM churches and 12 church plants are located in the greater Port-au-Prince area).
► relief supplies to reach Haitians.
► word concerning the welfare of Haitian ICCM staff and 1,867 ICCM-sponsored children participating in 16 schools in the Port-au-Prince area.
► the thousands of ICCM-sponsored children and their families who have been impacted.
The Free Methodist Church in Haiti
► 73 full churches
► 28 church plants
► More than 8,900 children sponsored through International Child Care Ministries
► 86 ordained elders
► 15 conference ministerial candidates
► 85 local pastors
► 11,643 full members
► 2,229 preparatory members
► 1,727 junior members
► 15,599 grand total members
► 12,720 average attendance
► 117 primary schools / 22,122 students
► 20 secondary schools / 2,859 students
► 11 dispensaries
► 1 hospital
Embassy Report on Current Situation in Haiti
Most roads in Port-au-Prince and its surrounding area have been rendered inaccessible, further complicating relief efforts in the region. Electricity, water and telecommunication services remain severely disrupted.
Looting has been reported in some areas, though this has been limited. However, the security situation in the city is being complicated by the population’s dissatisfaction with the provision of aid and other essential services in the worst affected areas. Fears exist that widespread civil unrest and looting may occur as thousands of the quake survivors look for fresh water and food. This will be directly linked to the ability of authorities and relief workers to distribute supplies across the city.
There is a growing concern that criminal gangs in the city may take advantage of the lack of security forces on the streets. Authorities have emphasized the risk posed by armed bandits, gangs, and other criminal groups along roads and areas on the outskirts of the capital.
After sustaining damage, the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, just outside Port-au-Prince, has been closed indefinitely to commercial flights. It has one operational runway, but this is being used for relief efforts only.
Haiti’s second major airport, Cap Haitien International Airport, located approximately 185km north of Port-au-Prince, was not affected by the earthquake but has been commandeered by security forces for use by relief and aid services. All commercial flights to the airport remain suspended.