Tom Pavone, Greg Hale and Keith Snyder, Edgewood FMC, Rochester, NY, travel to Haiti, May 20 to 24, to follow up on structural assessments (post earthquake), do some civil engineering and design projects for the FMC and FOHO (Friends Of Haiti Organization) and work on 12 Pillars, an extra mile project.
Praise God for the inaugural meeting of the Haiti Provisional General Conference held March 27 to 29. Bishop David Roller reports the meetings were filled with celebration and a sense of progress. Rev. Clovis Momplaisier was elected suffragan bishop. The Haiti church continues to grow. Attendance has increased in the last year from about 6,000 to more than 18,000. Pray for God’s continued hand of guidance and blessing on the FMC in Haiti.
A little over a year ago, Jack Munos was pinned under the rubble of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince. Tragically, that collapse claimed the life of his spouse, Jeanne Acheson-Munos. Now, Jack is ready to return to Haiti to serve its people – fulfilling a calling to which he and Jeanne committed themselves. Jack, a missionary appointed and commissioned through Free Methodist World Missions, will work in cooperation with the Haitian International Child Care Ministries staff. He will coordinate special ICCM projects, including water filters, solar oven distribution and education, along with other ICCM outreach initiatives. Join us in celebrating this development and in prayer for Jack and his service to the people of Haiti through ICCM. Learn all about ICCM at www.childcareministries.org
From Andy Yardy 7 Nov 2010:
Today, I visited what used to be the Delma 53 free Methodist church. I remember it from my last trip here cause it was one of the buildings that I saw with so much damage it was amazing that it even was still standing. Since then they have torn the building down and moved to a new piece of land with space to grow. There are nearly twice as many people attending services there as there were before the earthquake one lady Gaardine Liberte lead a prayer at the service today who had been trapped in a building that had pancaked only a few feet from the old church.
This afternoon, we visited several other churches and school buildings that had been rebuilt over the last 10 months. One church across the street from a UN tent city with 3000 families had a well provided through clear blue global water project that is now the primary water source for these dislocated families. The final stop for the day was the sight for a new university the Haitians are building. It’s a dream they had before the quake but motivated by the need to educate there own people to rebuild there own country construction is beginning in the next few weeks to they can start classes next school year.
Update from Rick Ireland
Phases 1 and 2 of the recovery plan (which have been completed) included the following:
- More than 1,000 people were vaccinated and more than 2,000 people were seen in free clinics. These clinics were staffed by Haitian medical people volunteering their time to serve their churches and communities.
- We (the steering committee) have worked extensively with the local churches to develop programming for children prior to the restart of school.
- We conducted distributions at every church in the West and South Districts. Some of these churches are hours from Port-au-Prince, and this was the only help these people received. We have also distributed relief supplies to school staffs.
- We have given grants to 29 pastors to provide for provisional shelter and to an additional 19 pastors to assist in repairing their homes.
- We have assisted a number of churches in demolition. The typical pattern is that local church people provide the labor to take down the buildings and we provide money to have the rubble hauled away.
- We have been identifying and funding projects that can be accomplished with Haitian labor.
- We have made major progress in rebuilding the financial system and hope to be done in the next week or so.
- The Bible school has restarted.
- Nearly a dozen sites have lost both their church and school. We are working hard to get at least one usable structure at every site.
- New building materials are being tested: a new (to us) steel frame building structure and a new (to Haiti) type of foam core building.
- We are expecting a major shipment of tents.
- We are looking at the possibility of a second pastors’ retreat. The first retreat was limited to only West and South District pastors. We would like to do something for all pastors and wives. The earthquake has had an impact far beyond Port-au-Prince. Superintendent Charite reports that in his region alone the population has swelled by 156,000 people and the schools are serving 20,000 additional students.
- We are planning major subsidies to all FM schools to assist them in paying for staff.
- We need to continue to rebuild the administrative structure of the mission in Haiti. This begins with finances but there are a number of other things, such as government reports and permits that need to be brought up to date as the government structure gets back to normal.
VISA Need in Haiti:
The FM recovery program in Haiti requires a geotechnical engineer to join a small team of structural engineers departing soon.
DUTIES: Help in the ongoing assessments of selected FM churches and schools which remain standing following the January earthquake. Help prepare a brief report on findings and conclusions.
ELIGIBILITY: A qualified geotechnical engineer experienced in time-efficient field assessments. A team player who understands and is in full sympathy with the Christian basis for this work is needed for this mission.
MISSION DURATION: approximately one week.
TIMING: soon – to be arranged in consultation with the team leader. Interested individuals should e-mail: email@example.com.
The rain and hurricane season is almost upon Haiti. Join with other North American Free Methodist churches for the common goal of providing bulk shipments of tents, offering immediate shelter for people in Haiti. Go to www.giveatent.org for information to:
- buy a tent online
- donate cash
- donate tents (Give a Tent will cover 100% of the shipping costs)
From Bishop David Roller’s Blog 2/24/2010
Something about this earthquake in Haiti touched us at a primal level… It felt like the brokenness of the creation had heaped its shards on this resilient people. How could a people so accustomed to sorrow survive one more devastating blow? As if lawlessness and corruption weren’t enough, and deforestation and poverty weren’t enough, and the hurricanes and hopelessness weren’t enough…now an earthquake to grind home the lesson; the creation is broken and groans for healing and well-being. And there stands Jesus, the healer, the restorer, the first-fruit of God’s plan of full redemption. And there stand Jesus’ people, we who proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven has indeed drawn near; we who live out the values and behaviors of that kingdom even as we live in this broken kingdom.
Free Methodist from nearly 20 countries have responded to the earthquake, living out those values and behaviors. I’ve been privileged to observe and participate as God’s people have sacrificially sent money to assist their Haitian brothers and sisters. At last count we had received over $840,000 dollars toward the relief and recovery effort. That’s an amazing effort in the middle of a world-wide economic recession!
I have personally been back to Haiti twice since the earthquake and will return this coming weekend, along with a team to continue the oversight and plan for the future.
Let me keep you up-to-date on the process and progress of the response. This may be too much information for some, but others will be interested:
Regarding the Decision-making Process:
The Haitian superintendents team, with input from me, crafts the major contours of the response; we decide what the major components of the relief and recovery should look like.
A Response Steering Committee was set up on February 5th. Composed of 6 Haitian leaders and 1 American missionary this committee makes the decisions regarding priorities. They “steer” the response so it can accomplish the major goals set by the superintendents.
Then the implementers in Haiti, led by Jean Marc Zamor and Rick Ireland, put the plans into action. They are both on the steering committee and they are the link to those “on-the-ground.” They are charged with executing the response plan.
Accountability and control links are built into all 3 levels.
Regarding the Funds:
Early on we decided to make this a coordinated response. Even though funds are coming from various sources and through various channels (Int’l Childcare, Help Haiti Heal, Operation Hope, Bishops’ Famine and relief, Canadian and Dominican FMC, and others) we are spending through a coordinated disbursement budget that comes from Haiti. This helps us avoid the possibility of over-responding to some needs and under responding to others.
A disbursement budget was built on Feb 5th, anticipating eventual donations of 1.4 million dollars, broken into three components:
$150,000 – Phase 1 Immediate Relief (food, water, tents, etc)
$450,000 – Phase 2 Mid-term Recovery (food, tents, hygiene kits, medical, school kits, etc)
$850,000 – Phase 3 Long-term Reconstruction (rebuilding of schools, houses, churches)
These “Phases” have more to do with timing than with content. That is, relief activities continue well into phase 2, and will probably need to extend into phase 3.
Even as I write this we’re reacting to the ever-changing context in Haiti and are modifying the above budget. We have built the budget so it is scalable and flexible. We’re hoping that people continue to remember Haiti in the next months and years, even though the news media forgets.
Regarding the Progress:
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, February 23rd on the mission property in Port-au-Prince for the 4 who died in the guest house. We continue to grieve, but not as those who have no hope. These four died in the “line of sacrifice.” Many more Free Methodists died but we do not have an accounting yet. Due to major relocation of people, it’s impossible to know who may have died and who may have traveled to the countryside.
Jack Munoz is in Texas and healing well. Katie Zook is in Washington and healing well. Madame Desvariste (supt Desvariste’s wife) had a successful 7-hour surgery on Tuesday in Miami and is expected to need months of rehabilitation.
Much has been done to evaluate and prioritize the buildings; determining which must be demolished and which can be rebuilt. Some structures have already been rehabilitated.
Free Methodist work teams have begun to re-enter Haiti. Please contact the VISA office for orientation if you have a team interested in going and register for the training at Haiti Visa Training. Keep in mind that the situation in Haiti continues to involve high risk and teams will want to approach the possibility with a frank acknowledgment of the risks.
Funds have been distributed from day 2 (Jan 13) to enable people to buy food, water, medicine. We continue to distribute money as well as the items themselves. The Dominican church has been an important lifeline, taking numerous caravans of vehicles and supplies into Haiti. But in spite of our best efforts, we haven’t been able to do everything we need to do in a timely way. This is part of the reality of relief efforts.
A program to address children’s psychosocial needs is on the way. Training has been given to West District and South District staff so we can normalize at least one component of children’s lives.
The hospital in Dessalines initially saw an increase in patients and has treated many for free. The hospital has been very generous in their response to effected individuals, and medical teams from North America are also engaging through the hospital.
Tents are in short supply but we’re working every available option to provide temporary shelter (Brazil has a load going in, another shipment through Atlanta, etc). We know that long-term shelter will be needed.
Price quotes are being gathered to put together 2,000 hygiene kits (soap, bleach, toothpaste, etc) for distribution. They are expected to cost about $15 US per kit.
A grant program is being set up to assist pastor to buy the materials for temporary structures. Several groups have developed plans for inexpensive wooden structures with tin roofs that would provide a couple of 10 by 10 rooms at a cost of under $5,000. Other plans are being developed for more substantial homes.
Once the engineering team gives us a better idea of what needs to be done with the repairable pastors homes, a grant program to assist them is in the works
Thank you for standing by the Haitians in this hour of need. How I wish it were only an hour. Unfortunately it’s a long drawn-out crisis. Please continue to pray for stamina for all those involved. Relief workers are stressed, too. Our Haitian leaders are being worn out by the conditions and constant needs. And there is no end in sight. In fact, there is no end. We are still in the beginning stages of a epic struggle. Please continue to pray for God’s mercy.
Standing in rubble Sunday morning, I had the honor of preaching at one of our Free Methodist churches. The church and school buildings were unsafe so we met under a tarp in the school’s patio. Surrounded by unbelievable pain and destruction and odor and bugs and thirst and hunger, it was very moving to join with our Haitian sisters and brothers in singing, “For I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able …”
We attempted to bring words of comfort and hope and arranged to have water delivered. A team from the Dominican Republic will continue to deliver water and food to people from the church and neighborhood we visited for the foreseeable future.
Some reflections from members of the team after visiting downtown Port-au-Prince this afternoon:
Flattened … It looked like a nuclear bomb had gone off … Total, breathtaking destruction beyond any kind of description. Overwhelming … People burned, still alive. Sorrow …Visible decaying bodies. Smell … Hard to process the suffering. And finally: “The pictures you’ve seen in TV are not true; it is much worse.”
There was an aftershock this afternoon. We fear unstable buildings may no longer be standing.
Alice Judy had asked her husband, Larry, (one of our team members) to find out whether their friend Bill was alive. Larry asked around to anyone he thought might know. No one had heard from Bill since the earthquake, and Larry was increasingly concerned. Today as we returned from church Larry was sitting in the back of an open pick-up truck. Suddenly, Larry heard his name called out and saw his friend Bill waving at him animatedly. Bill and Larry hope to connect again tomorrow. In the midst of so much sadness, devastation and masses of people in this capital city, this felt like a wonderful moment to all of us.
On Monday the team will divide in three. We will start work again at 6 a.m. Ken LaBelle will continue doing building inspections. Dr. Dale Woods and I will meet for a third strategy meeting with the Haitian leaders, after which I will visit schools and pastors with Andy Yardy. Meanwhile Dale will fix generators to make it possible for the ICCM central office to start functioning again.
Be wise in your giving toward Haiti. We have seen people from international organizations jumping out of cars for a quick photo shoot, and then speeding away with their media material. I recommend the Bishops Famine and Relief Fund and the Help Haiti Heal fund.
Thank you for your prayers for Haiti and the Haitian people.
The Free Methodist World Missions team then jumped into action and accelerated the plan, pedal to the metal. We’re sending “A” team on Thursday to evaluate, prioritize and establish an infrastructure to channel relief. Obviously we help everyone we can, but we have efficient established connections to those most in need through our network of superintendents and pastors. Our Haitian FM leaders are highly organized and connected.
FMWM is sending team “A” on Thursday (21 Jan 2010), via Dominican Republic, to evaluate, prioritize and establish a rudimentary infrastructure for relief. The “A” team will be on the ground in Port-au-Prince until the following Tuesday. Priority will be given to:
- evaluating the structural integrity of the standing schools because they can serve as temporary housing and relief centers.
- connecting with aid and government distribution points for water, medicine, food and temporary shelter.
- creating a plan for effective deployment of relief teams.
Team “A” is five persons: FMWM’s Director of Mobilization, Area Director for Latin American Ministries, FMCNA’s videographer, a structural engineer, and a long-time FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) leader.
At the same time, team “B,” focused on medical relief, will be working from Dessalines Hospital (four hours north of Port-au-Prince). Many injured are being transferred there. This team “B” will be working through northern points of entry into the country.
Next in the sequence are “C” teams: relief teams from FM churches. It’s a testimony to our people that many are volunteering to serve. What a wonderful people, these people called Free Methodists! Several teams already had tickets (even before the earthquake) and are awaiting resumption of commercial flights into Port-au-Prince. But, as you can imagine, we must have a way to keep “C” teams housed, fed and usefully deployed (vehicles, communication, etc) or it will be a waste of money and energy.
We ask that you honor the following process for “C” teams:
- all teams coordinate through FMWM’s VISA office.
- all teams have VISA insurance (trust me, the insurance saves lives – we can’t be coordinating with individual insurance companies).
Then, the first week of February, the “D” team, made up of Canadian Bishop Keith Elford, Dominican Republic Bishop Cecilio Osoria, and me (U.S. Bishop David Roller) will go to coordinate leadership and relief between all four countries.
Please continue to pray for Haitian superintendents (Clovis, Delamy, Charite, Devariste, Clodius, Bathelemy). Those most directly involved are emotionally drained and near the breaking point. Also remember Linda Adams and her ICCM team – they carry a heavy burden too. Pray for “A” and “B” teams; they have planning and packing to complete, shots to get, and perhaps some fear.
Stateside, this has been Free Methodist World Mission’s finest hour. I know the focus is Haiti, not North America, but I have to say this: they have responded in the most noble, most Christ-like ways. They scrambled all resources, personal and institutional. They laid aside every convenience, they didn’t sleep, they didn’t eat. For nearly seven days they have had telephones glued to their ears – evacuating personnel, developing multiple plans, juggling possibilities, consulting with experts, challenging the giving church. Even though they didn’t have enough information (much was unclear those first few days), they did not hesitate, and then made a thousand mid-course corrections. Only God will know how to reward you. The church simply thanks you!
A major earthquake struck the nation of Haiti on Tues., Jan. 12. The 7.0 quake centered on the Port-au-Prince 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. Bishop David Roller conducted a memorial service at the building site on Sat., Jan. 16, for Rev. Jeanne Acheson-Munos, Merle West and Gene Dufour.
Two other missionaries, Jack Munos and Katie Zook, 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 Ruth Hersey.
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 Dr. Delia Nuesch-Olver, 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 Free Methodist 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.
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.