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Video Update from Haiti

  -November 6th, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

It’s been ten months since the devastating earthquake that hit in January. My memories of that stuck with me the scenes of devastation, hurting people and the smell of death. I have heard good things of what has happened here in the months since but it’s hard to mesh that reality with what I saw during that initial trip to to just see how the children from the schools and the church got through this disaster. Today I landed in a much different city. If you know what your looking for it’s still apparent they had a major earthquake. Like the airport terminal is a undersized warehouse since the terminal has been damaged. There are empty lots where there used to be buildings and of course scores of tent cities to house the homeless. But it was in the eyes of the people at the santo ICCM school that I saw the real hope for Haiti. The shock has been replaced with determination to help see this little corner of Haiti heal.

Sat., May 15, 2010 Update From Rick Ireland

  -May 18th, 2010 @ 6:56 am

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 , 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.

Looking ahead

  • 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 ) 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.

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: conniek@fmcna.org.

Fri., May 7, 2010 Update

  -May 11th, 2010 @ 8:48 am

Excerpts from Fri., May 7, 2010 Update

Rick Ireland

More than ever before I am struck by the contrasts of life in the U.S. and life here in . A noticeable number of buildings are being demolished. I remember watching a house be demolished in the States – a giant machine came in and the house was gone in an afternoon. Here they are being demolished by crews of men with sledgehammers. It is a lot slower but things are just as demolished in the end. If there is an underlying lesson it is just this, life is a lot harder here.

This was driven home in a more personal way as I talked with my friend Jean Marc. Jean Marc is a pastor and a very able administrator, and we work very closely together for the relief effort. Last night my head hit the pillow about 9 p.m. and I slept like a log until about 4:30 or so. Jean Marc didn’t get much sleep. He sleeps in a tent in a school courtyard. It rained a good part of last night, and he had to get up and empty the rain that pooled up in the canvas tarps that overhung the courtyard. He was also awakened several times to help his elderly father to the bathroom. But today he was cheerful and full of hope. He went on and on about how God was at work and that we were entering good days for Haiti.

I see that all around me. People are in difficult circumstances but they are approaching life with peace and contentment. I think one of the reasons the Haitian people have been so resilient in their difficult times is that they are not as focused on the treasures of earth which they no longer have.

Other Haiti news

Edwani, wife of the FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) caretaker who was killed in the earthquake, recently gave birth to a baby girl. The baby’s name is Jeanne after Pastor who also lost her life in the quake.

, India, FM Church is made up of members disabled by the ravages of Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Some make their living by begging and some by weaving. Out of their meager earnings, they contributed more than $100 to the Relief Fund.

Workers with Clear Blue Global Water Project have provided 22 working wells in Haiti since mid-January. They plan to return to Haiti in July and August, as funds are available. To learn more about Clear Blue’s efforts to bring safe drinking water to Haiti and how you can be involved, click here.

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: conniek@fmcna.org.

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)

Sunday Morning Service in Haiti

  -January 25th, 2010 @ 11:31 am


Reported by on behalf of the second response team
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Standing in rubble Sunday morning, I had the honor of preaching at one of our 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. will continue doing building inspections. and I will meet for a third strategy meeting with the Haitian leaders, after which I will visit schools and pastors with . Meanwhile Dale will fix generators to make it possible for the ICCM central office to start functioning again.

Be wise in your giving toward . 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.

Update from Team A

  -January 25th, 2010 @ 7:51 am

Today we went to Church in a courtyard under a tarp in the middle of a slum. The people packed in to hear the message sing and pray. One small boy no more than 5 came forward to ask for prayer he was on the edge of tears as he approached the pastor when the pastor picked him up he broke into tears he sobbed not like a boy who can’t find his favorite toy but like a man who lost the love of his life. We then drove back through downtown it was only worse that I remember it from a few days ago. The shock of it all had worn off and scope of the devastation was much more apparent to me. Later we went back to the building where I had seen a failed rescue attempt last week and noticed that the bodies exposed in the rubble were still there. I have started to wonder what is next I know this is already fading in the hearts and minds of people around the world. How can we think longer term of how to help rebuild. This is often the case after disasters like Katrina, the Tsunami, the earthquake in China we have our moment then move on to the next thing. Sporting events, Political maneuverings, relationship issues, school worries, and job deadlines push people concerns further from the center of our lives and these flash fires of concern fade away. I see here that life is fragile it can be taken away in a moment we need to seize the moment to the greatest good we can and hold close those who we care about the most pushing aside petty things and change take the first steps to change the world now.

Update on Team A

  -January 22nd, 2010 @ 6:30 am

received the following report from Response at 9:30 a.m. (EST).

The team was one hour away from the Haitian border. They experienced minor vehicle troubles which have been resolved. The team is traveling in a three vehicle convoy – one truck with the team and the other two trucks with Dominican Free Methodists. The trucks are loaded with relief supplies such as water, fuel and emergency provisions. As soon as the team arrives in , they will meet with Haitian church leaders to continue . The team is doing well and asks for your continued prayers.

Church Mourns the Loss of Haiti Missionaries

  -January 21st, 2010 @ 11:39 am

from TheLedger.com

stood in front of the pile of rubble that was the Friends of guest house in on Saturday, four days after the killer quake that struck the city.

The flat roof of what had been a four-story building rested intact on top of the 12-foot pile.

Two of those caught in the building’s collapse, and Gene Dufour, were winter residents of , a retirement community in Lakeland.

“Every missionary goes knowing he may not come back,” he said, “But they wanted their lives to be about something bigger than themselves. They understood the danger, but as followers of Jesus, they were agents of healing.”

The full story can be found at www.theledger.com

Haiti Action Plan Accelerates

  -January 19th, 2010 @ 11:16 am

The 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 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 Organization) leader.

Team B
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.

Team C
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:

  1. all teams coordinate through FMWM’s office.
  2. all teams have VISA insurance (trust me, the insurance saves lives – we can’t be coordinating with individual insurance companies).

Team D
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. ) 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 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!

International Child Care Ministries – Special Bulletin #5

  -January 19th, 2010 @ 10:33 am

from International Child Care Ministries

Updates from

News continues to trickle about ICCM staff, friends, facilities, and conditions in the area of Haiti affected by last Tuesday’s 7.0 earthquake. Here is a synopsis of news about ICCM concerns to date:

- ICCM Field Coordinator is alive and unharmed. However, he, like most, have lost everything and are living in temporary shelters.

- Many other Haitian church leaders and ICCM staff have been found alive. All Haitian superintendents in the affected area are alive and well. Photo: Bishop Roller with several Haitian church members

- ICCM sponsors over 8,900 children in Haiti,1,867 of which live in the area. Specific information about their safety is still not accessible.

- The ICCM Office, Parc Chretien FM Church and ICCM School (), all located together in Port-au-Prince, are damaged but standing. We do not know about ICCM’s 52 other school buildings across the island.

- The Friends Of Haiti Organization (FOHO) building, adjacent to these other facilities, collapsed.

- volunteer and missionary were rescued from the rubble of the FOHO building within a few hours. Both are in ICU but stable and improving in Miami, Florida area hospitals. ICCM Director has been making personal visits to Katie and Jack.

Jeanne with Vanderlin- Missionary , and were in the FOHO building when it collapsed but their bodies have not been recovered after nearly a week of rescue efforts. They are considered missing and presumed not alive. We grieve deeply with their families and friends. Jeanne, from Indianapolis and known to many in our U.S. ICCM office, was a tireless advocate for Haitian children and real ambassador for ICCM.

- U.S. Free Methodist visited the site of the collapsed FOHO facility on Saturday. After rescue efforts ended, Bishop Roller held a brief memorial service for Jeanne, Merle and Gene. When it is possible to recover their remains, these will buried near the site. Video excerpts of that memorial service at at this link.

- Bishop Roller delivered needed relief supplies at ICCM School HA500, which has been used as a relief shelter site. He spoke words of encouragement and solidarity to many Free Methodists and friends who gathered.

- Free Methodist Media Director was with Bishop Roller in Haiti and is returning to the U.S. today with insightful video, some of which is posted at the Free Methodist Haiti response website: www.helphaitiheal.org.

How You Can Help

Please continue to join us in vigilant prayer for all who are affected by and responding to this natural disaster. May Christ’s love be conveyed in unsurpassed ways in the response.

ICCM is responding to this crisis through our Special Projects Fund. All donations to this fund at this time are being directed to and recovery (unless otherwise designated).

Relief supplies of water, Sawyer water filters, medical supplies, and food have already been delivered by Free Methodists. More is on the way and even more will be needed.

The Free Methodist Church is continuing to mobilize its response resources to be part of what is becoming a global compassionate relief effort.

You can follow developments, learn more about Free Methodist responses, our cooperation with other relief and recovery efforts, and consider personal involvement at www.helphaitiheal.org

ICCM is Twittering immediate updates on the situation in Haiti at www.twitter.com/intlchildcare

ICCM will continue to send updates via this special “ICCM Bulletin” to the sponsors and friends for whom we have e-mail addresses. You may also check our website – www.childcareministries.org – for information and other ways you can respond.