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Pray for the people of Haiti as they face the possible effects of HurricaneTomas. Bishop David Roller reports Free Methodist churches and schools are preparing to open their doors for temporary shelter. Also pray the hurricane veers away from Haiti and neighboring islands.
Latest report from weather.com: Hurricane Tomas intensified a little bit overnight. As of 5 am EDT Thursday, Tropical Storm Tomas was located about 315 miles to the southwest of Port-au Prince, Haiti. Tomas is forecast to intensify into a hurricane Friday morning as it passes just west of Haiti. Hurricane conditions could linger into Friday night or Saturday morning. Rainfall could total 5 to 10 inches with some amounts up to 15 inches possible in the mountains.
A team of seven from The Journey Church, Centennial, CO, will minister in Haiti June 5 to 14. Kris Dawley is the leader for this team which plans to do demolition, construction and distribution of emergency supplies.
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.
How can a global partnership be of mutual benefit to all involved? Imagine this: If a church in the U.S. partners with an international congregation seeking to expand its church planting programs, the international church can benefit from the encouragement, momentum and resources contributed by their U.S. partner. The church in the U.S. can share stories of the exciting happenings made possible by the partnership, which will motivate their members, provide a common goal everyone can work toward, and draw new people into “a church that is making a difference.” Pray the partnerships developing within the FMC will lead to these and other positive dynamics, and that more churches will learn how they can become involved. What are your questions about global partnerships? Ask Dale Woods (firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-836-6527).
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 tents (Give a Tent will cover 100% of the shipping costs)
Zook was in Haiti on a two-year mission with the Free Methodist Church where she was staying in the four story Friends of Haiti building that collapsed during the 12 Feb earthquake that devastated Haiti. Kelly Perkins was also in Haiti drilling water wells on a short term mission when the earthquake struck. He and others helped pull Katie from the rubble.
KTBV, Idaho News Channel 7 tells the story of Katie Zook’s rescue.
International Child Care Ministries Director Linda Adams frames challenges for children in post-quake Haiti. ICCM sponsors over 8,900 children and operates 53 schools in Haiti. 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
International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) Director Linda Adams has just returned from her second post-earthquake trip to Haiti. She learned that children whose sponsor numbers begin with a 6 or 7 (schools away from Port-au-Prince) have been attending school since February 1. School directors report many “refugees” from Port-au-Prince are attending their schools for now. Only the earthquake zone is still waiting for schools to open on April 5.
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.
Yvonne and I spent last week in Haiti. Three nights we spent in tents in the rain worrying about the 1.5 million homeless, and for 3 days we were at a hotel with Haitian church leaders.
Relief and recovery is hard word and tears people apart. Partly because everyone is fatigued to the bone, one of the tasks is to keep the team together. Because the task is so huge hard decisions have to be made and no one can make everyone happy.
We’re working under Haitian superintendents team. Their decisions set our priorities. I think they’re doing an exceptional job.
We were able to spent a few moments alone at the graveside of Erlin, Jeanne, Merle & Gene. The bodies of the latter three were recovered by the U.S. military, positive identification was made through dental records and they were laid to rest on church property.
We now have a preliminary count of Free Methodists who died, in the western district, of about 100. Probably fewer died in the southern district, but still no count from them.
Days after the January 12 earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, I met with the Haitian superintendents to determine the priorities for Free Methodist response. A steering committee of six Haitian pastors and one North American missionary was empowered to manage the response according to these priorities.
Of course, the Haitian leaders understood that by identifying these priorities there were other important things they would have to trust God to accomplish through other means. They have demonstrated great maturity by maintaining focus on the priorities despite the criticism of well-meaning people who think they should try to do everything.
Partnerships are being developed with other agencies so that Free Methodist relief funds are being leveraged to go farther. Resources are being used to help people help themselves and help others. With the relief funds you have generously contributed:
Thousands have been vaccinated against typhoid and tetanus.
Thousand of food kits have been distributed.
Children’s clubs been started to assist with trauma counseling.
Structural inspections have been conducted on schools, churches and homes.
Haitian people have been hired to demolish damaged buildings.
Grants have been made available for pastors and teachers to build temporary homes before the rainy season.
All of these things have been delivered at a grass roots level – along with pastoral care. People have experienced healing and spiritual encouragement even though they are psychologically battered by the memories of the terror. Please continue to pray for the many people living in primitive conditions – including Free Methodist pastors and other leaders who are working tirelessly to minister to others.
As of February 26, 2010, a total of $1,221,863 has been given through the Bishops Famine and Relief Fund, Help Haiti Heal, Operation Hope and International Child Care Ministries for Haiti relief, recovery and development needs.
We join with the whole world in grieving this tragic earthquake in Haiti. Our hearts and minds cannot imagine the level of devastation, and we fear the news of the next few days will compound our grief.