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
A memorial service will be held, Wed., Jan. 12, on the first anniversary of the 2010 earthquake. Those who perished in the earthquake and who will be remembered at the service include:
- Rev. Jeanne Acheson-Munos, FMWM missionary
- Gene Dufour, VISA Ministries missionary
- Merle West, VISA Ministries missionary
- Erlin Blot, caretaker of the Friends of Haiti Organization building
Those who have traveled from the U.S. to Haiti to attend the service include:
- Jack Munos
- Dolly Dufour and Dorothy West, along with several of Dorothy’s family members, Gary West, Merle West II and Mark West. Each of the individuals are from the New Covenant Church, Clio, MI.
- Katie Zook, Marysville FMC, WA, former short-term missionary who was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake and buried under rubble near Jack Munos. This is her seventh trip to Haiti. She returns to the U.S. Sat., Jan. 15.
- Members of the Clear Blue well-drilling team, Cornerstone FMC, Akron, OH, many of whom were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. They will also take this opportunity to visit wells. Team members include: Brenda Young, Melanie Brooks, Bruce Oberlin, Chris Browne and Dave Hornish. The teams travel dates are Jan. 10 to 13.
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.
Praise God Jack Munos arrived safely at his brother’s home in Texas where he will be staying for the remainder of his recovery.
Pray for individuals currently ministering in Haiti:
- Missionary Rick Ireland
- Medical personnel, including Drs. Dan Snyder, Joel Miller, Tim Dew and Jerry Rusher, based out of Dessalines Hospital
- Vahan Sipantizi, digging wells
- Team of six led by Jim Rowan (Texas) at Dessalines Hospital serving in maintenance/repair and medical
- Team of six led by Rick Stetner (Quincy FMC, WA) in Port-au-Prince, construction
- Team of four led by Eric Messer (CrossRoads FMC, Ottawa Lake, MI) providing an eye clinic for those who lost their glasses in the earthquake
Leaving this week:
- Team of 18 led by Ron Hansen (Arlington FMC, WA) leave Wed., Feb.17, for Port-au-Prince (one doctor will be based at Dessalines)
- Team of three engineers leave Thurs., Feb 18, to provide structural assessments
Katie Zook is now home with her parents in Arlington, WA. She underwent successful surgery on Mon., Feb. 8, to stabilize her back because of ligament damage in that area. She will have out-patient therapy to restore mobility to her left arm which suffered nerve damage. Notes of encouragement may be sent to: 10027 Moran Rd., Arlington, WA 98223.
Jack Munos was scheduled to fly to Waco, TX, today (Fri.) to relocate at his brother’s home. The flight, which was canceled due to weather conditions, will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Notes of encouragement may be sent c/o Jim Munos, 2716 Cedar Point Dr., Waco, TX 76710.
We arrived in Port-au-Prince around two p.m. Thursday after the 8½ hour drive from Santo Domingo. We visited the FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) building ruins and prayed near the “cave of life” site in which the Lord protected Jack Munos and Katie Zook until they could be rescued. We prayed with thanksgiving for their rescue and in grief for the families of Jeanne, Merle, Gene and Erlin. Next we visited the family next door whose home was destroyed by the FOHO collapse and from which two bodies are also yet to be retrieved. We shared our sorrow for them and prayed together.
On Friday we traveled through Port-au-Prince and were amazed at how commerce has returned to the streets. These are a very resilient people. As we drove to the city center, we grieved anew. The main government buildings are in shambles. The historic palace has collapsed; the judicial building is rubble.
We had two important meetings. One was with the Haiti superintendent’s team, missionary Rick Ireland and Haitian pastor Jean Marc Zamor. We confirmed the major outline of our response efforts and a structure for making decisions going forward under their leadership. The Spirit of God provided a wonderful atmosphere as we grieved, expressed mutual support and prayed together. Each of the bishops – Bishop Cecilio (Dominican Republic), Bishop Roller (U.S.) and Bishop Elford (Canada) – expressed sorrow for the tragedy, solidarity with the Haitian people and a commitment to stand with them as we go forward.
Next we met with the western district pastors – their churches took the brunt of the devastation. We wept, prayed and shared together. Bishop Roller and Jean Marc explained to them the response plan, and we dialogued together. Each of them has lost their home. Most are living under temporary tarps where they can find a place. When I asked one pastor where he was living, he said in a neighbor’s yard. “Do you have a tent?” I asked. “No,” he responded, “just a cover.”
We visited the yard where between 12 and 15 families from our Delmas 53 church live in tents. It is a block from their destroyed church and a half block from a school where three of their member’s bodies are still under the rubble. The ladies’ church choir was practicing in one corner; tents covered nearly every square foot; school benches were along the wall; and dinner was being cooked. An amazing sense of calm and peace prevailed in spite of the very difficult circumstances. The church was living together and sharing both their need and their resources.
Lord, help us know how to be extravagantly generous as we stand with our church in Haiti!
Katie Zook is one of the lucky ones who got out alive after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. She’s recovering in a Florida hospital and hoping to be back home in Arlington some time soon. It will take time for her body and mind to heal, but her spirit was never broken.
It was a very close call for her. Friends and strangers risked their lives and pulled katie from the wreckage. She was rushed to a hospital at the U.S. embassy in Haiti, then to Guantanamo’s medical clinic, then to Florida – all within 2 days.
“Hello? I see you,” says Katie Zook from her hospital bed near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I reached her by Skype. The 22-year-old is recovering and remembering:
“I remember how dark that dark was when I was trapped,” she says looking off into the distance. “I have never been in dark like that before.”
Exactly two weeks ago, Katie was in Haiti volunteering as a missionary in Port Au Prince when her world crumbled.
“and there was this loud rumble like a jet headed straight for the building,” she remembers, “and then the building started moving.”
She had no idea of the massive devastation around her. Hurt and frantic, her co-worker Jack got out, but Katie did not.
“…and I could hear Jack screaming and every time there was an aftershock I heard everyone in the streets screaming.”
For hours she was one of many trapped under the rubble, curled up in the fetal position in darkness, but then:
“I had enough room around my right arm to grab the bottle and tap it against the table, so Jack could hear the tapping, but when I yelled he couldn’t hear me yelling so I gave up yelling and I just tapped…” she trails off.
The church’s Haitian driver John heard the tapping too, then started praying and digging.
The whole story is available at Q13 Fox News, Seattle/Tecoma.
Gerthy Desvariste – Gerthy’s injured leg is progressing well, and medications are helping manage her pain. Miami Haitian churches are providing visits, clothing for Supt. Desvariste (who is staying with her) and food for both.
Update on Injured
Jack Munos’ condition has improved to the point he is being moved from ICU. Pray for his continued physical and emotional healing.
Katie Zook remains in ICU. Pray for her continued physical and emotional healing.
Superintendent Devariste’s wife, who was seriously injured, will be treated in Haiti, rather than in the Dominican Republic as earlier planned.
Two follow-up videos will be available for showing on Sunday, January 24. One video focuses on the church in Haiti; the second focuses on the three missionaries who lost their lives: Rev. Jeanne Acheson-Munos, Gene Dufour and Merle West. Each video is less than three minutes long. These videos will be posted by Friday, January 29, on www.helphaitiheal.org and on YouTube.
Participate in the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Haiti, January 27, 2010.
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.
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.