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.
Excerpts from Fri., May 7, 2010 Update
More than ever before I am struck by the contrasts of life in the U.S. and life here in Haiti. 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 Erlin Blot 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 Jeanne Acheson-Munos who also lost her life in the quake.
The Miraj, 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 Haiti Earthquake 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
We are seeing a lot of emotional trauma and misinformation. The country as a whole is spending three days in government-mandated time off and prayer. Preachers in the country are frequently preaching non-biblical messages. One example is: the reason the earthquake happened is because we as a Haitian people knew we lived in an earthquake area and should have built our homes with wood. But instead we ignored this and built with brick and iron, and God is punishing us for this. (In other words, we ignored “common sense” recommendations and God is punishing us.)
Pastor Robenson was in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit. He was waiting to meet with Jeanne (Acheson-Munos) when he received a phone call from his girlfriend asking him to meet her. … The earthquake hit as he turned to leave FOHO; he saw the building going down. His girlfriend is a nursing student, and only she and one other classmate who were not in the downtown school building survived – 85 died. Jean Castel, our hospital administrator of 23 years, lost his oldest daughter and multiple other family members. Leon, our accountant, lost six family members. Sydney, our pharmacist, lost 16 members of his family … and on. The hospital has set up a counseling program for any patient who arrives and agrees to see our chaplains.
I have only had interactions with a few staff members so far but none of them are sleeping well or functioning very well. I have never seen them like this. A huge support for them is going to be feeding, building construction and health care; however the pastoral staff also need their emotional and spiritual issues addressed. Basic education of the Biblical message concerning pain and suffering should be part of the process to thwart the misinformation circulating in country.
Dessalines was very busy the first 2-3 weeks treating earthquake trauma victims. We are now seeing mostly follow up patients and are shifting into the more routine care. The obvious problem is that many do not have funds for payment. These are in categories: first those who were in the earthquake and have lost everything and are living in the street or in a U.N. tent in Port-au-Prince or with a local family or friend, all of whom are coming for health care. Second are the local families themselves who are having to feed and support friends and relatives and are already broke due to the economic stress of this situation. The hospital earlier made an announcement that they would treat earthquake victims for free for one month.
We received word last night that the bodies of Jeanne Acheson-Munos, Gene Dufour and Merle West have been recovered from the FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Jeanne’s body was recovered early in the day, and the bodies of VISA missionaries Merle and Gene were recovered in the late afternoon. Please especially pray for Jack Munos, Dorothy West and Dolly Dufour.
The families have asked that all three be buried on the FOHO site in Port-au-Prince, and the Haitian FM Church will have a memorial service next week.
These very difficult events remind us again of the eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ. May every person in the world know that hope.
Memorial Service for Jeanne Acheson-Munos
A memorial service for Jeanne Acheson-Munos will be held at Indianapolis, IN, Westside Church of the Nazarene, Sunday, February 28, at 6 p.m.
A memorial service for Jeanne Acheson-Munos will be held at Indianapolis, IN, Westside Church of the Nazarene, Sunday, February 28, at 6 p.m.
(Photo) Across the street from the FOHO building in Port-au-Prince:
“Goodbye, Pastor Jeanne”
“May your soul rest in peace”
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!
We prayed for a miracle, and got it: Living for others can result in the ultimate sacrifice
By Eileen Button | Flint Journal
It’s been three weeks since Haiti’s earthquake devastated the country and incited the sympathy of the world. For many in this area, the tragedy is personal. As for me, I have lost a friend.
Jeanne Acheson-Munos, originally from Indiana, worked as a missionary in Haiti alongside her husband, Jack. When the earthquake struck, she was meeting in her home office with Merle West of Mount Morris and Gene Dufour of Clio.
It has been reported that Jack was standing near an outside wall when the quake hit. It took six hours to rescue him from the rubble. Jeanne, Merle and Gene could not be saved.
For days, we prayed for a miracle in hopes they would be found alive. We soon learned that a different miracle took place. Today, they are sitting in the lap of God.
I spent a week with Jeanne at a family camp the summer she and Jack were preparing to become missionaries. I was facilitating a weeklong course in voluntary simplicity. They were raising spiritual and financial support for their service to Haiti.
Together, we laughed over our attachment to stuff. (Jeanne spoke wistfully about having to give up a rocking chair she was particularly fond of.) We talked about the disparity between American and Haitian cultures. And we lamented the fact that those who have the financial capacity to give so much often give little, while those who are more financially strapped often sacrifice.
Jeanne was living for a God who called her to give nothing less than what he himself had given. Along with Merle and Gene, she gave everything she had to the people of the country she loved — her time, resources, love, life.
The full article can be found here
Reported by Delia Nüesch-Olver on behalf of Team A
Friday, Jan 22, 2010
We flew to the Dominican Republic yesterday where we were met by Kendra and Sammy Luna, members of the Davison MI Free Methodist Church. We traveled together for some 3 ½ hours towards the border where we had a short night sleep.
Today we drove into Haiti. Once we saw the conditions of a road never intended for relief traffic, it was not difficult to understand why the delivery of aid has been slow. We were part of a three-vehicle convoy but it was bumper-to-bumper traffic all way to Port-au-Prince.
The destruction in Port-au-Prince is unbelievable, and I am told we have not yet seen the worst, which is downtown. Our first stop was the Friends of Haiti Organization (FOHO) building. There are no words to express the shock of seeing that building destroyed by the earthquake. It is beyond comprehension that anyone inside did survive, and it is clear nothing could have been done to rescue the four (three missionaries and the caretaker) people who lost their lives in the collapse.
We met with General Superintendent Clovis and some of his leaders and brought greetings and love from Free Methodists and fellow believers around the world. After we prayed together we sat down to discuss a strategy for relief and reconstruction, which we will start implementing tomorrow.
- Decide on a staging place for arrival of aid.
- First rebuild the schools so the children – including those sponsored through ICCM – can continue their education and their lives can begin to normalize.
- Rebuild pastor’s houses so they can minister to others
The first medical team arrives Sunday. An ICCM (International Child Care Ministries) team arrives Wednesday. The first construction team arrives the following week.
The Dominican Republic General Conference sent a team with food and water to the Haitian people – which is being distributed even as I write these words. For many reasons, this is very meaningful and beautiful to see, in spite of the tragedy.
Today I met several heroes. We had the opportunity to personally thank Gaity, Mollard and others who risked their lives on the day of the earthquake to save Katie Zook and Jack Munos on our FM team. We cannot believe they got them out. They join us in mourning the loss of our Free Methodist missionaries, Jeanne Acheson-Munos, Merle West and Gene Dufour. Andy Yardy filmed comments from Haitian people as they mourned the loss of our friends in the FOHO building.
People we met seemed to have moved out of their initial shock and into the reality of what this will mean for Haiti long term.
Thank you for your giving last Sunday. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to personally deliver significant amounts of money to the people of Haiti. The road ahead will be long and difficult, but together we will be able to accomplish what none of us could do alone. Please make sure that if your church desires to sends a team to help with the reconstruction that you work through the FMWM VISA Office, so our choices honors the priority list of our Haitian leadership.