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
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
National news coverage has reported what is happening in Haiti as a result of the Jan. 12 earthquake. On a more personal note, Director of Multimedia Andy Yardy has been to Haiti to film the impact of this disaster on the Free Methodist Church. The people are hurting. They are suffering. There is action we can take.
On Tues., Jan. 12, 2010, the FMC lost three missionaries in the earthquake that hit Haiti. Jeanne Acheson- Munos, Gene Dufour and Merle West were doing what they loved, working alongside their brothers and sisters in Haiti. Look at what is happening in Haiti and what we can do to help make their vision for Haiti a reality – Haiti for Christ.
Download this Video (right click and choose save as)
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.
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
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.
Updates from Haiti
- ICCM Field Coordinator Mondale Perkins Oscar 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 Free Methodist 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 Port-au-Prince area. Specific information about their safety is still not accessible.
- The ICCM Office, Parc Chretien FM Church and ICCM School (HA500), 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.
- VISA volunteer Katie Zook and missionary Jack Munos 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 Linda Adams has been making personal visits to Katie and Jack.
Jeanne with Vanderlin- Missionary Jeanne Acheson-Munos, Merle West and Gene Defour 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 Bishop David Roller 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 Andy Yardy 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.
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.
Below are some of the news stories produced by local television stations:
Wish TV 8
With profound sadness, Free Methodist World Missions reports Rev. Jeanne Acheson-Munos, Merle West, and Gene Dufour, the three missionaries who have been unaccounted for, have not been located and are now presumed to not be alive. Today, Bishop David Roller conducted a funeral service at the site of the building they were in which collapsed when Tuesday’s earthquake hit. These three individuals gave their lives in service to the Haitian people whom they loved deeply.
Rev. Jeanne Acheson-Munos, and her husband, Jack, were appointed as career missionaries to Haiti in March 2004. Together they worked alongside the national church to develop and strengthen the conference, pastors, church leaders and members. Jeanne’s deepest desire was that Haiti, the Pearl of the Antilles, would shine again with “Haiti for Christ” becoming a reality.
Merle West had been ministering in Haiti since 1978. He served as president of FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) and supervised construction of the new FOHO building. Merle was active in Craftsman for Christ and worked construction in the Miami Haitian churches. He also took three trips to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Gene Dufour had been on three trips to Haiti and one to Africa. Gene, along with Merle, was active in Craftsman for Christ and worked construction in the Miami Haitian churches. Gene and Merle were good friends, enjoying each other’s company and sharing a heart and love for Haiti.
Here is a short excerpt from a memorial service remembering those who were lost in the Friends of Haiti Organization Building Collapse.