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Port-au-Prince Report #5

  -January 27th, 2010 @ 9:33 am

Tuesday evening, January 26, 2010
Report #5
Reported by John Hay, Jr., ICCM Director of Advancement

Haitian Earthquake Response Team #2 concluded its mission on Monday and returned to Santo Domingo, , on Tuesday to brief Team #3. Team #3 makes the seven-hour drive to Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, January 27, with more relief supplies, a well-drilling team, logistics experts and (ICCM) leaders.

The Tuesday evening briefing between the two teams yielded a sobering assessment of conditions in Port-au-Prince. “What you see on TV is not true; it is much worse,” one team member said. Another reflected: “It is so overwhelming, you cannot put words to it.” The team described people living in tent villages on every available open space, calling out for water and food, and afraid to go inside buildings and homes that are still standing.

They also described heroic efforts of rescue and people sharing with each other the food and water they are able to access. An informal economy is beginning to supply essential needs even as the formal economy of the city struggles to come back online. “The people of Port-au-Prince are still in shock,” one team member declared.

Structural engineer inspected ten ICCM schools, along with churches and homes, with the assistance of Haitian ICCM and church leaders. Many schools and FM church facilities will need to be rebuilt in the months and years ahead. The task ahead is immense, but the faith of many in the Haitian Free Methodist Church is strong.

Response Team #2 was also able to restore electricity to the ICCM office so it can serve as a center for helping schools across the country resume classes as soon as feasible.

Team #3 will begin its service on Wednesday, January 27. The team includes well-drillers and . They will attempt to find water that will be a life-giving resource for many. Two team members will focus on logistics for relief and recovery teams going to over the next several months. ICCM Director Linda Adams and ICCM I will work with the Haitian ICCM staff, visiting schools, finding ICCM-sponsored children, and distributing supplies.

Port-au-Prince Report #4

  -January 26th, 2010 @ 8:11 am

Report #4
Reported from Port-au-Prince, , by on behalf of the second response team
Monday, January 25, 2010

Starting at 6 a.m. today, we divided into two teams. did many inspections of church buildings, schools and pastors’ homes, checking for structural soundness. It was his sad job to tell Superintendent Clovis and their homes are structurally unsafe and have to be torn down immediately to avoid further loss. When Pastor Clovis was informed he simply said: “God knows. God cares. God will provide.” – and continued ministering to other people.

Ken LaBelle has been coaching Pastor George, a Haitian leader, how to do building inspections. My favorite moment of the day was when Ken turned to Pastor George and said: “You do the next inspection.” From then on, Pastor George, a civil engineer, did them with the backing of Ken. He can now continue until more engineers come.

Many people were prayed for after we listened to their stories. Some children are starting to smile.

As we leave Haiti tomorrow, the International Child Care office is almost ready to be used, generators are re-set and working, and tools have been recovered from the FOHO (Friends Of Haiti Organization) building ready to be used by work teams. We also worked on preparing for the Fourth Response Team, arriving from Spring Arbor next Monday.

We are very impressed with the caliber of Jean Marc Zamor, the new Field Coordinator for FMWM Haiti response. Under his leadership, pastors have formed teams to locate church members in the refugee camps and are delivering water and food to many with the resources you send through us.

Give
Give online at:
     www.helphaitiheal.org
or send checks to:
     Bishops Famine and Relief Fund
      Church of North America
     PO Box 535002
     Indianapolis IN 46253-5002

Go
Complete a response/registration form for volunteer service in Haiti.

Pray
Participate in the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Haiti, January 27, 2010.

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 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 Andy Yardy. 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.