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Haiti Heartbreak

  -January 25th, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

From Director [PDF]

Life after January 12, 2010
Our sponsored children in the capital of Haiti have suffered many trials in their young lives, but troubles and hardships before January 12, 2010 pale in comparison with their reality now. Many have lost parents and siblings, friends, neighbors, and teachers. Almost all have lost their homes. No doubt many are injured and some have even died, their young lives cut short.

Our field coordinator’s report to me yesterday said that of four schools he visited Saturday, three will have to be tom down and rebuilt. He is visiting more today. Now I am on a plane bound for the Dominican Republic, from where I will drive with a team into Haiti. We will be eyewitnesses to the devastation, deliver relief money, water filters and play equipment, and attempt to be bearers of mercy and hope.

My own personal loss is compounded because my dear friend Pastor was killed in the earthquake. She has been a great champion of Haiti for Christ!, serving with her husband Jack as Free Methodist missionaries in Haiti. Jeanne was compelled with the conviction that “the Pearl of the Antilles will shine again!” She loved the Haitian people passionately and genuinely. They and we will miss Jeanne terribly. Our comfort is that she is at home with Jesus, the Lover of her soul, and that is comfort indeed.

Where do we go from here? Up.
This is a critical moment in our relationship with the church in Haiti. How we respond now will set the tone for years, decades, even generations.

ICCM supports children in 53 Free Methodist schools. We will work with the leadership of the church to discern the best way forward. Already many teams from North America and other parts of the world are offering their services to come and rebuild-which is wonderful! Haitian Free Methodist leaders will take the lead in determining our priorities for the rebuilding effort. We are also committed to using as much Haitian labor as possible, for the sake of pride and ownership of the new buildings, as well as choosing not to deprive Haitian workers of much-needed jobs.

The immediate needs are enormous: Food, Water, Shelter, Medicine, Funds to survive. During the Relief phase, we are already working with people who are drilling wells (Clear Blue); we are distributing donated water filters (), and preparing to purchase temporary structures (). I am thankful to be able to report that within 24 hours of the disaster, we sent relief funds with , who went with Bishop Roller to offer help and bring home videotape, to tell their story. When I am in Haiti this week, will discuss means to relieve the suffering of particular families who have experienced crushing blows.

We also are shipping a container of 175,000 donated fortified rice meals through Feed My Starving Children, which will leave the US on January 28 and be distributed through our schools. ICCM Special Projects Fund and Haiti Food Funds are supporting this effort.

Within weeks, we will enter the Rehabilitation phase. Work teams will construct homes, schools and churches, partnering with Haitian Free Methodists. We will need books, uniforms, desks, teachers’ supplies, sewing machines, and other materials. Sponsored children’s families may be able to receive significant resources from their sponsors during this time, to help them get reestablished.

Gradually, we will move into a shared Development phase. ICCM advocates for children and invests in their education so that their future can take a better course than it would have without us. We believe that God wants to raise up Christian citizens and leaders in commerce, education, human services, the arts, government and the Church-for the glory of God and the good of this troubled country. Working with our brothers and sisters, we will watch them not only rebuild their lives, but change their world.

This will be an ambitious undertaking. Our current sponsorship of 8900+ children will need to be matched by significant donations to our Special Projects Fund, creating the infrastructure and leadership development to enhance the churches’ ministry and the children’s lives. Please prayerfully consider a major donation to this fund.

Thank you for your prayers. We have a long road ahead with our brothers and sisters in Haiti. We will take this journey together.

Additional information about International Child Care Ministries can be found at www.childcareministries.org

International Child Care Ministries – Special Bulletin #5

  -January 19th, 2010 @ 10:33 am

from International Child Care Ministries

Updates from Haiti

News continues to trickle about ICCM staff, friends, facilities, and conditions in the area of Haiti affected by last Tuesday’s 7.0 earthquake. Here is a synopsis of news about ICCM concerns to date:

- ICCM Field Coordinator 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 area. Specific information about their safety is still not accessible.

- The ICCM Office, Parc Chretien FM Church and ICCM School (), 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 and missionary 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 has been making personal visits to Katie and Jack.

Jeanne with Vanderlin- Missionary , and 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 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 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.

ICCM is responding to this crisis through our Special Projects Fund. All donations to this fund at this time are being directed to and recovery (unless otherwise designated).

Relief supplies of water, water filters, medical supplies, and food have already been delivered by Free Methodists. More is on the way and even more will be needed.

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.