The Free Methodist World Missions team then jumped into action and accelerated the plan, pedal to the metal. We’re sending “A” team on Thursday to evaluate, prioritize and establish an infrastructure to channel relief. Obviously we help everyone we can, but we have efficient established connections to those most in need through our network of superintendents and pastors. Our Haitian FM leaders are highly organized and connected.
FMWM is sending team “A” on Thursday (21 Jan 2010), via Dominican Republic, to evaluate, prioritize and establish a rudimentary infrastructure for relief. The “A” team will be on the ground in Port-au-Prince until the following Tuesday. Priority will be given to:
- evaluating the structural integrity of the standing schools because they can serve as temporary housing and relief centers.
- connecting with aid and government distribution points for water, medicine, food and temporary shelter.
- creating a plan for effective deployment of relief teams.
Team “A” is five persons: FMWM’s Director of Mobilization, Area Director for Latin American Ministries, FMCNA’s videographer, a structural engineer, and a long-time FOHO (Friends of Haiti Organization) leader.
At the same time, team “B,” focused on medical relief, will be working from Dessalines Hospital (four hours north of Port-au-Prince). Many injured are being transferred there. This team “B” will be working through northern points of entry into the country.
Next in the sequence are “C” teams: relief teams from FM churches. It’s a testimony to our people that many are volunteering to serve. What a wonderful people, these people called Free Methodists! Several teams already had tickets (even before the earthquake) and are awaiting resumption of commercial flights into Port-au-Prince. But, as you can imagine, we must have a way to keep “C” teams housed, fed and usefully deployed (vehicles, communication, etc) or it will be a waste of money and energy.
We ask that you honor the following process for “C” teams:
- all teams coordinate through FMWM’s VISA office.
- all teams have VISA insurance (trust me, the insurance saves lives – we can’t be coordinating with individual insurance companies).
Then, the first week of February, the “D” team, made up of Canadian Bishop Keith Elford, Dominican Republic Bishop Cecilio Osoria, and me (U.S. Bishop David Roller) will go to coordinate leadership and relief between all four countries.
Please continue to pray for Haitian superintendents (Clovis, Delamy, Charite, Devariste, Clodius, Bathelemy). Those most directly involved are emotionally drained and near the breaking point. Also remember Linda Adams and her ICCM team – they carry a heavy burden too. Pray for “A” and “B” teams; they have planning and packing to complete, shots to get, and perhaps some fear.
Stateside, this has been Free Methodist World Mission’s finest hour. I know the focus is Haiti, not North America, but I have to say this: they have responded in the most noble, most Christ-like ways. They scrambled all resources, personal and institutional. They laid aside every convenience, they didn’t sleep, they didn’t eat. For nearly seven days they have had telephones glued to their ears – evacuating personnel, developing multiple plans, juggling possibilities, consulting with experts, challenging the giving church. Even though they didn’t have enough information (much was unclear those first few days), they did not hesitate, and then made a thousand mid-course corrections. Only God will know how to reward you. The church simply thanks you!