Here is an update on the work of our denomination in Haiti.
Haiti: Two Months Later
By Rick Ireland
Editor’s Note: In the nine weeks since a major earthquake devastated Haiti’s capitol city, Free Methodists have given more than $1.3 million to relieve suffering and honor Christ. Following is the latest progress report from Free Methodist Wolrd Missions:
- We arranged for a Save the Children distribution out of the Parc Chretien church that impacted 700 families and an Operation Blessing distribution out of the Delmas 53 church that impacted an additional 700 families. Both of these were arranged by Jean Marc Zamor who is leading the Haitian relief effort under the direction of a steering committee appointed by the Haitian Board of Superintendents.
- We distributed food and other supplies to 3,054 church members, International Child Care Ministries employees, FOHO employees and other mission staff.
- Money has been given to the West and South District superintendents to meet food, water and medical needs of the churches in the impact area. We have specifically asked the superintendents and pastors to see that both churched and un-churched people benefit.
- We have run three vaccination campaigns in three different locations, vaccinating 646 people against the diseases that will soon begin to rear their heads. The vaccine came from the government, the labor from church volunteers.
- We held a free medical clinic in Port-au-Prince, staffed by Free Methodist Haitian doctors and nurses (a first), that treated more than 200 people. Additional clinics are planned. The supplies came from other aid groups, the labor from church volunteers.
- We gathered and trained children’s workers from churches in the West and South Districts, and set up safe play areas where children can step out of misery and have fun. We have discovered that even before the formal effort, many churches were already impacting their community with children’s programming. Through both donated money and items acquired from other aid groups, we are working to actively enhance this effort which has an impact vastly greater than the local churches themselves.
- We arranged for a team of U.S. engineers to begin the process of evaluating church properties, schools and pastors’ homes. Additional teams are being planned.
- With the help of Linda Adams and Mondale Perkins Oscar of International Child Care Ministries, 230,000 meals will be distributed to the impact area. We are specifically targeting the churches in communities that have had little or no access to aid. Sadly, there are too many of those.
- We have scheduled training (by Asbury Seminary staff) for pastors and church leaders designed to help them with the trauma of recent events so they can help the people they serve. This training will happen at the end of March.
- We have had a leadership summit with key Haitian and U.S. leaders to both review the relief effort and to look toward the future of the U.S./Haitian Church relationship.
- We have begun funding grants to assist pastors to demolish homes and build temporary shelters (something more than a tent) until more permanent housing solutions can happen. Pastors who have land are already offering space to their landless colleagues to get them out of sub-standard tent communities. We are also exploring the possibility of establishing temporary communities to get people out of unsafe camps.
- We are now able to wire money into the Haiti Mission bank account and write checks on it. A team is currently here in Haiti rebuilding the financial system from 1/1/2010 so we will have accurate and up-to-date financial reporting.
- Teams have reroofed the church at Geurin, done repair work at Parc Chretien church and repaired the church at Vialet. They are currently working on both the church and school at Greffin.
You can still give to Haiti relief efforts here. If you wish to receive FMWM Hotline weekly prayer updates, click here.
Rick and Cookie Ireland are newly appointed missionaries to Haiti. Since the Jan. 12 quake, Rick has been serving as the American coordinating FMC relief efforts in Haiti.