Thursday, November 11, 2010

From Everywhere to Everywhere!



A new era in missions sees many people from around the world responding to disasters around the world. That is what is going on in Haiti right now.


Very important meetings are taking place this week in Haiti. Along with potential international partners, ReachGlobal leaders are exploring what healthy church planting will need to look like in that country. Pray that God would complete the work he began there by putting Haiti on the hearts of Brazilians, Congolese and Colombians to join together with us in multiplying healthy churches in Haiti.
Two church planter missionaries from Congo are beginning their prefield training this month in anticipation for traveling to Haiti in January. Ask the Lord to allow this time to help equip them for this very important task.
There will be more to come as we watch the Holy Spirit unite Christians from everywhere to the cause of Christ everywhere! Exciting times are ahead!
Check out how you can give, pray, or go to join the work in Haiti.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SOS

As a church team walks down the road with a ladder and impact drives in hand, three little girls, jumping up and down, call out over and over in unison, "Praise God, they are coming to build our home!"

An elderly blind man sits in a chair with a Bible on his lap as team members arrive to complete paperwork and dedicate his shelter. After praying a prayer of blessing on his new home, he spontaneously, with heartfelt passion and tears in his eyes, recites the Lord's Prayer in Creole.

A family of ten has been sleeping on the ground under one torn tarp but now they will have beds to sleep in and they will be able to feel safe and stay dry for the first time since the earthquake.

SOS

These are the true stories of how short-term teams are impacting whole areas in Haiti.
To alleviate the desperate circumstances of the families left homeless after the January 12 earthquake, Haiti officials are calling on groups to provide temporary shelters for the 1.4 million homeless Haitians. Temporary shelters are identified as the most critical need for Haiti right now.

TouchGlobal is partnering with Samaritan's Purse to build temporary shelters in the areas most affected by the earthquake. This project, which began in June, now has over 375 shelters standing, which provides housing for over 2,000 people. The church teams, working alongside TouchGlobal Crisis Response's efforts, have been a tremendous success as American and international churches are connecting with the despondent people of Haiti.

SOS

Leogane is considered to be the city that best represents the epicenter of the earthquake. Over 80% of their buildings are no longer standing. Four churches in this area have identified 200+ of the most affected families in this region and are requesting that TouchGlobal partner with them in providing shelters to these families. Come provide shelter to the people in Leogane.


TouchGlobal is sending out an SOS for churches to help us keep teams of 3-8 people serving each week in Haiti from October through January. This should give TouchGlobal the manpower to provide the relief requests. The time from now until October will be used to identify and equip the Hatian volunteers that will be partnering with us. See if your church and/or past teams can respond to the SOS "for such a time as this..."

Contact haitiresponse@efca.org if you can send a team.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

20 Million People...Pakistan Devastated


Severe monsoon rains have resulted in the worst disaster in the history of Pakistan. Twenty million people have been impacted. The worst may not be over as rains are forecasted to continue. According to news reports, the death toll of 1,600 may rise as now 36,000 people are being treated with cholera-like symptoms. Check out the details on our website.
Give
Financial donations to the flood relief efforts in Pakistan will be used for short and long-term needs. The immediate needs are many. Please give to help those impacted by the floods and ongoing crisis response ministry needs. Tents and have already been purchased and are being distributed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Opportunities are waiting








See why these children in a Haitian orphanage are so grateful!
Read more of the story.









Check out the Top 10 staff needs in touchglobal.








Help build shelters in Haiti.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do you remember where you were six months ago?
January 12, 2010

Yes, it has been six months since Haiti was turned upside down by an earthquake.

The Haiti earthquake - buildings toppled, at least 230,000 killed and even more injured and left homeless. Remember how you wanted to do something to help?

Read more about helping students in Haiti.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


Here is a note from Cathy, a short-termer from Pennsylvania.

Have I told you all how hot it is down here…it is hot! Today’s temperature reached 99 degrees, although it felt like 111 degrees. It is supposed to get hotter this week—yeah!


Today’s expedition took me to the town of Bethel where we put up transitional housing. The 12-by-12 wooden/tin/wrap structures, designed to withstand hurricane force winds, will provide shelter for a family of eight. I helped put up one-and-one-half houses, mainly working on the tin roofs. I got to use power tools, too! The Haitian people are very grateful. Some are even putting in concrete floors.
After the work day, we got a history lesson on Haiti from a local 16-year-old boy whose knowledge of the country was quite impressive. And his English was excellent.
I am working with amazingly dedicated people. Wes has been here for four months with no end in site. Christine is committed to one year. Brian and Lorrie are here long term—building rooms for an orphanage. Byron is here for a month and Steve will be back and forth for several months. Donna will also be back again. I am in awe of their sacrifice.
We have a great local cook, Rosita, to cook our dinners. Absolutely delicious food. And I thought I was going to drop weight this week!
After dinner we took a team picture since two of our crew is leaving tomorrow. Then we played a vicious game of spoons—a free for all. Several people dove across the table onto the floor to retrieve the spoon. Aaaah, good times.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Update on Kevin

Kevin is expected to be in the hospital for at least one more week. He is not able to eat yet. He has gunk in his lungs that needs to clear to avoid pneumonia. His white blood cell count is dropping, which is a good sign.Please pray for a quick recovery and wisdom on when to go back to his work schedule. He and Mark Lewis alternate working in Haiti, and Kevin is concerned about being well enough in time for his next scheduled trip. He wants to get back to work, but he does not know when he will be healthy and strong enough again. Pray for miracles, and pray Kevin has wisdom to know what he is capable of doing when.Keystone EFC has been a great help as well as family members. PTL for people who care and are around to help.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Please Pray for Kevin

Hi Everyone,

Please be in prayer for Kevin (pictured below) as his appendix ruptured. He's in the hospital and may be there for 2 weeks. He is on our staff here with Crisis Response and is currently in his home state of Pennsylvania.




Let's ask our Lord who is the great physician to put his healing hand on Kevin! Please also lift up his wife Babette and 2 children Kendra and Logan. Let's pray that the God of all comfort comforts them during this time. Babette is now back from serving with our ministry site in Chincha Peru so please pray she is well rested and able to care for her husband and family.


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good Friday in Chincha, Peru

While the blog has focused on Crisis Response in Haiti lately, there are other Crisis Response locations throughout the world -- such as Chincha, Peru (the location of two back-to-back earthquakes in August 2007). To help understand the continued need for Christ-centered ministry in Chincha, read the following Good Friday experience of a Crisis Response missionary living in Peru. On this Easter Sunday, please pray for the people of Chincha, that they would find the truth and answers they seek in Jesus Christ.

[My wife] and I went to see the activities at the Plaza de Armas in Chincha last night. The plaza was packed! I'll bet there were ten thousand people there. They had a huge crucifix in front of the church, and parents were handing babies and small children up to a couple of men who would press the baby's face to the larger-than-life body of Jesus on the cross. They were also handing out some kind of greenery (olive branches?) that they'd touch to the crucifix to "bless" it.

Most people were on the somber side... Even though there were a lot of vendors, food, Easter bread, and other things going on, it really wasn't much of a party atmosphere. There was a procession with a glass-encased image of Jesus (I think it was supposed to represent Jesus in the tomb), again larger-than-life, followed by a big image of Mary, with a marching band playing a dirge.

We had a front row view for part of it... [Then, as we] headed home through the crowd, a bunch of men picked up the platform with the crucifix on it (probably took 30 men carrying it) and marched it over in front of the Chincha public offices for a prayer for the mayor, Chincha employees, etc., blocking the way just before we got by. I think it was something the Lord wanted us to see...

As people returned from having a baby kiss the image or [from] receiving a leafy branch, most of the expressions on faces communicated a sense of desperation. In their hearts, I think most know they're not right with God, but they are ignorant and deceived about the significance of the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the way of salvation.

It was with very heavy hearts that we made our way home. Of the ten thousand plus people in the plaza last night, there's a strong probability that we were the only two with a personal relationship with the LIVING Jesus, and any true hope for eternity.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

God at Work

There is no doubt that God is working in Haiti, but He is also using the earthquake and its aftermath to reach people around the globe.

Visit the EFCA website to read an account of how the blog, Facebook, and Twitter updates from a Crisis Response team member stirred the heart of a woman back home whom he's never met.

Glory to God!

Monday, March 22, 2010

EFCA Today highlights relief efforts in Haiti

To get a feel for life in Haiti and the Crisis Response ministry efforts there, check out the latest edition of EFCA Today online.
  • View the Haiti slideshow. Walk through the devastation and meet some Haitians who survived the earthquake on January 12 and Crisis Response team members who have served on the front lines.
  • Download the Haiti Response Brochure. Take a deeper look at the TouchGlobal response in Haiti, and share this brochure with family, friends, and church members who are also interested in getting involved in God's work in Haiti.
While you're learning more about Haiti, visit the main Haiti response page for a look at the new TouchGlobal in Haiti video.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Roofers Needed


God has provided an awesome opportunity to help roof a church for a partner ministry called ‘Christianville’ in Gressier, Haiti. The roof was structurally damaged during the earthquake and it needs the tiles removed and a new, lighter weight roof put onto it.

The roofing stage will begin the last week in April and six-eight man teams are needed with at least two-three skilled roofers and framers. Structural repairs will also be needed. The new roof will be metal over plywood decking so plan to bring specialty tools for metal roofing with you. The process will take about three weeks.

The church is about a mile walk from the housing compound which is another example of being in the right place to serve those in need!

Please continue to pray for God to raise up His harvesters for this mission field and that many Haitians would come to know the unfailing love of our Father in heaven! Contact haititeams@efca.org if you are interested in serving the Lord in this way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shaken again

See this story in Mission Network News about the ReachGlobal missionaries who are seeing revival in Haiti.

Supplies and donations of machinery and vehicles are needed.

Any questions? Ask haitiresponse@efca.org or call (610) 637-0202, or (985) 893-0218 ext 7.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Medical Staff Needed


Medical staffing opportunity in Haiti

EFCA TouchGlobal is looking for doctors and nurses to help staff clinics in the impacted areas in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Although the emergent injuries following last month's earthquake have been treated, there are ongoing needs for clinical care in severely under served areas of Port-au-Prince. We are looking for general practitioners and pediatricians, along with nurses experienced in acute care settings to help treat Haitians suffering from both acute and chronic illnesses. There is an urgent need for a few doctors the week of February 21 and both doctors and nurses beginning March 6 and continuing. This window of opportunity to serve just opened and we do not know how long the need will extend. The cost will be $900 for a week, including all costs in Haiti, plus the airfare.

If you or someone you know want to learn more, please contact crisisresponse@efca.org.

Update from a returning doctor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPFyGz4mIUQ
This video was produced by a plastic surgeon and AMAZING Christian who was in Haiti during my time there. It is the best testimony so far that I have seen to capture both the sadness and the hope of the people there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Items Needed

We have acquired several vehicles to send to Haiti. Some are in great shape, some not as good. Fortunately we have found a mechanic that can donate his time, but not parts or supplies. These are the things we need for the vehicles that we have at the present time.

Tires:

4- 245-75R-17 tires
2- or more 235-85R16 tires
8- 245-75R-16 tires
5 - 225-70R-15 tires and one 15” rim for jeep

All tires should be as heavy ply as possible for dealing with the lack of good roads in Haiti. Please call Kevin at 610-637-0202 to answer any questions or let me know if you are getting any of these tires. We need to have them by Friday Feb.19, as we will be putting the vehicles on the boat for shipment the 21st or 22nd.

Thanks to Bob, at Coastal Tire, 35 SW 1st Ave., Boca Raton, who has donated his time to repair the vehicles and mount and install the tires for us. And thanks to Greg at City Towing in Boca Raton for moving our vehicles where they need to go.

The following are items we have located that will serve us well, but we need people or churches that are willing to give them, or give towards us getting them.

A 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso Crew Cab diesel flat bed truck or a 2003 Ford F-450 crew cab utility body truck. Both would be converted to/or need to have dump beds installed on them. The trucks are $10000 each and the dump beds are approx $2500-3500 plus installation.

A Takauchi TB 135 Mini excavator with 360 hrs on it - $20,000.

A Komatsu PC35 Mini excavator with 2700 hrs - $10,000.

A Honda 500 XL on/off road motorcycle with less than 1000 miles on it - $1500.

Craftsman Mechanics tool set- See Craftsman website to view toolsets
MFG #35283 tool set with #46410 tool set or

MFG #41190 tool set with a #87748 Storage box.


Housing Items Needed


We have signed a lease on a house in Gressier, west of Port au Prince, and are moving in at the present time. We are in need of some things to set up the office and complete the tranformation of a house into a home for staff and teams. Please consider giving the following items.

Reams of copy paper
Kitchen and large trash cans
Trash bags
Throw rugs
Large pots and pans and other kitchen and cooking utensils
Kitchen and tableware, plates, cups, silverware, etc.
Folding chairs
New shelving units to assemble on site
Items to set up an office
Pens pencils note pads
Post it notes
Staplers, scissors, markers
Paper clips
Tape
Simple single line phone
Envelopes
Organizers drawer and upright
Small file cabinets with rails for hanging folders, three ring hole punches, rubber bands
Cork board/tacks
Large Calender
White board
Coffeemaker
Legal pads
Etc etc etc.

Please take or send these items to:

TouchGlobal
C/o Design Flooring
2810 Center Port Circle
Pompano Beach, FL 33064

Call Kevin (610-637-0202) with questions or to let us know what you will be giving, so we don't end up with 25 filing cabinets!

Thank you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Medical Team in Haiti

Hi, I'm sorry to send this to you again but all of the links weren't working. I think they are all linked correctly now. Please forgive me! I was trying to link from a Facebook page to the blog and apparently something didn't work right!

First Evangelical Free Church of St. Louis has had a long-term ministry in Haiti. God formed a medical team within a week of the earthquake so Dr. T.R. Lewis, an orthopedic surgeon and Dr. Jane Caldwell, an anesthesiologist were joined by Halsey Julien, CRNA, to take their medical skills to Haiti. Here are some video clips taken by a St. Louis TV station and reported by Casey Nolen:












Here is a documentary about the hospital where they are working:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010




An e-mail with an offer, followed by a phone call. Sketchy directions with a boost from the GPS. We jump in the truck and head to the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Several kilometers down the dusty road, which is strangely devoid of any population, just when we fear we're on the wrong path - hallelujah, in the middle of "nowhere" stands the mission compound we were searching for - bustling with missionaries and children. We met a team of visiting Christian volunteers there with "Global Aid Network," and true to their name, they connected with us to bless Haitians. They had a roomful of baby food and formula powder to get into the right hands, and they trusted us. So we loaded our truck, with the school-age orphans happily pitching in, and then drive back into the city. We head to the orphanage where we had established a rapport last week with the women in charge. Once again, directions are vague. We prayerfully follow our noses as we weave down streets past huge piles of rubble on each side, and then we spot the gate: "That's it! Thank you, Jesus!" says our driver. Smiles greet us and kisses from the ladies. We ask them about their food supply and they admit that it's quite a stretch to feed the children every day. Most of these children are under four - many under two years old. We explain that this "baby food" can feed any and all of them, for a long time, and encourage the cook to be creative in blending it into the pot of sauce for their one daily meal of rice. Just think of all the nutrients they'll get from that stuff! The powder milk should go first to the babies. Frankly, we don't know if the cook has any clue. But thank God, there's a lady pediatrician who visits three times a week. She has a big heart for this flock of the littlest lambs. She'll give them a lesson on how to nourish them with this strange food. The ladies are so grateful for the food, even though a little befuddled. Apparently the doctor is not the only one whose heart is touched by these most vulnerable ones, a team of French volunteers with "Protection Civile" are making rapid progress building a house for them! It is rising at the foot of the mountain of rubble. After kisses goodbye, we turn around to make our jumpy bumpy way back to the hotel. That little errand took us 6 hours! We are happy the Lord connected the dots and orchestrated this delivery, happy to be His instruments. We are humbled and filled with admiration for all those who give a hand, like those French volunteers, but especially, those heroic women who used every ounce of their strength to rescue all those tiny tots from a collapsing orphanage, four weeks ago today.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Such destruction...everywhere.

A team member took a walk inside the National Cathedral the other day. He followed some photographers in and the scene from inside was just of a few columns standing and rubble piled over six feet high. There are concrete blocks hanging by a rebar thread and even while inside, tiny rocks fell from the columns. A few blocks down the road was the former National Archive Building and rubble was strewn all over the front sidewalk. That “rubble” was littered with forms, requests and documents that were running Haiti. There were stamped requests for shipping orders, health records, copies of fines paid and all of the country's birth certificate records are buried under the building, as well.
Such destruction...everywhere.


The work has just begun! Our first responders have left Haiti to take a break but fresh people have arrived with five more to come this week to set up a base house.

Here is a note from the couple who left Rome to devote time in Haiti

Haiti Day 8
We were alone this weekend in this strange country. We had thought that we might not get anything accomplished besides "holding down the fort" this weekend, but our logistics chief sent us an e-mail saying he had had trouble getting hold of the Shelterbox people. Shelterbox is a non-profit that provides an incredibly useful assortment of tools and household goods, including an impermeable tent, all packaged in a Rubbermaid crate sized box. They are designed to be dropped or delivered in disaster areas. This Cornwall, UK organization had brought 10,000 units into Haiti, but like all big organizations here, had no infrastructure for delivering their resources. That's where we came in. Smaller NGOs and non-profits have been called on to help with distribution. It's something we didn't think about much before, but we can't just show up in a crowd of desperate people and start handing out resources. It has created chaos, bad will toward the ones who received hand outs, and sometimes business opportunities for the shrewd ones in the crowd.

Shelterbox gave us permission to distribute 50 of their units. They want to make sure we were prioritizing the most vulnerable sectors of the population before they gave us free reign, and we were just as happy to work within those parameters. The meeting was one place in town, and the storage was on a military base elsewhere. It was worth the trouble, the waiting around, and the driving. These were great units, and Tom, at Jesus in Haiti ministries, was thrilled with his consignment of 15 to be used in the villages of Titayen province as early as Monday. Rain is forecast, so we prayed that Tom was able to get these out in time. After we dropped off Tom's load, we were able to pick up a second load of 15 and stored them at our hotel for a day or two. The only problem is that the same guards who have guarded our boxes all want one for their own needy families! What to do about that one? Pray that they are all left in the morning.

After we showed up at the hotel with the load of tents, a pastor and his wife arrived for the meeting that I had asked to have with them to discuss the distribution of their tents. They are just the kind of people who can help us distribute the supplies without causing bedlam. I hoped to have taken a first load into them Sunday afternoon. Again, it may seem strange, but we have had to sneak a few at a time into their very dense neighborhood so that it has not draw any attention, good or bad.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010



Day 10 - A New Friend




I arrived about 30 minutes early to the Food Cluster Meeting. I use the official UN terminology for no other reason than to impress you incredibly with my new breadth of experience. "Food Cluster" - you see, if I just left it hanging there you’ll think "man, I should know what that means, shouldn’t I?" Oh, but you shouldn’t...so when I throw it out there you become so much more impressed ‘cause, gosh, Steve must really be important to be invited to this Cluster of Food thingy. OK, so the sad reality of it is that anyone can go to these meetings and about half the stuff they talk about is so far over my head that I just nodded my head the way I did back in Freshman philosophy class.



I headed into the meeting tent early because the "UN city" is literally nothing more than a massive dirt field covered with tents and trailers. It’s been over 90 degrees outside, I’m tired of eating dust, and inside the "Food Cluster" tent I found shade. While there I struck up a conversation with an highly knowledgeable woman, I’ll call her Sara, regarding the challenges of feeding the poor in Haiti. I do my best to sound intelligent, throwing around words like "sustainability", "unsustainability" and "kind of sustainability". Come to find out she’s the International Executive Director of the largest food distribution program in all of Haiti. What an honor to have 30 minutes with her.




Then the meeting was led by a Frenchman, the World Food Program’s head of operations. I sat next to an American woman, across the tent were military personnel from Canada and Argentina, questions came from the head of NGOs from the UK and Germany...and then there’s me—yes, like I belonged there! In any other setting there would have been so much to divide us, but at this time in history and in this place in history, all had gathered in this small army tent to exchange ideas on how to better distribute food out to the Haitian people.


As I talked to Sara I had a question on my mind. "Sara" I asked "I’m new to Haiti. Why, on this tropical island with wonderfully fertile soil and perfect climate, why is it the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere? And for the people, is there a way out of dependency and into sustainability?" She responded by talking about the resiliency of the Hatian people, the spirit of the people, but the fact that they’ve suffered under constant corruption and regime changes. But as she talked about the Haitian people, she had nothing but praise. On Sunday, at church, a relief worker commented about the strength of the people, the heart of this people, the unmistakable joy of this people...even in the midst of tragedy.


And to help put a face to the Haitians I’ve come to know over the last 10 days, let me introduce you to Charles. I had hoped to not have to tell my wife how I met Charles until AFTER I was back in the US, but I really wanted you to meet my new friend and so here goes.
With the power outages and tremors and, yes, danger at night, my colleagues and I have been told to be OFF the streets before nightfall. Well, when I arrived in Haiti there were delays at several points and it was well after dark when my group made our way through Carrefour, the epicenter of the quake and one of the more dangerous parts of town. I heard an all too familiar noise and it was confirmed that a tire was flat. The car was full of Americans with a donation of over $5,000 in cash for an orphanage, laptops, cameras and ipods...and, well, you get the idea. A couple nearby kids began to laugh and pointed fingers toward the car. In the shadows people moved and OK, I was just a little bit nervous.




Then, all of a sudden, a van pulled up behind us, out jumped this huge guy and with a look and a few words the danger was gone….and in that instant, Charles was my new best friend! He stood guard over our car as we changed the tire and I found out that Charles was headed to the same church compound we were. He just happened to be behind us and was all too glad to help. You see, Charles has been a police officer, second in command of the local force in one of the neighboring cities. He donated his time to church, volunteered to escort groups like ours, when needed, and he just happened to be behind us at the right time!



The next day Charles used his day off to travel with a team of relief workers to Cap Haitian, 5 hours away! A day later he returned and went out with those ever present doctors from Singapore as they traveled through a part of PaP most devastated by the quake. Twice, he has taken the day just to travel with me and I've had hours to talk about him and his family (no one killed in the quake), his faith, his joys and his hopes. He’s written a book, a personal account entitled "Testifying to Hope" where he dreams for a day when his hope for this nation will be realized and they will live out their awesome potential. I was honored that he gave me a copy.
Today he traveled with yet another group of relief workers, but incredibly, he called as the day ended to make sure that my colleagues and I were safe and had had a good day.
He’s fluent in French and Creole and speaks enough English so that he and I have traded stories. Charles and I spent the afternoon yesterday riding around in the back of a pickup truck. At one point, with traffic snarled and two drivers yelling at each other, Charles, the Police Commander, was out and order was restored immediately. Oh, and have I mentioned that I’ve yet to see him without a big ’ol smile on his face (OK, maybe that first night when he jumped out of the van and scared everyone off...yes, maybe then!).

I am privileged to call Charles, who has lived joyfully every day "Testifying to Hope", my new friend.

Here are a few scenes of what the team has seen in Haiti.

video

Thursday, January 28, 2010


January 27
One of our Crisis Response assessment team members, Steve, has had the privilege of traveling with Mark, a colleague he had never met before. Mark is the head of the Crisis Response ministry. Three years ago he left a lucrative position in order to move to New Orleans, simply because he wanted to help and mobilize resources to New Orleans after Katrina. Since then he’s helped coordinate crisis response efforts from the Peru earthquaketo the Tsunami in the Far East. But now, here in Haiti, Steve has given his new friend the nickname "The Great Scrounger".
Whether it be with the Army, Navy, UN or private sources, Mark never stops networking, finding, resourcing…and all for the purpose of helping others. In the last days, he’s been able to scrounge:
Over 18 tons of food with another seven in the pipeline.Over $12,000 worth of medical supplies.Over 2000 gallons of diesel fuel for trucks, buses and cars owned by orphanages, children’s homes, churches, and communities.
What motivates Mark to scrounge? This picture of Mark with a six year old blind orphan that the team met answers that question. He has compassion!The assessment team has been working with Tom, a long-term missionary in Haiti. Tom has helped todevelop an orphanage, a homeless shelter, a church, a school, and a food and water distribution program to those living in the local dump. Until two weeks ago he had a whopping 22 Haitian children living with his family.
If you pulled into Tom’s courtyard you would be met by smiling faces everywhere; toddlers, older kids, young men and women, Tom’sfamily. The six year old blind boy couldn’t go to school and was picked on constantly. His mom was thinking about abandoning him whenTom offered to take him "home"…a little over a year ago. Then, there was the 17 year old who had always asked Tom for money near an abandoned gas station. One time Tom noted that this boy wasalways at the gas station because he lived under the overhang of a nearby abandoned building. The next time Tom saw him, the boy asked for a handout and Tom asked if, instead of money, he’d like a "home". He answered "yes" and has lived with Tom for the past six years.
There two brothers who were students at the school Tom directed and after the recent earthquake Tom hadn’t been able to locate them. He had heard that their mother had died and he assumed the boys had also. When he went into their slum, he asked about all the kids in the school as he handed out food to each family. When he asked about the brothers, someone commented that they thought they’d seen the boys "up in the hills somewhere". Immediately,Tom searched for them and he eventually found them starving, with no food or water, shoeless and shirtless, living under a tree. When they heard that their mother had died and saw their house destroyed, they ran and ran until they could run no more. For 15 days these two boys, an eight year old and a ten year old, had lived out in the open, looking for food and water.
Tom found them, fed them, nursed them and now they are the newest members of his family. Before the earthquake, Tom and his wife had 22 Haitian children, but in the wake of the destruction following the earthquake, they now have a wonderful family with 35 children. Tom and his wife are both heroes! The assessnent team hopes to find ways to partner with Tom and others who have already been working in Haiti and need some extra helping hands to come alongside of them.



January 26
Quick notes from the team in Haiti
Very rudely awakened at five a.m. by two strong tremors.
Quick run to the airport, only four hours, we sent two people off and welcomed others in.
Stopped by the World Food Program to set up acquisition of more food. Pray -- In just the last two days the level of bureaucracy and "turf wars" have grown exponentially. We heard more talk now of "my supplies" and "my distribution points" Individuals in the system have seen what we’re doing and want to help…but the "system" seems to be starting to take over!
Stopped by the UN to obtain authorization for 500 gallons of diesel fuel About half of the gas stations were literally leveled in the quake and the port isn’t functional yet, either. Our friends at Missionary Aviation Fellowship told us that they would run out of jet fuel by this afternoon.
While waiting, one team member, who served with ReachGlobal in Brazil, had the chance to catch up with two Brazilian UN Peacekeeping military personnel.
Bad News - we tried to pick up the diesel fuel. The very helpful UN representative from Senegal knew less about PaP than we do so we were sent looking for the fuel dump about 15 miles from where it was actually is located.
Good News - we now know exactly where the fuel dump is located and tomorrow by eight a.m., we’ll be on our way!
Pray
For all of those serving in Haiti. It is grueling work.
For the Haitians who are trying to get back to "life". The stress is evident on their faces. There is a collective tiredness and exhaustion over the Haitians and all the relief workers, as well. They cannot get away from "IT." "IT" is the destruction, death, danger, poverty, and so many unmet needs. There’s no electricity, unless you have a generator, so obviously, no TV, radio or lights at night. No one is out playing sports. Laughter is subdued. The banks collapsed, destroying the ATMs, so it is a struggle to get money. Of the four major supermarkets in this suburb of 400,000, not one is still standing. There’s food strewn over sidewalks in the open markets, competing for space with concrete rubble, trash uncollected for over two weeks and families camped out on the streets.
For the assessment team’s safety - "And then there are the shakes…those constant shakes, two yesterday, awakened by two this morning, one five minutes ago… " Kevin
For peace - The team took a PaP native up with them to Cap Hatien. Even though there was no earthquake damage in Cap Haitien, he simply couldn’t go inside the house to sleep. He would go in to eat, near a doorway, but he is so impacted by the destruction in PaP that he cannot even conceive that he could sleep inside a concrete structure again. He is a Haitian policeman, used to difficult situations and certainly not a fearful person by nature. Part of our focus will be training Haitians to be crisis counselors. There will be a lot of emotional and physical problems following a crisis of this type and the more the Haitians can be trained to help, the more our team can multiply themselves.
More information
Contact haitiresponse@efca.org.

Monday, January 25, 2010










Here is a newsletter from the epicenter of the earthquake in Haiti








Dear Friends,

Let me try and give you a bit more update on exactly what we’re doing.

First off – the city:

PaP is destroyed. The suburb we’re staying in, Carrefour, was literally the epicenter of January 12th’s earthquake. There was one stretch today where for several miles I seemed to count nine destroyed buildings for every one that was “somewhat” intact. The people are scared; death is still everywhere, some still to be found on street curbs; no electricity at night; a nation in shock. All around are army helicopters, UN vehicles, emergency personnel from around the world…and God’s church and people working to alleviate suffering.

The need:

Many Haitians are hoping…praying that this is a new beginning. Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The city of PaP is literally destroyed… totally and utterly destroyed. But after years…decades of corruption, neglect and abuse the people have hope…cautious hope. But imagine the challenge of rebuilding when stores, businesses, churches, schools, roads, everything is destroyed. What’s a small business owner to do when he has no insurance (no one does here) and his building is destroyed, he has no income, there are no customers (for all are now out of work) and there are limited resources… Right now everyone is still in crisis response mode. Medical teams race throughout the city looking for the walking wounded. I think there are 2 working hospitals in the city – thousands are scarred or injured yet only the most severe are being treated. Today, a team of Singaporian doctors that we’re coordinating with at the orphanage stitched up 2 kids with 5-7 inch open wounds on their legs…wounds that have festered for 10 days, but too minor for hospital care. Soon the death toll will be known, and the survivors will have to begin again…that phase will be daunting as well.

Our Role:

I’m currently here with Mark Lewis, head of TouchGlobal’s Crisis Response Team and Brian Duggan, our Latin American Director. I feel I can brag about these men because the work they did in the last week is phenomenal! Mark was/is the lead person for Reach Global’s work in New Orleans. He was down here within 3 days of the quake and has networked together to pull off seemingly impossible things in these past few days.

What happens in these crisis moments is that unbelievable amount of donations come in – coupled with unbelievable needs. But the distribution is sometimes a mess. Just yesterday CNN did a report on tons of meds in a USAID warehouse sitting there waiting to get out…but with no orders to even go out yet. This is where Mark and Brian have been so effective. Immediately they connected with strategic churches, community leaders, orphanages and other mission organizations, always looking for hard-hit neighborhoods; always looking for neighborhoods strategic in their location, but not in the heart of the city. For in the heart of the city you find major UN distribution points, and thousands upon thousands gathered waiting for the helicopters and semi-trucks. Just today we passed a field with an Army helicopter landing, with thousands surrounding the field just waiting for the needed food.

But there are still tons and tons of supplies sitting in warehouses…and tens of thousands in need…and that’s where we’re working.

1) On Saturday, Mark and Brian went into the World Health Organization’s warehouse, told them of their contacts in 3 churches, 2 community centers, one orphanage and a mission station in the hills. They said “We’ve got access to 2,000 people all without food. We have community leaders, distribution systems set up and trucks to haul the food. How much can you give us?” As a result, tomorrow we’ll be taking 5 tons of food from their warehouse out to these points and not one government form filled out! The WHO is thrilled because their resources are getting to the people. The people are thrilled because it’s “coming to them”. The community and church leaders are thrilled because they KNOW their neighborhood needs and can best distribute the needed items.

2) After picking me up on Saturday at the airport, they said “Let’s take a walk”. We proceeded to walk across the tarmac at the airport - how else do you get to the other side to talk to the Army and Navy COs? After working his way up the ranks we talked with the CO of one of the Army units and Mark told them of the orphanage they’d found – 56 kids with no food for many days, their nurse and 2 teachers dead in the rubble. He was asking for “anything” – but specifically MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), water, formula and diapers. The Army was low on resources but the CO was on board so he had one of his men take us to the Navy, where they had supplies and within 20 minutes we walked out with 5 cases of MREs, 6 cases of bottled water and the promise of diapers and formula which we picked up today. We talked for over 30 minutes with about a dozen Navy guys and gals and they were soooooo thrilled that their stuff would go to help some needy kids. One of them even pulled out an old stuffed bear and asked that we give it to one of the children, taking a picture and later emailing to him. Incredible generosity – incredible need and some incredible guys helping to fill the gap. I can’t believe I have the privilege of being along for the ride!!!

3) Today we also picked up over $5,000 worth of medical supplies for incoming medical teams and a hospital we partner with in the city of Cap Haitian. Cap Haitian is a city about 4 hours north of here, where many have fled and where medical supplies in the few hospitals are running low. Yesterday we sent up $5,000 worth of supplies – later this week this next shipment of $5,000 will go….and all because these men have created trust.

4) What is also significant is the commitment to be here “for the long haul”. Even after the crisis time passes, TouchGlobal is committed to these churches, orphanages and community leaders to help them rebuild…rebuild their buildings, but much more importantly – to rebuild lives with the love of Christ.


Well, hopefully you understand a bit more now. Sorry for the ramblings and it’s time for bed because by 5:30 a.m. we need to be on the road with 5 tons of food to get out tomorrow!!!!

Blessings Friends,

Steve

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What day is it?
Crises bring much confusion, just figuring out what day it is when there continues to be desperate needs everywhere we go. How do we help? How do we find the ministry that will be the right fit? Today began with an exploration for an orphanage that we had been told is not getting any help. We found it near Carrefour, a ten foot high pile of rubble where there had been a four story building housing over 130 orphans. Only 56 children survived while some of their caregivers and the nurses did not. The neighborhood has joined in to watch over the children as they live in a courtyard during the day and then sleep on the street at night. They have blocked the street and posted guards at each end. Tarps are strung over the street for protection. They have very basic needs-food, clean water and diapers. We were overcome with indescribably feelings when we were with the orphans. They surrounded us, wanting to be held or, simply, just wanting to hold our hands. We were told that a number of aid organizations had come by but they had never returned.
Our next stop was at the UN medical warehouse where we have found a bit more bureaucracy but still open doors. We placed our order for the next day, then as we walked out the gate some guys came up to us and said, “We recognize those shirts, we were in Galveston with you, you’re good people to work with.” They just emailed us to let us know that they have 400 diapers and ten cases of food supplement powder that they will give us tomorrow for the orphans. This is only a small sample of how God has brought us to the right people at the right time. It has happened every day.
This afternoon we received another ReachGlobal staff that will be here for two weeks to help us organize to host teams. While at the airport we searched for food and water for the kids. This time God used the Navy to load us up with MREs and the Army to provid the water. They all gathered around as we showed them photos of what we saw at the orphanage. One sailor gave us a stuffed bear to give to a child when we take the provisions to them in the morning.
Even a flat tire had God’s provision written all over it. It has been highly recommended not to drive after dark. We have not been back at the compound before dark any day since we’ve been here, yet we have had no problems. We heard that USA media is reporting that crime is a real issue. God must have posted many angels around us. Tonight, our tire went flat and we had to pull to the side. Our truck was so full of supplies that we were scrunched up like little sardines inside. Of course, getting the spare required emptying out the back first, in the dark, on the street but as we stopped and looked at each other, another ministry van pulled up and out came three of our friends, one of whom was a Haitian police officer who carried a gun. He stepped out of the van, pulled out his pistol and chambered a round. The gathering crowd disappeared in a very short time! With the tire replaced, we returned to the house compound where we are staying with no other incidents.

Yes, we are dealing with STRESS:
Crisis response can be divided into a number of phases.
Initially, having seen incredible destruction day after day along with extreme human suffering leaves a strong impact on a person. We have arranged debriefing sessions for when our emergency professionals return from Haiti.
Bodies also rebel.
Two of us have been suffering from gastric problems. Thankfully, Immodium and Cipro were right at hand and it was clear that God sustained us today when in other circumstances we would have stayed in bed. We are tired, but we are sustained. God has done some amazing things.
Raw photos can be found at http://picasaweb.google.com/bdugganrn. They are not cleaned up or organized but the albums are listed by date and you will find many pictures of what you’ve read in the updates.
We are very grateful for the sustaining prayers of so many of you and for the encouraging notes that you have sent by email, FaceBook or others. We realize that a crisis carries an emotional impact that catches people’s attention for a short time. We would ask that you continue to pray for Haiti and the TouchGlobal Crisis Response ministry, even after the media moves on to other places.

Saturday, January 23, 2010










Day 4 in Port-au-Prince



You know it’s coming, you know the long days will catch up with you, and you know that the destruction will all begin to look the same. Today was that day and today God continued to sustain us. The morning began with two significant tremors that had folks zipping out the door. Smaller aftershocks continued throughout the day. This evening will be a strategic rest night, meaning we’ll go to bed before midnight, unlike previous evenings. We returned to Gressier to do an assessment of needs and potential partners today. While we were there, we also looked at a house that may be a location for teams and our team hosts, who will provide continuity for the ministry. There we found many crushed homes, the survivors living outside in whatever they could scrounge. Clean water has become a real issue. The few community wells are not being used by the people because of the proximity to places where the dead still lie underneath the rubble. We also found a group providing clinic care. They are located at the town clinic building which is in good shape but nobody will go inside due to the frequent aftershocks. Up to this point we still didn't know the strategic place, work and partner that we felt God would provide. But today, we found ourselves at a ministry called Christianville, where all but one of the buildings are seriously damaged. This group has been feeding 2,500 people a day and they were running out of food. They have wonderful ministries established and seem to be people who want to partner in ministry. We were able to take them to our Army friends and get two pallets of MREs and water for them to use to feed the people in their community. God opened the floodgates and used the relationships he provided us over the past two days to be able to ensure that 2,500 are now being fed! On the same trip we were also able to get 330 gallons of diesel fuel which is in extremely short supply in Haiti.

Each day there is new evidence that God is directing our steps. Our team members are thrilled that now we can move ahead with a strategic approach to using holistic ministries to multiply healthy churches here in Haiti. The clinic in PaP is still seeing hundreds of people, the hospital in Milot near Cap Haitian is still overflowing, and the need for workers still grows. Continue to pray for the people of Haiti, the opportunity for the Christian community to show the love of Christ, and for ongoing connections that will make the efforts even more effective.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jan 21 2010 - News from Kevin

After getting back from Port-au-Prince, or PaP, last night around 10 PM, and wading through the 50 e-mails I got while we were gone, drafting responses and interspersing skype IM with Babette, I finally got to sleep on the floor of the living room around 2 am. Area rugs on a hard floor never felt so good. We got shuffled out of our room to accommodate the ladies in the group and that’s how I ended up on the floor. That and the fact that I was too tired to go find which room the guys are staying in.


We had a team of 4 individual doctors from TX, Fl and who knows where else, as well as a couple of nurses come in yesterday while we were in PaP. It was good to see Rueben again who pastors a church in Texas. He also is a doctor and though he can’t treat physical ailments, he can help anyone who has broken their Theological Maximus. Rueben also helped us when we were responding to hurricane Ike in TX.


We are in a “compound” owned by Henoc, where he has his house, a barracks that currently houses orphaned children, most from the disastrous hurricane season they had in 2008, when 4 or 5 major hurricanes or tropical storms passed over or near the Island.
I wonder where CNN was that time. Anyway, the barracks has been converted on one side to house the men of the team and the children have been shuffled into the other side, until their new building can be completed. It is currently in need of a roof, and Henoc’s men are working diligently to complete that, so the children can be housed there.

The Haitians are culturally accustomed to tight quarters and spend most of their time outside. Personal space is not a commonly accepted ideal here as it is in the US. So until the new building is finished, the kids will be running around among us. There may be an opportunity to bring teams to help accomplish that project faster.


We met with the team this morning and shared both the Vision of Hope Ministries and Touch Global visions and our respective roles in the partnership. We also gave them a basic understanding of why Haiti operates the way it does, and what can be done to help at this time, as well as in the future. We discussed expectations and maintaining a level of order amidst the daily activities and the current level of chaos.

Several of us went to the hospital where the team will be working. We met the director, hoping to gain his blessing to set up there. The Hospital is funded by a Catholic organization from the states and has a Haitian director with whom we want to keep an open working relationship. We met with him and he referred us to the American, Dr. Kelly, who is currently running the show. The Haitian doctor deferred to him and really seemed not to want to be bothered by us. He was non-committal on any of the ideas we brought to him until he heard what Dr Kelly said, but then he was on board.

We discussed the opportunities for Dr. Kelly and who was on our Medical team this week and guess what? It was just what they needed! We have two cardiac Docs with ER experience who happen to be married to each other. We have 2 other Docs with ER experience and 2 nurses who have anesthetics and ER experience.

We also asked about any other needs and Dr. Kelly informed us of the need for a recovery/ rehab area he would like to get set up as soon as they receive the cots and Field Hospital tent but they had no place to set it up. Once again, God’s provision is apparent, because we have just such a secure area behind the church that Henoc pastors about a mile away. This is the longer-term opportunity we have been looking for here in Haiti to build relationships and minister in the community in the name of Jesus. What better way to do that than to set up right at the church.

Many people have been airlifted to the Hospital here in Milot from PaP and will be receiving the medical treatment that they so desperately need. When they are released, they will be displaced in an area far from home with no resources, nothing to return home to, and maybe no desire to return anyway. The church here has a huge opportunity to be the body of Christ and show the love of Christ to those in need.

After returning to Henoc’s to brief the team, we took the medical team back to the hospital with all the supplies that they brought with them, introduced them to Dr. Kelly, and deployed them. On the way out, I think I saw Anderson Cooper from CCN or the guy from MSNBC in scrubs with his entourage interviewing some of the other American doctors that are working in the clinic. Look for a big guy in a green shirt in the background!

I came home to compose this letter, send it out, and answer the ever growing numbers of emails I am getting. The power was out, so the satellite internet was down, and all I could do was type until my battery died. God knew I needed the break, so I went and took a nap. While falling asleep, I heard the sounds of helicopters and knew the team was receiving more patients.

After a sweaty sleep of 45 minutes, Henoc arrived from the airport with our newest members of our ever growing family. His daughter, Rebecca, her friend and Henoc’s father were on the inbound flight that carried Greg Shuenke and Omar Rodriguez back to Florida. Also on the plane was Dr. Don Hunt, a retired vascular surgeon that has served in Nigeria in Medical Missions. He is from Comfort TX, so he has brought a little bit of Comfort to all of us.

We loaded up, went to the hospital to check on our staff, helped translate and were promptly informed that 10 people were ready to be discharged to free up much needed bed space. Since we didn’t have the field tent and cots yet, Dr. Kelly asked if we had a place to keep those being discharged. After consulting with Henoc, we decided we could take them at the compound, because Caleb, Henoc’s brother, had some 8 person tents that he received on a shipment of relief supplies at his compound 2 hours away. He could pick them up and bring them along with the medical supplies Mark received from the UN compound in P au P.

We returned to the compound, got the bus and headed back to the hospital to pick up the discharged patients as it was getting dark. You don’t want to be on the road in Haiti after dark because that single light you see coming toward you could be either a motorcycle, or 3 dump trucks sharing one headlight!

We found that the patients had not been readied or informed that they were about to be released. Our Docs and nurses were scurrying around like squirrels packing nuts for the winter, tending to their patients. We tried to round them up to take them back to the compound, but they, in true Hippocratic oath style, wanted to treat just one more patient. Rounding them up to put them on the bus was like trying to herd cats into a pen of wild dogs- once you think you have one on the bus, you find them out treating patients again.

All the while, we are trying to figure out why we have no discharged people on the bus. Finally someone told us that they were afraid to leave. They thought we were going to either throw them out on the street or worse, take them back to Port au Prince! Once again, God’s provision was apparent, as Rebecca and Enoch’s father were with us on the bus. I asked them to go with the nurses to explain that they were coming to our home with the doctors and would be fed and housed there. All of the sudden we just about had to throw people OFF the bus!

Just as we returned home, Caleb arrived at the clinic to unload an entire pickup truck full of supplies. Helping unload with Henoc, again we thought of God’s provision. Earlier in the day we had no sterile surgical gowns, so we went through our box of supplies and found emergency rain ponchos - they did in a pinch and kept the docs from shutting down the ER. Guess what was in the first box we unloaded? No, not more poncho’s - sterile surgical gowns!

There’s nothing like trying to direct a couple of Haitians to erect a tent, when you don’t know where the stupid poles are supposed to go yourself! As I worked with them, my creole started to really come back to me. We were laughing and joking around and having a great time. I saw one woman watching us so I asked her, “lakay ou?”- Your house? You have never seen a smile so big and such a sparkle in an eye as there was on her as she realized it was for her and her family. Hope had been restored where there had been fear and terror before.

With our 3 tent city erected, the team finally sat down to supper… at 8 pm. As we sat down to eat our new neighbors were led in singing praises to God by some of Henoc’s family. Henoc looked at me and said “ some of those people are going to accept Christ”. I can only pray that happens as we have shown them the Love of Christ over and over again today.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We are engaged in delivering direct relief in a place that is in chaos with almost no infrastructure. The resources needed here are/will be staggering...and the ministry opportunities vast. Please go to www.efca.org or Give Now to donate. Send the link to all your friends, in your address book and on facebook. Ask them to pass it on!

January 21
We passed numerous pancaked buildings this morning on our way to the UN warehouse to receive medical supplies. The horrible odor reminds everyone of all those who are buried under the piles of concrete. Hundreds of children were buried under a giant cathedral where they attended school. Most streets are barely passable. The government and its buildings are gone.
My colleagues are a medic and ER nurse so they came up with the supply list and then we went to the UN warehouse to locate the needed supplies. Two hundred people each day walk into the vestibule of the local church where a clinic has been set up. The doctors are from Singapore and they are treating nasty wounds, infected and gangrenous. At the UN warehouse, we were able to get a full load of medical supplies for both of the 'clinic' in Carrefour, and the hospital in Cap Hatien. We also ran into a unit of the 82nd airborne. The captain was very interested in what we were doing and brought us over to his command post at the airport. The Colonel gave us access to as much food and water that we could carry, and gave us a captain to escort us, with open doors, at the UN compound. He also invited us to come back for more. This was huge, because we have been trying for days to get anything to hand out to people. It has been total chaos with no supplies available! Then we were able to gain access to key people in the UN and a room of U.S. Army Majors and Colonels. We are trying to get an army helicopter to transport the medical supplies to Cap Haitien, put a requisition in for it, but one was not available today. We are praying for one tomorrow or a truck or whatever else can get the supplies there.
After that we headed west to areas we had not yet seen, closer to the epicenter. The town of Leogagne was severely damaged. A four story school was flattened, which was the work of a pastor who we met for dinner the previous night. His church and his home were also destroyed. He has about 60 people living on the church grounds. We were able to provide the food and water for those people. It's just a drop in the bucket, but still it was great to get relief into people's hands. They were very thankful.
At our last stop in Gressier, we saw fault lines across and running down the road. There was a 6" drop along the fault line. This town and the rural area around it has 50,000 people with little or no aid. We met the Mayor tonight and we plan to see him tomorrow morning to look at locations for another clinic. They have had almost no medical care. We also looked at a house that we are thinking will make a great base for us.
WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS FOR DISCERNMENT ON WHERE TO INVEST OUR MINISTRY RESOURCES TO THE GREATEST GLORY TO GOD AND TO BENEFIT THE PEOPLE HE LOVES. We also need His continued favor in granting us the resources we need... daily.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Port-au-Prince day 2
The day began with a bang…actually a shake, which we learned later was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. The psychological impact on this people cannot be overestimated. Streets are full of households that will wait a long time before entering a structure again. We are in a house that withstood the first earthquake with little to no damage. Yet even with that assurance, many in the house and in the compound (70 of us?) went running when the ground started moving. Amazingly and gloriously, voices began singing praise songs soon after the early morning quake. We heard many stories today of people who are turning to Christ in the midst of this. A mission field opens in the wake of crisis.
The supplies God provided in his perfect time were like a glass of cold water in the desert. Patients lined up long before we arrived and waited patiently as we organized a pharmacy and medical supply area. These supplies were sorely needed today as patients continued to arrive with tragic wounds that have gone too long without care. The clinical picture for many is not good and we saw tragedy that would never happen in a normal situation. Yet even in the midst of this, we saw God work and know that He loves each of these people.
Walking along the streets gives an up-close picture of what daily life has become for almost everyone. People have become very creative in making places to sleep, hang their clothes and cook meals. Crushed houses, buildings and cars are everywhere. Some still stand, but each night when an aftershock hits people jump and run. No one will enter a house or building that was damaged. We regularly walk by one school where sixty children still lie crushed beneath the rubble. The smell of decay and open sewage is everywhere in this poor area.
God continued to work as we met our partners from Cap Haitian who came with stories of surgeries postponed due to no anesthesia, fluids or gloves. We were able to return to the UN warehouse and were greeted with big smiles from the people who helped us late yesterday. God must have blinded their eyes because we aren’t exactly neat and clean or present a very pretty picture. Yet they went out of their way to provide basic supplies for our team and promised to have the rest for us in the morning. We continued to bank on God opening doors and we were able to drive right into the guarded airport compound where all the relief and government organizations have their bases. We visited a number of them and are using those contacts to build a network of partners who can help with specific needs we cannot. Samaritan’s Purse was one such organization and they were excited about working with us to set up a water treatment plant here in the Carrefour area of Port-au-Prince. In the morning we return to the UN warehouse for more clinical supplies to keep the clinic going. We ask for prayer as we seek for God ordained opportunities to meet and partner with other organizations in this stricken community.
So much is needed, and we are asking our Lord for teams to be raised, for leaders to come work and for the Spirit to move on the hearts of his people. The harvest is ripe, people are open to the Gospel. Workers for the harvest will find their work is fulfilling and fruitful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Latest from Kevin, our TouchGlobal Crisis Response missionary, going as a scout into Haiti:

You’re in Good Hands…..

With the sound of the twin props from the Cessna 6 seater whirring in my head, and my body loaded up with Dramamine, Bruce Case with The Kings Wings ministry, pilots our plane towards our destination of Cap Haitien, Haiti, and away from the Fort Lauderdale coast which disappears slowly behind us into the hazy distance. Deep blue sky converges with the lighter shades of blue and turquoise which color the ocean below, painting a beautiful picture of calm and serenity. A far cry from the picture I expect to see as we land in Haiti 3 hours from now.

After an eventful night of coordination, last minute purchasing at a 24hr Walmart, and packing, we settled in for a little sleep; and I mean little! In the morning just before we walked out the door to go to the airport, we received a call from Henoc, our partner in Haiti. This was a welcome call because we had been trying to reach him in vain several times the night before, amidst all the other activity. Just in time, we were able to make contact and let him know we were on our way; an answered prayer.

As we drove to the airport, we realized that we hadn’t gotten complete directions to the hanger where we were to meet our pilot Bruce. After attempting several times to reach him on the 20 minute drive to airport, we received a call from him with directions, just in time to change lanes and make the left hand turn into the hanger.

I suspect that we will see more of these “just in time”s as we move forward in our work. I have seen God work in this way many times before in these situations, and have in a way come to almost expect it. It occurred to me this morning as we were leaving, that even as we prepare to go and plan our arrival in Haiti, and just as Bruce had filed his flight plan before the trip, God has gone before us, is already there and has laid out His plan for us.

That’s really what living by faith is all about, going along with someone who knows the way and tells us when and where to turn, when to speed up, when to slow down, and as in our air travel, when we need to stop and refuel. Our directions are revealed to us as we go.

I don’t know exactly what God has for us, but I know we are in Good Hands and I’m not with Allstate! (click here to see all the money you could be saving with Geico) No, I’m not with them either.

In HIS Grip,
Kevin

Monday, January 18, 2010

Assessment Trip Off the Ground

Things were moving fast this evening. Flight windows opened.
1. We got a call that we could get half our team on a flight with some supplies at 9am monday into Cap Haitien, where our partner has a great facility.
2. We got the other half of the team on a flight into Port-au-Prince early on Tuesday, the two team will link on Wednesday.
3. Another flight opened with 10 seats, and we were able to quickly pull together an exploratory medical team, who'll be there for 5 day, with some members longer.

The hard and horrible stories continue to be reported.

Pray:
1. for those suffering terribly, survivors living in chaos and deprivation.
2. for the effective mobilization of supplies.
3. for generous giving.
4. for Safety for our teams.
5. for Christ's all surpassing love to be made known.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the stockplies... 1/16/10

Our Touchglobal Crisis Response Assessment Team is mobilizing in Southern Florida tomorrow evening. We have 2 daysof prayer and planning and then we board a charter for Cap Haitian to join our national partner Henoc on the ground for 5 days. Pray for him and his people. Below is a report from his first few days. With each trip to Port-au-Prince he delivers supplies and returns with victims with no place to go.

Please consider partnering with us and Henoc in sharing Christ's love. Pray. Give. http://www.efca.org/ has an on line link to give now. Donations will be used for immediate relief and long term recovery ministry, as we know that needs here will go on for a long time. ml

The earthquake happened on Tuesday evening. All communication was cut off. We did not know what was going on except for what we were reading on the internet and on the radio.. Because of the heavy overcast, we could not watch CNN. I wanted to go to Port au Prince, but with no telephone communication, it could get complicated.

Thursday morning, around 11, the telephone started to work slowly. Just one company. So, we could try to reach anyone subscribed with Voila. However, people in Port au Prince cannot be reached because there is no power to charge the phone. Some have lost their phones and it takes a lot of time to get through.

We arrived around Port au Prince at 5:00. However it took over 2 and a half hours to travel the one mile road to the airport. People are coming in to look for their loved ones and others are leaving town. We saw many people on top of roof digging up flattened buildings. Stock piles of dead human beings were everywhere. At the cemetery, and on open fields, they dig
large holes and fill them up. We found at one cemetery where they put a pile of dead people and burned them with gasoline. To ignite the fire, they used old tires. The smoke was going up and I call it the Smoke of Hell.

There is no fuel. However, there are lines of people by the gas stations. They are just hoping that there will be some somehow. There are no government ministries. Most of them have been crushed. Some senators, some deputies, a lot of high government officials have lost their lives. There is no one in Haiti that has not lost a loved one. The schools and universities have been crushed to the ground with students underneath. It happened at the end of the day when most people were still at work. Many banks have all their employees and clients under the rubbles.

There is no water, no electricity, no store opened, no food. Dead people are piled by the hundreds and dump trucks come by to pick them up. All the markets have been destroyed. The prisons have been crushed. The prisoners are on the streets and some of them have been killed by the earthquake. There is a lot of pillage, looting, raping. There was even an exchange of fire yesterday between the police and thieves.

People fear their homes will fall again. Everyone sleeps on the streets where there is the smell of dead flesh.

Banks are closed, churches have been destroyed. There is nothing left. The people sleeping on the streets don't know for how long. They don't even know if they will ever return to their homes and have normal lives. Port au Prince is a metropolitan center with 4 million people coming from all corners of Haiti. Every one starts going back home. No money, no vehicles,
no where to go.

I left on Thursday morning and came back in the middle of the night with 18 people in the double cab Toyota. It was mainly students from CSS who are in Port au Prince for university education. Now their houses and apartment are destroyed and they are homeless. On Friday morning, I went back. We spent all day looking for Sainsoir's two daughters. One of them was found and the other one was no where to be found. We were looking for two other girls who
go to nursing school in Port au Prince. On our way back, Sainsoir's daughter called us and we'll go back on Sunday to pick her up. On that day we rescued 23 people and we were back by 11:45 PM. Unfortunately, we had 6 flat tires.

Today, Saturday, we bought 4 brand new tires. One family from the church had a daughter who is a nurse and had gone to Port au Prince to look for a job. Both she and her son were found dead. The same family could not locate their son. He was found alive under the ruins of a government building. His leg is almost destroyed. We will pick him on Sunday to take him to a hospital. A man from the Grande Riviere church has been found with multiple injuries. He will come back with us. I will finish this e-mail and head to Pignon where I will spend the night and need to be in Port au Prince before 8 am.

My cousin's daughter was killed in school as the building collapsed and everyone inside was killed. A graduate of CSS, Sterly Manigat, was killed. Many other friends and loved ones were destroyed.

I have seen death, but I don't understand it. I have seen people's lives destroyed and I cannot understand it. However, I trust in the Lord and that He has a purpose for everything. Above everything His name will be praised and there will be a reason to see His glory in the midst of chaos. Please pray for our safety as we travel at night time and everywhere. Please pray for strength.

Henoc

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Response 1-15-09

Situation Report.
The situation on the ground appears to be deteriorating. A US Government source that we work with said, “Truthfully, the situation on the ground is not good. Security is becoming a growing concern as well, most military won't be on station until late next week. Everyone wants to help, but patience is going to be the key here to keep everyone safe and not add to an already difficult problem.”

Our ministry leader in Haiti had this report, “We were in the city of PAP. It is indescribable. Hundreds of rotting bodies piled up. Family cannot get to the bodies of loved ones as they are rotting. Every family I know has a family member who was killed. If you were in a building you are dead. The city is breaking into anarchy, looting, (content deleted..let “and worse” suffice). Water is disappearing. The city is out of fuel. The airport is effectively closed.”

People seem to be fleeing the city, heading out into the undamaged rural areas and other cities to the north of Port-au-Prince(PAP). This will result in stressing already scarce resources in the outlying areas.

The Developing Plan.
We have been working with our partners, who have a base in Cap Haitian, well outside the directly affected area, (provision of the Lord for that) and are focusing on the following:

1. We are traveling daily to PAP to deliver supplies and move as many people as possible from Port au Prince, taking them to good health facilities such as: Pignon, Milot or wherever appropriate. We will help them with medicine and medical care.

2. We are assisting families spiritually and mentally to deal with loss of loved ones and worries about those they have not yet heard from.

3. In the churches and school, we will provide temporary shelter for families who are running away from the ruin looking for refuge. We will help them with food, and medicine.

In addition, our Touchglobal Crisis Response Team has been focusing on:

1. Responding to the flood of offers of assistance, and seeking to communicate urgent need for immediate and long term giving to support the response. Give at http://www.efca.org/.
A bulletin insert is available at www.touchglobal.org/haiti.

2. Planning an assessment trip into Haiti in the next few days.

3. Developing a relevant needs list in coordination with those in-country, and researching effective means to deliver donated goods to affected areas.

4. Seeking to recruit long term staff that could serve with us for 3-12 months to help manage the response. Email mary.held@efca.org if you are interested in serving on our team longer term.

5. Identifying all current EFCA partner ministries in Haiti.

6. Coordinating with other international faith based crisis response and NGO’s.

7. Discussing with national partners potential logistics for housing/managing team.

Please go to www.touchglobal.org/haiti for additional information. Email crisisresponse@efca.org or call 985-893-0218 with questions or offers of assistance.