Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WEDNESDAY--HAITI--Report from the capital


150 still missing. Church plans relocation to Mirebalais.

Dr Mark Ottenweller reports by phone that it went well in Haiti distributing food, water, and medicine to the disciples who are suffering in Port-au-Prince. Mark Ottenweller and Stanley Dumornay have now left Haiti and drove across the border to the Dominican Republic. They will be flying home to the USA on Wednesday.

The situation in Port-au-Prince is still desperate. Roads are blocked. There is no communication. So far 9 disciples and 12 family members are dead. The number of missing in the church is about 150. Some of those may have gone to be with family or relatives. Others may simply be stuck in a neighborhood with no mobility. Certainly some have perished. We may not know the number who perished for a few more weeks.

The disciples are in shock. Their city is in ruins. Mark said that folks hold it in, but it is overwhelming. Most are just numb. The church is providing lots of encouragement. They sing in the morning and evening. There is lots of crying. During the night, as they camp out on the property of their collapsed church building, they are startled by aftershocks, nearby screams, or even gunfire. Still, somehow, the brothers and sisters continue to press forward with their lives.

Mark has set up with HOPEworldwide a ‘pipeline’ for aid to continue to flow into the capital. Food and medicine can come in from next-door Dominican Republic. Some good news is that the banks are starting to open. Wilner Cornerly will be arriving this weekend with more food and medical stuffs. Mark left some money behind so that they could buy more food and water this week.

The plan that the church is considering is to relocate many of the disciples on the property to a town one hour away called Mirebalais. Families could start over there. Kids could go to school. It is outside the damage zone. Others will go to other cities to be with their families or relatives. Some will remain in the capital. We have 8 churches in Haiti. Only Port-au-Prince was devastated. The other churches are said to be fine.

When contributions come in from other churches, the disciples will be able to restart their lives. The local disciples are preparing a budget for the relocation of some of the members to Mirebalais. Stage one is to relocate. Stage two will be on-going support for the next 2 or 3 months as they purchase basic items like clothes, a bed, kitchen stuff, etc. Stage 3 would be to help the community with a project of some kind in the weeks and months to come. Disciples around the world will be able to help with all these needs.

Churches around the world are eager to assist. Churches from literally every continent are preparing to take up special contributions. In the midst of such appalling suffering, the church will continue to shine brightly as we help our brothers and sisters in their greatest hour of need.

Contribute right now at www.HOPEww.org.