District Work Teams To Go To Haiti Summer 2010
Dan Irvine, who heads up our Global Partners Caribbean ministry, which includes Haiti, asked me to express his deepest gratitude for the shipments of food and supplies sent from our district to Haiti. He said these efforts were the “most helpful, practical and redemptive help they could have received”. The need for food continues to be urgent as well as ministering to the emotional needs of those who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. As the aftershocks continue, people are experiencing fear, anxiety, and much stress. Pastor Dan has requested our help in sending Dr. Jonathan Olford to Haiti. Dr. Olford is a licensed psychologist, who offers a training seminar entitled, “His Presence in Crisis”. He has trained hundreds of workers in the aftermath of major disasters. We are arranging dates and for him to go and our district has committed to funding his expenses.
Pastor Dan also informed me that to bring the Wesleyan churches in Haiti to a pre-earthquake level would require $4-$5 million. So there will be a long-term need to help churches get back on their feet. The international community is requiring Haiti to develop building codes. Developing these codes could take a year to a year and a half and will delay rebuilding. In the meantime, Dan has received approval to build a pole barn structures that can be put up temporarily for people to use as churches and meeting places. He is considering a structure that will be 40’ wide by 64’ long. They will be prefabricated in the US and shipped to Haiti. Dan is looking for numerous teams to come to Haiti this summer. The teams will consist of three or four skilled carpenters who can manage other non-skilled workers in constructing these pole barns. With a good crew he believes it will be possible to construct one per week. Our district is planning to send teams from our churches.
Dan Irvine felt that it would be best if my wife, Janet, and I would come April 9- 18 to spend time with him preparing a strategy for the teams that come this summer. I will report back to you as soon as I return so that you can begin informing your churches of the plan. I am also hoping that you, yourself, will consider going with one of the teams. Please convey this to your church and encourage them to begin planning even now by getting their travel papers in order and their vaccinations (see http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1134.html, wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/Haiti.aspx, www.worldtravelguide.net/country/112/health/Caribbean/Haiti.html).
And please encourage your Church to help us to raise funds for food and also the $3000 plus travel expenses to cover Dr. Olford while he is away from his office. Additional information about him in included below.
Dr. Jonathan M. Olford is a licensed psychologist with areas of specialization in trauma recovery, grief, and crisis counseling, and in training lay-counselors to meet the needs of those suffering in the aftermath of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, accidents, and other crises.
Dr. Olford’s training seminar, His Presence in Crisis, has been offered in each of the five boroughs of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. The seminar has also been presented in W. Warwick, RI following a nightclub fire that claimed the lives of 95 victims; on several occasions in San Diego, California after the wild fires of 2003; and in Florida following the hurricanes of 2004. This seminar has been used widely in conjunction with the work of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts and humanitarian aid, and in pre-emptive training and pre-crisis training in churches throughout the country.
One other note of interest is that I received a phone call from Rob and DaNae Reynolds. They are appointed GP missionaries to New Zealand and are hoping to be in the field by August. They still need to raise support and are looking for churches who would be willing to have them share their presentation in a church service. I am including information about them and strongly encourage you to give them a call.
District Missions Director