This is the latest update from PMH (Presbyterian Mission in Haiti) and our missionary, Charles Amicy...
Dear Presbyterian Mission in Haiti (PMH) Friends,
Forgive me for the delay in getting a new update to you.
It has been 9 intense days since the earthquake for our brothers and sisters at PMH and for the people of Haiti. While Pastor Amicy and Dr. Gathercoal's team of Flying Doctors of America are putting in 20-hour days amidst unspeakable physical and psychological trauma, those of us on the PMH Board, the Lespwa Worldwide team, the Flying Doctors team and many of our close advisors have been working intensely to re-supply our friends at PMH with the people and the tools they need to continue ministering in the name of Christ.
Our brothers and sisters at PMH are truly exhausted. They have seen patients die, lose limbs, and cry out in despair. They have prepared meals for 150 or more people a day. They have courageously gone into P-a-P to find more patients that are not receiving care by anyone. They have had to scramble for food and fuel and medical supplies while tons of supplies merely sit on pallets waiting to be distributed. They are tired and exhausted.
And yet when I talk to Pastor Amicy and Dr. Gathercoal, I do not hear despair or cynicism. I do not hear any anger or fear. Rather, I hear determination and commitment. I hear hope and compassion. I hear their sense of humor and laughter. But mostly, I hear love and joy. Love for the people of Haiti. Joy in serving the Lord Jesus Christ. And finally, a desire to keep pressing on with the Lord's work in Haiti. Through it all, we are seeing the sovereign power, wisdom, and love of the Living and True God at work through our feeble and exhausting efforts. To Him be the glory! Amen!
The surgery on his right hand went very well. Please check out the links to the Wilmington, NC newspapers and TV station. What a great testimony! In addition, Mrs. Mary Delfils found her passport/visa in the rubble of their house and will soon join Octavius, Carlens, and Farah in Wilmington.
Food, Fuel, and Supplies for PMH
The Lord had some suprises for us the last two days. Mission of Hope Haiti (www.missionofhopehaiti.org) donated some food to PMH. We don't know yet how much, but it should get PMH by for a few more days. We thank the Lespwa team and Jeff Hulbert for making requests for us. Charles and Dr. Gathercoal met someone at the P-a-P airport with a relief agency that was leaving the country. They had a few supplies and a bit food left over and so they gave it to PMH. Every little bit counts. Thank you Lord!
Don't ask me how, but Charles and Dr. Gathercoal also managed to get about 60 gallons of diesel fuel which was badly needed for the truck, bus, and generator. Of all places, they received some from the US Army. But more than that, we thank God that the local Cabaret Police Department donated the lion's share to PMH. They are so grateful for what Pastor Amicy is doing at PMH for the community.
Medical supplies such as guaze, pediatric medicines, and surgical drapes/sheets have been running low. However, they are in decent shape for adult pain meds and antibiotics for now. Dr. Gathercoal told me that John Garvin with Medical Assistance Programs Int'l visited PMH yesterday to see what was needed. He was out of most everything except a little guaze, and was still waiting on MAP's shipment to arrive in Haiti. It arrived today, and I got an email saying Mr. Garvin was heading to PMH with supplies. Don't know the details of what Mr. Garvin brought, but we praise the Lord for his kindness!
Two more doctors and two more nurses arrived yesterday (Wednesday, 20th). That provided some relief to the first FDOA team that has been there since Sunday, 17th. Another team is arriving this Saturday, 23rd, and then more teams next Wednesday, 27th and Saturday, 30th. Many of our PMH friends in the medical profession are coming on these teams. Dr. Billy Alexander's team is coming on Wed, 27th. Praise the Lord! Continue to contact Allen Hord with Flying Doctors of America (www.fdoamerica.org) to get on a team if you are interested.
Campus Pastor to the Aid-Givers and All-Around Administrative Assistant
Due to the overwhelming nature of the work at PMH, Charles, the PMH staff, and the FDOA medical teams are close to hitting the wall. The PMH Board agreed to send PMH Board member, Bob Bradbury to comfort and encourage the aid-givers at PMH. He has been to PMH many times, is a life-long pastor, and well-trained and experienced as a disaster response team member through MTW's program (www.mtw.org). He will arrive next Tuesday on an MFI flight accompanied by Allison Davis, a "tough cookie" according to Ann Klein, who is a business owner and more than capable to become an all-around administrative assistant to Charles by keeping track of the busy schedule, answering the phones, checking emails, and probably much, much more. We intend to send more PMH friends to help in these roles in the weeks ahead, so please contact me if you are interested in a rotation. Bob and Allison can only stay a week or so. Again, praise the Lord for this!
As you know by now, it is critical that we re-supply the PMH campus with provisions that will be scarce in Haiti until the constipated UN, US Military, and other large relief agencies get their systems flowing into the NGO's all over Haiti. Until then, we do what we must to take care of our own and to serve those we can serve. We are encouraged by reports that commercial airlines such as Spirit Air and American Airlines will resume flights into P-a-P as early as next Wednesday, and that the port of P-a-P may be reopening tomorrow. Short-term teams here we come! Containers of supplies here we come! Praise the Lord!
Meanwhile, to address the current and pressing needs of PMH, the Lespwa Worldwide team (www.lespwaworldwide.com) and the Mission to Haiti Canada team (www.mthcanada.org) are on the ground in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Lord willing they will be sending enough supplies over to PMH by Saturday morning, 23rd. Please pray for the success of this effort. The Lord has already proved Himself faithful and wise since they arrived there on Wednesday. They have made good contacts at the UN and the US Embassy / USAID, which, I know is hard to believe, but it is true. There are people there that really want to help us. Praise the Lord! In addition, our teams met some Baptist brothers in the Lord that have experience with convoys to Haiti. They are surrounding our teams with incredible love and helpfulness, running around gathering provisions to fill up the trucks, etc. Amazing! In addition to that, Bernie van Eyk (PMH Board member) and I were talking late last night and decided to ask a man in Bernie's church who is bi-lingual and from the D.R. to fly down to meet our teams today and help them out. We conferenced him in and he said "Sure!" His name is Emanuel, or Mannie for short, and he has many Christian family members and friends in Santo Domingo. Mannie is there with Jay and Bill's team, serving as a translator, and surrounding our guys with the Body of Christ.
So, Lord willing, these provisions will arrive at PMH by Saturday morning. Please pray for this effort! We know you already are. We see the Lord's hand in our efforts. We feel like we are groping in the dark at times (a lot of times), but we know and we see that He is sovereignly orchestrating every detail according to His good wisdom and purpose.
Outpouring of Support
So many of our PMH friends have contacted me over the last 9 days. It is so encouraging to us. Thank you for your generous outpouring of support - prayers, financial contributions, volunteering to go to PMH when it is possible. All of this is tremendously encouraging. We thank you for helping us to press on.
Is it Safe to be in Haiti?
While we do seriously ponder the news stories about gangs running the streets of P-a-P, the government and police force of P-a-P disappearing, the chances of conditions deteriorating in Haiti such that the people get desperate and violent, and so forth, we are very positive about the general stability of the country. There is an ever growing presence of the international community in Haiti. The airlines and ports are beginning to function again. Supplies and basic necessities will start flowing again soon. Furthermore, PMH has the benefit of a friendly local police department and a secure campus. These are good signs and we are thankful.
In addition, we feel strongly about supporting Pastor Charles, Leon, and Octavius, their families, the orphans at PMH, the medical team, and the survivors of this devastating earthquake. We cannot abandon them. We must do what we can to re-supply them, to send in more medical teams, and to send in other PMH friends to encourage them and relieve them of their heavy burdens.
One might say that Haiti is never particularly safe. It is Haiti. But we love the people there, and we see no compelling, seriously life-threatening reasons to stay away. So, lets press on together with the courage God supplies us.
In the Lord,
Secretary of the PMH Board
Missions Committee member of WRPC
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. --Ephesians 6:10