Archive for January, 2010

The U.S. Marines, earlier this month , established a coastal base in Haiti to assist in relief efforts for the earthquake-stricken country. The Marines’ mission will be to set up temporary shelters for the homeless, fix damaged roads, and provide medical aid and food.

Also, the naval hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived in port, and has been busy seeing patients. Commander Mark Marino says that they’re also trying to set up other hospital facilities. “Right now,” he says, “we are keeping everybody until we can have a more definitive place to send them. The military is working on setting up fleet hospitals. We are working with volunteer organizations that are setting up in country.” Officials now say that as many as 200-thousand people may have perished in the devastating earthquake.

A number of Christian agencies are joining the U.S. military in humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. The Salvation Army is providing food, water and medical help. The Salvation Army’s national community relations secretary, Major George Hood, says that Salvation Army volunteers are distributing food for displaced people in Haiti to take home. He says, “We’re watching a very interesting development, as these Haitian families are moving to the suburbs and out into the countryside, and establishing tent homes and tent camps there with their families. And, we’re trying to reinforce the preservation of family in this time of crisis– by giving them packets of food that they can take back and prepare over an open fire with boiled water.” Hood notes that damage to the country’s infrastructure is making relief distribution difficult.

Likewise, Mission Aviation Fellowship continues its relief efforts in Haiti. MAF executive vice president, Dave Fyock, says that one component involves facilitating better communications from the Haitian capital. He says that they’ve set up a satellite system, “which is enabling 16 of our crisis relief partners to be able to communicate with people back in their home offices effectively.” MAF has made some relief flights to Haiti’s rural areas. “Our hope is,” says Fyock, “in the coming days, that we will actually be able to increase those flights tremendously.” MAF’s hangar at the Port-au-Prince airport is being used by various groups for aid distribution.

And, the American Bible Society is working to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of Haiti’s earthquake survivors. The ministry’s director of outreach, Emilio Reyes, says that ABS is partnering with the United Bible Society’s Operation Compassion, Water Missions International, and other organizations. “The main thing right now is just helping out, working with the rescue mission, and also providing humanitarian supplies – mainly water and food.” ABS also plans to provide printed materials. Reyes says, “We are going to bring in Bibles and Scripture – Scripture portions. We have a resource that we call, ‘God is Our Shelter and Strength.'” ABS expects to distribute 200,000 copies of the booklet, along with 25,000 Bibles.

Continue to pray for those involved in the relief work, as well as, for the people and nation of Haiti.

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Your prayers are requested for the various relief ministries and agencies that are hard at work serving our Lord in Haiti:

The Salvation Army (TSA) – Present in Haiti since the 50’s with 60 centers; awaiting ground help from TSA in the Turks and Caicos Islands since air space was limited to military transport (limitations may still be occurring)!

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) Rapid Response Teams – Meeting the emotional, spiritual and physical needs via trained chaplains that began to arrive immediately after the earthquake struck.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) – MAF’s 23-year history in Haiti and knowledge of the land, culture, and language are proving invaluable to outside groups providing aid. MAF has established a satellite communications center at the Port-au-Prince airport, allowing relief agencies to effectively communicate with those in and outside of Haiti. The MAF hangar has become a logistics point for aid organizations bringing food, water, medicines, and other relief supplies into this devastated country. MAF relief flights transport teams of medical and relief workers to remote areas.

World Vision (WV) – World Vision is running a clinic/triage center in Jimani, Dominican Republic, where many quake survivors have fled. More than 300 people have visited the clinic. Many are children separated from their families. Arrivals in critical condition are being evacuated by helicopter to Santo Domingo. WV also has delivered immediate needed supplies of food, water and children’s multi-vitamins to an orphanage in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, after its directors appealed for assistance. An airlift of 18 metric tonnes of emergency supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince Friday night from WV’s warehouse in Denver, and a second flight is planned.

Christian Aid Mission – Assists 700+ overseas missionary missions that evangelize, plant churches and teach the Bible.

Samaritan’s Purse – Immediately after the 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010 Samaritan’s Purse mobilized to providing shelter, and dispatched disaster relief supplies such as blankets, rolls of plastic, solar powered flashlights, water filtration units, jerry cans and hygiene kits for earthquake victims and medical help along with staff.

Hopegivers International – One of the many mission organizations with a presence in Haiti; staff there believed to be safe thus far.

Texas Baptist Men – flying water purification systems to Haiti.

Faith and Action – A Christian mission to government officials in Washington, D.C.; president of this mission says the Ambassador of Haiti is an evangelical Christian and son of a Baptist minister, and previously worked to head up the Bible translation team that produced the first New Testament in the Haitian Creole language.

Somebody Cares International – Working with its area churches and its Caribbean chapter to set up relief bases, mobilizing prayer efforts.

Feeding the Nations – Purchasing portable water systems, providing food, helping a large church with its schools and orphanages.

Victim Relief Ministries – reports 45,000 Americans were on the island with AID or mission work groups; sending email updates.

Convoy of Hope – This Assemblies of God response ministry reports its missionaries appear to be safe; they are assembling funds, volunteers and materials.

Christian Broadcasters – are being asked by Compassion International (that has many sponsored children and staff in Haiti) to postpone a previously scheduled National Food Crisis on-air fund-raising day, and instead do a Broadcasters for Haiti on-air fundraising day February 1. The mainstream National Association of Broadcasters group is suggesting all TV/Radio do the same. National Religious Broadcasters has petitioned the FCC to waive some on-air fundraising regulations to accommodate this quick effort.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birth date of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King’s birthday, January 15. King was a Baptist minister, and the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

Dr. King led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968. Dr. King would have been 81years-old.

“I See The Promised Land,” was Dr. King’s last sermon that he delivered on the eve of his assassination, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968. In his closing remarks he said:

…I got into Memphis. And some began to say that threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

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The first Samaritan’s Purse cargo plane arrived in Haiti Wednesday with emergency relief supplies for victims of the massive earthquake that rocked the country on Tuesday. The initial shipment included shelter material, hygiene kits, and water purification kits, as well as members of our disaster response team. The teams are comprised of veterans of many disaster responses, but even they were shocked by what they encountered when they arrived.

“The streets are full of people that have no home to go back to,” said Dr. David Gettle, medical advisor. “They’re running out of food, fuel, and water. The situation is desperate and tense, and there is tremendous suffering.”

Samaritan’s Purse deployed a disaster response team just hours after one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the Caribbean in decades to help with water, shelter, medical care, and other emergency needs.

“The damage is staggering in a nation where three out of four people live on less than $2 a day,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said. “The people of Haiti need our help like never before.”

We are partnering with HCJB Global, a medical ministry out of Ecuador that will be sending six doctors to join Dr. Gettle. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is deploying chaplains from its Rapid Response Team to help our team meet spiritual needs.

Staff with Baptist Haiti Mission, our local partner, report severe damage throughout the area. Power is out, and there is no water.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Kyrk Baker, director of operations for Baptist Haiti Mission. “We have a 100-bed hospital, and right now patients are lining the floor. There are big box vans coming in with people to see a doctor. It’s just unbelievable the amount of people that are lined up trying to get basic medical care.”

Baptist Haiti Mission is located in the mountains outside the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, about 20 miles from the epicenter. The hospital and other buildings are operating on generators.

The massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake was the strongest to hit the country in 200 years and was felt as far away as Cuba. The tremor sparked widespread panic as it brought down buildings including the presidential palace, hotels, a hospital, and the UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

The city “is flattened,” said Haiti’s consul general to the U.N., Felix Augustin. The death toll could be between 45,000 and 50,000, with a further three million people hurt or homeless, a senior Haitian Red Cross official said on Thursday.

The earthquake was centered about 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares a border with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. Some panicked residents in the capital of Santo Domingo fled from their shaking homes.

Samaritan’s Purse responded in Haiti with emergency food and shelter material in September 2008, when four major storms including Hurricane Ike slammed the Caribbean nation.

“Being able to help people in a time of need demonstrates Christ’s love,” Baker said.

Samaritan’s Purse requests prayer:

That people would get the help they need as quickly as possible.

For our team as they show the compassion of Christ to survivors.

For wisdom in determining the most effective response to this disaster.

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Our prayer is take from the great hymn, “There is a Redeemer:”

There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son;
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.

Jesus, my Redeemer, name above all names;
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, oh for sinners slain.

Thank you, oh my Father, for giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit ’til the work on earth is done.

When I stand in Glory, I will see His face,
And there I’ll serve my King forever in that Holy Place.

Thank you, oh my Father, for giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit ’til the work on earth is done
. Amen.

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As we celebrate another new year in Christ, there are thousands and thousands of believers who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ Jesus, in many areas of the world. A believer in the Islamic world (in an e-mail received today), shared these comments about the holidays, requesting prayer:

“Christmas day was tense, and none of us quite knew how to respond to the policemen who surrounded our church. We gave thanks for these Muslim men who were obeying orders and protecting churches and Christians on the 25th. They were just agents, signs of protection, and a sign that the government recognizes our needs. But truly we know our protection and safety was in the Hands of the risen Lord, and it was Him we gathered to praise and worship, and His miraculous birth we gathered to celebrate. That is where our joy came from.

Reena was in church after many months. Reena was a young teacher who had moved from our city to another, where she was teaching at a Christian School. She had followed the Lord’s guidance in taking this job. When the school was attacked by extremists, she testified to how God used her to minister to children, and hold them and protect them as shrapnel fell all around them. While her face and back were injured, the children were safe, and she was able to hand them over to their thankful parents, to whom she testified that it was Emmanuel who had taken care of them – not her.

Continue to pray for us. We have the opportunity to minister Christ in crisis. We stand because you, our brothers and sisters, are standing in the gap, upholding us with your prayers, crying out to heaven where the Son sits on the right Hand of the Father and intercedes for us. Praise the Lord!”

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