The FMC has had a long history of ministry in Haiti. Our family there includes almost 80 churches with a membership of close to 15,000. ICCM, our childcare sponsorship program, sponsors 4000 children through 53 school-based programs around the country.
At the time of the quake there were 17 American FM missionaries or short-term workers in Haiti. We have received word that a mission building in Port au Prince collapsed in the quake with a number of our workers in the building. Several members of the FM team are not yet accounted for, and at least two have been medi-vacced to the US with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. All other personnel are accounted for.
In an emergency situation like this, the FM Church does not have trained emergency response teams – we work with organizations that do. Our primary partner in this regard in World Relief Canada. We would encourage any emergency funds to be sent to them directly to minimize time delays. Keep posted at their site for updates on their plans.
But the real challenge in a situation like this is the medium-term response – the next couple of months. Civil infrastructure, presently almost non-existent, will be severely stretched. Things like shelter while homes are being rebuilt; food and safe water, trauma counseling, etc. These are the kinds of things that our churches on the ground do well! In past natural disasters in Haiti, the distribution system through our churches has proved to be a significant aid. We are able to work directly through our leadership infrastructure on the ground and to transfer funds to the places where the need is greatest. At present the quake seems localized to Port au Prince, but it would be normal for many people to return to family in rural areas while they await the rebuilding process; in the weeks to come rural churches may find themselves serving many displaced persons from PaP. The two mechanisms that we have for getting funds to our family in Haiti for help in the weeks to come are the Bishop’s Relief Fund and International Child Care Ministrie (Canada).
As we have more information we will keep you updated.
Please remember our brother & sisters in several Haitien-background churches in Montreal, and elsewhere, with family members impacted by this as well. Communication with Haiti is almost completely non-existent, which doesn’t help.
Bishop’s Relief Fund via funds sent to FMCiC designated for this purpose, or online NOTE: Click on the “Donate now” button and select “Bishops Relief Fund” and complete form.
International Child Care Ministries (Canada)
World Relief Canada