From Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church
By Dan Gangler, director of communication
January 13, 2010

Hoosier United Methodists have lost contact with volunteer-in-mission group in Haiti

Nine Hoosier United Methodists serving in Haiti as volunteers-in-mission are have not been heard from after the devastating earthquake yesterday in Haiti. Four are members of the Milroy United Methodist Church and four are members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. This group was led by Jamalyn Williamson, an associate pastor at St. Luke’s.

This team of volunteers is working on projects at a Catholic school and orphanage in Fondwa, Haiti tour hours south of Port-au-Prince that was hit hard by the quake. They came to Haiti under the auspices of the Family Health Ministries, a faith-based non-profit organization based in Durham, N.C.

United Methodist Committee on Relief responding to earthquake in Haiti

The United Methodist Committee on relief is now receiving donations for earthquake relief and recovery in Haiti following the deadly earthquake there. Donations can be received online at www.umcor.org or by check to the Indiana United Methodist Conference Center, 301 Pennsylvania Parkway, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46280 or given through any local United Methodist Church. Please specify HAITI EMERGENCY on check memos.

100 percent of gifts given to the Haiti Emergency will be used for relief and recovery in Haiti.

United Methodists have had a long-standing relationship with Haiti through the Methodist Church of Haiti. The strong ties between the Methodist Church of Haiti and The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) helped in facilitating the opening of the UMCOR Haiti field office in 2005.

Those interested in volunteering for disaster response mission projects in the aftermath of this earthquake may call the Indiana United Methodist Conference Center at 317-924-1321 for more information or e-mail LeKisha.Reed@inumc.org.  

United Methodists respond with prayer, aid for Haiti

A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom and Kathy L. Gilbert
Jan. 12, 2010

“We are OK, the building held up, thanks for your prayers.”

After hours of uncertainty in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake that rocked Haiti, those words from his wife, Pam, and two other members of a mission team were an answered prayer for the Rev. Kenneth Carter Jr. of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

The three volunteers were safe inside the Methodist Guest House in the capital of Port-au-Prince Tuesday evening. The three had gone ahead to Haiti to prepare for a larger team from the church that had planned to leave North Carolina Wednesday morning, Jan. 13. The trip is delayed, Carter said.

Many are feared dead in the earthquake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. Early news reports told of a hospital collapsing and houses falling into a ravine in the poor nation where many live in substandard housing.

As news of the earthquake spread, United Methodists turned to prayer, both for the people of Haiti and mission workers near the site of the disaster.

The Rev. Sam Dixon, top executive of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, was in Haiti when the earthquake struck, attending a meeting with other staff from the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries and annual conferences.

“We’ve not been able to reach them,” said the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, an UMCOR executive, noting that phone contact has been difficult with Haiti.

However, in addition to the group from the Western North Carolina Conference, another volunteer-in-mission team from the United States was able to get word that its members were OK. A medical mission team from the Dakotas Conference was on LaGonave, an island off Port-au-Prince, when the quake hit. The team evacuated the building where they were staying, but were unharmed.

“Please pray specifically for the team and its health and welfare as they deal with the aftermath of this natural disaster. Also keep in prayer the people of Haiti whose homes and families have been affected,” the Dakotas Conference said in an announcement.

For the rest of this story, click here.

For updated news on Haiti Earthquake Relief, visit www.umc.org or www.umcor.org.