Although a Mercy Medical Team (MMT) and an assessment team and Pastoral Care Team just returned from the Dominican Republic and Haiti, LCMS World Relief and Human Care is preparing to send another two teams into Haiti this coming weekend. The teams will establish a medical clinic at the First Lutheran Church Compound in Jacmel, Haiti. The teams are coming at the request of President Marky Kessa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Haiti. The Mercy Medical Team is scheduled to arrived on Saturday, 30 January 2010. The Pastoral Care Team is set to arrive on Sunday, 31 January 2010.
The LCMS World Relief and Human Care has been asked to provide both supplies and assistance for setting up a feeding station at the Lutheran Church Compound in Jacmel. We have arranged for shipments of food and water along with large tents suitable for the medical clinic and feeding stations to be shipped to Jacmel via sea from Santo Domingo to arrive on Saturday or Sunday. It is anticipated that more than 500 will be fed each evening.
We have been asked to offer pastoral care to the pastors and lay leaders in both Jacmel and Port-au-Prince. These highly dedicated men, whose own families are struggling, are committed to serving their congregations and communities. The task is to encourage them as they endeavour to minister the Gospel and bring mercy to thousands of tramatized fellow Haitians.
The Pastoral Care Team will provide training in "Christian Care" in time of disaster to ELCH leadership and lay leaders. This concise training reviews the importance of a "ministry of presence" in close proximity to Word and Sacrament.
The team also plans to obtain and transport emergency supplies including rice, beans, cooking oil, tents, and basic health supplies. We also hope to provide supplies to Port-au-Prince during the same time period. The local congregations of the ELCH will receive and distribute these items as they distribute food. We expect this relief effort to continue for four to six weeks. Total aid to Haiti is likely to continue for months to even a year or two.
The Mercy Medical Team is being led by Maggie Karner and Jacob Fiene. The Pastoral Care Team includes Rev. Glenn Merritt, Director of Disaster Response; Rev. Matthew Harrison, Executive Director; Rev. Carlos Hernandez, Director of Districts and Congregations; Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Executive Pastoral Assistant; Al Dowbnia, Director of Communications; and John Edson, Vice-Chair, Board for Human Care Ministries.
We hope to provide on the ground updates on the blog. Official reports can be found here at the LCMS Website.