1.UMVIM is an approved United Methodist ministry.

2. The mission projects are vetted and screened.

3. Volunteer teams can continue their relationship with the project site they served at via The Advance and missionaries.

4. All are welcome to serve.

5. Training, forms, insurance, etc. available

6. It's simple. Contact umvimwj@hotmail.com to get started!

Faith in Action

Faith in Action

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Photo: UMCOR delivering packages with food and supplies. Photo courtesy, Mike DeBose, UMNS.

There will be an UMVIM Training at Cherry Park UMC in Portland on Monday, March 15, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please bring a sack lunch. UMVIM Training manuals will be available for $28.00. For more information, please contact Donna Waltman at 503-622-3226, dgwaltman@juno.com or Betty Pritchard at 503-359-9340, b2c2_2@verizon.net.


The California-Nevada Annual Conference: contributed $246,203.70 so far to the Western Jurisdiction's Lenten project, "Operation Resurrection 2010."


UMCOR has begun implementation of a five-year work plan that contemplates three phases of assistance to Haiti: emergency, recovery and rehabilitation.

This week’s highlights include:

Anthony Jones, Emergency Consultant in Haiti, is working with the UN through cluster meetings to organize UMCOR activities in relation to other organizations in Haiti.

To subsidize the Methodist Guest House in Haiti until volunteers can begin staying there, UMCOR is providing two months salary to the guest house staff.
UMCOR is working with Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI) to provide immediate infrastructure improvements, including water and sanitation, to meet the needs of displaced rural families in Mizak.

Staff Recruitment:

--Hiring and sending key staff for the office in Haiti--Livelihoods Coordinator (Haiti) position is posted--Haiti Desk Officer (NY) position is posted
In the spirit of collaboration, representatives from UMCOR and GBGM Mission Volunteers met with Volunteers in Mission (VIM) Jurisdictional Coordinators in Florida on Wednesday who were preparing to travel to Haiti. The VIM coordinators are representing United Methodist volunteers and UMCOR, working with the Methodist Church of Haiti to assess and prioritize the future work of volunteers. The team discussed the challenges of transportation and housing for volunteers as well as the enormity of work.

With recent reports indicating that 75 percent of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, will need to be rebuilt; volunteers soon will be needed to go to Haiti. Volunteer teams are beginning to mobilize by filling out the registration form.

The team in Haiti has identified a need for layette kits and birthing kits to address the basic needs of babies born in displaced persons camps in Haiti. Volunteers have been preparing kits to send to Haiti.

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links.

UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Photo: Devastation from earthquake in Chile, courtesy Reuters via umcor.org.

February 27, 2010—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding to the needs of people affected by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile early on Saturday. Preliminary reports indicate at least 147 people have died, homes and hospitals have been destroyed, and the earthquake triggered a tsunami that is rolling across the Pacific.

Bishop Joel N. Martinez, interim General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries said, “I have just received the terrible news about the major 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile. The early reports of great destruction and widespread injuries and the increasing death count point to a need for a full response by all humanitarian agencies and governments in the coming days and weeks.”

UMOR is working with partners in Chile: Iglesia Metodista de Chile (IMECH), Ministerio Social Methodista (MISOM) and Equipo Metodista de Acción Humanitaria (EMAH) to respond with resources and support.

Bishop Martinez continued, “I received a message from the Iglesia Metodista de Chile and have expressed to Bishop Mario Martinez Tapia that we respond with our prayers, our solidarity, and our commitment to offer the resources and services of UMCOR to help the church respond.”

In an email, Juan Salazar, President of the Methodist Social Ministry in Chile, says of their initial evaluations of damage, “the information that arises each time indicates that the effects are greater than originally assessed.”

UMCOR executives, Melissa Crutchfield and Tom Hazelwood expressed via email, “our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you mobilize EMAH and IMECH in response to the earthquake this morning. We will continue to keep in touch and to keep you in our prayers. UMCOR and the people of the United Methodist Church stand with you and will help in any way we can.”

Disaster Response Training

Crutchfield and Hazelwood conducted a three-day disaster preparedness and emergency response training for IMECH district coordinators in October 2009. About 20 participants of the Chilean Methodist Church from different districts and regions engaged in the eight-hour a day training, which fostered networking opportunities with local authorities and relevant partners in the emergency response field. The disaster response training offered support IMECH, MISOM and EMAH district coordinators to build a disaster response network in preparation for disasters.
In a blog entry in the
UMCOR Notebook, Hazelwood writes, “When we spoke of the use of volunteers and their value to UMCOR’s ministry of disaster response, the people of Chile knew and understood perfectly. They know what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ when there is trouble.”

How to Help

Bishop Martinez says, “I call on our generous United Methodist constituents to join in the response to the Chile Emergency Advance to strengthen UMCOR’s ability to be fully present with resources.”

At this point, it is not anticipated that relief supply kits will be needed. Financial support can be made to Chile Emergency Advance # 3021178

Friday, February 26, 2010


Photo: Poland is full of history and beauty and open to young adults to volunteer....

The website below is about a program in the North Central Jurisdiction called Mission Discovery - Send Me. The focus is to invite young adults with an interest in mission work to team up with an experienced team with the goal of training new leaders. The video on the front page is good but be sure to click on "Send Me To Poland" in the left column. Please share this website with any Methodist young adult that might be exploring mission leadership opportunities.


Pastor Krzysztof Kopacz is asking for people that can help him with his English Language Camp in July in Iława,Poland. If you know of anyone please get them in contact with either Pastor Krzysztof at kopacz.kem.il@poczta.fm.


KENYA - July 15 - 31, 2010 - Vacation with a purpose - rural school renovation and construction. Contact Ann Fort, 303-220-0840, annfort8269@comcast.net

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Photo: UMVIM Volunteers at work. To see where you can be trained to become and UMVIM Team Leader please see below....

After torrential rains left some 5,000 people homeless, 17 dead and more than 100 missing in Baja California, Mexico, last month, UMCOR is supplying relief aid to the survivors.

Personnel from three churches of the Iglesia Metodista de México located along the coast near San Quintín Valley will survey survivors in their areas and assess needs for food and clean water.

With UMCOR funding, the churches will be able to supply packages of beans, rice oil or shortening, flour, and other items to affected communities.
Your support will help UMCOR help the survivors of international disasters like this one. Please give to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450.


Over a period of four years, millions of square meters of land in Mozambique, in southeast Africa, were cleared of landmines with the direct support of UMCOR and other partners. Now, UMCOR is turning its efforts to Angola, to help the people there.

More than 40 years of internal strife and conflict have made Angola one of the worst landmine-affected countries in the world. Landmines endanger the lives of the civilian population, deter socio-economic growth and impede the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.

UMCOR is there, with our partners, to increase the capacity of humanitarian de-miners within Angola and, so, improve the possibilities for rebuilding the country and the lives of its citizens.

When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you help cover UMCOR’s cost of doing business and allow us to keep our promise that 100 percent of every other contribution you make to a specific UMCOR project, like the one in Angola, will be spent on that project and not on administrative costs.

One Great Hour of Sharing is March 14.

Order your free offering envelopes or posters by calling 888-346-3862. Check the UMCOR website for worship materials and a video presentation in support of this important offering. Gifts to this fund can be made all year long. Please give now.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit
umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.


We will be having UMVIM team leader training in the RMC as follows:

Cheyenne WY…@Grace UMC….Feb. 28th 2-5pm.

Durango CO@ First UMC March 6th 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

March 13 - FUMC Loveland, CO

March 27 - Casper UMC

Please contact Betsy Keyack at bkeyack@att.net.


Since the January 12 earthquake, UMCOR has carried out an initial assessment of damages and needs, developed a five-year work plan, and shored up strategic partnerships with the United Nations, NGOs and the Methodist Church in Haiti.
work plan anticipates three phases of recovery: emergency, recovery and rehabilitation. Currently operating in the emergency phase -- from the time of the earthquake through April and including the start of the rainy season in March – UMCOR is addressing the most immediate needs of access to food, clean water and sanitation, temporary shelter and emotional and spiritual support.

This week’s highlights include:
While UMCOR has been working in Haiti since before the earthquake, this week, UMCOR re-opened the Haiti field office. UMCOR’s Kate Paik and Larry Powell have been in Port-au-Prince coordinating with the Methodist Church in Haiti and preparing the UMCOR Haiti field office.

Staff Recruitment:
--Anthony Jones was hired as an Emergency Response Consultant and has deployed to Haiti.--

Azim Akhtar was hired as the Operations Coordinator and will deploy to Haiti in the coming weeks.--Key local staff have been hired.--Positions are posted for: Head of Mission, Finance Director, Emergency Shelter Coordinator, and Income Generation Coordinator.

Kate Paik commented on the three days of remembrance in Haiti, Feb 12-14 which was "to stop and reflect on the past month of survival. Many were dressed in white and spent the three days, usually from 6 am until 1 or 2 pm, at church singing and praying. It [was] a time to gather their strength from God to go on still once more."

With recent reports indicating that 75 percent of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, will need to be rebuilt; volunteers soon will be needed to go to Haiti.

Volunteer teams are beginning to mobilize by filling out the registration form.

Through Justice for our Neighbors clinics across the country, UMCOR is helping Haitian immigrants register for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) the US government has offered. A workshop was held in New York City on Wednesday to educate people about how to apply.

In addition to health kits, this week, volunteers began assembling and shipping layette kits and birthing kits to address the basic needs of babies born in displaced persons camps in Haiti.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Residents walk past a cemetery damaged by the earthquake in Port-au-Prince. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose

The United Methodist Committee on Relief opened a field office in Port-au-Prince and is hiring full-time staff as part of a five-year plan to help rebuild Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Anthony Jones, who has 20 years of experience with humanitarian relief agencies, has been hired as an emergency response consultant. He will be in Haiti for the next two months, said Melissa Crutchfield, international disaster response executive with UMCOR.

“Anthony will continue to meet regularly with the Eglise Méthodiste d'Haiti as well as the U.N. and other local and international partners to further develop UMCOR's short- and long-term humanitarian relief and recovery strategy for Haiti,” she said.
The relief agency will be hiring five staff members to work in the Port-au-Prince office, said Sharad Aggarwal, an UMCOR executive.

Since the disaster, UMCOR has coordinated food distribution projects in Mellier and Petit-Goave, Aggarwal said. The UMCOR plan includes emergency, recovery and rehabilitation work. The emergency phase stretches from the time of the earthquake through April. It addresses the immediate needs of access to food, clean water and sanitation, temporary shelter, and emotional and spiritual support.

During the recovery phase, which is expected to run through the first-year anniversary of the disaster, UMCOR will respond to needs for increasingly permanent homes, schools, clinics and churches, along with jobs and other concerns.
A man fashions a roof from tin sheets at the municipal soccer stadium in Leogane.
The third phase, rehabilitation, will likely stretch through January 2015 and will offer assistance for both physical reconstruction and economic development as well as rebuilding health, education and other systems.

“The response of the church has been remarkable and generous,” said Bishop Joel Martinez, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries interim top executive. “Even the smallest gift has the power to bless.”

In the days leading up to the one-month anniversary of the quake, the seven wealthiest nations of the world, known as the G-7, agreed to forgive Haiti its outstanding debts. “The debt cancellation will give Haiti some economic breathing room,” Martinez said, “but it will not solve all of the problems there.”

Steps are being taken to prepare for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission teams to respond in Haiti. In collaboration with the Methodist Church in Haiti, volunteer projects and programs are being developed to align with UMCOR’s work plan, Crutchfield said. Volunteer teams may begin mobilizing by filling out a registration

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Photo: Some of the devastation in Mexico as a result of flooding. Please read update below. Courtesy, Murray Hawkins

This is an update on the Baja California floods of last week. I arrived home last night at 2:30 a.m. from a two day visit to the area. Theattachment gives the current status of the various communities of the SanQuintin Valley and adjacent areas. This, however, is the story of San Simon. San Simon is a community of overa hundred hoses and is inhabited by people who work in the local tomatogreenhouses and packing houses. They live simple lives with only the mostbasic of possessions. This was the strongest storm of the past fifty years. The rains were atleast as heavy as they were here.

Where the infrastructure held, theproblems were mostly wind related. There are literally hundreds, if notthousands of roofs that need to be fixed or replaced along the 45 or so milestrip of the Valley. The rain lasted for three full days. After twelve hours of continuous rain,the town of San Simon was hit by a violent flash flood that turned thestreets into deep and raging rivers. Trees and power poles were uprootedand paved roads were undermined. The torrent of water and mud raged throughthe homes. Anything hit by the two to three foot river was ruined. Stoves,refrigerators, mattresses, cooking utensils, clothing, furniture, and justabout everything the people owned was either invaded by the mud and ruinedor washed away altogether. Entire big trees washed were taken out and washed down the street.

The pastor, people of the Free Methodist Church from neighboring El Papalote,and students at their seminary drove their bus, a pickup truck and joinedlocal farmers with tractors in the area in a successful effort to rescuetheir neighbors. Neither army troops nor rescue units would not enter.Some of the waterways were several feet deep. The current was filled withdebris as well as the possessions of the families in San Simon. Incredibly,they were able to get everybody out except for two families who had to spendthe night, one on their rooftops and the other in the bed of a large truck.Miraculously, there were no injuries or loss of life in San Simon. Almost the entire area was ruined. The roads into and out of the Valleywere washed out. Four major bridges had sections washed out or wereundermined. The communities were cut off from supplies and aid for six days.

Pastor Ramon, of the Free Methodist Church, has turned their seminary into ashelter. At present there are an average of 100 people staying there. Thecongregation is preparing 300 meals each day to feed them. They only have30 mattress pads and 30 UMCOR blankets that were provided through theMethodist Border Ministry Network and the United Methodist Joint Commission- more on this later. Pastor Ramon has been able to provide clothing that, so far, has beenadequate. He will need more in the future to meet their needs as time goeson. The challenge is to support the people of San Ramon by provided neededassistance with emergency food. This need will continue until the homes arere-outfitted with kitchen appliances and utensils, a task that will likelytake months. In addition, more clothing will be needed. The greatest task will be to help with the reconstruction of homes that havebeen damaged or destroyed altogether.

Watch the "You Tube" video to see a video taken by "Chencho," the owner ofone of the local tomato farms as he drove his Humvee through the riverspicking people up and taking them to safety.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtfoygrAGUo The water reached a depth of twice that shown in the video.

You can also see the truck filled with soldiers who did nothing while the local churchpeople and the man in the Hummer did their jobs. You will also see thevehicles from the Free Methodist Church as they did their job. The water grew deeper and access could only take place with farm tractorsthat were able to pluck people from where the water and take them to a roadwhere the church bus could take them to the safety of the shelter at theseminary.

UMCOR has committed funds to help with the feeding of the people in the manyshelters throughout the Valley as well as families who can live in theirhomes but for whom their meager financial resources have stopped along withtheir agricultural jobs. This leaves the clothing and items to reequip their homes, along withconstruction materials and work teams.

This disaster is, on a smallerscale, every bit as large as the flooding of New Orleans and Mississippi bythe hurricane. The human suffering is, at present, just as great. The goodnews is that there is employment in the area, even if it is low pay andprobably will be sporadic for the immediate future as the farms recover, aswell. In addition to money, materials, and household items, we will need workteams to help rebuild San Simon and other communities, as well.

Please be in prayer about how you can become involved in showing Jesus' love to our neighbors, both as an individual and as a congregation.

Blessings, Murray Hawkins, PresidentUM Joint Commissionmurray@mexicomissionproject.org(909) 793-5171


Photo: The Great Wall of China. Read below to find out how you can volunteer there.

Please pray for the following teams:

Medical team to the Philippines: end of January through February
Rev. Paul Cabotaje of Stockton St. Paul’s UMC will once again lead a large medical/dental team to the Philippines. A list of volunteers was not available at the time of this posting.

Los Gatos UMC Team to Caconde, Brazil: February 2 - 20
Dave Wolf will return to Brazil with a team of 8 to continue construction and connectional work. He will lead and serve with John Lynch, Patricia Salem , Jesse Salem, Debby Freeman, Eliana Brown, Mariana Brown, Katherine Lim and Doug Freeman of Los Gatos UMC.

Immigration Task Force / Conference Team to Tuscan AZ. & Nogalas, Mexico – Feb. 3 - 7 This team will be learning about border ministries and bearing witness to Christ's love and concern for our immigrant brothers and sisters. Jola Bortner of Stockton - St. Mark's UMC will lead and serve with Linda Kuruhara of Fresno - Lindsay UMC, David Niu of Escalon UMC, Lilian Guansing of Morgan Hills - Almaden Hills UMC, Lydia Gutierrez of Fresno - San Pablo UMC , Phil Bandy of Alamo - San Ramon Valley UMC, Donna Wood of San Francisco, Park Presidio UMC, Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., Brenda Vaca of San Francisco - Nueva Vida and Katherine Kim of Santa Clara - Bethel Korean UMC.

Choir Team to the Philippines – February 10 - 22 Laddie Perez-Galang will lead and serve with Adonis Galang and Anthony Galang of Lake Park UMC, Ananias Ayroso of St. Joachim, Ruth Ayroso, Christelle Bacho, Christine Bacho, David Bacho, Cynthia Elliott, Jose Fajardo, Angelina Manalili, Arlene Manuson and Ricaldo Manuson of South Hayward UMC, Mizpah Candelaria of Fairfield - Community UMC, Jocelyn Concepcion of Faith Bible Church of Vallejo, Victor Enriquez of St. Elizabeth Church, Flora Salas and Peter Salas of Hayward - All Saints Catholic Church, and Blesilda Valera of San Francisco - Saint Augustine Church.

“Justice on the Border” Primetimers Team to McAllen, Texas – February 11 - 20
Nancy Eubanks will lead a team of Primetimers to McAllen, Texas. A list of volunteers was not available at the time of this posting.

Los Altos UMC Hurricane Recovery Team to North Gulfport, Mississippi – Feb. 13 - 20 Bob Lee & Leslie Carmichael will lead and serve with Claire Amsden, Anne Christensen, Carl Clemm, Josh Clemm, Brianna Conway, Carol Damonte, Dirk Damonte, Angela Eglen, Katherine Gaffney, Kirk Gould, Emma Halliday, Michelle Harvancik, Jenniw Madlem, Janice Maggiora, Barb Magner, Janet McDaniel, Yvonne Murray, Kathy Nahman, Susan Roberts, Cindy Ross, Dick Roy, Nancy Rust, Lissa Sheldon, Christopher Speer, JP Springsteel, Dana Stern, Suzanne Stern, Hal Taylor, Mark Taylor and Brian Wipfler of Los Altos - Los Altos UMC and Haati Nai of Salinas - First UMC.

Lafayette UMC joins Team From S. Carolina to El Centro, Costa Rica: Feb. 19 - 28
Joe Darrell will lead and serve with Lori Sawdon, Celeste Graham, Dale Newcomb, Judith Stillman and John Horner of Lafayette - Lafayette UMC.

Conference Site Assessment & Connectional Team to Cambodia: Feb. 20 – 28
Laddie Perez-Galang of Lake Park UMC will lead and serve with Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., Phil Bandy of Alamo - San Ramon Valley UMC, Connie Hunter and Fern Kaukonen of San Jose - St. Paul's UMC, Sam Vorn of Modesto - Centenary UMC, Howard Parker of Mt. Tam UMC and Stephen Lee of Alameda – Rising Hope.


CHINA Mission Discovery Team, June 15-30, 2010 has openings for a couple more participants. Targetting those youth and young adult leaders in conferences, districts and local churches who are interested in learning best practice methods of UMVIM team leadership.Click here for Full details. Write Lorna Jost for an application. New Deadline: Feb 19, 2009. Bishop Hee-Soo Jung is one of the team leaders on this trip.

Lorna Jost UMVIM-NCJ Coordinator928 4th Street, Office #2Brookings, SD 57006umvim-ncj@brookings.netP:605/692-3390; Fax:605/692-0909

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Photo: Debbie Irby, UMVIM Conference Coordinator for the Yellowstone Conference who will be leading trainings in March and April. See below for further detail.


Billings, MT: UMVIM Team Leader Training March 6, 2010

Helena, MT: UMVIM Team Leader Training TBA

Contact Debbie Irby for further information at dirby@stpauls-helena.org


UMCOR Training March 24-28, 2010

Contact Phil Bandy for further information at philb@calnevumc.org.

Please stay posted for further information on trainings in other annual conferences closer to your area.


There are three different and unique trainings that are talked about in this message: Mission Volunteer Individual Volunteers, Mission Volunteer UMVIM Team Leader Training, UMCOR Disaster Response Training.

1. The Individual Volunteer training which will be held in the early part of 2011 here in the WJ at Aldersgate Retreat Center in CA, is for longer term service. It is led by the Mission Volunteers Unit, GBGM. This is not just for anyone. People must apply and go thru the Individual Volunteer website (
www.individualvolunteers.info). Going to serve individually for an extended time does require some different skills than leading a team!

2. The UMVIM TEAM LEADER training that Conferences offer will take 4-5 hours. There is an excellent training manual that goes along with Team Leader Training.
It helps if you send me your upcoming schedule so it can be kept up to date. There are lots of people crossing conference lines to get training these days.

3. UMCOR is not in the business of managing volunteers. The Mission Volunteers Unit, GBGM, does the resourcing of volunteers. Conferences train and send out the volunteer teams. If you are interested in Disaster Response training – that is led by UMCOR, but again they turn the job back to the conferences to train and lead these teams.

Please feel free to contact Heather Wilson, UMVIM WJ Coordinator at umvimwj@hotmail.com for further questions.


June 27-July 3, 2010

Price: $30.00 per day per person (includes meals and lodging) plus $100.00 per person for supplies. For more information, contact : Rev. Todd Bartlett, Director of Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, toddjbartlett@gmail.com

Monday, February 1, 2010


Rev. Gesner Paul, President of the Methodist Church of Haiti

Jan. 28, 2010
On behalf of the Methodist Church in Haiti and the Haitian people, we thank you. Thank you all for your outpouring of love, support and Christian brotherhood in our great hour of need. Haiti has suffered a great tragedy, and to rebuild, recover and strengthen, it will take us all. You have kept us in your prayers and we are grateful. You have sent donations through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). We thank you for your generosity. You have
expressed your selfless interest in volunteering your time to come to Haiti to help with the recovery effort and we look forward to welcoming you.

In the coming days and weeks, the Methodist Church in Haiti will complete an assessment of the damage and communities impacted by the earthquake, and will prioritize areas for relief and rehabilitation in partnership with UMCOR. Teams of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission will be integral in the long-term recovery of the church and communities in Haiti, and opportunities will soon be available to come and help in meaningful ways.

In the short-term, the immediate needs of providing emergency aid of food, water, shelter and medical care are being addressed by UMCOR and a host of national and international relief organizations and technical specialists. Soon, the work of clearing debris in preparation for rebuilding will be done by teams of locals in cash-for-work programs led by these same aid groups and local community groups, including the Methodist Church in Haiti. The participation of international volunteers is welcome after this initial emergency phase is complete, at which time the Methodist Church in Haiti will work closely with UMCOR and UMVIM to identify rehabilitation projects which match the needs prioritized in the country.

With great appreciation for the outpouring of support and offers to come in person to help volunteer in Haiti as quickly as possible, the Methodist Church in Haiti, in partnership with UMCOR, requests that volunteer teams consider delaying their arrival into Haiti in light of the following:

The Methodist Church in Haiti and UMCOR are still undertaking assessments and
evaluations in the 6 circuits most impacted by the earthquake, to determine the extentof the damage in church communities and beyond. Suitable projects and assignmentsfor volunteer teams wishing to contribute to the recovery effort will not be identified until this process is complete.

The Methodist Guest House is currently being assessed for structural integrity, and will undergo some rehabilitation and reconstruction of the security wall before being
brought to full capacity and security to host teams of volunteers.

Commercial flights into Haiti are currently suspended and all travel into Haiti must be done via the neighboring Dominican Republic. Once in Haiti, transportation and logistics are further complicated due to the influx of international aid groups and the reality of debris and closed roads.

The emergency relief and debris removal phase may last at least another one or two
months, depending on the severity of the impact to the communities. Volunteers
wishing to work on the programs identified as priority by the Methodist Church in Haiti and UMCOR can begin to schedule trips for late March and April, once this initial emergency response and recovery phase is completed.

Volunteer teams with pre-existing travel plans to Haiti are urged to reconsider the
timing and nature of their trip, in order to allow for re-assessment and prioritization of earthquake recovery programs.

Please continue to communicate with us your interest in volunteering for the recovery effort, and we will connect you with recovery projects and rehabilitation programs as soon as possible. We thank you again for standing by us in this time of great need, and look forward to working in Christian partnership to build a better Haiti.

Rev. Gesner Paul
President, Eglise Méthodiste d’Haiti