I have just received an update from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This morning's meeting of leaders from the Dominican Baptist Convention has resulted in a plan for five of their missionaries to travel to the border of Haiti southwest of Santo Domingo. Our Yuma missionary, Barry Burnett, will serve as the driver. He will be accompanied by an International Mission Board missionary who served in Haiti for seventeen years and was recently relocated to the DR. Three others will also travel with them when they depart on Saturday.
Their first objective will be to find out if they are allowed across the border. There is still some doubt about this. Then, they will survey the situation on the Haitian side of the border. Their information is that many Haitians have fled to the border seeking aid. It is possible that they will establish an aid station just inside the Haitian border.
The next objective will be to travel toward Port Au Prince. They will attempt to find the pastors who have been serving and with whom our missionaries have a relationship. Some of their churches have been destroyed, we are told. The team will check the feasibility of using those church locations as aid stations.
They will also determine if we can get construction teams in to rebuild those churches. We have a trip already scheduled into the DR in late March. The situation is fluid right now, and we may redirect our efforts in that trip to assist with the effort in Haiti.
How can you help?
1. The leaders in the DR have asked for prayer. Pray that God will open the door for them to enter Haiti and establish a beachhead to help the hurting there.
2. Give. Former President Clinton has said that is the best way for most Americans to help right now. If you want to give through a church, Vertical Church, Oasis Church and Stone Ridge Church, all of Yuma, are receiving offerings along this line. Just mark the gift for Haiti. We have a proven network that we have verified is high integrity. The churches in the DR are giving this Sunday, also.
3. Consider going. If the doors open to enter Haiti and help rebuild, we will have lots of work to do!