Saturday, January 16, 2010

Surgeries Through The Night

This came in from Sonia Burnett a couple hours ago...

Tonight they are staying in Jimani at the Good Samaritan Hospital complex but they will not be sleeping. There will be 25 amputations tonight on people just flown in today. Our pastor, Pedro Juan, who is with Barry is a doctor and will be busy throughout the night. Barry is going to help organize their central supply tonight.

The desperate need is money for meds. These people have had exposed fractures for 4 days and no antibiotics so that is one of the main expenses. Barry will come back tomorrow but probably go back on Tuesday for several days to help with the administration of the center. There is only one man there right now and he is exhausted.

From the North...

Our friend, Pastor Patricio has been unable to get across the border in Dajabon. He will try again on Monday. His wife's family is in Port Au Prince and they haven't heard from any of them. Please pray.

From Pastor Manolo...

The Dominican Baptist leadership will meet again on Wednesday morning. At that time, they hope to have adequate information to let us know what kinds of help they need and how to deploy.

Please keep praying.

Please give! If your church wants to give through the Dominican Baptist Convention, they can send it through Stone Ridge Church. We have been in a partnership with them for several years and their integrity has been impeccable.

Update From Haiti

This just came in from missionary Sonia Burnett, Barry's wife...

Barry just called and is back in Jimani. They made it to Port Au Prince. He said it is very sad and they didn't even make it to the worst part of the city. They found a church that has some building left where stuff can be stored for distribution so things are progressing. They will go back over tomorrow and then come on home tomorrow night.

Please keep praying and give to help the relief efforts.

The Haitian Border

This morning the team of missions leaders arrived in the Dominican city of Jimani on the border with Haiti. They discovered that helicopters are shuttling the injured out of Haiti and into hospitals on the DR side of the border. The two hospitals in Jimani are full and have been unable to perform surgeries because they don't have anesthesiologists.

A Dominican pastor in Santiago is also an M.D. He got the call and has gone to the University in Santiago to recruit qualified anesthesiologists who can rush there to help with surgeries. If he can get them, it will be at least a six hour drive unless someone provides air transport. Please pray.

The DR is also becoming a staging area for aircraft with supplies to prepare for the flight into Port Au Prince. They can be refueled there and the flight into Haiti is very short from there.

Barry Burnett and the former Haitian missionary are traveling with Barry's pastor from Santiago and with a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran leader from Santiago. They are about to cross the border and have asked that we pray.

Gasoline in Haiti is $4.00 per liter. That's almost $16.00 per gallon. Stations with gas are under armed guard to thwart attempts to steal it.

They have asked that we keep praying!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Second Dominican Team To Haiti

I have just received another update from the DR. The churches in the North (our basic partnership is in Puerto Plata, in the North) are sending a small team to the northern border crossing into Haiti. They, like the team in the South, will attempt to cross and assess the best ways to help. Here are their prayer requests...

1. God's favor to be able to cross.

2. God's protection for them. They have received word that a missionary from Brazil was robbed and killed inside Haiti.

3. God's wisdom as they go. They must take everything they need with them. There is no food, water or lodging available.

The Red Cross in the DR is warning all those who attempt to cross that NOTHING is available inside Haiti. All must be carried in.

Pastor Manolo is being inundated by calls from the U.S. with requests to stage missions teams who want to help. He said, "If a team of fifty goes in for a week, they must take all their food, water, and other necessities with them."

You can imagine the task. Please continue to pray!

Dominican Missionaries Travel To Haiti

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!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Message From Stone Ridge MemberTammy Pal

January 14 at 7:59pm

Hi Sam,

I talked with Caleb again today. He is traveling to the DR with a group of doctors from Huntsville who are part of "Doctors Without Borders". They will be working at a clinic in the DR that is close to the Haitian border. Apparently last night there were 1800 people waiting in line at the clinic. He is traveling with one large satellite system and they have shipped 4 others down for him to set up, with which to provide communications and computer networks for the doctors and staff.

It's a start. When the border opens they will probably be inundated.

We are praying that the Holy Spirit will sweep over that island, that the occultic strongholds will be vanquished and that the hopeless will find salvation in Jesus. Tonight on the news they showed a group of Haitians singing and even though we couldn't tell what the words were, the tune was, "You are my all in all". YES!!!!!

Thanks for relaying the information. We are praying for our brothers and sisters in the DR who are on the front lines.


Haiti: When The Doors Open...

On the way to the office this morning, I was listening to the news on NPR. A Red Cross spokesperson was clarifying the difficulty of fully deploying necessary resources into Haiti until the situation is adequately assessed. One problem, according to the report, was the usability of the roads into Port Au Prince from across the border in the Dominican Republic.

That report just verified what we were hearing from Pastor Manolo, the Executive Secretary of the Dominican Baptist Convention and Missionary Barry Burnett. Manolo was en route to Santo Domingo, the DR capital to meet with their national Baptist leaders tomorrow. He requested prayer for that meeting.

Manolo explained to us today that the border between the nations has remained sealed -- at least as far as travel from Haiti into the DR. In addition to the recently heated relations they have experienced, the Dominican has been concerned about a massive flight of Haitian refugees across the border. That concern led to a total closure when it was discovered that the prison in Port Au Prince has collapsed and the inmates have fled. It will be most natural for them to attempt to hide in the DR.

At least two of our DR Haitian pastors -- dear friends named Wilmer and Patricio -- have the full papers to travel back and forth. They are waiting for the border to open so they can cross into Haiti and assess how to best help the churches and ministries there. They asked today that we keep them in prayer. They also said, "Tranquilo!" In other words, be at peace and wait for God to open it up.

One caveat: we really don't know that much about the needs of the poor, at least not from experience. With gasoline in the DR at over $5 (U.S.) per gallon, Wilmer and Patricio didn't know where they could get the $100 this trip will cost them. They pastor churches, working very hard and riding motor scooters. But they don't have $100.

I know it's outlandish. But the average cost for a family of four to attend a Dallas Cowboys game in their new stadium this season was $750.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I begin today by thanking all of you who have responded to me via email, Facebook, Twitter and phone calls since yesterday. I am amazed at the network of people who have replied, reposted my blog and sought every way to get the word out. Sincerely, and on the half of Pastor Manolo, Missionaries Barry and Sonia Burnett, plus Haitian Pastors Patricio and Wilmer, thank you!

Some of you found yourselves waking up in the night last night and remembering to pray. Some have felt convicted about how much we have and how much pain is present in Haiti right now. Many of you have given or are finding ways to give. My daughter in the Boston area wrote me early in the morning, "Haitians (mostly immigrants and first-generation) are by far the biggest ethnic group at my school. I'm glad that most of them came to school today. They showed all the effects of a sleepless night, and before school there were lots of tears and hugging. But coming to school gives them something to distract them as they wait for news. I'm glad to be able to at least help out by giving them games and work to keep their minds busy."

In the meantime, my friend and interpreter Jose was constantly on the phone receiving updates from Manolo. In the DR, they are trying to deal with this through a unique vantage point. Haiti shares an island with them. Two million Haitians live in their country. Most or all of the Haitians have family in Haiti.

And it has been nearly impossible to get word about them! Imagine!

Relations between the DR and Haiti have been tense as of late. Many of the Haitians in the DR are there illegally. They are the undocumented immigrant farm workers in that country. At the same time, racial prejudice abounds in the DR against the Haitians. At times, the tensions have boiled into violence. Consequently the border between the countries is pretty much sealed tonight. Perhaps our Haitian pastors in the DR can get into Haiti tomorrow to assess how their churches can help.

Pastor Manolo received a call today from a North Carolina church. They have a team of docs ready to come help. He told them to stay home -- they aren't sure that they can get them to the needs yet.

As you watch the news and rejoice over the variety of aid that has begun arriving, please remember that much of the initial help will go into Port Au Prince. Rightly so, because it is the epicenter. On the other hand, the effects of this tragedy are like waves cascading to the interior of the country. Those may be the people who end up with a pile of needs and little notice from the outside world.

Please pray for them all.

I will update as I receive word.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Please pray for Haiti

Dear Friends,

The reason I am writing is to bring you an urgent request to pray for Haiti.

You may know that our church has a missions partnership with the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. We have walked through the narrow, open-sewage streets of Haitian villages in the DR. We have held the hands of beautiful little Haitian children. Some months ago, after a gathering of missionaries from several nations — worshiping together in a Haitian church (in the DR) — I joined a dance line of little Haitian kids where we danced, sang and gave praise to our God.

I have stood with some of our church leaders at the Border between the two nations. UN Security forces guarded the gates. We stood on a bridge over the river that marks the national boundary and watched as children played, women did laundry and people bathed — all in the same dirty river. Our hearts were broken.

Tonight I write to you because Haiti has been struck by a massive earthquake. I was brought to tears as I imagined innocent little ones who have lost their homes and in some cases their families. In other cases, no doubt it is the little ones themselves who are trapped and hanging on for their lives tonight.
In the midst of the physical chaos of the moment, I recalled how dark Haiti is spiritually. No doubt their place as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere is partly attributed to their rampant practice of voodoo, witchcraft and all kinds of spiritism.

Would you pray tonight for Haiti? I am drawn to the following verses…
16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined."
17 From then on Jesus began to preach, "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."
Matthew 4:16-17 (New Living Translation)

We will seek every way we can to help. Our Dominican family will help us know the practical things as they help step into the spiritual needs as much as possible.

Please, tonight, just pray.

God bless you!