Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti Update

Thank you for your prayer and inquiries about the ministry of Operation Renewed Hope in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. As you know from the news reports, much of the country has been virtually decimated by the magnitude 7.0 quake. To aid the people of Haiti, ORH is launching Haiti Hope.

We were contacted by pilot Dave Spangler who owns the airplane used by Air Hope. He wanted to attempt to fly into Haiti with 1500 lbs. of relief supplies and we enthusiastically supported this attempt. Dave is an experienced pilot who regularly serves the missionaries in Haiti. He was initially turned away due to the clogged runway at Port-au-Prince. In his second attempt, he managed to deliver food and water for the missionaries to distribute and returned to his base in the Bahamas on the island of Eleuthera.

On Saturday, January 16, Dave is making his next trip into Haiti. Please pray for the success of this second trip. The Bahamian churches have graciously gathered food and water supplies for this second trip into the devastated area. The seaport at Port-au-Prince is presently inaccessible to us since much of the port equipment was disabled by the earthquake. We have learned that the U.S. military is now in charge of the airport.

Many churches have contacted us to ask if we will participate in relief efforts. The answer is an enthusiastic “Yes!” While we continue our initial attempts to distribute food and water, we will carefully plan a strategy for basic relief efforts for the next several months. We are calling the project Haiti Hope. We believe that this plan will provide reasonable steps for ministry to this region over the next year. Would you please consider giving an offering toward the Haiti Hope project? The newest draft of our long term strategy and plan for the project is now available on the ORH blog at this link.

In the short term, our plan is as follows:

We will use continue to use Dave Spangler’s plane for the next six weeks for ORH Air Hope to make as many flights as possible. The fuel for each flight will cost approximately $2,000. As you can well imagine, the cost of aviation fuel in the region is quite high.

We have verified that the Wings as Eagles ministry will join us in this project beginning on February 11. We are praying that order will be restored in Haiti by this time. Their ministry with us will continue until March 16 and resume again after a missions project in Cameroon. Please pray for us as we use these additional planes.

These flights will be based out of Opelaka, FL (near Miami) where the relief supplies will be placed in readiness. Each flight will carry approximately 1500 lbs. of supplies. We would like to ask churches in Florida to take up food supplies and transport these to the base near Miami. If you can help with these initial relief supplies, please send bottled water, crackers, peanut butter, canned meats (with pop top) and meals in a can (such as ravioli, spaghetti).

Dr. Bud Steadman, the Executive Director of Baptist World Mission has assigned Rev. Rodney Fitzsimmons, a missionary in Haiti, to assist ORH in sending relief supplies to several ministries. Rodney and Cathy Fitzsimmons are based about 100 miles from the epicenter of the quake.

Thirty-three large circus tents (some up to 1200 sq. ft.) have been donated to Operation Renewed Hope. When order is restored, we plan to fly these tents into the region to serve as a more permanent shelter for Christian ministries on Haiti.

Would you please pray with us about this project? For Haiti Hope, we need to raise $50,000 immediately to fly an initial twenty missions to supply churches missionaries and children’s homes through Air Hope. Our plane can carry 1500 lbs per trip. We would be able to send 30,000 lbs of relief supplies if you can help us.

Thank you for your prayers and interest in the ministry of Operation Renewed Hope!

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