I was talking to my mom last night and she asked me, “Hey, is that MUD Team that you work with going to Haiti?” I quickly corrected her by saying, “Mom… you must mean the DIRT Team from one of our supporting churches.” So funny!
Well, yes, DIRT is planning on a deployment to Haiti in a few weeks. We had concluded a training relationship over a year ago, but recently, Brian, the leader had asked us to provide a re-certification course in Wilderness First Aid. This last Saturday, Janelle, our Duty Officer, and I instructed the day-long training in St. Petersburg, FL. We all had a blast and actually ran out of time in the assigned classroom and had to move to another location.
Is Arise planning any direct deployment? Not at this time. We have been in contact with various ministry partners and are involved in many projects behind the scenes though. It seems that we are all sorrowful for the victims on the island and since it is so close many feel the draw to be involved in direct action. If God clearly directs your path towards Haiti, then by all means, follow! Ask for wisdom and be a prepared servant, too. Consider these thoughts:
1. Don’t go without a carefully thought out plan. Haiti is close but also a hazardous place even before the earthquake.
2. If you are the leader, then go in advance, do a site survey and either return to prepare your group, or else, send for them. Experience shows that the incidence of less than favorable outcomes is higher without a site visit first.
3. Consider food, shelter, and safe drinking water. Where will you get these in Haiti? There are so many hungry and desperate people there and every bit of food there probably needs to go to them. How will you bring enough to eat? How will you provide enough drinking water to your members? Consider 3-4 liters per person per day.
4. Hatian Laws. The Bible commands adherence to a government’s laws in most cases. This might differ from what you feel is right or wrong. Just this weekend, a church group was arrested and accused of child trafficing twenty children. You must know the laws and abide by them or the mission gets a black eye and worse yet, so does God in the eyes of those around you.
5. The enemy resides in Haiti. If you’ve been there, then you already know this. You must be ready for what you see and experience while there in country. Spiritual preparedness is as important as being in good physical health. Hunger, thirst, devastation, and suffering are tools that the enemy will use in any way that he can, so be cautious!
There is so much to do in Haiti and it will have MANY continued needs for some time. There is plenty of time to carefully plan, prepare, and go! Soon, the international players will wrap up their operations, take their photos, and go home. We experienced this in Sri Lanka in 2006. Before we knew it, we were the only ministry left working in a devastated area all alone….of course, the Scientologists also stayed to keep us company too!
~Carl for Arise Medical Missions (US)
P.S. Many thanks to Janelle who faithfully co-led and shared alongside of Arise. What a tremendous blessing.