Friday, August 6, 2010

World Orphans and Crisis Care Training International complete training in Haiti

We started our week by joining together with other ministries to assess the situation of orphans in Haiti, to find out how this horrible earthquake had affected children, to find out how the church in Haiti was responding, and to find out how we as ministries committed to the local church could come along side them in their efforts.

World Orphans developed an Orphan and Vulnerable Child (OVC) program designed to help churches implement a structured program -a holistic response - in a scalable manner.

We identified 10 Haitian churches to implement the program and found 10 churches in the U.S. willing to join the effort in the form of a church-to-church partnership.

Each church in Haiti agreed to care for 20 orphaned or vulnerable children in their community with the critical elements being education, food, medical care and trauma counseling.

We continued to work in partnership with organizations like Together for Adoption and Hope for Orphans as we began the training process, equipping churches to do what they were already doing in a better, more structured way.

Since then each Haitian church has formed a team of 3 to 4 OVC volunteers that are making this ministry happen. Each church has identified 20 orphans or vulnerable children in its community for the program and the schooling and feeding has begun.

Last week we continued the equipping portion of the program, again working in partnership, as we had all 10 pastors and their OVC teams together – about 60 people - for trauma counseling training. The idea being to equip the OVC team members that are forming relationships with the children, visiting them in the homes regularly, to better cope with the trauma and grief they are experiencing. We partnered with Crisis Care Training International – a ministry started by Dr. Phyllis Kilbourn who has over 40 years experience helping children in crisis – including 20 years as a cross cultural missionary in Liberia during the Liberian civil war.

Haiti 1

The training was tremendous and very well received by the teams; they only wish we could have done more training for more people in their churches. All in time. One of the most special moments was a closing exercise designed to help the team members and pastors work through their own grief. They wrote on a piece of paper their concerns or burdens, put the piece of paper in a balloon, blew it up and let it go in the wind from the roof of pastor Yvon’s church, releasing their grief to God, laying it at the foot of the cross, putting it behind them. While only a step in the healing process, it was very powerful, an honor to be a part of.

Haiti 2

We also secured regular medical treatment for all 200 children in the OVC program through a medical clinic run by a local Haitian church (1st Baptist Church of Pernier), in cooperation with medical professionals from the U.S. They will see the children to assess their current medical condition, establish a baseline and file, and provide any care/treatment needed. They will receive follow-up care as needed but not less than every 6 months. Each church will maintain medical records for the children. This initial treatment will be done over three Saturdays, starting last weekend. We’re also working on getting immunizations for all children that haven’t received those vital shots.

A special thanks to Greg Roberts of Church of the Cove who was sent by his church to live and serve in Haiti and who helped coordinate the medical care. Greg has a special heart for orphaned children and a commitment to the local church in Haiti that is refreshing.

We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of our U.S. church partners. We’re grateful for their partnerships and excited to see God work through these partnerships.

Great things are happening. Praise be to God.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You Don’t Visit Haiti. Haiti Visits You.

Dan Cruver of Together for Adoption arrived back from Haiti with this thought "You Don’t Visit Haiti. Haiti Visits You."

You'll understand why when you see more of the photos of the Haitian children on his blog.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Give Me That Smile

From Brad Powell, Northridge Church

I just got back from a heartbreaking trip to Haiti. I have to tell you that, while the problems are enormous, there are no easy solutions. For me, this is extremely frustrating. And yet, in the midst of my frustration, I’m trying to remember a couple of vital truths.

Read more.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Haiti’s Restavek System and Preaching on Adoption to Haitian Pastors

From Dan Cruver, Together for Adoption

At the Haitian pastors conference (sponsored by HORT) on Wednesday (April 21) Jason Weber (Hope for Orphans) and I tag-teamed as we presented Scripture’s teaching on spiritual adoption and its implications for indigenous orphan care and Haiti’s current restavek system. Our talk to the Haitian pastors developed three headings:
1.  Creation/Fall
2.  Redemption (Israel/Jesus/church)
3.  Restoration (New Creation)

Here is the bullet point outline of my part of the Creation/Fall heading:
  • The story of human history is God’s story of redemption. Yes, it’s our story, too, in that we are the ones being redeemed. But it’s God story in that he is the one who redeems. God is the one who initiates and accomplishes our redemption. We don’t initiate or accomplish anything in redemption’s story!
  • The story of redemption really began in time when God created all that is, and he did so, ultimately, in order to display his glory.
  • The climax of God’s creative work was the creation of man. In The Gospel of Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, Luke refers to Adam as a “son of God.” That’s not to say that Adam was divine or a god in any sense whatsoever. For Adam to be a “son of God” meant that he was graciously created to know the fatherly love and care of God,  to enjoy and participate in the love that God the Father eternally shared with his eternal Son.
  • By creating man, God amazingly enlarged the circle of his family so that man might be loved and cared for even as God loves his eternal Son. As far as God the Father was/is concerned, he would have no second class children. Adam was created to share in the fullness of love that God the Father has forever shared with his eternal Son.
  • But then the Fall happened. Man rebelled against the fatherly love and care of the God who created him in his image. As a result, man was cast out of the circle of God’s family. Suddenly, man found himself, not only outside the Garden of Eden, but outside God’s family of love. Tragicaly, man became an orphan of cosmic proportions.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 18-22 HORT Trip to Haiti

from Dan Cruver of Together for Adoption...

I have the privilege of joining the Haiti Orphan Relief Team (HORT) on their April 18-22 trip to Haiti. HORT is a cooperative effort of U.S. based ministries and disaster response experts that have joined together to respond to Haiti’s orphan crisis.

One of the major objectives of HORT is to provide U.S. churches with the opportunity to be a part of the solution to Haiti’s orphan crisis by coming alongside Haitian churches in church-to-church partnerships to initiate, strengthen and grow their outreach to orphans in their immediate communities. The Orphaned and Vulnerable Child Program (OVC) is one of the HORT initiatives established to help accomplish this major objective. Here’s what we’ll be doing on our April 18-22 trip to launch the OVC program with 10 Haitian churches:

Sunday, April 18th – Interview OVC candidate for position of in-country director and meet with Pastor Edner Jeanty to finalize Wednesday’s (April 21) training conference and to discuss accountability structure for OVC partner churches.

Monday, April 19th – Meet with Compassion International and other in-country network partners t0 coordinate additional OVC project churches.

Tuesday, April 20th – Visit 4-5 Port-au-Prince partner churches for team vision and partner role clarification.

Wednesday, April 21st – Hold training meeting for the leadership of 10 OVC partnership churches. Training will include:
  • Biblical teaching on spiritual adoption and its implication for orphan care (Jason Weber and Dan Cruver)
  • Why the local church should care for orphaned and vulnerable children
  • OVC program implementation
  • Church-to-church partnerships (expectations and roles)
  • A biblical look at the Restavec tradition in Haiti

My fellow teams members are: Scott Vair (World Orphans), Alan Hunt (World Orphans), Jason Weber (Hope for Orphans), Brad Powell (Northridge Church), and Michael Miller (Northridge Church).

Please pray for us and the Haitian pastors and orphans that we will serve while there. Our desire is to serve them wisely and faithfully in the name of Jesus. If you want brief trip updates while I’m in Haiti, you can follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rood Awakening (Part Two)

Here's the second video about Rood. Can you imagine seeing your family crushed under this building?

Rood Awakening (Part Two) - Haiti Video Blog #11 from World Orphans on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rood Awakening (Part One)

Here's a video from Haiti about a remarkable young boy, Rood, who was orphaned by the January earthquake. You'll be absolutely shocked and amazed by his story.

Come back for part two later tomorrow!

Rood Awakening (Part One) - Haiti Video Blog #10 from World Orphans on Vimeo.