Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti Early Response Teams

This is a very important 1st hand account from a veteran of disaster response who has extensive training. Know that many volunteers will be needed long term, but take these words to heart:

"Hi everyone. Just back from Haiti and I wanted to put forth a few thoughts to those of you who would like to volunteer. I am still reeling a bit cognitively, so I might not be as smooth or mindful of feelings and such as some would like, so let me apologize if I seem a bit abrupt. My goal is to inform as much as I can so that people are not needlessly traumatized in ways that will either render them useless if they choose to go (and hence, a burden on the relief efforts since they will need assistance themselves) and/or psychologically scarred more than they imagine they could be.

1) It is absolutely key and essential that ONLY people who have had large-scale and severe disaster experience go over at this point, right now. Many of you know that I have been to Sichuan--have had many experiences with large hurricanes, Katrina, etc., but I cannot tell you how horrendous and very different this situation is right now. There is no infrastructure....if you run out of water, you face dehydration. If you run out of food you face hunger. If you get hurt, you risk high infection within a day or two, and no medical support. I was there with a team of doctors, in one of the few medical hospitals up and running, but there is essentially no ability for you to be care-flighted or returned to the US or Dominican Republic should an emergency arise. The airport is frequently shut down, and you will not be a priority for the military or anyone else to help you. "They" are busy doing the mission they have set out in front of them, and communication and the ability to get help is extremely limited.

2) Rehab needs. The docs I work with pretty much agree that head injuries are at a minimum, in that the people with them have essentially died, or will soon die, (if they are severe). Amputations: Yes...many, many, many. We were doing surgeries almost 24 hours a day....mostly amputations. Unfortunately many of the people who have had amputations have already become infected within a day or two of the surgery (remember essentially no aftercare...they are sleeping outside (which actually seems quite smart, given our earthquake the other day, which personally was terrifying being indoors for...)). Any how...many people who had amputations or wound care immediately after the earthquake are having to have higher amputations due to the infections. The docs I flew back with came to the consensus that if 30% of the people they operated on survive, they will be lucky. Spinal cord aftercare, no adaptive equipment, very limited family left to care for them (if any) can imagine the immediate outcome. EVERYONE I spoke to had family killed or missing.

As a rehab psychologist, I used all the skills I know. Suicide prevention, letting those with amputations know they will still be loved and beautiful or a "man".....holding the hand of someone yelling in pain and soothing them, etc., etc. However, these skills alone -- without disaster experience to help give you the emotional steel you need to cope with the situation you are in -- will not be sufficient. Not right now.

My recommendations are these: Those with SERIOUS disaster experience, consider deployment, but make it short. Know that it will be more severe than you can even imagine. Even the tsunami was in a country where you could find some infrastructure...somewhere. Here--there is nothing. For the first time in my life I truly had to consider survival situations. Yes, my organization had supplies and contacts, but water goes missing and the next shipment of water is on a plane not allowed to land in the airport...

If you do not have disaster experience, this is NOT the disaster to begin with. Volunteer stateside, providing support to people and organizations who are doing good work. OR -- think about deployment months and months from now, when (or if) an infrastructure is there, so you can have the support that is needed.

Bless you all with your desire to help. There will be a way to do sure you plug yourself into something that will allow you to function during and afterwards, rather than becoming another victim of this situation."

Cheers -- Jeanne

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mission Event Augusta GA

Trinity Outreach Celebration

About the Celebration
January 27-31, 2010
The Trinity Outreach Celebration is held each year to celebrate the giving and service of the church during the previous year in mission and to hear the challenges and opportunities of the coming year in outreach. During TOC 2010 you will hear inspiring messages, uplifting music, mission updates and reports and receive information on ways you may become more active in outreach in 2010.

This Year's Speakers
Rev. Nick Elliot, UM Volunteers in Mission, South Carolina - Featured Guest Preacher
Nate Ledbetter, FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta
Doug Neel, AgriMissions, Crockett, Texas
Esaho Kipuke, Kipuke Ministries, Togo, Africa
Mike Cooper, preparing to enter a Muslim country in the 1040 window
Rcik Herring, Augusta Urban Ministry
Michael Schaefer, Harrisburg Family Medical Clinic, Augusta

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, January 27
Wednesday Night Supper - 5:00-6:00 p.m. Enjoy a delicious supper of fried chicken with all the fixins. Click here to make your reservations by noon on January 25.

Mission Celebration Worship - 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Dr. Esaho Kipuke will deliver a message and the children's choirs will perform.

Thursday, January 28
Supper - 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Wesley Hall Reservations must be made by Monday, January 25, 2010 at noon. Click here to make a dinner reservation.

Christian Community Development Training - 6:00-8:00 p.m. Nate Ledbetter, associate director of Family Consultation Service (FCS) Urban Ministries in South Atlanta, will lead this training which will target ways to increase the connection between church and the local community in Christian Community Development. Local partners are invited to attend.

Friday, January 29
Supper - 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Wesley Hall Reservation must be made by Monday, January 25, 2010 at noon. Click here to make a dinner reservation.

Agricultural Missions Training - 6:00-8:00 p.m. Doug Neel, associate director of AgriMissions, will lead "AgriMissions 101." Doug has extensive experience in agricultural missions, community development, evangelism and church planting. This session will involve laity and clergy and should be helpful to a church or individual considering agricultural missions.

Saturday, January 30 - Day of Service
Local mission projects for all ages and stages. View the list of available work sites here or look for the sign-up sheets in the Gathering Area.

Breakfast - 8:00-8:30 a.m. Pastries, coffee and drinks in Wesley Hall

Departure for work sites - 8:30-8:45 a.m. Break into groups and leave for various work sites

Serve - 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Serve Christ and the community - Be the HANDS of Christ!

Sunday, January 31
Sunday School - 9:45-10:45 a.m. Hear from these great speakers:

Mike Cooper - preparing to enter the 1040 window in a Muslim country - Open Door Class (A004)
Jim Dickens - Action Ministries - Adult Couples and Singles Class (A267)
Michael Schaefer - Harrisburg Family Medical Clinic - Robert Taylor Class Chapel (A151)
Nick Elliott - retired director of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Southeastern Jurisdiction - Choir Room (B242)
Mission Challenge Worship - 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Featuring New Creation and Love Unlimited Youth Choirs. Rev. Nick Elliott is preaching. Be prepared to hear God's call and become the HANDS of Christ!

Find Your Place in Trinity Outreach
As we consider the future, we are faced with the great need to fulfill the Great Commission. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to take yet another step in our financial giving and our service. Outreach is a vital part of the continuum of worship, prayer, discipleship, fellowship and evangelism. This primary call of Christ inspires us to consider "over and above " financial giving in support of Trinity Outreach.

At the conclusion of worship on January 31, you will be asked to turn in your financial pledge or "Faith Commitment" for February 2010-March 2011. Click here to fill out the card online. This is a covenant between you and God as you continue to follow Christ in mission service.

In a similar manner, the "Life and Service Commitment" affords the opportunity to commit to mission participation. Both your financial giving and your service are integral. Click here to fill out the card online.

For more information about Trinity Outreach and Missions contact Rev. Scott Parrish at Trinity on the Hill UMC.