Author: Pastor Jerry Park
Sister Elsie in Port-au-Prince is doing well. She’s been encouraging her ministry youth through Whatsapp, phone calls and texts. Most retail shops have shut down, but the open-air vendors work on rotation for 3 days/week up to 2pm. She and her daughter remain confined, but they are able to occasionally purchase bulk food and oil.
Elsie continues to have people coming to the mission house for help. The ministry cooking staff is still at home, so she’s been giving out 10 food care packages per day, on average. with additional cash to the neediest of families. The food packages include rice and cooking oil.
Sister Bonite in Jacmel is also doing well and having prayer sessions with those who have stayed inside the mission house. She is similarly providing ongoing food care packages to families that come to the ministry gates. She reports that more people are saying they literally have nothing to eat and are getting more desperate. She was able to stock up with a month’s supply of food for her food program, so she’s been using this stock to give to these families.
- Please pray for the poorest of the poor in these communities as the situation is getting more desperate by the day.
Our Haiti Life Center remains closed, but we will provide ongoing limited salary to the staff and workers for as long as the crisis lasts. We are also looking at providing remote classes.
Just as the lockdowns began, the Jurans were able to deliver food to 10 families and to Freedom House, the men’s halfway house. With the lockdown, the ministry was able to pay a local store in the middle of the town for 16 families to receive rice, beans, cooking oil and eggs.
One grateful family texted: “I prayed last night and asked God for help because my food was almost finished, and my husband is not working because of the virus, and here you blessed us! I love my Father so much. He always hear us when we cry to him! Thanks so much for the wonderful blessing.”
This family had children in the Jurans’ tutoring program for 3 years. The Jurans are praying about how to continue providing help.
- Please pray for the families that are running out of food and provision
Jamie has continued to conduct Zoom meetings for the church youth as well as counseling sessions over the phone. They are also reaching out to their immediate neighbors, including a Sudanese handyman. Jamie has been able to build new relationships with some of the young men in their building.
Our Nabaa Medical Life Center has stayed open and continues to serve the community for non-COVID-19 cases. Sandra continues to serve at the Life Center twice a week. This is an opportunity for new people to come and be ministered to during the crisis. We had 134 people in March, which included 85 receiving prescriptions and 48 receiving Lab and Imaging vouchers.
Some testimonies from the Life Center:
** Kathy is a 4 year-old Lebanese girl who used to attend GROW daycare center. She is diabetic type 1. The mother contacted the Life Center asking for help in purchasing her daughter’s blood glucose test strips. Her husband is unemployed now due to the crisis and is not able to buy strips for checking blood glucose levels. The family has been given vouchers to be able to purchase the strips for a month. The family was extremely grateful and asked about the church and showed interest in attending post crisis.
** M, a Syrian, came to the Life Center because of back pain. He was in the waiting room and we asked about his family and their status in the crisis. He mentioned a hearing problem and his need for a hearing aid. We said we will follow up with him after the crisis and will contact an organization to provide a hearing aid. We were singing worship songs and showing interest and care. Before he left, he approached the receptionist and asked her about the church.
During the relief distributions from the Life Center, the refugee neighbors wanted to know more about the Life Center; they asked our receptionist: “Where is the church? We want to come after the crisis is over.”
** Names changed for privacy
- Please pray for the safety and ministry of our missionaries, Jamie and Sandra and their family.
- Please pray for the refugees and families who have no social service safety net, and who are facing increasingly desperate survival situations. If the pandemic hits their overcrowded and unhygienic areas, it could be catastrophic.
Theresa Fewell is our newest long-term missionary; she was able to make it to Arizona/Navajo Nation in early April, as originally scheduled. She is in 14-day quarantine at the guesthouse on the church grounds.
The news is reporting that the number of COVID-19 cases (813 infections and 28 deaths) among the Navajos are the highest per capita than in every other state except NY and NJ. Experts are warning that the Native populations are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their high rates of other underlying conditions, such as heart disease. An estimated 40% of homes in the Navajo Nation are without running water, which makes hygiene practices during the pandemic very challenging. As a result, the Navajo Nation is under strict curfew between 8pm to 5am.
Please also keep Mark McKeller’s mother in your prayers, as she’s been having serious physical challenges unrelated to the C-19 virus. In fact, the family was contemplating putting her in the hospital, but there’s a fear that going to the hospital could be worse. They need wisdom regarding next steps.
- Please pray for the most vulnerable Navajos and those that are battling C-19.
- Please pray for Theresa to settle in despite these difficult initial conditions.