Global Ministries has a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization. They are one of two organizations (with CH Global) through which we are channeling financial support for Haiti earthquake victims.

Samaritan’s Purse staff writer Gary Martyn reports on the medical and relief work in Haiti.

“Right now I’m with a group of surgeons and nurses that came to Haiti to help treat patients at the Baptist Haiti Mission hospital. The 100-bed hospital is in the mountains, about 20 miles outside Port-au-Prince. The hospital wasn’t damaged by the earthquake, so it’s being overwhelmed with injured people seeking help. The hospital staff had to put mattresses on the hallway floors to make room for everyone.

“Many people have broken and crushed bones. Others have head wounds and injuries from being struck with falling debris. Since we arrived yesterday, three people have died. At the same time, 11 people accepted Christ in response to the ministry of a team of chaplains who are here from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In the midst of the tragedy, people are being saved.

“When I asked one of the surgeons, Dr. Lealand McClusky, how it was going, he took a deep breath and said, ‘You could get overwhelmed by the chaos of it, but you just have to go to work. We’re trained to step into emergency situations and just get started, doing what we know how to do.’ All of the doctors and nurses have the same great attitude and want to do all they can to help.”

Global Ministries is sending Haiti relief funds through two Christian organizations with which we have a partnership: CH Global and Samaritan’s Purse.

Jose Nunez, a CH Global regional director, provides this update on progress in Haiti.

“I’ve been in communication with Elsa Hiaire (Country Coordinator for CH Global) and Pastor Oliam Richard of the United Brethren in Christ. They expressed some of the current immediate needs, which vary from fuel to clean water and basic medical supplies. Thankfully we will be able to deliver these goods.

“We have also received a significant donation of portable water filters from a Florida-based Sawyer Water Filtration Inc. These filters operate on gravity and not electricity, and can be used to purify water making it potable and immediately available for consumption. CH Global will deliver these filters to United Brethren churches as well as to key areas in Port-au-Prince.”

Thus far we have forwarded $5000 of the donations we received to support CH Global’s efforts to help our UB churches in Haiti.

In addition, we forwarded $7000 to Samaritan’s Purse for Haiti relief. Samaritan’s Purse teams are working with a network of pastors to distribute critically-needed relief supplies for victims of the massive earthquake that rocked Haiti last week. They are distributing supplies such as hygiene kits, plastic for shelters, blankets, and solar flashlights to beneficiaries located in and around Port-au-Prince. This distribution network is expected to provide aid to at least 300 families per day.

Bishop Denis Casco giving his presentation on Mexico Conference.

Bishop Denis Casco giving his presentation on Mexico Conference.

Denis Casco, as bishop of Mexico Conference, gave his General Conference report on Monday afternoon, January 11.

Denis is a native of Honduras who was brought by Global Ministries to the United States to found Latin American Ministries, a major attempt to establish United Brethren churches among Hispanic people.

While in that role, he began working with a number of churches in central Mexico. In 2005, those churches were accepted as a UB national conference. Denis, though he actually lives in the Los Angeles area, serves as bishop of the UB churches in Mexico.

Here are some highlights from his report.

  • “Mexico is in its first love,” he said.
  • The churches are divided into eight districts.
  • Some of the churches are located in Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, two cities which face each other across the border. This means some Mexico Conference churches are actually located in the United States.
  • Denis Casco

    Denis Casco

  • Most of the United Brethren churches in Mexico, and the largest ones, are located in the central part of the country. This is also where you find some of the largest cities, like Mexico City.
  • “It’s so beautiful to work when the bishop is well received by the pastors, when the opinion of the bishop has a value, and they feel that the bishop is important for the spiritual growth of the ministers.”
  • They are developing a work in the southern part of the country, including ministry to the indigenous Tarasco people.
  • Music is very important in Mexico.
  • The youth movement is very strong in Mexico, and they have well-organized women’s ministries.
  • Denis says they lost a few churches over money. “Many times, pastors seek only for the money; they look for a way to develop their own church and then become independent. I don’t like this , but it happens. And when he happens, I feel that I have finished my work with those churches. I cannot say I’ve let them go; they have gone by themselves, and what can we do?”
  • Mexico Conference owns about 30 properties. The church buildings have been acquired with Mexican funds. However, Hispanic churches in the States are an important source of financial support. “We need resources to continue the work in Mexico. My mentality is that Mexicans should develop by themselves. We have shown it over the years, and it makes me proud.”
  • “I’m very happy with what is happening in Mexico. We do not have statistics on how many were baptized, because churches are usually baptizing people every week. We have a problem of immigration, of people going back and forth to America. We have brethren in Canada, and people who come to spend the end of the year in Mexico.”
  • He mentioned his week-long trip to Mexico with Jeff Bleijerveld in December 2009. “He easily acquired the love of the Mexican people. I felt a little jealous.”

Haiti’s priority, right now, is the initial relief and recovery that professional aid and medical organizations are carrying out. Once we get past that, teams will be needed to help with clean up and reconstruction. We hope to send teams as soon as possible, and will let you know when we have more information.

If you are interested in participating on a work team to Haiti, it would be wise to begin getting the necessary vaccinations so you can respond quickly. For example, Hepatitis B requires two vaccinations before you leave the country.

Visit the Center for Disease Control website for complete information.

Alan McDonald, former UB endorsed missionary, said on Facebook, “I just spoke with our missionary friend there and they are desperate for more help. Three surgeons there have been working non-stop for three days doing amputations.”

Joan Sider, from one of our UB churches in Ontario, spoke for 12 minutes on January 16 with Rev. Oliam Richard, our superintendent in Haiti. She reported the following to Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries.

  • Pastor Richard got to Haiti from the Dominican Republic with three other people. They hired a van. The Dominican occupies the east end of the island.
  • Their home is standing, but they are not staying inside because of continued aftershocks (two on Saturday). They are living in the yard of their home.
  • Esther Richard, Oliam’s wife, has a bad cold and her voice is hoarse, possibly from having lived outside since the earthquake.
  • Esther will probably be flown back to France on Sunday, January 17. The French Embassy will care for that flight. Rev. Richard feels he must stay in Haiti.
  • The Delmas church is standing intact. The only damage was the gate wall, which came down. The courtyard is filled with people. Rev. Richard doesn’t know if all of the church people are safe, though someone told him they were. They planned to worship on the site on Sunday, but not inside.
  • The UB church in City Soleil is completely destroyed. Pastor Baptista and family are well, though their house suffered some damage.
  • Several other churhes were reported to be fine.
  • No contact has been made with the churches in the North.
  • Rev. Richard affirmed postponing the planned work crew from Canada. Says it was the wisest decision.

Global Ministries has received many phone calls and emails regarding Haiti. United Brethren people want to know how they can help, and if we are sending work teams to Haiti. We have about 40 United Brethren churches in Haiti.

Right now, in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, it’s best to let government and relief agencies do their work…and stay out of their way. So we have no plans right now to send work teams. In the future–sure. But not right now.

Many relief agencies, including Samaritan’s Purse, have announced that they are not soliciting volunteers. The UB churches of Canada had a work trip planned during the next couple weeks, but postponed it.

For the moment, the best ways to help are:

  • Give money.
  • Pray.

A disaster of this scale requires a huge amount of relief money. Funds sent to Global Ministries for Haitian relief will be channeled to one of two agencies:

  • CH Global, an organization which works in Haiti and is used by the UB Church in Canada in their work with our churches in Haiti.
  • Samaritan’s Purse, with whom we’ve partnered in other causes.

UB people in Canada and the US have already adopted 42 Haitian children through CH Global. We plan to direct support and aid directly to their families and to our UB churches in Haiti through this partnership, which we finalized at our last Global Ministries Leadership Team meeting. Our program administrator in Haiti is a member of our Delmas church and the wife of the Port an Prince Police Commissioner.

Let me emphasize that 100% of your contribution to Global Ministries for Haiti Relief will be sent to either CH Global or Samaritan’s Purse.

If you want to send money for Haitian earthquake relief, put “Haiti earthquake relief” on the memo line, and make the check payable to Global Ministries. Send to: Global Ministries, 302 Lake Street, Huntington, IN 46750.

Money we receive for Haitian relief will be channeled to one of two agencies:

  1. CHGlobal, an organization which works in Haiti and is used by the UB Church in Canada in their work with our churches in Haiti.
  2. Samaritan’s Purse, with whom we’ve partnered in other causes.

Tonight, the General Conference delegates here in Honduras had prayer with Oliam Richard, our superintendent in Haiti. The following money was then presented to him:

  • $800 was collected from the Bethel II church tonight in their evening service. It’s great to see our Honduran brethren reach out in compassion in this way.
  • $900 was presented by the Canadian delegates.
  • The two Guatemalans gave $50 out of their own pockets. This, believe me, is a LOT of money.

In addition, the Jamaican delegates presented $6000 raised by Jamaica Conference for the conference center currently under construction in Port Au Prince.

Stay tuned to UBCentral for additional information. If you want to send money for Haitian earthquake relief, put “Haiti earthquake relief” on the memo line, and make the check payable to Global Ministries. Send to: Global Ministries, 302 Lake Street, Huntington, IN 46750.

We will direct the funds as soon as we have better information and a good plan.


The opening of the 51st Honduran Conference began with a flag-raising in the newly constructed Jose Ramirez Square located in front of the mission office. At the center are the flags of Honduras and the US. They are flanked on the right and left by the flags of Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, as the churches in these countries were extensions of the initial work in Honduras.

Roger and Marilyn Reeck, UB endorsed missionaries in Honduras (serving with Wycliffe), sent this update at the end of December.

While in Costa Rica, Roger fell while mounting a bicycle and completely ruptured a tendon in his knee. He underwent major surgery, and was able to travel back to Honduras five days later. His cast will be removed the first week of January, and then he’ll undergo physical therapy. His first trip is to South America in February. He hopes to be walking by then.

All four daughters came home for Christmas.

  • Christi and her husband, Rigo, live an hour away in Honduras. Rigo works with two different groups which provide clean water to communities and organizations; Chrysti works at two pre-natal clinics, helps at a feeding center, and is involved in Bible Studies. They have three children: Anthony (almost 7), Amanda (5), and Adrian (3).
  • Teresa lives in San Antonio and is vice principal of a Christian school.
  • Amanda, living in Houston, took a year out of medical school to do research. She’ll return to medical school this summer for her final year.
  • Elisa is a science teacher at a Christian school in San Antonio, Texas. She completed her Master’s degree this year.