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Christian Love in Action - in Haiti: United Methodist Volunteers in Mission.

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Haiti UMVIM News

Mission Volunteers

Why Go to Haiti?

Why go all the way to Haiti when there are lots of people needing help right here in our neighborhood? Why Haiti? It took a mission trip to Haiti in November, 2011, to answer those questions. Read more...

Mission Volunteers

Fils-Aime joins Haiti Response Plan Team

Mario Fils-Aime has joined the Haiti Response Plan team as the new Finance Administrator. Read more...


Mission Volunteers

With God, all things are possible

In his Advent reflection, Rev. Tom Vencuss, Project Coordinator, remarks that with God all things are possible, including the response and recovery in Haiti. Read more....

Mission Volunteers

Alcorn Wraps Up Six-Month Staff Assignment

At the end of November, John Alcorn will wrap up his six-month assignment as Haiti Financial & Hospitality Coordinator. John, his spouse Teri, and son Armer are very involved in mission at their home church and in Haiti. Read more...

New Individual Volunteer Is "Doing God's Work"New Individual Volunteer Is "Doing God's Work"

A mission trip, a meeting, and a casual challenge have combined to bring Bill Borah from a first-time mission experience to an Individual Volunteer assignment with the Haiti Response Plan. Read more...

Celin Helps Ensure UMVIM Team Success (Photo by: Bethany Guy)Celin Helps Ensure UMVIM Team Success

When UMVIM teams arrive at their project sites in Haiti, they can be assured that the sites are ready to receive them because of the ongoing work of Oge Celin, Project Site Liaison.


Haiti Response Plan position availableHaiti Response Plan Updates Age Requirements for Teams

The Haiti Response Plan staff is announcing a change in the policy for youth working with UMVIM teams in Haiti. This policy change is effective immediately.



The Haiti Response PlanHaiti Response Plan Revamps UMVIM Team Guidelines

The Haiti Response Plan staff has announced a change in guidelines for team size and the amount of project funds needed for a matching grant. Read more...

Haiti Response Plan position availableHaiti Response Plan position available

The position of Haiti Finance Administrator is available (click on the title for the job description). This position is treated as a consultant under a six-month contract with a possibility of extension. To apply, complete an application form (PDF or Word format) and forward, along with a cover letter and resume, to Una Jones, Mission Volunteers Office, volunteers@gbgm-umc.org. The application deadline is October 25, 2011.


UMVIM Haiti ResponseRevised statement on cholera

Dr. Sylvia Reimer, GBGM missionary health advisor, has issued a revised statement on how to treat cholera in the highly unlikely event that it is an issue for a team member serving in Haiti. Read more...


Howard Baulch in MellierA “must read” for UMVIM team leaders: Preparing a team to serve in Haiti

UMVIM team leaders take on an awesome responsibilty when they decide to bring a team to Haiti. Veteran UMVIM'er Howard Baulch relates his perspective on service in Haiti and the team leadership needed. Read more...

Haiti ChoirMultiple connections deliver choir robes to Haiti church

Last March, a conversation at the Carrefour School in Haiti about the need for choir robes set the connection in motion. Read more...

Dr. Bob CarrollVolunteer felt privileged to be called to service in Haiti

When Gil Hanke, UMVIM team leader from the Texas Conference, announced an upcoming work trip to Haiti, Dr. Bob Carroll felt that he needed to go. Read more....

Haitian laborers with blocksHaiti staff summarizes site status

The Haiti Response Plan staff has summarized the status of all 20 active sites as of July 2011, including a new site at Puits Blain. The map shows the distribution of the sites from the west (Les Cayes) to the north (Banique/Hinche). Read more...

UMCOR releases $150UMCOR releases $150,000 to Haiti Response Plan

UMCOR has released $150,000 for priority project sites to supplement UMVIM team labor and funding during the summer of 2011. Read more...

Two girls in HaitiA "mission within a mission" in Haiti

"Responding to the day-to-day issues that so many Haitians face can truly be called a 'mission within a mission,'" explained Rev. Tom Vencuss in his latest reflection. Read more...


Mira Hewlett and Betty NisonTeam leader sees God at work in many ways

The day after her UMVIM team returned to the US, Rev. Mira Hewlett reported that the team made it home safely and had a wonderful time. "It was truly God at work in so many ways," she said. Read more...

Working on the Church in Hinche Haiti June 2Team Experiences a "Typical Day" in Rural Haiti

In May, an UMVIM team from Haiti Partnership, Upper New York Conference, worked in Hinche, a rural community about 100 km northeast of Port-au-Prince. Read more about a typical day for an UMVIM team serving in Haiti...

Carrefour Manse CompletedCompletion of Carrefour Manse Signals a "Good Day"

With smiles on their faces, Pastor Jacob Presume and his family stood in front of their newly built home, the Carrefour Manse, and declared, "This is a good day!" Read more...

Oge Celin mediconResponse Plan adds Haiti staff member

The Haiti Response Plan has added Oge Celin to the Response Plan staff as Project Site Liaison. Celin will be responsible to coordinate between work site bosses/engineers and the Methodist Guest House staff to ensure that sites are prepared to receive UMVIM teams. Read more...

Boys playing Hinche

Haiti Response Plan adds two locations, declares "primary projects complete" at ten sites

The Haiti Response Plan has opened two new locations for UMVIM team assignment and has declared that "primary projects are complete" at ten sites. Read more....

New UMVIM Haiti Staff in May 2011

Haiti Response Plan welcomes two new staff members

The Haiti Response Plan is welcoming two new staff members in May - Sarah Sandsted and John Alcorn. John arrived on Monday, May 9, and sat down immediately with Deanna Hawkins to review the financials of the program. Sarah arrives today, May 12. Read more in the press release and on the Contact Us/Staff Bios page.

Irby Team photo in Haiti

The Western Jurisdiction responds to needs in Haiti

The Western Jurisdiction, through an initiative Operation Resurrection, has pledged to send 25 UMVIM teams to Haiti in the next five years. Heather Wilson, WJ UMVIM Coordinator, writes about their progress to date....

to Haiti as part of an UMVIM team is not for everyone A trip to Haiti as part of an UMVIM team is not for everyone. It is up to team leaders to use discretion and honesty in approaching a trip and assembling a team. Read more....
Church repair and reconstruction Many of the priority projects identified by the Methodist Church of Haiti in year one of the Haiti Response Plan have related to church repair and reconstruction. Tom Vencuss, Haiti UMVIM Project Coordinator, explains why in his April 22 reflection, Why a Church?


Haitian girl portraitThe UMVIM team from Foundry UMC, Washington DC, has posted two wonderful slide shows to YouTube about their recent experience in Haiti. The first slide show includes a message from Tom Vencuss, Volunteer Management Coordinator. In the second slide show, the pastor of the local Mellier church thanks the UMVIM teams for coming to Haiti.

Haitian children and waterWith the hot and humid weather of spring and summer in Haiti, UMVIM teams need to practice good self-care, especially with hydration. Volunteer Management Coordinator Tom Vencuss, a trained EMT, comments on the importance of personal preparation and care  for team members in his latest reflection, Hot Fun in the Summertime (PDF, posted April 11, 2011)

UMVIM Haiti Response

Haiti Response Plan positions available

Two positions in the Haiti office of the Haiti Response Plan will be open in May, 2011: Assistant Haiti Site/Team Coordinator and Haiti Financial and Hospitality Coordinator (click on the titles to download job descriptions). Both positions are treated as consultants under a six-month contract with a possibility of extension. To apply, complete an application form (PDF icon PDFor Word iconWord format) and forward,along with a conver letter and resume to Una Jones, Mission Volunteers office, volunteers@gbgm-umc.org. More information is included in the March 17 newsletter.

Una Jones Visits Haiti March 2011

General Board Executive Visits Haiti Response Plan Sites

"There has been remarkable work accomplished by our UMVIM teams in Haiti," exclaimed Una Jones, General Board executive. Read more.... The Haiti Response Plan continues busy pace into 2011 (PDF, posted March 3, 2011)

Butler and the bucket brigade in Haiti

New York Pastor Enthusiastic about His Haiti UMVIM Experience

March 8, 2011--When Pastor Steve Butler returned to McKownville UMC, Albany, NY, he announced to the congregation, "It's perfectly safe to serve in Haiti as a United Methodist Volunteer in Mission! But it's more than safe--it's wonderful!" Read more...

Puzzle PieceThe Response Plan staff in Haiti is coordinating and managing priority projects in close cooperation with the leadership of the Methodist Church of Haiti. Rev. Tom Vencuss, Volunteer Management Coordinator, reflects on how UMVIM teams are fitting into the big picture of the rebuilding process. Putting the puzzle pieces together in Haiti (PDF, posted Feb 11, 2011)

News ReleaseHaiti Response Plan opens four new priority project sites

 In cooperation with the Methodist Church of Haiti, the Haiti Response Plan has opened four new priority project sites - Banique, Carrefour School, Delmas 54 Apartments, and La Tremblay - bringing the total number of sites to 21. View a full size annotated map of all project sites, effective February 2011.

Haitian Worker Palmer Team

Going...Staying...Where God Leads

In January 2010, Tim Palmer led an UMVIM team of college students from Aldersgate UMC, Abilene, Texas, to Haiti. Palmer reflects on the hope they found. Read more...


UMVIM teams resumed work in HaitiThe Haiti Response Plan Facebook community has been enjoying the posts of several new photo albums which have pictures of remarkable rebuilding progress on several sites. Other teams have chipped in with tags to their own albums. We invite you to check out these photo albums on our Facebook page, and express our deepest appreciation to all the UMVIM teams who have helped with the rebuilding to date: Thomas, Arcahaie, Mellier, and Fond Doux. (You don't have to be a Facebook user to see the photos.)

UMVIM teams resumed work in Haiti at the end of December 2010

UMVIM teams resumed work in Haiti at the end of December 2010. Eight teams are scheduled to work on EMH priority projects in January, 2011. Volunteer Manager Tom Vencuss reflected on their return.
Teams return to stand with Haitian brothers and sisters with strength (posted January 28, 2011)
PDF iconUMVIM Haiti Response Plan resumes work in Haiti, posted December 30. (PDF, 2 pp., 88KB)

UMVIM teams work side-by-side with their Haitian brothers and sisters.The Haiti Response Plan used the December 23, 2010 newsletter to keep its constituency informed about the UMVIM response to the ongoing political situation in Haiti. Teams are scheduled to travel to Haiti both before and after the January 16-27 period. Teams who would have been in Haiti during mid-January are working on rescheduling their mission trips to later in 2011. (Read the Dec 15th press release here.)

UMVIM Haiti ResponseInformation dissemination about the UMVIM response to the December political unrest in Haiti was managed through newsletters, available to email subscribers and on the Newsletter page of the web site. In addition, as the Haiti Response Plan staff continues to monitor the cholera situation in Haiti in cooperation with the leadership of the Methodist Church of Haiti, we reference a statement from Dr. Nicholas, medical consultant for the EMH, and a statement from Dr. Sylvia Reimer regarding safe drinking water and properly cooked food.


Map of Haiti mediconAs the Haiti Response Project nears the end of 2010, the staff has summarized the details of work completed and work yet to be done on the sixteen priority project sites in the document UMVIM Haiti Work Site Status Update(8 pgs, including map of project sites). Eighty UMVIM teams have been part of the first year of the Project. For more information or to schedule a team, contact the US-based Calendaring Coordinator.

Mike Willis with Haitian children

Mike Willis, the first Volunteer Management Coordinator for the Haiti Response Project, returned from Haiti early in November. In this Advent/Christmas reflection, Mike expresses his gratitude to all who held him in prayer, remarks on the miraculous and healing work of Christ, and expresses hope for the future.


Haiti Response Plan 140Comments from the new Volunteer Management Coordinator

By Rev. Tom Vencuss
"Our first commitment is to the people of Haiti." Read more

Haiti Response Plan 140Haiti Response Plan Approved for Additional Three Years

The Board of Directors of UMCOR approved a grant of $3,094,500 to continue to field and host volunteer teams to address the humanitarian needs and priority projects of the Eglise Methodiste de Haiti (EMH). Read more.

UMVIM Haiti Response

At the October 2010 Board Meeting of the General Board of Global Ministries, directors were briefed on the success of the six month UMVIM Haiti Response Plan pilot phase. They approved a grant of $3,094,500 to continue to field and host volunteer teams to address the humanitarian needs and priority projects of the Eglise Methodiste de Haiti (EMH). To review the presentation on the Haiti Response Plan pilot project to the GBGM Board of Directors click here to download. (9 pp, 3MB). Note: The link above to download the presentation will open in a new window.


Team Leader Reflects on Haiti Before and AfterAs I reflect on Haiti many images and thoughts come to my mind as a pastor, a clinical psychologist and a team leader. I think of the Haiti I knew before January 12, 2010, and simultaneously those images are mixed with images from my recent mission trip in September. Read more of Nora Jones reflection...
Jones also developed a Bible Study resource for the UMVIM trip, Restoration of Community in the Aftermatch of Natural Disaster. (PDF, 2 pp, 92 KB)

Hanke Team UMVIM HaitiEmbraced by Love in Arcahaie

By Erin G. Gearhart
While their team waited for materials and supplies to build benches, the Haiti UMVIM Team led by Jay and Harriet Hanke from Virginia Conference spent time cleaning up the work site, spreading gravel for a walkway, playing games with the children, doing crafts with the children, and more. Erin Gearhart, one of the volunteers on the team, reflects on the profound relationships she experienced in Arcahaie, Haiti. Read more...

VIM Working in HaitiDuring the period of the Haiti Response Plan Pilot Project, April – September 2010, the staff in Haiti, in cooperation with the Methodist Church of Haiti (EMH), has opened fifteen priority project sites. Phase 1 work (deconstruction) has been completed in all sites. Phase 2 work (reconstruction) has started on all sites, and completed on five. Phase 3 work (new additions) has begun on three sites. The following working document shows a grid of team assignments to sites and details accomplishments and work yet to be done by site. UMVIM Haiti Work Site Status Update, (PDF, 9 pp,384 KB)

Bri Butler in Haiti"When we act in obedience to God's call we are blessed to experience God's mighty hand at work," Nemazie continues. "As a team leader it is always a blessing to watch God transform the lives of the people we go to serve as well as the team members serving." Read a testimony from one of Nemazie's team members, Frederick Probol, who wonders, "Who is truly richer?"

Mark Madison and friends in Haiti

Susan Gibson and Mark Madison were members of a July 2010 UMVIM team from the Mississippi Conference. Their Facebook site, Haiti Mission Group 39521, has lots of pictures and daily reviews of their experiences. "I went on this mission trip with a different perspective," commented Madison. "I wanted to develop relationships and we did! Together we prayed, shared and laughed a lot. We developed friendships with not only the workers on site but also those who passed the site every day. We hope to put together another team next year." Team member Lynn Bourgeois wrote a poem on her experiences, The People of Haiti.

UMVIM teams work side-by-side with their Haitian brothers and sisters.Navigating a Landscape of Hope in Haiti

by Cynthia Fierro Harvey
7/16/10: UMVIM teams, working on priority projects identified by the Methodist Church of Haiti, side-by-side with their Haitian brothers and sisters, are playing a critical role in the long term response to recovery in Haiti.

United Methodist MenA Memorable Return Trip to Haiti

by Gil Hanke on gcumm.org
Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, will treasure his June UMVIM trip to Haiti in a special way.

Esther is proud of her pencil portait drawn for her by a Haiti Volunteer in Mission.My Sketch Book Connected Me to My Brothers and Sisters in Haiti

by Sandy Parsons, Volunteer
Instead of an achy back or tired arms, this mission volunteer's contribution gave her writer's cramp. 

Haiti; time out for children and parachute play.Haiti Journal: PDF icon  New York Conferences 

Mutli-Conference Volunteers in Mission Team Report
May/June 2010: Physical labor and economic assistance aside, this team showed Christ's love every minute they were there, and that is no small thing. (PDF, 7pp, 373K)

More Volunteer Reflections and News

arrow  There is an Enormous Need that Must be Met, by Bob Jeppson, Missouri Conference

arrow  There is So Much Work to be Done, by Sandy Binotto

arrow  Cal-Nev UMVIM Director Was Part of Select Haiti Advance Team, on calnevumc.org

arrow  We Can't Forget Haiti, by Rachel Estes

arrow  More information in current and archived Newsletters

Church and Conference Resources

PowerPoint   North Central Jurisdiction UMVIM Trip to Haiti: A PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 19 slides, 15.6 Megs)

PowerPoint   Haiti Response Plan: A PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 12 slides, 1400K)

arrow  Cal-Nev UMVIM Director Was Part of Select Haiti Advance Team, on calnevumc.org

arrow  North Alabama Conference UMVIM Team First Volunteer Team to Serve in Haiti Since Earthquake, on northalabamaumc.org

arrow  Haiti Mission Trips Blog; United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS

arrow  Updates from Haiti by Dr. Tom Holmes, on broadstumc.com

arrow  Haiti Partnership; Wyoming Annual Conference, on haitipartnership.com