Friday, January 15, 2010

IMA World Health team and United Methodist staff are rescued.

IMA World Health reports that three of its staff--including president Rick Santos--who were missing in Haiti are safe and not seriously hurt after having been rescued from the rubble of the Montana Hotel. The hotel collapsed in the earthquake.

Also rescued from the same hotel were a United Methodist group including Sam Dixon, head of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief); Clinton Rabb, head of the United Methodist denomination’s Mission Volunteers; and James Gulley, an UMCOR consultant .

IMA World Health had requested prayer when it was unable to contact the three staff who had been visiting Haiti from its headquarters at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The three included Rick Santos, president of IMA World Health, along with Sarla Chand and Ann Varghese. IMA also had requested prayer for its five national staff in Haiti: Abdel Direny, Giannie Jean Baptiste, Execkiel Milar, Ambroise Sylvain, and Franck Monestime.

"I am happy to pass on the good news...that Rick, Sarla, Ann, and Sam Dixon (executive director of UMCOR--the United Methodist Committee on Relief--who also was missing since the earthquake) are safe and not seriously hurt," said an e-mail note this morning from Don Parker, chair of the board of IMA World Health.

"We have much to give God grateful thanksgiving for," his note continued. "Yet we still need to keep all our Haitian staff and many thousands of Haitian people, who continue to grieve and suffer, in our prayers."

A follow-up announcement from Gary Lavan, vice president of Human Resources for IMA, added, "This great news is tempered by our still needing to find out the status of our Port-au-Prince staff members. We have had some encouraging news but not on all staff as of yet, please keep all in your prayers."

IMA received word late yesterday evening that its country director for Haiti, Dr. Abdel Direny, is with staff from the University of Notre Dame who were in earlier meetings at the Montana Hotel on that Tuesday afternoon but had left the hotel before its collapse. However the organization is still trying to locate the following IMA staff: Dr. Franck Monestime and Mr. Execkiel Milar.

News about the rescue of the three IMA headquarters staff has appeared on Good Morning America, go to, see the video "Alive Under Haiti’s Rubble"; on MSNBC at; and in the "Baltimore Sun," go to,0,644214.story.

The three are to be evacuated to the Dominican Republic today.

Source: 1/15/2010 Newsline Special

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