Friday, January 15, 2010

Member of Lititz Church of the Brethren is still in Haiti with mission group.

A group of youth adults in Haiti on a mission trip with the Feed My Sheep Ministry includes Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren member Mark Risser. He is with a group of three other young men from the Lititz area, including Trevor Sell, Ty Getz, and Ben Wingard.

Betsy and Bill Longenecker, also of Lititz Church of the Brethren, and their son Billy helped coordinate the mission trip. The Longeneckers for 13 years have been taking annual mission trips to Haiti through Feed My Sheep. The family was in Haiti just last week as part of a Feed My Sheep mission group that also included several others from the Lititz congregation. Their group returned to the US on Saturday, Jan. 9, before the earthquake struck.

The group of young adults currently in Haiti are scheduled to return to the US next Wednesday, Jan. 20, through Port-au-Prince on Delta Airlines. Yesterday, while the Longeneckers were meeting with the parents of the group, Billy Longenecker "was finally able to directly connect with the Delta airlines to reschedule reserved seats for his friends," Betsy Longenecker said in a report today.

The group hopes that waiting until Wednesday will give time for humanitarian aid distribution to begin and for "the current airport chaos to settle down, and security forces to be better strategically placed throughout this devastated city. In addition, it was agreed that the displaced, who lived in Port-au-Prince, should be evacuated first," she said.

The group is safe and staying at the Feed My Sheep Ministry Base in Montrouis, a town of about 40,000 people in a "very poor" area 70 miles up the northern coastline of Haiti. "These young men are choosing to continue the tree planting/drip irrigation project that they had originally planned to do in addition to helping with local clean-up efforts," Longenecker’s report said. Other Americans at the Feed My Sheep Ministry Base include directors Bev and Richard Felmey and a young adult longterm volunteer Leah Bomberger.

Since Montrouis was spared major damage from the earthquake, life there is going forward somewhat normally, Longenecker said. "However...there is incredible sadness as people learn more about the extensive damage and loss of life just 70 miles away. In the midst of this sadness, many churches in Montrouis are having 24-hour prayer services."

She also expressed concern that the crisis in Port-au-Prince will make getting essential supplies for Montrouis an even larger task and more expensive. "We were also just informed that many people are coming up the coast from Port-au-Prince to be with their families or to just get away from the situation. The needs in Montrouis for basic supplies will be an issue as the week goes forward."

She asked for prayers "for Haitians and missions throughout the country. Thank you for praying for the safe return of Trevor, Mark, Ty, and Ben. Continue to pray too for Haiti, a country filled with wonderful people who are again experiencing tragedy."

Source: 1/15/2010 Newsline Special

No comments: