The President of the Methodist Church of Haiti has written to Bishop Joel N. Martinez, Interim General Secretary of the Board of Global Ministries, and Bishop Janice R. Huie, Chairperson of Health and Relief for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), expressing thanks and giving a broad outline of how relief efforts will play out in coming weeks and months.
In a February 1 memo, the bishops write,
"We urge you to share this letter with your local churches and volunteer networks. The letter is helpful in clarifying both the need for volunteers in the future and the wisdom of responding at the most appropriate time.
"We invite you to continue your prayerful support and encouragement for the people of Haiti as we continue planning for the most effective response by the United Methodist Church."
Phil Bandy, interim director of the California-Nevada UMVIM office, reassures those in this conference who are eager to respond to the devastation in Haiti, that "Volunteers are needed and will be deployed to Haiti when it is time."
"Please register at the UMCOR Volunteer Site, www.umrespond.org/haiti," he says, "and I will collect your names and contact you to form teams in the near future.
"Please see the 10 Steps to Haiti [on the UMVIM "Urgent Needs" page] as a guide to prepare yourselves. New training specific to Haiti is being prepared for volunteers to receive before deploying, so team leaders should include this in their plans."