United Methodist volunteer teams postpone trips to Haiti
Feb. 17, 2004
By Elliott Wright*
YORK (UMNS) - United Methodist Volunteers in Mission teams visits to
Haiti in the immediate future are being cancelled or postponed because
of growing unrest and violence in that country.
of Feb. 16, teams already in Haiti were safe, according to reports from
personnel of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
team working outside the capital of Port-au-Prince had decided on its
own to remain until Feb. 23, conditions permitting. The capital was
reported calm and another volunteer team was expected to depart from
there to the United States Feb.17.
is one of the most popular destinations for volunteer mission teams
from the United States. In a typical year, 80 teams made up of some 700
people go there through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission.
Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive at the Board of Global Ministries,
said the mission agency is "deeply concerned" about the violence and
political instability in Haiti. The board and its relief arm, the United
Methodist Committee on Relief, are monitoring developments in Haiti
from a humanitarian perspective in the event that relief and refugee
services might be needed.
opposition to the administration of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide exploded in mid-February after having smoldered for a long
time. Leaders of the Methodist Church of Haiti reported Feb 16
deteriorating political conditions.
collaboration with the Haitian church, the agency operates a guesthouse
in Haiti for mission volunteers, coordinated by Charles Maddox, a board
expressed appreciation to Maddox and President Raphael Dessieu of the
Methodist Church of Haiti for their attention to the welfare of the
volunteer teams and their efforts to keep the board informed of the
general situation on the island.
prayers are with our volunteer teams, the Methodist people of Haiti and
all the citizens of that poor and often troubled land," Day said. "May
God grant healing and peace to Haiti."
*Elliott Wright is a communications consultant for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 or email@example.com