|United Methodists rescued in Haiti|
A UMNS Report
After the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, survivors rest in a makeshift shelter in the parking lot of the
general hospital.14/Jan/2010. Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
UN Photo/Logan Abassi.
By Linda Bloom*
Jan. 15, 2010
The Rev. Sam Dixon
Two United Methodist mission leaders have been rescued from the
rubble of the Hotel Montana, and workers are close to extracting a third
church leader pinned under a concrete beam after the massive earthquake
rocked Haiti Jan. 12.
The Rev. Sam Dixon, top executive of the United Methodist Committee
on Relief, was taken out of the debris Friday morning, said Bishop Bruce
Ough, president of the Board of Global Ministries. The Rev. Clinton
Rabb, head of Mission Volunteers, was responding to rescue workers.
“They had to get Sam out in order to get to Clint, as I understand
it,” reported Tom Hazelwood, an executive with the United Methodist
Committee on Relief. He said rescue workers were able to get fluids into
Dixon and Rabb, and both were talking.
James Gulley, an UMCOR official who had been trapped with the two
men, was rescued earlier. Gulley, who suffered cuts and bruises, is at
the U.S. Embassy waiting to be airlifted out of the country.
Gulley’s son, Aaron, said his father told him Friday morning that
that Dixon and Rabb had been pinned by a concrete beam and that rescue
workers were proceeding cautiously.“He said they’re going to get them
out, it’s just a question of time,” Aaron Gulley said.
Dixon and Rabb sustained injuries, Ough said, but the extent is not
“We rejoice that all are alive,” Ough said, “like many I had begun to
prepare for their possible deaths. This is terrific news.”
The hotel collapsed when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on
Three staff from IMA World Health who were meeting with the trio at
the hotel -- Sarla Chand, a United Methodist who serves as vice
president of international programs; Rick Santos, the agency’s
president, and Ann Varghese, program officer for Haiti -- also were
rescued and are fine.
In an interview on “Good Morning America,” Gulley, Santos and Chand, a
former staff member of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries,
spoke of being trapped in a small space between two large pillars. They
shared a stick of chewing gum and a Tootsie Roll pop provided by Santos.
“For us not to die with that magnitude of an earthquake, to me, that
is second life,” Chand said. Gulley added, “We’re very fortunate to be
The news of their rescue was first posted on a Hotel Montana Facebook
page. Hazelwood said Gulley called his wife, Nancy, who then called
Roland Fernandes, a Global Ministries executive.
The Rev. Clinton Rabb
Dixon and Gulley flew to Haiti on Jan. 11 to attend meetings, and
Rabb had joined them there on the day of the earthquake. They had
arrived at the hotel just about 5 minutes before the earthquake struck
at 4:53 p.m.
Dixon has served at the Board of Global Ministries since 1998. As
UMCOR’s chief executive, he oversees programs that range in scope from
international development and peace building to long-term disaster
recovery and special ministries to marginalized people. He also served
24 years in pastoral ministry and had special assignments in the
denomination’s North Carolina Annual (regional) Conference.
Rabb, a clergy member of the Southwest Texas Conference, has served
with the Mission Volunteer unit since July 2006 and has been on the
agency staff since 1995. During a span of almost 20 years as a pastor
and chaplain in Texas, Rabb was engaged in domestic and international
Volunteers in Missions teams.
Gulley has extensive experience in sustainable agricultural work. As a
missionary, he served from 1972 to 1979 in Nigeria and, starting in
2005, for 15 months in Cambodia, working on agriculture projects. He
also worked for the U.S. Department for Agriculture for 10 years and led
a sustainable agriculture project at the Board of Global Ministries.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bishop Bruce Ough “An overlooked resource is prayer.”
Bishop Bruce Ough “I was dismayed and disgusted by Pat
Photos from team in Haiti
UMCOR Press Release
Missing mission staff rescued in Haiti
Sarla Chand, of WHO, rescued from rubble
Concerns mount for missing UMCOR
‘Dire situation’ in Haiti calls for generous giving
United Methodists in Haiti
before quake hit
United Methodists respond with
prayer, aid for Haiti
United Methodists rescued in Haiti (Korean Translation)
Facebook: Haiti Earthquake Hotel Montana
UMCOR Field Office: Haiti
Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance
The United Methodist Church
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