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Mission volunteers missing, injured in Haiti

Editor's note: This story is updated with new information about an Indiana missions team.

A UMNS Report
By Joey Butler*

3:00 AM EST Jan. 15, 2010

Members of a Dallas mission team working at an eye-care clinic were injured in the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake, and two Indiana churches are still waiting for news about their members.

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A group of 12 mission volunteers from Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas was working in the village of Petit Goave when the clinic building collapsed. Volunteers had to dig out people buried in the rubble, the church said on its Web site.

Some mission members were injured.

“Some may be serious,” the church said. “We are not releasing the names of our team members, per family requests. Our priority is to get our team medical care and back home.”

Late Thursday afternoon, the church issued an update that it had a chartered airplane en route to the Dominican Republic to pick up some of the team members. Two other members are headed to the island of Martinique. Three more are headed to the U.S., and the remaining five have already arrived stateside. The update listed various injuries including broken ribs, a broken hand and serious internal injuries.

Meanwhile, all nine members of an Indiana missions team have been found and are safe, according to a post on the Web site of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. The team comprises members from St. Luke’s and Milroy (Ind.) United Methodist Church.

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The team had been working at a Catholic school and orphanage in Fondwa—four hours south of Port-au-Prince, the epicenter of the quake. They came to Haiti under the auspices of the Family Health Ministries, a faith-based non-profit organization based in Durham, N.C.

The news that the team was “safe and sound” was relayed by the daughter of two of the team members, according to the announcement on St. Luke’s Web site. The news was shared at a Jan. 14 evening prayer service at the church “and was met with applause and tears of joy and relief.”

*Butler is a content editor for United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn.  

News media contact: Joey Butler, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5105 or newsdesk@umcom.org.


Photos from team in Haiti

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