Upcoming Events

Bethesda Medical Center

Please pray with us as we seek to build a 225-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince.  We are praying for the donation of land in order to begin the project.  

Click here for more information on the Bethesda Medical Clinic project.  

We will need individuals to volunteer and participate in this project in order to make it happen. Please fill out the form below if you're interested in being a part of this project or being updated on an ongoing basis.  

 

Baudelynne's Visit

 

This sweet little girl needs our help and thanks to contributions from you, she is coming to the U.S this month!.  She is Haitian and lives near Port Au Prince.  Baudelynne (daughter of our wonderful pastor friend, Jean Baptiste) suffers from diabetes.  Her school work is suffering and she is struggling with vision problems likely due to the incorrect amount of insulin.  She will receive testing and see specialists while here.  

I met Baudelyne on my last trip to Haiti.  We told her that we wanted to take a picture of her to share with others in order to help her.  Her response touched my heart.  She said that she wanted us to take a picture of her but not just for her, but for all of the other children in Haiti struggling with diabetes.  She wants to start an organization to raise support and awareness for all Haitian Diabetic children. 

Her father, as he was translating for her, commented that he doesn’t know where that comes from.  I do.  Her compassion for others comes from the example of her father and mother and the compassion they show to others.  Jean Baptiste has started a school & orphanage and has awesome God-given visions for the future of Haiti.  His compassion and love to Haiti is so electric that his children can’t help but follow his example. 

Please pray for Baudelynne's trip here.  Pray for safety as she travels and also, as she is traveling without her family, pray that she will be at peace and ease any anxiety or fears.  Pray also that the wonderful doctors volunteering to help her would be able to care for her needs and provide her with long term solutions to help the symptoms of her diabetes.

Please contact Bekah (bekah@nahaitipartnership.org) if you’d like to be kept up to date with her story.  

 

Going Prepared

Going Prepared book cover

Going Prepared

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

In 2004, our church sent a team of youth to Kenya. During the trip, the team was van-jacked, driven to the bush, and harassed. Some were hit and beaten, and all were robbed of their passports, valuables and money.

As a church, we did not handle the situation well, either before they went or after they came home. A risk assessment would have told us that the most common crime in Kenya’s major cities, and in particular Nairobi, is car-jacking, but our team was unaware of the danger.

Church-Based Crisis Management

Short-term teams face a variety of potential risks. Automobile and other accidents, serious illnesses, natural catastrophes, violent crime, political unrest, imprisonment and terrorism head the list. The first thing we did to prepare for future crises was to look for other churches from whom we could learn. We quickly found that few churches were proactively addressing risk issues for short-term teams. So we set out to rectify that situation.

Evaluate Risk in the Destination Area

Part of risk mitigation is appropriately vetting trip destinations. We have cancelled trips due to the unhealthy level of risk at a destination.  Part of our vetting process is to prepare a risk assessment on each trip destination with a numerical score indicating the risk level. We have designed a risk assessment matrix that grades a county/destination on different areas including political climate, overall crime, crime against American tourists, health services, emergency services, communications, road conditions, and several other areas. These evaluations are prepared by experienced, professional evaluators who also have short-term missions experience. Individual scores in each of these areas are tallied to provide a country score with a matching warning: (1) travel with common sense safety, (2) travel with caution, or (3) consider postponing travel. For youth trips, we recommend a lower threshold for postponing a trip. Seasoned short term missionaries who have experienced high risk areas will have a higher overall tolerance for risk.

Establish a Crisis Management Team

The next step we took was to develop a crisis management team (CMT) to handle future crises. Yes, we expect another incident. I recently saw an insurance billboard which said 1 in 8 people will experience a vehicle accident, and such accidents are the number one cause of injury on the mission field. Based on these statistics alone, the chances are high we will experience another situation in which we will need to respond to some type of danger.

Train All Team Members and Leaders

The third step we recommend was to begin a standardized training program for every short-term team and team leader, including a mandatory, yes, mandatory, session on risk assessment and crisis management. During this training, we present common-sense steps to increase vigilance and awareness and address such issues as driving in foreign countries.

Establish a Policy and Stick With It.

We often heard from churches, we do not need such a program since God will take care of us. We fervently believe we are in God’s hands but as in Nehemiah it became necessary to work with a shovel and a sword.  In other word, they prepared for a problem. In the New Testament, we find examples of Jesus or the apostles departing quickly or taking detours to avoid potential adverse situations. We strive to strike a balance between two key principles: It’s not about safety, it’s about ministry, and There are no prizes for being a risk-taker. Apply those guidelines and take some of our advice, and you and your church will be better prepared for short-term ministry in today’s world.

Here’s the easy way to get this information.  Dr. Lee Jacobs and I documented our research and personal experiences in a book, Going Prepared. You can obtain your copy at www.going-prepared.com.

 

Steve Vereb