Rev Martinez and Immacula Jovin
Martinez and Immacula serve in Haiti with the Bethesda Fellowship of churches.
We praise God that Martinez and Immacula (“Emma”) Jovin were both unharmed in the great earthquake of 12 January 2010, and that their house was one of the few remaining standing (because it had been built with reinforced concrete), even though the roof has suffered damage from the second quake.
The Bethesda Mission, under their leadership, is currently at the demolition process of rebuilding damaged churches and schools. Thus far, the Marbial secondary school has been completely demolished and plans are underway to demolish the primary buildings as well. The Cabaret school and church demolition has begun, but the mission has simultaneously constructed a temporary facility using wood and tarpaulins for the church there.
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Although the community of people ministered to have much to be depressed about, God has given an eagerness and fortitude of spirit in many people to rebuild their lives. For this reason, Pastor Martinez and Emma and the various OEBB workers help as many people as possible who have been affected by the earthquake. OEBB has focused on stabilizing local church members and their community livelihood.
Their son, Caleb, visited Haiti for a brief period in May 2010 to assess various needs and propose ways to help the work in Haiti. Daniel, Shantell and their four children were involved in ministry and medical care during the month of July; they are prayerfully considering long term commitments to ministry reconstruction in conjunction with Pastor, Emma and the OEBB mission. This summer Daniel will be able to continue to assist the mission as field director. He will continue to assist with the various ministries such as preaching, distribution of Bibles and other Christian literature and the continued reconstruction efforts of the OEBB. Shantell will be involved with medical ministry alongside Emma.
Daniel visited Haiti again in November 2010. He met school principals to discuss their current needs, took seminars with them and the teachers on professional development and health education, with a focus on the treatment and containment of cholera in school and the community. He was also able to conduct a number of reconstruction planning meetings in local communities with pastors, elders and deacons. He also had this to say about voodooism: “The current national catastrophes and challenges continue to expose the futility of voodoo and occult worship and beliefs. For example, one of the reasons many continue to die as a result of cholera infections in some villages, apart from the lack of access to medical care, is due in part to the fact that some seek the help of voodoo “priests” initially rather than immediately seeking medical attention; only to painfully discover that the voodoo system is ineffective.”
We praise God for hearing the prayers of many that the great hurricane in November 2010 changed course out into the sea and not over the land of Haiti.
We need to continue to pray for Pastor and Emma’s health – that God will continue to give them strength that they may be able to continue to lead the work God has entrusted to them, and protect them from disease, especially during this difficult period with the spread of cholera.
Daniel reports from his visit in January 2011 that many displaced people remain without access to health care, and that although the incidence of cholera is beginning to reduce, there might still be as many as 400,000 cases in 2011 but with an increasing shortage of doctors and nurses. Bethesda Mission are attempting to maintain a level of readiness and vigilance so that they can respond immediately to new outbreaks when necessary, and that they in the meantime will continue to faithfully minister God’s Word, along with other evangelical ministries, through evangelism as well as through acts of mercy. As God continues to mould the situation in Haiti, pray that many more will be humbled by the internal turmoil and submit to His sovereign plans.
Land owners are beginning to try to evict displaced people in order to regain control over their land again, and security remains a big issue with recent political demonstrations.
Hurricane Irene caused severe damage to livestock and crops around Marbial in September 2011, but mercifully there were no deaths. Nevertheless, the people are left destitute. The rebuilding of the school and boys’ home has continued. See the latest pictures.
The cost of rescuing people and providing shelter, food and medical help will, we think, have to be left to the major aid organisations, which seem to be in danger of tripping over themselves through the lack of infrastructure or any Local Government organisation. However, it is not just immediate aid that is required, but also the provision of aid in the medium and longer term to help people get their lives back together again. It is here, we think, that our help may be the most effective.
We are very grateful to a good number of Churches who have contacted us regarding the means of sending aid. Our Missionary Treasurer, Mr Norman Thomas, has been able to send over £50,000 via various routes
For further information you may like to contact:
Mr Norman Thomas
6 Glas Efail
Cardiff CF14 4SQ Tel: 029 2062 6021
We advise you not to use the PO box in Port-au-Prince, as the post office there has been reduced to rubble. There is no possibility at the moment of contacting the Jovins in Haiti by post; you will have to email them.
What else can we do? In the meantime, read Psalm 46 and Nahum 1: 2-7, and pray! And watch television news and see the city and the country where they serve, and the plight of the people they would like to reach, and the roads they have to travel on – and pray!
Heath Church Missionary Committee, October 2011
From Operation World (7th edition, 2010)
Haiti: Answers to prayer
The spiritual response to the tragedy of the 2010 earthquake was an almost universal outpouring of prayer, repentance and calling upon God for mercy and deliverance. Out of the disaster, God appears to be doing something radical and new among the people of Haiti. Reports abound that the three days of prayer and fasting called for by the President – replacing the February 2010 Mardi Gras – were attended by over one million people.
Challenges for prayer
The earthquake of 2010 was a disaster on many levels. But it also offers hope out of tragedy. It is believed that 230,000 lost their lives, 300,000 were injured and over one million were rendered homeless. Hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings were also destroyed, including some major government buildings. Aid arrived from around the world, but co-ordination was difficult in the aftermath of the earthquake, and assistance will be needed for along time to come. For a host of reasons, Haiti struggled as a nation from its very inception. This shattering disaster could be an opportunity to reshape not just the physical infrastructure of the nation, but the cultural, economic, political and societal infrastructures as well. Some points to cover in prayer include:
a) The rebuilding efforts will take years. Haiti’s infrastructure was never good, and Port-au-Prince’s was especially weak due to rapid urbanization from poorer rural areas. Countless homes will need to be rebuilt or restored; the sheer scale of money and manpower needed is staggering for the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. Pray for the best long-term development for the city and nation, rather than quick fixes. Pray for generous assistance from wealthier neighbours and nations and agencies from further abroad.
b) The human suffering was immense in the immediate aftermath and will continue for years. The shared emotional trauma of the events, the massive loss of life and the long-term injuries will all leave major scars on the Haitian population. Healing from such hurts needs time, care and the love of God.
c) Haiti was a financial and social mess even before the earthquake. Repairing all the damage, however, will not create a healthy economy. Haiti must build beyond its previous state and develop long-term plans and policies that are shaped with wisdom and justice.