Sunday, January 31, 2010

Initial packing done

We did initial packing today at FBC Rogers.  With the reports from Haiti, we didn't feel like we had to overload ourselves with supplies so we just packed some of the necessities from the supplies that the first team left behind.  I think we'll have plenty of room for the rest of our supplies and medications.  We do our final packing on Wednesday.  At that time, we'll be able to pack more things for the children.  The FBC Rogers team went to an orphanage this morning (53 children), and contacted their home church during their morning worship service today.  It was quite touching to watch over the internet.  I would recommend following their links as published previously in this blog.  It will give you an idea of what we'll be encountering.

Today's issue with the Christian group trying to take children out of the country troubles me greatly.  We should pray that this will not lead to any type of limitations on our work there.

Jim B.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

FBC Rogers team encounters first full day

As the Rogers team continues to work, we get some idea of what we will encounter in one week. I spoke with Dr. Faddis this evening. They are seeing many less wounds than expected but lots of respiratory illness due to dust and burning of rotting trash in the streets. There are lots of pelvic infections in the women, aches and pains, stomach issues, skin rashes, and newly orphaned children. Their most severe injury in clinic today was a 2 year old, whose back was broken in the earthquake, paralyzing the child.

The team is camped at the end of the Port-au-Prince airport, with C-130's flying over repeatedly. Cold showers and toilet facilities are available and a cantina and a vending machine make life a little easier for them when they return from their outlying clinics.

Angie E., Susan G's friend from Conway, will be joining our group, and will be helping with interpretation since she speaks French. Creole is dialect of French, as I understand it.

Lastly, I was glad to hear that AT&T is offering voice, data, and messaging services to all relief workers at no extra cost, so that will allow us to update the blog regularly without concern about cost.

Please continue to pray for the Rogers team as they work, travel, and rest, and for the people they are serving, both physically and spiritually. Our team will begin initial packing at FBC Rogers Sunday afternoon.

Jim B.

Friday, January 29, 2010

FBC Rogers team arrived in Haiti 1/29/10

Our team will be keeping up with the FBC Rogers team in Haiti starting today.  There are several websites available to track the work they're doing as they pave the way for our work next week.  Though I don't know everyone on their team, I know it includes Dr. Lance Faddis, Dr. Shannon Jewell, Dr. Adam Maass, Dr. Jacob Kaler, missions pastor John Caubble, and several other medical professionals, including some from Jonesboro.  Their work can be followed on the Facebook link at

Two other lines of communication give more information about our ground support in Haiti.  Thirst No More is a Christian relief organization, whose president is Craig Miller.  Craig is our liaison and is providing ground support for us there.  The organization's website is, and for those more sophisticated folks who tweet, search for "tnmtweets" to check on Craig's daily activities and involvement in Haiti.  Craig was the collegiate pastor at FBC Springdale for many years, and if my memory is correct, he also preached in our church before Brother Phillip came to us.

We will certainly be praying for this team as they begin their work and give us a heads-up on what we need to bring, how to prepare, and what we will be seeing.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why I'm going to Haiti

Three and a half months before the Haiti earthquake, FBC Bentonville hosted Rev. Chuck Sackman, pastor of Piney Point Baptist Church.  He shared about his ministry to Haiti over the last several years, and my heart was warmed with the idea of volunteering in Haiti.  I recognized this "feeling" because twenty years ago, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to join a dentist in several medical/dental missions to Guatemala after sensing this same "heart warming."  Knowing it had been nearly 5 years since I had volunteered in Indonesia after the tsunami, I wondered if God was leading me to go to Haiti.  So, I placed this concern on my daily prayer list - "Should I go to Haiti?" 

For the next 3 months, I felt no clear answer, until the earthquake.  My wife will attest that since the earthquake in mid-January, my mind has been consumed with the thought of providing medical relief to Haiti.  During the first several days after the quake, I wrestled with options of entering the country, to no avail.  It would be foolish to enter without ground support and security was poor. 

Then Lance Faddis, my partner in medical practice, along with John Caubble, missions pastor at FBC Rogers, found a way to enter Haiti.  This opportunity arose through Craig Miller of Thirst No More, a Christian relief agency, who had entered Haiti soon after the earthquake.  Lance and John quickly assembled a medical team from their church and paved the way for our entry.  God had answered, "Should I go to Haiti?" with a "yes!"

Once a second team's entry was approved, God brought us together as 2 doctors (Jim and Steve), a nurse practitioner (Paul), 2 nurses (Edie and Maureen), and an assistant (Chad).  At this point, we've had a Skype conversation with Craig in the Dominican Republic, purchased our airline tickets, made initial plans, and ordered $4400 of medicines and supplies from Blessings International.

Over the coming week, prior to departure on 2/5/2010, we must secure the remainder of medications and supplies, pack all of this within the limitations of commercial flights, and prepare for experiences we've never encountered before.  Please pray for us that we will prepare wisely, gathering supplies that will be needed for the work we'll be doing.  Pray that God will use each of us to touch hurting people with the love of Jesus Christ in a real and practical way, and that we'll have opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them through our Creole interpreters.  Certainly pray for these people who have suffered so greatly that God will provide relief in their time of need, and that they'll realize that their help has come from the Lord.

Jim Byrum