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Seven alumni aid in Haiti's recovery

Jason Bowman and family
Chaplain Marlin Williams (M.Div. 2006) comforting and praying for a child found alive after being buried under corpses for seven days.

Seven AGTS alums are in the middle of the recovery efforts in Haiti. Assemblies of God missionary James Courter (M.A. 2006), who founded Arise Haiti Medical Ministries in 2008, had just returned to Haiti two hours before the quake struck. Narrowly missing being crushed in the five-story Caribbean Market that saw massive loss of life, he is now in the middle of relief efforts being facilitated by AG World Missions.

In addition, army chaplain Brad Baumann (M.Div. 1997), Air Force chaplain Eusebia Rios (M.A. 2001, M.Div. 2002), and Navy chaplains Lofton Thornton (M.Div. 1994), Jerry Durham (M.Div. 2004), Marlin Williams (M.Div. 2006) and Brian Shearer (M.Div. 2003) are all in Haiti diligently serving their troops as well as the stricken people there.

Chaplain Durham writes, “The people are suffering from all kinds of injuries. Many children are coming to us without parents…” Chaplain Williams’ moving journal reports can be found at (A Chaplain’s View—the Haiti Earthquake). These journal entries provide a moving portrait of the day-to-day life of a chaplain in the face of such terrible tragedy.

A Fox News reporter met up with Chaplain Shearer in the ruins of an orphanage where over 50 children were killed. He writes, “The U.S. Navy also comes through with Chaplain Brian Shearer. He speaks with the kids and holds a private service, praying over the site and committing their souls to heaven. It is so incredibly sad and you can see the pain in the Chaplain’s face, the heaviness in his heart. I ask him how he does it and he says it helps people move on and recover and the triumphs keep the sailors going.” Shearer also shared on a Fox News report that he doesn’t focus on the dead but gives hope to the living, showing God’s love and compassion, telling them that their true hope is in Jesus Christ.

Jason Bowman and family
Chaplain Eusebia Rios (M.A. 2001, M.Div. 2002)

The needs of Haiti are overwhelming and the impact of this tragedy will be felt for years. Though the number of alumni mentioned above may not seem like much in the face of the massive need in Haiti, they are exactly the kind of enduring resource that brings to the context of hopelessness a clear testimony to God’s grace. They represent exactly the kind of quality people who are part of the AGTS community right now—exceptional students with God’s call on their lives. The AGTS alums now working in Haiti probably never dreamed they would face the kinds of tragedy they are ministering in right now. But they are prepared and ready wherever Kingdom opportunities arise.

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Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 11:40 AM

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