Air Land Emergency Resource Team
Haiti Deployment Report
Early in January 2005, Lt. Col. John Tanner was impressed that ALERT needed to be ready and available for international deployment. Merely five days later, as the ALERT men returned from winter furlough, an urgent call for help came in from Friend Ships, International, an organization delivering food, clothing, medical aid, and relief items to the needy around the world.
They expressed their need: “In less than a week, we have a ship full of relief aid goods sailing to Haiti. We have teams of doctors flying in to staff medical clinics, hundreds of pastors invited to attend a large pastor’s conference, and a food team ready to serve meals to thousands of starving people. But our logistics team had to cancel their trip. Can ALERT help?”
With a few days to prepare and organize the group, ALERT responded to this need by sending a team of 47 men to support the distribution of aid from Friend Ships. They were deployed January 25–February 12, 2005, and made a significant impact on the mission.
A Powerful Testimony of Works and Words
From the very outset of the Haiti deployment, the Lord was clearly in control and guiding the men. God appointed key people to aid the ALERT team, allowing them to arrive in Haiti without confusion or delay.
The ALERT team served by providing crowd control for the medical clinic and during meal times. Team members also served by meeting medical needs of the people, coordinating logistics, providing crucial security detail, and assisting with general camp duties such as meal prep and service, trash cleanup, and unloading and sorting goods. Each day the ALERT men served alongside UN troops from Sri Lanka, all of whom appeared to be Buddhists. The men were able to share the Gospel and hand out Bibles to many of the troops.
Don Tipton, Friend Ships’ executive director, appreciated ALERT’s contribution to their ministry and described their response to the mission in Haiti: “I thought for sure they must be Marines, but they are not…I truly have never seen anything like them. They are disciplined, stand at attention, are ready to serve, helpful, and not a smart aleck among them. I had no idea there were people like this wonderful team out there. They have brought their own tents, camp out on the grounds, and give us total security day and night as they work around the clock in shifts. They guard the ship, the grounds, and the helicopter, truly like an army. These boys are real soldiers in the best account. We’ve even caught them on numerous occasions reading the Word and praying for people. Can you imagine? American youth.”
An Opportunity to Train Haiti’s Future Leaders
The work in Haiti was based in the town of Carrefour in a mission compound called Grace Village, which is under the direction of Bishop Jeune. Through this time of service, Bishop Jeune saw in the ALERT men a love for people, a servant’s heart, and the stamina to complete a difficult job. He felt that this is exactly what Haitian men need to become established and walk with the Lord. Based on the pleading of local pastors, he asked how they could begin an ALERT team for Haitian young men.
Bishop Jeune quickly organized a meeting at his church for men who were interested in discovering more about the ALERT program. From a list of 73 applicants, Bishop Jeune handpicked 14 men who were solid and faithful Christians—men he felt could take the training they were given and continue with it after the ALERT team left Haiti.
During the last week of the mission, 3 ALERT men led the 14 Haitian men through an introductory ALERT-style training program. They received instruction in physical fitness, nutrition, first-aid, firefighting, and personal discipline while learning how to apply the character of Christ in all that they do.
A commanding officer of the UN Sri Lankan group observed the Haitian men in training and received a good understanding of the goals and objectives of the ALERT-style training. He commented that the 14 men should apply for jobs with an agency that organizes and oversees governmental and social reforms within Haiti. This officer is the UN representative who oversees the civil affairs of this agency in that area of Haiti!
Imagine how the Lord could use these 14 men to positively impact the nation of Haiti. With these men placed in key leadership positions, the possibility to share the love of Christ and the truth of God’s Word with hurting people is enormous.
In a spiritual sense, the deployment was a complete success. Thousands received much needed medical care, food, clothing, and encouragement. There was a harvest of souls as many received Christ as their Savior. Bishop Jeune was left with assurance that ALERT will be available to counsel and assist him with developing a training program for Haitian leaders and young men. Although the deployment is over and the men are back on U.S. soil, it is important that we continue to pray that the seeds sown on this trip will bear much fruit in the months and years to come.
“I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles; to open blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (Isaiah 42:6–7).Read first-hand reports from the deployment.
Thank you for Your Support
ALERT would like to extend a special thank you for your many prayers and financial donations that allowed this trip to be accomplished. Through your support, the ALERT team was enabled to fulfill the vision of the ALERT program—equipping men to serve nations.
If you would like to give towards ALERT’s Disaster Relief Fund, please contact us.