Mission Statement

Chicago Metro Presbytery exists to extend the gospel and to oversee the work of the ministry of the PCA throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area to the glory of God.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bike Ride Through the City

Dan Adamson, Pastor of Cityview Presbyterian Chicago:

In the 9 months I have been at Cityview, my goal has been simply to get a group of people who will love God, love each other and love our city. We have seen growth in all three areas recently. In regards to loving our city, we have monthly gathered at a local bar/restaurant for Pint nights. These gatherings not only facilitate community with one another but it gives our congregation another chance to enjoy the neighborhood our church meets in.

Recently a group from our church went on a bike ride through the city. To watch our group ride down Washington street, on the lake front and then ending at a great Mexican restaurant in Pilsen was wonderful. To enjoy the beauty of our city as a church is a wonderful way to promote our vision for this church.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ministry Postings

Job, internship and other ministry postings can be made using this website for CMP. If you, and/or your church, is interested in communicating with the larger community the opportunities for ministry in your church, please send an email to the address at right [chicagometropres@gmail.com] with documents and information that you would like to have posted.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #7

At the end of the day (Friday), residents of the Cayes neighborhood were standing in line not for medical care, but to shake the hands of our team leaders. In their words: “Even other Haitians avoid coming to our neighborhood. But you Americans came and took care of us today. You cannot know what it means to us to see that someone cares.” And they all knew the Americans were there in Jesus’ name – “nan nom Jezi” in Creole.

For once, the team was grateful for a torrential downpour. When it was time to begin to pack up, there were still masses of people. The rains came and the people started to scatter – and when it didn’t let up, they didn’t come back. It poured for at least an hour. It was a less painful way to finish than to just turn people away. Almost 200 people had been seen – an amazing effort by the team. The chaos of a large crowd threatened to overtake them at any minute for most of the day. Louis had asked several “community leaders” (aka gang members) to provide a cordon around our team so that they could work in relative order while masses of people waited for care. These “leaders” were effective in their tasks as everyone knew their street reputations.

During the day, the crowding made it hard for the children’s team to accomplish anything with the children, until they took refuge in the back of the pick up truck that had brought them there. From the bed of the truck, the team worked with whatever children gathered. At one point, the medical team moved to a less exposed location – inside a small room that was close and cramped. But it was easier to control access that way.

By evening, the team was back in the guest quarters at Cambry, packing up for the trip home. Excess supplies were returned to the pharmacy for use by the next team – the duffels that were stuffed with donated supplies (and purchased medicines bought with donated funds) upon arrival will come back empty.

To the exhausted team, cool showers were a blessing, falling into bed another! Their morning will come early – they intend to leave by 5:00 to leave plenty of time for the trip back to PAP. The flight leaves at 12:10.

Please pray that the trip by bus and by air are safe, smooth and timely. Pray also that their return home would not be marked by residual illnesses, and that their memories of Haiti would be not of those people that they could not help, but of the difference they could see themselves making in the life of every person they did help. Ask God to give them a sense of the specialness of their team unity and the deep friendships formed in the trying circumstances they have weathered together, for his glory and for the good of the people of Haiti. At the end of an experience like this, it is hard for them to fathom that they hadn’t even met every team member just a week ago! Also, praise God for the generous support that allowed this team to spend a week in ministry there, and be so wonderfully stocked with medicines, supplies, clothes to give away, and games to play with the children.

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti, and for those who will come in our team’s place in the coming weeks and months. Ask God to bless the efforts of relief workers all over the island, and to remove any human barriers to effective service, care, and rebuilding. Pray above all for spiritual revival in these sorely trying times in Haiti, and for those who are the spiritual leaders there. Remember Dony, Louis, the pastors they are training, and the churches that are forming, nan nom Jezi.

If cell signals allow, there will be one more update tomorrow morning (Saturday) letting you know of their progress towards home, on American Air flight #1004, scheduled to leave Port au Prince at 12:10 CST.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #6

Another busy and hard day at Charette. Again, it was cut short by the threat of rain. It was either leave early or perhaps not get out for two weeks while the rivers got back down to a crossable size. So, although frustrating to leave people who needed help (and had lined up early in the day) the team made the tough choice to leave when they were warned to. Lots of people were helped, some in heartbreaking situations. A common refrain was “children shouldn’t have to go through this”. Although this causes a lot of wear and tear on our team, they are buoyed up by each other’s encouragements and the sense that they are doing something together as a team that none of them could accomplish alone. They are calling this “extreme missions” – and each is rising to the collective and individual challenges.

Another need came to light today, this one a little closer to “home” – Louis’ home, that is. Louis, the St. Germaine brother who is the pastor at Cambry and co-leader of El Shaddai with Dony, has taken several young people under his wing when they had nowhere else to go. A young man in his late teens or early twenties, Serius, was in dire need of some attention to his mouth, and so a week or so ago they decided to take him to someone who claimed they could help him. Things went badly awry, and today Serius’ drove the team around in horrible pain and a face so swollen it was misshapen on one side. Our dentist, Brendan, and others took a look and tried to assess the problem and quickly determined that infection had seeped into Serius’s jawbone – likely life threatening if not dealt with given how far it had advanced. The only thing to do: get him to a hospital for long term antibiotic treatment and possible surgery.

Once Louis was made aware of the severity of the problem, a plan was set in motion. The only hospital deemed safe enough to send him to is in Port au Prince, so Serius will be going there tomorrow. As our team learned on their last trip just following the earthquake six months ago, hospitals in Haiti are very much a “pay as you go” proposition – in fact, you have to bring your own medicines and supplies with you when you check in. If you don’t, you don’t get checked in. Money is in short supply in Haiti, and El Shaddai staff routinely give what they have to feed, clothe, and help others in worse situations than they are in. Seeing the need, our team pooled their cash and gave it to Louis for Serius. No one knows if it’s enough, but it’s another way that the team made an immediate and concrete (although unexpected!) difference this week. It is likely that without a trained medical staff on site this week, Serius’ situation would have not been recognized as the dangerous one that it is. Louis is profuse in his thanks.

Tomorrow might be the most logistically challenging day yet – the team is going to a new church being planted in the slums of Cambry. The building is not even completed yet, but people are being gathered for worship. The team will be setting up shop in that building (without a roof) for the day tomorrow and throw open the “door” for ministry. The needs are expected to be great, probably in overwhelming numbers. So as has been typical, they will start their day, work as hard as they can, and leave with many hurting and needy people waiting to see them. But they could stay in that one location for a month or more and that would still be the case. Such is the heartbreak of Haiti.

Praise God with the team in that AnnaMarie is feeling MUCH better and is hopeful of putting in at least a ½ day tomorrow. If you’re going to get sick in Haiti, doing it with one of our medical teams is really the way to do it – she had every medical person “consulting” on her symptoms and determining treatment as a team. That’s a lot of medical know-how!

Prayer for tomorrow:
-For the chaotic situation the team will be working in tomorrow – that they will be equal to the task of focusing on what can be accomplished and do that well, and leave behind the frustration and sorrow of what they cannot possibly accomplish under the circumstances. Crowd control will be a big need; please pray that it is done effectively and safely.
-For Serius as he and Louis go to PAP to get him the help he needs, and that medical care would be given to him quickly and properly.
-For the heartbreaking needs left behind in Charette. Pray that God would meet them even when human efforts seem so inadequate.
-Pray even now that Saturday’s travel back to PAP would be smooth and timely. They plan to leave Cambry at 5:00 am, travel for up to 5 hours (it shouldn’t take that long!) and arrive at the airport in plenty of time for their flight out to Miami at noon, and from there home (Chicago, Las Vegas, Florida, and South Dakota)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #5

Today was a wild day. Going up to a remote village in the mountains meant several things, including a clearer understanding of the word “remote”:

· Exciting travel opportunities, including changing vehicles midway up because the bus couldn’t navigate the roads any further.

· Four wheel drive vehicles with open truck beds to ride in when there were no more roads, only riverbeds and paths through trees.

· Beating the rain back down the mountain at the end of the day – because if it’s raining in the mountains, it’s flooding the aforementioned riverbeds down below. When the guides say “we’ve got to go” they mean “we’ve got to go or we won’t get back down tonight”. Lesson learned!

· Pushing vehicles through muddy water was a group activity at one point, as was shooting the riverbed before it got too deep. Our intrepid travelers got into the spirit of things and were whooping and hollering (much to the amusement of the watching Haitians) as each vehicle made it to the other side.

· After twists and turns, our team was surprised to find themselves on an expanse of beach – and at the ocean. Louis had decided they were wet and couldn’t possibly get any wetter, so an impromptu swim was offered. Again, the Haitians laughed as our team jumped out of the vehicles and raced each other to the water, fully clothed.

· And if that wasn’t enough adventure for one day, at the conclusion of the swim, a few realized they were standing on fire ant hills. A quick dip back into the water took care of most of the crawling ants, but a few team members wound up with welts. Hydrocortisone cream was liberally applied back at the camp!

And, sadly, going to a remote village was sobering as well:

There are 132 kids at the orphanage; all with rampant scabies, lice, fevers, and malnutrition. More than one medical person cried at the sight. These kids are so remote that teams cannot get to them except during the dry season – and most teams are not experienced or hardy enough to make the trip. It says a lot about our teams’ reputation with El Shaddai that they are willing to take them up there. Never the less, the conditions are hard to deal with. There seems to have been a general worsening of the orphans’ condition in the past year since the last team was there (only for one day and only a very small part of the medical team went last year).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #4

The team had a great day of ministry on all fronts.

The children’s team is finding that as much as the kids love to DO things, they just want to be noticed, played with, and hugged – all of which is fine with the children’s team J. The team is doing a great job keeping the kids occupied and happy while rotating through the medical stations.

The medical team saw about 150 people today (adults and children) including about 30 who got teeth pulled by our dentist Dr. Brendan. Also some unusual and more serious cases were brought for attention today, including one neglected wound on a child’s foot which required a great deal of cleaning and debridement with local numbing first. The second was a 17 year old girl who had been socially shunned because of extra digits on both feet – she had also never been able to wear shoes. After repeatedly being asked if she was sure she wanted to proceed, both extra toes were amputated by a team led by Dr. Zinna including Dr. Tricia and Nurse-Practitioner Erin. Although warned she’d be in a lot of pain for a while, the teenager left with a smile because she would no longer be shunned – and she left with a pair of (oversized) shoes on her feet – her first ever.

One thing difficult for the medical team, as always, is to see the effects of malnutrition – 8 year olds are the size of typical American 4 year olds; bloated stomachs and discolored hair are far too common.

The carpentry team has been successful in getting supplies to make 30 benches (really bench/desk combinations for several students to use) for the Charette orphanage/school. The wood will be taken by truck tomorrow to Charette, and they will be built over the next two days of ministry there. An ambitious goal for four carpenters, but they are up for the challenge!

Charette is a remote location about an hour away from Cambry. Most of that hour trip is up a mountain, so the school bus transporting the team can only go ≤ of the way – after that, the team will transfer to smaller 4 wheel drive vehicles for the rest of the trip. They will be there for two days, but will come back to Cambry to sleep tomorrow night because there’s not enough room, water, or food for them to spend the night in Charette. This is only the second visit Charette has had from a ministry team – the first was last year, and it was part of our July 2009 team. They are excited about going tomorrow!

The teaching team finished up two extraordinary days of teaching. Craig M and Phil G apparently connected so well with the participants that they were extremely appreciative. And at one point, they were enjoying things so much that many were doubled up laughing – including Dony the interpreter. Praise God for the gift of laughter for these Haitian leaders who are often in situations that are extremely trying and discouraging!

People are feeling well and none have had to slow down or stop their ministry due to illness. This is a huge item of praise!

Another praise – at some point tonight, something electrical blew at the compound just as sweaty hot people were thinking of cool showers and air conditioned dorms. Instead it was pitch black, with only flashlights for light. Unfortunately, no power means no water supply (electricity is needed for the water pumps) much less no air conditioning. And importantly, no way to re-charge medical equipment like scopes used for examining ears, etc. But within an hour, Louis had been contacted and from somewhere in Cambry found an electrician. Soon power was restored and cheers broke out! Please pray that the repairs would be permanent and a good (cool) night’s sleep would be had by all.

Please also pray that the visit to Charette over the next few days would be wonderfully productive and that the children (who are not used to visitors – many white people at that) would overcome shyness and enjoy the children’s ministry and allow the medical team to help them. Many have never seen a doctor – none have seen a dentist. Pray also for safety traveling up and down the mountain.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #3

Today was a great day for our team. There seemed to be less of the typical "Monday confusion" as the team began working together than is often the case and as a result about 160 people were seen at the clinic- 140 of them orphans. Our dentist pulled nine teeth and one very serious and neglected gash on a child's foot was treated. Shoes are depleted and clothes are going fast!

Children's team worked in tandem with the medical team today very well. The kids glom on to one and all and enjoy the play and attention to the hilt.

The teaching team also had a great day with 55 pastors, 18 of which drove 10 hours from Gonaives to participate. Our teaching team has named this group of pastors "heroes of the faith" for their sweet spirits, humility, and faith in adversity.

Most of the team is coping better with the heat today. The electricity did stay on last night to cool the sleeping rooms - in fact it got cold in the dorms overnight!

Tomorrow the teams will start earlier to  allow more medical care to take place. Also tomorrow replacement trike wheels will be taken to Maxene, a man who doesn't have the use of his legs. On a previous visit he was given a specially designed wheelchair "trike" and he's worn out the heavy duty tires already!

Please continue to pray for safety and resistance to illness as the team puts in long hard days in the heat. Pray also that the team would be encouraged by the difference they are making even as they see the massive needs firsthand...so much of which they cannot meet.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #2

The team had a full day of worship today; approximately 8 hours spread over three different services for most.

Phil G preached twice at Good Shepherd this morning; Craig M at Cambry at 10:00 a.m., and David Y this evening at Good Shepherd. All connected well with the congregation and did an outstanding job. The services themselves were rollicking and lively, as is usual in Haiti.

Kids at all services attached themselves to our team and the team loved it! Kids are definitely a highlight of the time in Haiti for our teams. One fell asleep in Ted’s lap during this evening’s services.

Between services this afternoon, there was some time to visit the clinic that will be the center of activity tomorrow for the medical and children’s teams. This visit was a good introduction, and the team spent some time this evening organizing supplies from the duffels now that they have a better idea what will be needed tomorrow.

There was also some time of enforced rest this afternoon – after a 16 hour travel day yesterday for most of the team and the challenges of the heat (at least 100 today with high humidity) it was necessary to do so. Their sleeping rooms are air conditioned when the electricity is running. A blessing!

Twelve to 15 pastors were flown in from Gonaives for the seminar tomorrow and were at church this evening. The seminars will be held in Cayes, about 15 minutes away from the clinic in Cambry where the med and children’s teams will be working. Also on the docket tomorrow: finding the necessary supplies to build the benches for Charette. Our friend Philemon will take the construction team to secure the necessary items.

Please pray for patience and the ability to adapt tomorrow as the teams learn to work together and find a way to bring order into the chaos that is always the first day of ministry. Pray that the carpentry supplies will be found quickly and at a fair price. Also, please pray that the air conditioning remain on tonight so that all can rest well and recover from a very hot day. Some are struggling with the heat – Ted thinks it’s the hottest he’s seen thus far. Please pray that it not be a hindrance to health or ministry.

Cell signals seem okay in Cambry, so hopefully another update tomorrow night…

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Haiti Trip Update #1

…and are on their way via bus to Cambry after a brief driving tour of Port au Prince. They should be arriving in a few hours to unload, unpack, and get to bed before a busy day tomorrow.

First worship service is at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, with another in the evening.

As they get settled in, please pray for them to quickly gel into a team, for health and safety during a busy, hot week and that they would bring hope, encouragement, and physical comfort to those they will minister to.

There are four different ministry teams: construction (which will build desk/chair combinations for use in the orphans’ school in Charette), teaching (seminary classes for three days), children’s (VBS type activities to complement the medical team, keeping the kids occupied while they wait for their turn to be seen) and medical (made up of both medical and non-medical folks – the non-medical do admin type tasks and are on “scabies wash” for all kids; medical staff includes two family practice docs, a pediatric intern, a dentist, a nurse-practitioner, a nurse, and an EMT).

Assuming no difficulty with cell reception in Haiti, there will be an update sent each evening until the team returns next Saturday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

21st Stated Meeting | July 21, 2010

Our Stated Meeting for July 21, 2010 has changed location. We will be meeting at Covenant Presbyterian in Chicago for our meeting on Wednesday, July 21. Please update your travel plans as necessary. Presbyters have been sent an email with the agenda, last quarter's minutes and the request for RSVPs for lunch and business.

Covenant Presbyterian Church
2012 W Dickens Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647 (map)

P: (773) 486-9590
F: (773) 486-9591
Contact Info

12:00 pm - Lunch, please RSVP by Wed., 7/14 (Yes or No)
1:00 pm - Worship begins
2:15 pm - Business Meeting