Highland Park missionary dies from Haiti quake injuries

| January 15, 2010

One of the Highland Park United Methodist Church missionaires caught in the Haiti earthquake has died, the church announced Friday.

Jean Arnwine died overnight in Guadeloupe from critical internal injuries sustained when a free eye clinic the missionaries were operating in the village of Petit Goave collapsed.

Ten of the 12 missionaries returned to Dallas by plane Thursday night. Arnwine and another member, Gary Fish, were rerouted to Guadeloupe, where Arnwine was to have undergone surgery for her injuries.

Fish, who may have suffered broken ribs, is still in Guadeloupe and is working with officials there to bring Arnwine's body home, the church said.

The church has scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon.

Kim Gifford, a spokeswoman for the Highland Park church, said Friday morning that all of those who are back home, including two who were sent to local hospital, were resting comfortably.

Ophthalmologists and others from Highland Park United Methodist have been visiting Haiti for years, providing free eye care to that nation's impoverished residents.

With the church's help, an eye clinic was built in 1985. A surgery building was added in 1999. Those facilities are now staffed by Haitian doctors supported in part by the Highland Park church.

The 12 who were there when this week's deadly earthquake occurred were identified by the church as:

• Jean Arnwine.

• Gary Fish, an eye doctor.

• Kenneth Foree, the retired chairman of the department of opthalmology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and the founder of the Highland Park church's Haiti mission. He was taken to a Dallas-area hospital with injuries to his hand.

• Nancy Rice, who was taken to a Dallas-area hospital with back injuries.

• Lila Foree.

• James Lehmann, an ophthalmologist who trained at at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and who now practices in San Antonio.

• Alex Paz.

• Marilyn French.

• Katy Langley.

• Claire Miertschin.

• Karen Gardner.

• Joel Fish.

The United Methodist News Service reported Friday that a United Methodist Church leader feared dead in a collapsed hotel was found alive, though rescue workers were still trying to extract him.

The Rev. Clinton Rabb, an Austin College alumnus and head of mission volunteers for the United Methodist Church's Board of Global Ministries, entered the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince with two colleagues shortly before the earthquake hit Tuesday.

The news service reported that the three were found alive, and the Rev. Sam Dixon and Jim Gulley had been pulled from the rubble.

The news service quoted a source as saying Rabb was pinned by a concrete beam, and workers were cautiously trying to get him to safety.

The extent of Rabb's injuries is unknown, but workers have been able to communicate with him and are confident they can get him out, the news service's sources said.

Rabb is a 1967 graduate of Wolfe City High School in Hunt County, northeast of Dallas, and a 1971 graduate of Austin College in Sherman. He earned his master of divinity degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin.

Though in recent years he has been working out of the UMC's New York offices, he is a member of the denomination’s Southwest Texas Conference and served as a pastor and chaplain in the San Antonio area for nearly 20 years.



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Category: Mission Trip/Missionary Security