We are wrapping up our summer season in Haiti- and what a season it has been. This season, more than many others before, taught us the importance of community, communication and trust. It’s been a wild ride and sometimes we can’t believe we get to be a part of this magic happening here in Haiti, but we are ever so thankful. Through the miscommunications, the heightened spiritual atmosphere, the sickness and the heat- we have over and over again tried to step back and look at the bigger picture- to see the really cool things our community is accomplishing here in our little nook of Haiti. We are so thankful for that.
In June, we received a team of ER nurses and it was such a blast. They taught a two day seminar on first aid and basic wound care- as well as spending extra time with our staff to train them to help our community with basic health ailments. It went over really well with our community, as there really are no local clinics and very limited resources for them. It was really great! It was especially neat to also hear some of our staff’s local remedies and plan for the next year’s seminar to include them!
This team worked their tails off. We were able, through our contacts, to do some mountainside clinics in super rural areas. We worked with one contact, who was actually trained by the famous Dr. Paul Farmer years ago, to do a clinic seeing hundreds of people. Two days later, they headed up to another side of the mountain to meet up with our current landlord and amazing leader, Pastor Philip, who organized the entire clinic for his community at his church. There, they saw another 200 patients or so. This team was also able to begin charts on our kids attending our children’s program. We were joined by some Brazilian doctors for a few days and are thankful for their help, too! These kids were seen, charts were started and we were able to see how to better care for these kiddos. It was a little heartbreaking to see the malnourishment or the abuse they endured, but we are confident that this will only help us train them and their families for better overall health in the future. Thankfully, we were able to send several children to the dentist the following week to receive lots of care for some of those cavities and abscessed teeth! Overall, we believe that the health care portion of our ministry continues to grow as we train the community and bring in trained professionals, as well. THANK YOU to this amazing group of people!
The following 4 weeks, for the entire month of July, we held a day camp for the 100 kids we have in our program. It was all hands on deck and we could not have done it without the help of our teams who came with materials and finances to so selflessly serve alongside our Haitian staff. And, for sure, none of this would be possible without our amazing Haitian team who dreamt all of this up in the first place. My eyes opened even wider to the work ethic, the patience, the kindness and the authority our Haitian team have. They are amazing!
There are so many stories I could share with you about this month of camp, but what I can tell you is that these children received a hot meal every day when they normally do not. They got to play and have fun. They heard about and (hopefully felt) the love of God for them. We were able to help kids process through art, help them forget some of the stresses of their own lives and play sports, and they were able to learn ESL, as well. We are so thankful for our partners and community who not only came to serve, but also encouraged and loved us and our staff during this time of being outside and working with 100 kids from 7:30-3.
One of the things we continue to be excited about is the work and relationships we are building in our community and up into the mountains. God has really opened some doors for us to just get to know so many cool people living in rural mountain villages. We learn so much every day. We enjoyed taking some of the teams up exploring (and exploring with our friends and staff, of course!)
Our other ongoing projects and programs are doing well! We are selling moringa grown in our own garden and some pillows made from recycled rice bags and a hand made coconut button. This is such a gift for us- to be able to employ our friends in our community! Just look at that hand-crafted coconut button! ;) These items are about to be available on our website for purchase. Check it out! We have also continued to work with our coffee roaster, Gran, and we will be selling her coffee as well. I promise it will be different than the last batch that kind of clumped up if you lived in an area of humidity! Oops.
Our Justice Water partnership continues to grow. We are thankful for two friends from Ireland who came to help one of our directors in a rural mountainous area. Its so neat to see the need for water begin new relationships in new areas. We are so proud of all of our directors and what they are up to!
As we gear up for the fall, we are excited to be helping 30 children attend school this year! Many kids don’t attend school because of the price or because of school supplies. We are trying to lighten the load for all of our students and their parents through child sponsorships at $25/month, one time donations and by providing school supplies to them in September! Please consider getting involved with that!
There have been a lot of health issues that we have had to work through, as well. But…more on that later :). Thank you, as always, for being a constant support and care to us and for caring about those in extreme, unimaginable poverty in Haiti.