Our april 2018 trip:
full of old friends, new friends, surprises and planning
It's always a big family reunion
when our Future Forward for Haiti team visits the Light and Peace Missions. We trade stories, ask after everyone's health, learn how school is going, LISTEN, play games and sing songs, walk together, eat, laugh, cry, figure out how to help each other, check on our investments, and look forward to doing it all again next year.
Chapottin got new benches, and so much more!
We planned a fun day building student benches and desks with the Chapottin men. What happened was far more! Our Haitian team of pastors, translators, and drivers plus a few local men eagerly watched Bert demonstrate how to cut the lumber and nail the pieces together according to plans. Then they jumped right in, having no experience whatsoever!
But over the course of a Saturday, they learned techniques and discovered skills, took advantage of each other's strengths, and wound up with the satisfaction of finishing all 10 benches. Once invited, Chapottin boys hurried in to sand smooth the desks they and their friends will use every day.
Trois Mares' Alphas were ready for us in 2017
These "Alphas," community leaders aged 26-66, took the initiative to learn to read in 2015-16. Some are also improving their lives with small business training and microloans for their own enterprises. They were eager to thank us for these new opportunities. They showed great gratitude for the schooling their children are receiving.
Their most pressing need, they said, was for local medical help.Midwifery is not a problem, but if a child gets sick, they often die on the way to the nearest clinic. More than half of the Alphas had this experience. While it is way beyond the scope of our experience at Future Forward, we are asking God and asking around for ideas and contacts.
Every trip includes some standard tasks; meeting with various groups, taking photographs of all the students for our school sponsors; meeting with specific groups and leaders, dental work by Doctor Wong, science demos for the students. We try to do all these things with each Light and Peace community. We both learn the news and discover how each community is different from the others. For example, In Trois Mares, the cistern we built back in 2012 was almost empty. In Chapottin, we wondered why a pipe went from the church's rain gutters but was missing the hole at the top of the cistern. Turns out, the cistern was already full! During our first ever visit to St. Louis d'Ayiti, we were thrilled to discover a spring-fed public well! Team members remind themselves every day to ask questions because they don't always understand what they see.
Join the family: become a monthly sponsor, volunteer at our November packathon, help our team travelers on their way, provide a set of textbooks, assemble gift bags for the kids we visit, request our e-mailings, or who knows? maybe even join our travel team some day.