Thursday, May 06, 2010

Returning to Haiti

On May 18 I will be back in Haiti. After 10 disaster response teams from eMi, this will be our first traditional design project to address the reconstruction of permanent buildings. My team will serve the El Shaddai Baptist Church community in Bon Repos, a neighbourhood at the north edge of Port-au-Prince.

Our task will be to design a church, a primary school and a community health centre on a relatively undeveloped piece of land. The church and primary school will replace ones nearby that collapsed during the earthquake. The new primary school will continue its 15 year tradition of functioning as a feeding centre for children whose families are unable to provide them with nutritious meals.

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eMi was introduced to this community by EMAS Canada, a ministry that provides medical and educational services to communities in need all over the world. EMAS project leader, Dr. Pierre Plourde of Winnipeg, Manitoba has brought teams to Bon Repos for the past 10 years and will be our liaison with the El Shaddai Baptist church community. The beginning of our work week will overlap a few days with Dr. Plourde's EMAS medical/educational team.

A good friend of ours in Calgary will be on the EMAS medical/educational team. Julie and I met Colin and his wife Patty in Vancouver some years ago when we were all still "young adults" attending Granville Chapel. Although our teams will be staying in the same place and overlap for us just four days, how exciting it will be to serve in Haiti alongside a good friend from home.

With the devastation to so many buildings from the earthquake, this will be my first eMi "camping" trip as we will be staying in tents and sleeping on foamies and thermarests at a rural farm property outside of the city. I'm hoping to secure a booking for a guest house in town with facilities a little more conducive to a working team with lap-tops for the second portion of our stay.

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During my time in Port-au-Prince I will have an opportunity to meet the president of a theological seminary (STEP) to see how eMi can come alongside them in their need for planning as they look to rebuild and perhaps even relocate their partially collapsed school. Our connection with the school is through Dr. Gordon Smith and his ministry reSource which provides resources to theological schools in many developing countries.

You can see more details of the project by visiting the link under Greg's Upcoming Project at the top of the right side bar of this blog. "Thank you!" to all our supporters and friends who have come alongside our family in many different ways and are praying for us, making it possible for me to be a part of this work. I look forward to sharing with you about this project upon my return.

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