Monday, June 28, 2010

Finding Hope in Haiti

P1020819.JPGThe Joy of Children. The students laughed and giggled for the photo as they played with my hair and a little boy proudly sported my sunglasses and Tilley hat. A make-shift seven class school of lightweight lumber, metal roof and tarps stood nearby where they learn their lessons. On a gravel driveway noisy and ferocious games of soccer were played. Once lessons were completed at noon they each received a hot meal, perhaps the only proper one they will have all day.


Medical and Design Assistance. The Education, Medical Assistance and Services (EMAS) team of Canadian volunteers endured suffocating heat in stale air of the concrete block building: a replacement building for the two storey church/school that collapses in January's earthquake. This well built structure shows the capability of Haitian builders. But this building is too small for either church or school and so eMi Canada was asked to plan out new, permanent facilities on the site where only the temporary school stands.


Looking Ahead and Pressing On. Our Engineering Ministries International Canada team of volunteers from Canada and the United States met with the El Shaddai Baptist Church leaders to discuss their vision for the property. It is to include a large church, a school and a health clinic where they plan to operate an ongoing medical clinic staffed by Haitian nurse practitioners and the occasional visiting medical team.


A Master Plan. Throughout the week eMi investigated site conditions for supplying of fresh water, managing sanitation and distributing power. We also explored several different schemes for the layout of the entire property. Several very productive meetings were held with the leaders of the church community to gain their feedback and further directions.


Being a Neighbour. This community of believers has worked hard to raised funds in very challenging circumstances to go toward the purchase of this property and after the earthquake, funds toward feeding and providing necessities to sustain families that had lost everything. With the help of EMAS and the assistance of eMi the church is looking forward to beginning construction on the permanent facilities soon. Aid is only lasting if those providing it are committed for the long term. eMi comes alongside for a relatively short term but since we partner with long term visionaries like EMAS, willing to tough it out for the long haul, the help keeps happening long after we are no longer in the picture.


A Model of Christ's Body. We left this model of their new facilities in Haiti and will be producing construction documents once home so that they will have materials for both fund-raising as well as construction purposes. In a country where hope seems understandably in short supply, the community of El Shaddai Baptist church is living out hope itself. Loving neighbours, working hard and leaning all the while heavily on the Lord, they know very well where their strength and hope comes from.

Project Photos. A new set of photos has been placed in my Photo Gallery and you have three options to view it. If you want to browse the set, click here. If you wish to see a Slideshow of the photos, click here. If you want to spend a little more time looking and reading the Photo Details, click here. There is also a new video on my side bar for this project trip. Thank you to all those who have given to this work through your financial support, encouragement and prayer: you have made this project a reality.