We’re particularly excited about this fund raiser to support Servants for Haiti. Three young guys are doing a cross country bike ride to raise money and awareness for Haiti. They’re still in the planning stages, but check out their web site and see how you can help!
Haiti has suffered through a lot in just the first decade of the 21st century: poverty, hunger, disease, civil war, kidnappings, floods, storms, political unrest, and more. Now the worst tragedy of all, the recent earthquake, has put this nation through more suffering and testing than is conceivable. Yet their strength and dignity in the face of so much horror appears to be unshakable.
When I think of such things, I am reminded of a trip I made to Haiti back in 2002. The team I was serving on was working on the CJRA school that SFH supports to this. (And which, miraculously, survived the earthquake virtually intact!) I was so impressed by a T-shirt that one of the Haitian workers was wearing, that I took this picture:
I have no idea who the man is or where he is now, but the declarati0n of pride on his shirt reminds me of all he and his country-folk have been through. Not only does he take pride in his country, he clearly takes pride in his work. The Haitians I have worked alongside are perhaps the hardest working people I’ve ever encountered. It makes me more motivated than ever to work on behalf of him and all Haitians. They deserve better.
It will be hard to “top” this fund raising idea. The kids in the small Champlain Valley Christian School in Vermont were given the chance to “break the rules” by wearing hats to school for Haiti. Each student donated $2 for the privilege of wearing a baseball cap. These capped rebels raised a total of $290! Hats off to you, kids, for your support of Haitian children!
Another small team heads down to Haiti on Friday, February 26. We will bring you updates as we receive them. At the very least, we will have a complete trip report and photos after they return on March 4.
Servants for Haiti is committed to bringing consistent and long term support to our Haitian friends. Your financial support will help us. Also, give serious consideration to coming with us on a future trip. You can make a difference in Haiti. And Haiti will make a difference in you.
[Update: This team is home. We'll post a trip report as soon as possible.]
The Single Again Ministry (SAM) of the Essex Alliance Church, Essex Junction, VT, (www.essexalliance.org) serves men and women who are single again through death, divorce or separation as well as those who have never been married. Recently, they served a completely unique constituency.
Twice a month they host dinners with games at the Community Center at the church. As part of those gatherings, they perform community service projects. At a recent meeting, Kingdom Kids orphanage was the beneficiary of their generosity. Everyone in attendance was asked to bring a toiletry item for the orphanage. As an incentive, they displayed pictures of the children in the orphanage.
They collected an amazing array of items, from toothbrushes and toothpaste to Pampers and sippy cups. Beyond those items, about $400 in cash was collected. Everyone was so thrilled to be able to contribute, that they asked to do it again just a few months later!
Next time you have a get-together of any kind, why not follow SAM’s example? Give a higher purpose to your gathering. Let others experience the joy of helping children just as these folks did. Contact us (info@servantsforhaiti) for assistance or ideas. We can help you with background information, photos, and whatever else you need.
Here are some photos from the small team that went to Haiti to do recovery work in January 2010. Go here for the trip report.
Back on Monday, January 25, Servants for Haiti sent its first team to work in post-earthquake Haiti. Three people, including two members of the SFH board, stayed between one and two weeks and accomplished a great deal. Here is a “diary” of their trip, mostly reprinted from an earlier blog from before this new site came online:
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010:
They brought with them four heavy duty tents for the orphans, a water purifier, medical supplies, diapers, infant formula, and food: tuna, peanut butter, and more. They also brought money to purchase food and water. The money was especially helpful because the larger aid agencies had not yet made it to the Cite Militaire and Village Solidarite neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince. Your generosity has made all this possible.
Thursday, Jan 28, 2010:
The team managed to get to the Dominican Republic to buy food. They purchased enough to supply the orphanage for a few weeks!
The smell of decaying bodies is still evident.
One child from KKO has been hospitalized for dehydration.
The US Army gave our team more tents to protect the children. These are desperately needed to protect them from the elements.
The Army also supplied the orphanage with some water. No food has been received from the larger aid services, so any food we get is because of your donations.
Our missionary friends, Karl and Ann Olsson, brought food and drink mixes over.
Pastor Rigaud (for those who don’t know, the school and orphanage were founded and are run by him) has arrived back in Haiti after a few days in the US. He had accompanied the four adopted orphans to FL last week. With him, he has brought a small generator that will be used to run the water filtration system the team brought with them.
A member of our team got another generator and some water from the US Army. The new generator will supply other essential electrical.
Friday, Jan 29, 2010:
Tonight I walked over to the school with Jacnel (who works for Pastor Rigaud). Usually at this time the streets are crowded, not tonight. It was a ghost town, no one was on the street, it was empty. Still people aren’t sleeping in homes that appear safe. There are makeshift cities everywhere but few are lucky enough to have real tents, most are made from sheets. The kids and staff continue to sleep outside and seem to manage amazingly well. The staff is unbelievable with how they are handling things. Everywhere we go people are praising God for saving them. So many have no idea what the future holds for them, no home, no job, nothing.
This kind of strength is yet another reason why we love serving our Haitian friends.
Saturday, Jan 30, 2010:
Today had lots of positive activity. Here’s a summary:
- The orphan that had been taken to the hospital for dehydration has been released and is well.
- Every night, our friends at the orphanage are making rice and whatever else is available. They feed anyone from the neighborhood who is in need.
- Our SFH team worked hard making connections and collecting supplies at the airport. In the end, they came away up with more medical supplies, diapers, water, blankets, food, and toiletries. A good haul!
- The team also went to a local hospital for some meds to treat conjunctivitis, which many of the children have contracted.
- Very exciting partnership news: World Vision is going to be using the CJRA school and the adjacent Bethlehem Baptist Church as a distribution point for food for the entire area. They will be distributing 5,000 boxes of food, each of which contains enough to feed someone for a month!
- Rigaud Antoine has been working with a Haitian judge all day to help facilitate more adoptions. (As we’ve said on our web site, you can contact SFH if you are interested in adopting a child. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a packet of information.)
This is all great news. We are very excited to see people going to great lengths to help our Haitian friends. We are thrilled and humbled to be part of such a great worldwide effort.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010:
Meanwhile progress continues to be made. There was a distribution of water from the school and church yesterday. This should help prepare for the large scale food distribution that World Vision will be doing later in the week. People from SFH and WV met to plan this effort. They have been collecting names of people in the Cite Militaire and Village Solidarite neighborhoods who will be given food. As was mentioned in the previous post, they plan to distribute enough food to feed 5,000 people for a month.
Pastor Rigaud continues to work through the adoption process for the children in the orphanage. While four children have made it to the US, we hope that more can find their permanent homes soon.
Church was held on Sunday, just one service at 6:30 AM. There were 1,000 in the congregation, compared to the usual 3,000.
Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010:
Behind every great man is… his mother. In this case we’re talking about Pastor Rigaud Antoine’s mother. For those of you who are unaware, Pastor Rigaud is the driving force behind the CJRA school and Kingdom Kids orphanage. His mother is an amazing presence at any time, but she has truly stepped up in this disaster.
Meanwhile, our team is searching for additional sources of food for the people living there.
Thursday, Feb 4, 2010:
World Vision arrived today and distributed food boxes to 1700 people in Village Solidarite, using the school as a base. They will give out the same amount each of the next two days.
One of the two people from SFH that are in Haiti is planning to return today.
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010:
Things are going as well as can be expected down at the school and orphanage. Thank God, we still have not heard of any serious casualties among the people we work with or serve there. With the exodus of people to the countryside, it may be a long time before we know the fate of all our friends. Some we may never know about.
Pastor Rigaud is still doing what he can to expedite adoptions. Food, water, and medical care are still in short supply. People are still living in tents, uncertain about their future.
Of one thing they can be sure. Servants for Haiti will always care and will be there for them if at all possible. We plan to send another small team as soon as commercial flights to Haiti resume.
Your help will go a long way to ensuring that we are doing as much as we can. In return for your generosity, we pledge our greatest efforts to help the children and all people of Haiti.
God bless you all…